02-21-2019  7:40 pm      •     
By Farrah Gray, NNPA Columnist
Published: 22 October 2009

(NNPA) - Many novice entrepreneurs are led to believe that only prestigious educational degrees are necessary for success. However, it is this fear which surrounds launching a business venture that can be the most difficult barrier to realizing your financial dreams. Although, a formal education is one helpful element to success – the primary ingredients to obtaining wealth starts with determined hard work and intelligent business decisions.

Don't over complicate the step by step business development process – make it your own, innovate. Today's successful CEOs captured their dreams by listening to proven mentors, staying focused always willing to accept learning from failures. By listening to their gut instincts entrepreneurs cut through wasteful static that often drains energy.
Yes, it is true college educations can open many doors particularly for doctors, lawyers or accountants. However, the ability to achieve goals only requires persistence, discovering unique talents and innovation. Remain humble; it's a long distance race starting with nothing, use every moment wisely.
Today, many Black and Hispanic communities including New York, Detroit, Atlanta, Baltimore, and Chicago suffer 60 percent or more unemployment rates. For many in these neighborhoods the door has remained shut despite individual efforts to climb out of poverty. Take heart – success is a choice. Aspiring entrepreneurs always choose success never looking back as they transform their mind, body and soul regardless of the challenges.
Keep in mind, Bill Gates -- now worth over $50 Billion – dropped out of Harvard University to start Microsoft with two buddies. David Thomas, the founder of Wendy's restaurants, had not even graduated high school. Muhammad Ali never attained a formal college education – yet "the champ" earned respect worldwide as a leading Black humanitarian now considered one of the greatest professional boxers ever. These entrepreneur businessmen never wavered in the pursuit of their dreams, always knowing that achieving extraordinary goals requires the individual, after being knocked down many times, to rise again to fight for it.
By making consistent intelligent decisions, an individual can minimize distractions but inevitably success requires the ability to accept failures, learning from the disappointments each time. Life's great achievements are not accomplished by a totally upward trajectory, but rather a series of ups and downs that accompany the journey. Entrepreneurs earn financial success upon discovering their unique talents of value that consumers will pay money to obtain.
I painted rocks found at the end of neighbors' driveways that I sold as decorative door stops and paper weights. Upon reaching the age of 11, I expanded my business into home-made body lotions -- then well on my way to becoming a millionaire achieving national recognition including appearances on CNN, ABC 20/20 and GMA shows.
Think business, not brain surgery. Imagine planting an apple seed - each day you water the tree -- eventually it grows blooming into valuable fruits that feed the needs of many. Entrepreneurs have the FREE luxury to implement ideas and dreams that can used to create the fulfillment of others' needs at a reasonable market price, resulting in financial rewards. This is essentially the basic foundation of every business, large or small.
It requires no particular genius or educational status, but simply the qualities of persistence, and being able to discover unique talents and innovation. By using such a formula, the odds of success are realistic. Don't be fooled by get rich quick schemes, instead learn from trustworthy mentors focused on organizing a step-by-step written plan to obtain seed money by offering a valuable product or service.
Whether it's painting rocks, computer software, recycling, hamburgers or boxing – everyone has that one talent or gift waiting to be discovered. A formal education is helpful but not initially required for 99 percent of the small business opportunities. Build a home-based business, get a partner to work with, find a mentor – make your dreams happen.
During, this process of discovery it is important to decide the legacy that you will leave for others that may follow in our footsteps. As small business entrepreneurs, we must consistently pursue improving our total well being – mind, body, and soul. Ultimately, it is not merely adequate to seek wealth alone rather find something more dynamic that drives the purpose.
Along the way at some point, our lives experience crisis, tragedy and challenge surrounding us as endless distractions grab at limited time with no end in sight. It is at such difficult crossroads, we often must choose a clear path to financial, personal and spiritual needs remembering to truly stay connected – think business.

Farrah Gray is the author of The Truth Shall Make You Rich: The New Road Map to Radical Prosperity, Get Real, Get Rich: Conquer the 7 Lies Blocking You from Success and the international best-seller Reallionaire: Nine Steps to Becoming Rich from the Inside Out. He is chairman of the Farrah Gray Foundation. Dr. Gray can be reached via email at [email protected] or his web site at http://www.drfarrahgray.com.

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