Should I go back to school or pursue my business venture?

I really need some objective advice from those who've worked in the banking industry. PLEASE READ THROUGH THE ENTIRE POST!
My question to you is, Is the decision of leaving school to pursue my business venture a wise decision? Or am I chasing a false Canadian dream?

The business I'm planning on going into is the real estate sales business, selling residential and commercial properties. I also plan to be a long-term investor in the equities market, and to also invest in business based on my in-depth analysis of various businesses when an opportunity arises. In Canada getting your real estate license is a-lot tougher than it is in the US (costs roughly CAD$3,150, need to complete 6 semi-difficult courses, which would take anywhere from 4-8 months) AND I'm getting the Charted Investment Manager certification to build confidence with my clients (which takes 4 months)

Here's my story & a brief overview on my current situation:

I turned 21 a few day ago, and have been out of University for roughly 6 months. I had the opportunity of attending an Ivey undergraduate business program (ranked #4 in Canada and #103 in the world) but I declined it as I decided to go all in on starting my business.

Throughout high school I wasn't a strong academic student, I barely got into a local university and was majoring in Biology, 2 years after studying biology and chasing girls with my friends (because I never had a female in my life prior to university) I came across the world of investments. I was heavily drawn to this field of business and next thing I know I start to read on a weekly basis (Never picked up a book before except for the required readings that were assigned by professors). Now I'm at a point were I've read and studied over 15 business related books and I plan to continue reading because I want to expand my knowledge and never be outdated.
I've finally adopted the growth mindset and am doing numerous things to stay competitive and be better equipped at running a business.

I spoke to a CFA analyst, young managerial consultants from large firms in Toronto, and a previous hedge fund trader about my doubts and current situations to gain some perspective. And every single one of them said, I'm young and got a lot of time to learn and fail and repeat. They also believe it's a wise choice for me to pursue my business venture.

Listed below are the things I'm currently doing/done:
a) Going through the CFA level 1 program on my own.
b) Read, studied books from industry leaders on portfolio management, psychology behind investments, how to perform long-term valuation on companies, real estate, and alternative assets, how to successfully market your brand and get more clients/customers.
c) Reading through SEC filings to better understand businesses of various industries.
d) Performing valuation on companies.
e) Going through a managerial accounting course online
f) Going through the Business law and financial accounting courses online.
g) Other programs to come soon but in order of importance

Things I plan to do in near future:
a) Get an non-paid or paid internship position that allows me to learn from a successful accountant, equities investor, commercial real estate agent or residential so that I can learn the various aspects of managing a business (such as creating financial statements, understanding of taxes, financial models, etc)
b) Speak to professors from my business school whenever I come across a problem during my valuations and or the makings of a business model/plan.
c) Study programming (python at first) to get a basic understating on how to create models and interpret data so that I can better serve my clients and create better marketing campaigns.

What's my end goal in terms of career?
a) Operating an international investment firm- That buys/sells and operates private/public businesses, franchises, equities, real estate, and alternative investments.
b) Operate an international commercial/residential real estate firm.

The questions I'm confused with are stated as what-if situations:
a) If I go to University I'd graduate around 25-26 -> Then work 1yr at an Investment baking firm -> Then 1yr at a consulting firm -> Then venture off to run a business on my own (those that I've stated above) Thus, by the time I venture off on my own I'll be 28.

b) Or I can just work hard for the next 1-3 years (I chose this number because on average it take 1-4yrs to know if you're in the right business or not) and go from there. If it doesn't work then and only then would I go back to school.

Your advice would mean a-lot and I won't disregard it.

Have an amazing day everyone!


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Comments (7)

Sep 7, 2019 - 5:04pm

You should definitely pursue school...and I say that as an experienced entrepreneur with multiple exits that did drop out.

Just work on your business during school. It's not hard provided you aren't taking engineering courses.

...and trust me, not going to school is a terrible idea for most people. You should only drop out if you manage to start a business that brings in real money during your time at school. Also lol @ leaning on your uncle, don't do that, it's just pathetic.

Btw python isn't going to help you at all with marketing. Living, breathing and shitting AdWords + FBAM will though.

Sep 7, 2019 - 5:10pm

I get your point and I guess I wrote the uncle thing wrong. I didn't mean to say I'd lean on him, I added that in because I wanted you guys to have a better picture. It's the last thing I want.

Sep 7, 2019 - 8:51pm

Go to ivey and run your business. I know one guy who is a student athlete at western ,runs his business and can't stop talking about how great the alumni are. The connections there seem legit and i've heard nothing but great things about living in London & partying with super smart and cool people.

Also its 2019, not going to university is really not an option like it was in the past . Even if you don't pursue IB or anything else, just being surrounded by like minded people and having a reputation that friends from your university can identify you as a candidate for a potential referral to a job opening is a great option in case you don't care about your business in the future.

Better to hedge your risk while you are still young enough then regret this decision in the future.

Sep 7, 2019 - 9:23pm

Honestly I know it's not what you wanna hear but only you can answer this question. My only advice is to think long term. Especially at your age, the risk is low as you have time to recover.

Plus even if (when?) you fail (statistics are stacked against you), you will learn a lot more about yourself, career, your core skill sets etc. all of which will position you well to tackle the future....something that a 2 yr IB stint will never teach you.

WSO answers will be biased because most (not all) people lurking on here are 18-20 yr old college students or have a very narrow view of a career.

TLDR: IB will get you ahead in the short run (2-5 years) across only 1-2 dimensions while pursuing your own business will help you get ahead in the long run (10+ years) across multiple dimensions

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Most Helpful
Sep 7, 2019 - 11:42pm

"My question to you is, Is the decision of leaving school to pursue my business venture a wise decision? Or am I chasing a false Canadian dream?"

If you expect someone to know the answer to this then you better keep on school. No one except you can answer this because no one except you can possibly know if you are ready for this. It can be yes it can be no but this only depends on you. Everyone will tell you different things, some may say go for it some may say "You stay in the f**g school" and the thing is everyone is right. Both decisions are wise as long as you make them be wise. If you drop out of school and you are prepared for it if you know exactly what you are going for and if you are ready to succeed but also prepared t lose then it is a wise decision. As again if you are not ready and you stay in school it is a wise decision. It's all on you.

I perfectly understand what you are thinking and the way you do it, I've taken the same gamble of dropping out of school to go for my "dream" and it worked for me but it only worked because I didn't had to ask someone the question, I knew I was ready and I knew the thing I was going for was rock solid so there was nothing to lose for me.
If you think that you have a rock solid opportunity then go for it but don't go for it because someone else thinks that.
Think about it and forget what everyone advised you to do. Take your own decision based on what you think because you are the only person who knows if you are ready to make it.

And as someone previously said in a comment it's true ... :) you have time to recover but you would have even more time if you don't waste it on recoveries.

Wish you the best of luck

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