We come into this world with two things: Agency and Intelligence. We leave this world with what we have done with that agency, and our intelligence – which has hopefully deepened significantly during our life, either through education or experience or a combination of both.
I am a great believer in education and I have always had a passion for learning new things. I was one of the nerds that actually liked school growing up. When I came to go to college at BYU I was only 17 years old and I was so excited to be taking college courses and learning new things. But I also liked dating and I ended up meeting a boy and getting married quite young. I got pregnant a few months after we were married. We didn’t have any money at the time and so we decided that I would drop out of college to work and my husband at the time would finish his education since we could only afford for one of us to go.
I was blessed I my life to be able to achieve great success in business despite the fact I had not finished my college education. Even though I didn’t finish college I suppose you could say I was educated at the school of trial and error, not to mention a few hard knocks, and I can’t forget the fact that I attended the University of Google, as I like to call it. I have spent more time researching and learning subjects I Googled than anyone would ever believe. When I had to write my first business plan I googled “how to write a business plan” and I read everything I could about it. When I needed to raise capital for my company I Googled “how to raise venture capital” and read everything I could. So Google truly became my University. I learned by reading everything I could get my hands on. I had a talent for reading extremely fast and I was able to go through piles and piles research papers and books and that helped me whenever I needed to learn a new subject. My entrepreneurial journey was a constant process of learning and getting educated.
My businesses grew and succeeded and a few years ago I was eventually able to sell a company for a significant amount of money that allow me to now focus my efforts on giving back. I have felt incredibly blessed for that opportunity. But in the back of my mind I have always been saddened that I didn’t have that college degree framed on my wall. For me it wasn’t because it would have made me more financially successful, it was more a manifestation of the intelligence I had worked hard to gain…it mattered to me. So I did what I always do when there is something I want to achieve in my life – I put a picture of a college degree on my goal poster. At first I thought it was dumb to put it on my poster because I knew I wasn’t going to enroll myself back in college when I’m the one actually doing the teaching and lecturing at several Universities at this point, so how the heck was I going to achieve it?
Then two months later I get a phone call that the President of the University and Gail Miller (of the Larry H Miller Companies), Chair of the Board of Trustees, wanted to come and meet with me. They came to my office and told me that they wanted to present me with an Honorary PhD at the upcoming graduation ceremony. I didn’t know what to say. They will never know what that news meant to me…I was humbled and honored and overcome with gratitude.
Today was the graduation ceremony where I was presented with my Honorary Doctorate. It was such an honor and I cannot describe the emotions I felt walking up onto the stage and having them put the hood around my neck as they conferred the honorary PhD upon me. It meant the world to me.
Life is a constant education, but I encourage all of the young people reading my blog, and especially you young women, to get your education. Make it a priority. Learn all you can during your years at a University. Don’t take a second of it for granted.
Today was a great day. Thank you for letting me share it with you.
Yeah…it was a great day…