How and Why C Students are often adept at starting businesses and finding ways to make money
While this article is applicable to entrepreneurs of any age, a high percentage of people over 50 are looking for ways to supplement or expand their incomes. You should find this article very motivating!
His point was- in general your straight A students become teachers and college professors, your B students will eventually hold positions of leadership and high ranking positions in companies, but it is the C student, the dreamer, the visionary and the risk taker who starts the companies and build large profitable businesses.
One noted entrepreneur would typically bring home grades of two C's, three D's and an F. He failed two grades and was expelled from more than one school. But he would go on to start a chain of over 1200 stores with 23,000 employees. Today there is a business college that bears his name as recognition for his $15 million donation to the university. Read to the bottom of this article to see learn the name of this Great American Businessman.
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As much as I was still having a hard time wrapping my brain around this concept- that C students were the primary business builders- it was a laser beam of hope for me because there was no question that I got through high school as a straight C student, with the exception of an occasional B in English and the standard D in Math.
Up to the very moment I heard this thing about C students, I had naturally assumed that the smartest people in the classroom always went on to be the wealthiest and richest people in our society. I had no reason to believe otherwise.
The idea that as a C student one might actually have an advantage over an A or B student as an entrepreneur (or even just equal) was motivating to be sure.
Putting the C Student Phenomenon in Perspective
For the average person who is looking for ways to make money or looking to start a business and create wealth, does this really help? And really, just how true is this proclamation that 'A' students wind up teaching and B students wind up working for C students?
Of course there are countless A and B students who have started and built large companies and corporations and became multi-millionaires. But there is something about the C student that seems to make them uniquely qualified for entrepreneurship.
This is not a new reality as even the 33rd President of the United States, Harry S Truman, was once quoted as saying "The C students run the world." The first point you should take away from this article is hope! The idea that through hard work and innovative thinking you can rise above the crowd and create wealth should be burned onto your brian.
So if you are someone who perhaps struggled in school isn't it awesome that even President Truman recognized you still have potential to build and accomplish great things, and even become wealthy in the process. There are many examples we can point to but I have chosen just one to highlight at the bottom of this article.
Do C students really have an advantage at creating wealth?
There is hardly a parent that would encourage their child to be a 'C' student. We all want to see A's on that report card. But there must be some reasoning to this phenomenon if we can call it that. I looked around for a deeper explanation and came up with some different perspectives on why this often seems to be the case.
From the website “elitedaily.com"
"Thus, we are compelled to argue that it is always not those who possess the best grades who will attain a prosperous lifestyle. It is those who possess the ability to combine a cunning intelligence with business savvy attributes who will be the future leaders of tomorrow. There is myriad evidence in popular culture that corroborates our claim. Consider Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and the myriad others who are extremely successful and never completed an undergraduate degree. Ponder the fact that Richard Branson ended his academic career at age 16 and is currently valued at an astounding $4.2 billion." read elitedaily
And here is a perspective from a lawyer who writes for the website 3 Geeks and a Law Blog. Here is how Toby Brown explains why C students are often more successful at building businesses.
"The 'C' students run the world." The gist of that statement in our context is that C students are the ones with the relationship skills. For them school wasn't about getting the best grade. Beyond learning, it was about enjoying the people you met. These C students are the ones that make business happen. Its their relationship skills that get and keep clients and make the business a success. Firms recruiting at law schools might want to keep this concept in mind. The Law Review students may make the best technical lawyers, but they likely won't be the ones that will drive the success of your firm." read geeklawblog
There is another common theme that I see in almost every article written on the A student vs. the C student and their suitability to be an entrepreneur. To put it simply the A student follows the rules very closely, while the C student tends to challenge just about everything he or she is told. Specifically talking about why A students often do not pursue entrepreneurial goals, Ken Sundheim writing for Business insider had this to say.
"For the honors student, their prestigious diploma is a culmination of an ability to follow rules exceedingly well and to adhere to the requests of authoritative figures similar to managers. For this reason their lives become too structured to ever feel comfortable in highly uncertain, risky situations where they could lose everything they worked for throughout their scholastic career." read businessinsider
Disruptive Behavior a Success Trait?
Challenging the norm or challenging the status quo is an absolute must to succeed as an entrepreneur. The person starting a new business must emphatically believe that they have something better to offer the consumer than what is currently on the market. Whether that is a better product, a more affordable product, or a better way of delivering that product or service, the aspiring business person must be a person whose entrepreneurial vision is not bound by existing rules. Jeet Banerjee writing about his own experiences in school talks about being disruptive. It may not be good in school but in business it is essential.
"In school, I was often cited by my teachers for my disruptive behavior. I didn't really know what it meant growing up aside from the fact that I was doing something wrong and I got in trouble for it. As an entrepreneur now, it makes all the sense in the world.
I wasn't always disrupting for the better in school, but I was doing something out of the norm. As an entrepreneur, you're goal is to disrupt a market or industry for the better through your innovations. Students who are naturally used to going up against the norm have a head start as entrepreneurs.
In order to disrupt, you have to take risks and do things out of the ordinary. 90% of kids in my class weren't disruptive or breaking the rules. The best part about entrepreneurship is that you get to break the rules." jeetbanerjee
Robert T. Kiyosaki author of the Rich Dad Poor Dad book series has written an entire book on this subject titled;
Why "A" Students Work for "C" Students and Why "B" Students Work for the Government: Rich Dad's Guide to Financial Education for Parents. Available on Amazon. com
Paul Orfalea- the Billionaire 'C' student
As a middle school or high school student perhaps the only people who believed that Paul Orfalea had the potential to be successful in life were his own parents. Orfalea states that he was a "woodshop major in high school" and very typically brought home C's, D's, and F's. He failed at least two grades and was kicked out of more than a few schools.
Dyslexia and ADHD were not common terms back in those days and most teachers had little patience for Paul's penchant to become easily bored.
Paul Orfalea did have one thing going for him that would ultimately make a huge difference in the rest of his life. He had parents that were themselves entrepreneurs who ran several clothing stores in Los Angeles. And they understood the power of being in business for yourself and supported Paul when he wanted to open his first copy store near the campus of the University of Southern California in 1970.
(See what I learned when I analyzed the top 20 Google results for the phrase "How to get rich."
Growing up Paul had been given the name Kinko for his curly red hair. Paul Orfalea, the C and D student would go on to succeed beyond most people's wildest dreams. He built Kinko's Copy Centers to over 1200 locations with 23,000 employees and in 2004 sold it to FedEx Office for a price tag of $2.4 Billion in cash.
In 2001, the California Polytechnic State University's College of Business was renamed the Orfalea College of Business, in recognition of his $15 million gift to the school.
In a recent article at Entrepreneur Magazine writer Joe Robinson identifies 7 traits of successful entrepreneurs. And being a straight 'A' student is not on the list.
The 7 Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs
Tenacity- Also known as is known by many names--perseverance, persistence, determination, commitment, resilience--but it's really just old-fashioned stick-to-it-iveness.
Passion- This is what really drives true entrepreneurs, passion for their product or to solve a problem, not just to make a buck.
Tolerance of Ambiguity (Risk Taking) - The ability to withstand the fear of uncertainty and potential failure.
Vision- The ability to spot an opportunity and imagine something where others haven't.
Self-belief- You have to be crazy-sure your product is something the world needs!
Flexibility- Business survival depends on adaptation!
Rule Breaking- You must defy conventional wisdom!
Read more at Entrepreneur
Regardless of your age; over 50 - or still in high school, stop doubting that you have what it takes to become a success in your own business. Check back here often for more motivating stories and articles.