6 disadvantages of being a degree holder when starting a business


Most successful business people do not have or did not have degrees when starting out. Why? In this blog I outline some factors that I believe can limit a degree holders’ early business success. From my own experience and observation:

  1. Its harder to save

Saving is an extremely important success practice. If you are coming from a full time job to start business, you may be already used to living a certain high maintenance lifestyle. You might be living in an area where rent costs you K3,500 when you could find the same size of a house in a different area at half the cost. But as a degree holder you expect yourself to ‘have class’ and you end up living in an upmarket area which is more expensive when you could save and invest in your business which needs the money.

  1. You are under pressure to conform to certain standards

External pressure. Your friends from the university are all driving Audis and BMW X5 type of cars. You are still sharing the vitz with your spouse because you sold your car to finance the business. How does that feel? Nobody likes to be the odd one out, it takes courage and strength of character to withstand

  1. You might feel selling is beneath you

Me selling? That’s for uneducated people. Besides what will my friends think of me? Well at the end of the day business is about making money. How will you make money without selling? Whether it’s a product or service like consultancy, you will have to sell. In some professions, the selling is less than others but business is all about it.

  1. Restricted choice of business

Believe it or not, some businesses are considered to be for the uneducated yet they have very high potential for being lucrative. Would you make and sale chibuku(a local alcoholic beverage)? Yet this is a business with quite a big market(religious objections aside).

  1. The career change challenge

You have spent 4-7 years pursuing a particular area of study. What if your business interest in an area unrelated to your academic studies? You might choose to go with something you consider more professional even when you know your passion lies elsewhere. It’s a case of holding on too long to the wrong thing just because you have invested a lot of tm in it. Then there is the external pressure form people who will keep asking why you have abandoned your career. I can’t count how many times I have been asked that.

  1. Some people might laugh at you

When hubby and I were prepping for our wedding, we raised chickens to supplement the wedding expenses. I remember one person deriding us: how can degree holders sell chickens?


Yep, true story.

End of February starting blog. Thanks for reading. Feel free to share your thoughts by commenting.





2 thoughts on “6 disadvantages of being a degree holder when starting a business

  1. Mutale says:

    There are certain expectations that come with being a degree holder or an educated person. Like you should have a good job, Doctor, Banker, Lawyer etc where you show how knowlegeable you are and get paid. If you are uneducated or a drop out, not much is expected of you, so you have better chance to succeed at business because most people will think its normal after all you are not intelligent. I agree with you “Life rewards the one who puts in effort not the one who deserves it”

    • susanlumba@gmail.com says:

      Thank you for the comment. I appreciate.
      Brian Tracy says success is blind. Its like a recipe. Anyone who follows the recipe gets the dish whether educated or not, man, woman, young, old etc

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