Have you ever thought that you need a college degree in order to reach success? Time and time again people contemplate going back to college so they can reach their goals. Millions were raised believing good grades in high school and college were needed to land a good job. By all means, if that is what makes you happy, go for it with a smile.

However, if you’re like the OTHER millions of us who felt that school just wasn’t for you, then what does that mean? Does it mean our future isn’t going to be bright? Will you not be able to reach your goals? Are you destined to always struggle for a good paying position? Absolutely not; we are living in a time where entrepreneurs are budding from all parts of life. Massive amounts of college dropouts are finding their success by steering off the paved path and taking their talent, skills, and ideas to the market place.

To be completely honest and transparent, I don’t have a degree. Frankly, I don’t need one. So what gives me the right to talk on this topic? I do know how valuable a gesture as simple as a smile can be and where it can potentially lead. A smile is what sets the mood. It’s what puts me in the right frame of mind where I can completely crush my goals and dominate my day. A smile can be contagious. With the right mental attitude, here are three areas of life where a smile will always be more valuable than a college degree.


I remember when I first got into sales. The first lesson I ever learned was that regardless if it is on the phone or in person, you must change your mood and bring in good vibes with potential customers or clients. The best way to do that is with a smile. Bringing a positive attitude and good vibes to others will rub off on others. As I got better with sales, I have been able to bring value to the marketplace and close deals in less than 30 minutes consistently meeting after meeting. The day that I met my mentor, it was with handshake and a smile.

Now, I am currently chief of sales and marketing for his magazine, Lifestyle by Design. Bottom line, although I knew college wasn’t for me, I am successful with sales by having a positive attitude, bringing a million-dollar smile, persistence in learning, and keeping the potential client as a priority.

Remember, there is a famous quote to live by; “People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou.

So keep smiling.

Businesses Built with a Smile.

It kills me sometimes when I hear my fellow veterans tell me they want to go back to school, major in business administration, and then start their own business. I also had a similar thought process as I was transitioning from the military into the civilian world. Then I became realistic. I barely graduated high school, so how the hell do I think I was going to do any better after being out of school for over 10 years? Through self-education I launched my first business two months prior to getting out of the Navy.

Fast forward four years later, I have launched a handful of businesses that I profited on and learned business lessons that school won’t ever teach. A valuable key to success is embracing the journey, learning from the failures, and implementing new knowledge into an existing business or a new business. It’s all about being able to embrace the journey and smile through the process.

Smile for the Right Connections.

It doesn’t take a college degree to get connected, especially when getting connected to the right people. All it takes is charisma, social intelligence, and selflessness. It takes getting out there to make you seen and available. Of course, it also takes a smile to be approachable. It takes genuineness to consistently build up those relationships as well as new ones. When I connected with my mentor for the first time, we shook hands and greeted each other with an exchange of smiles building that relationship was crucial to my success.

Networking is a must in business. When networking I always come with a smile. As I work the venue and meet new people, I see others that seem so much more approachable because of their charismatic smile. THOSE are the types of people I want to meet. Always having a smile for the world to see has led me to meet individuals from all walks of life and many has become genuine relationships where we can also trust one another in business as well as life.

So How Valuable is Your Smile?

It is all up to you and where you find your strengths and most importantly, how hungry you are. If you want to go to college, by all means, get educated and follow your goals! If college isn’t for you, then great! Be happy with your choices or make new choices so you can smile. Your smile will naturally draw others towards you. Your smile will keep you going. Most importantly, your smile will become your trademark, and reflect in your attitude towards others and the world. For me, it has led me to where I am now, and I would have to say, it’s pretty far.