Why Dropping Out of College was the Best Decision of My Life
By James Barlow
The decision to leave college before completing my degree may seem unconventional to some, but for me, it was the most sensible choice for my career path and personal growth. Despite enjoying the college experience, I felt a sense of restlessness, as if I was merely biding my time. I was eager to take on real-world challenges and pursue my passion for entrepreneurship. The idea of building something from scratch and being in control of my destiny was exhilarating, and I knew I couldn’t wait until I graduated to start my own business. By leaving college early, I was able to get a head start on my career and focus all my energy and resources on developing my entrepreneurial skills. It was a bold move, but in hindsight, it was the best decision I ever made.
I always knew that I wanted to be an entrepreneur. As a child, I was always looking for opportunities to make money. At the age of 16, I took the leap and started my first business, and the feeling of being my own boss was invigorating. The experience was so rewarding that I continued to look for new business opportunities wherever I could. By the time I graduated and went to college, I had already achieved a level of success that many entrepreneurs never reach.
So, I made the decision to leave college early and pursue my entrepreneurial dreams. At the time, it was a difficult choice. I was giving up a lot of things, including the security of a college degree but I knew there was no other way.
One of the biggest benefits of leaving college early was that I was able to focus all of my energy on my business. I didn’t have to worry about juggling classes, homework, and studying. Instead, I could devote all my time and energy to building my company. And that’s exactly what I did.
Over the years, I have founded numerous successful tech companies, with expertise in AWS, Fintech, Healthcare, E-commerce, and more. By the time I was 20 years old, I was already generating over $1m in revenue from eBay sales monthly. None of this would have been possible if I had stayed in college.
It’s easy to look at successful individuals and assume that they have had a smooth journey to the top. However, the reality is quite different. Early success does not mean that there are no struggles or issues to face along your path to career success.
For me, my early success was from hard work diligently striving towards my goals, and I saw the fruits of my labor grow. However, along the way, I faced personal difficulties that needed to be overcome.
Like many young entrepreneurs who achieve financial success early in their careers, I too faced struggles with focusing too much on making money from my new ventures rather than the product itself during those initial years. Despite my accomplishments, I came to realize that success is not just about making money, it’s about creating a product or service that adds value to people’s lives. Realizing this was my issue took a great deal of reflection and the advice of mentors to emerge from those difficult times after such early success. Although the journey was trying, I refused to give up and eventually found a solution that worked for me.
My journey to success has had its fair share of struggles and difficulties, but those experiences played a significant role in shaping my character and outlook on life. My early success gave me the confidence and motivation to persevere through tough times, while my struggle with focusing on money over product made me more mindful and conscious of the value I was providing to my customers. I realized that my struggles were not unique, and many other entrepreneurs faced similar challenges. These experiences taught me the importance of creating value for customers, being mindful of business practices, and never losing sight of the purpose behind the product or service.
About James Barlow
James Barlow is the founder of Triumph Technology Solutions LLC; a leading AWS cloud native services provider. With over a decade of experience in the industry, he is an accomplished Tech Entrepreneur, expert, and business leader with a deep understanding of the development of IT Services and Software Businesses with domain expertise in AWS, Fintech, Healthcare, E-Commerce, and more. James has started numerous tech companies that have focused on everything from Business Web Development to e-commerce. In the early 2000’s James founded an eBay-based business and was one of the first eBay “power sellers.” At only 20 years old, James was generating over $1m revenue from eBay sales monthly.
James Studied Business with a minor in economics from Northern Illinois University. He left college early in order to pursue his entrepreneurial passions and to build his eBay-based computer hardware sales business. He has also earned certification as an AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner and Solutions Architect, reflecting his commitment to staying current with emerging technologies.
Outside of work, James is a passionate volunteer who is deeply committed to several causes, including civil rights and social action, economic empowerment, education, disaster and humanitarian relief, politics, and science and technology.