According to Erik Petrosyan, You Don’t Need School to Succeed in Life

Erik Petrosyan

Knowledge is the true power in today’s world. But is the school or college the place to get the necessary knowledge? For generations, young minds have been told that the only way to succeed in life is to work hard in school and pursue further education or college. While most people still believe that formal education is the starting point of progress and success, Erik Petrosyan is not convinced that a person needs school to succeed in life.

“College is the way to success, but there are other ways. I finished college and got a bachelor’s degree in accounting, but what I’m doing today has nothing to do with my degree,” says Petrosyan. “And it’s not just me; there are numerous college dropouts that made it big – Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, etc. The one other thing they have in common is that they were ready to do anything to make their dream work.”

Erik Petrosyan is an entrepreneur running a multi-million freight brokerage company called EBP Logistics. Catering to customers’ needs all over the United States is not an easy feat, but Petrosyan was dedicated to his craft. As he points out, everything he knows today that is relevant to the freight industry he learned by himself. Even though it was a more challenging way, he says that the only way to build a better future is to improve constantly.

“I landed a job where my degree was virtually worthless. I needed a different skill set to get around, so I rolled up my sleeves and started learning. When I started my own company, the playing field completely changed, and I had to learn new things,” he says. “My point is, you don’t need school to succeed. But if you want to be a doctor or dentist, go to school. If you can do without school by teaching yourself, then, by all means, don’t go to school.”

As Erik Petrosyan explains, self-teaching plays a massive part in success as the learning process never stops, especially if someone wants to become an entrepreneur. He adds that building and growing a business is not smooth sailing and that entrepreneurs need to adapt and respond to all kinds of situations quickly. And during the three years Petrosyan has been building his business, he encountered quite a few setbacks and made many mistakes. Still, as a true entrepreneur at heart, he just turned those situations into learning moments so that he could never repeat the same mistake twice.

“If you don’t have the background knowledge of what is needed in that business, you need to acquire that knowledge first,” says Petrosyan. “You can do so by having a mentor who has already been through it or by experiencing it yourself firsthand. The downside with the latter is that you will make more mistakes. But mistakes are a natural part of the journey, but how we deal with them makes the difference between success and failure.”

And Petrosyan’s recipe for handling mistakes is simple. The first step is to admit to making a mistake as soon as possible. It shows that a person is ready to face an error, analyze the situation more objectively, and see what should’ve been done differently. Petrosyan further outlines that the key is finding lessons, as mistakes usually show what and where the person needs to improve and allows them to make a solid plan to apply the lesson.

“You must continuously keep learning to stay on top of your game and what’s coming down the road. There are a lot of ups and downs on a journey to success, and if you don’t know how to face and handle them, you’ll never succeed,” he says. “You must learn to adapt and respond to bad situations; no school will ever prepare you for that. It would help if you had persistence, dedication, and discipline. And if you check all the abovementioned boxes, only the sky’s the limit.”

Written in partnership with Luke Lintz

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