Most of the guest speakers for Noble 201 agree about the importance of being passionate about what you’re doing, but they all have different requirements for what it means to be successful. Some speakers say that “education isn’t the (sole) way to start a business,” (Jordan Carlisle, co-founder of Strengthen app), while others, like Propak founder and Nobel Impact chairman Steve Clark, stress that experience got them where they are today.
Below is a look at what I’ve gleaned from Noble 201’s guest speakers and their philosophies on success. In short, having experience, a problem, and passion seem to be the basis for forging a pass towards success.
Experience Is Key
While all of the speakers fully encourage going to college and talk about how it can be beneficial in a person’s life, they emphasize that college is not necessary to success. Jordan Carlisle and photographer John David Pittman are two examples of speakers who went to college, got degrees in a certain area, and went on to have successful careers in completely different fields.
When serial entrepreneur and Arkansan Steve Clark says that he became successful because of his experience, he isn’t necessarily talking about going to college and getting a degree just to get a degree. The meaning I extracted from Steve Clark’s Q&Aat the Arkansas Fellowship speakers series event, which Noble Impact students had the opportunity to attend, was that you need to have education, or experience, in what you are doing. That doesn’t necessarily mean college.
Solve A Problem
Although there are disagreements on other “requirements” for success, every guest speaker agrees, finding a problem is key to being successful. You can’t think of a solution to address a problem if you don’t identify the problem. Additionally, Steve Clark brought up the point of having the mindset of solving for “x,” and to “see a problem, fix a problem.”
Human-Centered Design, an approach taken by design firm IDEO, adds to this thought — it’s a concept we are highlighting this year in Noble. You have to identify a problem and form the solution based on what the community around you desires. This is extremely important in being successful, because if you create a solution, but no one finds it desirable, you won’t find success. In fact, CB Insights says that the top reason startups fail (42% of the startups they analyzed) is because there is “No Market Need.”
However, Jeston George made the point that sometimes people don’t know what they want. His business, Apptegy, which the Noble 201 scholars visited, helps schools update all of their social media platforms at once in an effort to keep everyone up to date. His original idea was to create an app for schools to communicate with parents, however, no school wanted “another thing to update,” so George created a solution that schools didn’t know they wanted.
Passion Or Pass
Another debatable “requirement” for being successful is passion. Almost all of the speakers have become successful in something they are passionate about. Personally, I agree with Anita Roddick, who wasn’t a guest speaker, but who is a very successful businesswoman and founder of The Body Shop, who says: “To succeed, you have to believe in something with such a passion that it becomes a reality.”
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines success as “the fact of getting or achieving wealth, respect, or fame; the correct or desired result of an attempt; someone or something that is successful, a person or thing that succeeds.”
Despite being different than the set definition of success, I think Steve Clark says it best: “Success is being able to do what I want, when I want, with who I want.”
Success is what you make it, so make it good.
What Is Steering Arkansas?
Steering Arkansas consists of three sophomores attending eStem High School in Downtown Little Rock. When our EAST class and Noble 101 class collaborated, we were given the challenge of making a change in our educational system.
Since we are all approaching driving age and getting our permits, we felt that a comprehensive Driver's Education course would be a beneficial addition to our high school curriculum. In an effort to see this become a reality, Greta Kresse, Austin Ashley and I created Steering Arkansas as a method to inform and to advocate for a more thorough education and licensing process for young drivers in Arkansas.
Read about us on the Noble Impact blog here.
Why Does it Matter?
Arkansas is ranked 7th highest in the amount of teen deaths with teen drivers, nationally, at 26.9%. Steering Arkansas wants to provide not only the knowledge of safe driving, but the experience, too. If Driver’s Education was required in the high school curriculum, it would allow students to get the required driving time essential for getting a license without any fear.
We are trying to advocate Driver's Ed. for teenagers because we don't want them to become statistics.
What are We Doing?
We are working with experts to find the most economically efficient yet effective way to implement drivers education. This of course, depends on school locations and size. Currently, we are in the grant writing process with State Farm.
We are also researching different solutions and ways to improve our service, so please if you have any ideas, don’t hesitate to contact us.
What are Our Goals?
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