Don’t have a diploma from Harvard or an advanced degree hanging on your wall? Don’t let that stop you. Those pieces of paper aren’t a one-way ticket to making it big. “[A basic] education is generally a minimum to break the barrier of entry,” says Blair. “But, after that, work ethic and self-education are your greatest assets.”
Like many entrepreneurs, Blair doesn’t hold an MBA. But his curiosity and tenacity took the place of a business school education. When he was 18, Blair wanted to learn all he could about computers so he could be promoted from customer service rep to data center technician at a company named Logix. He read every computer science book and article he could get his hands on, took classes, and talked to experts in the field. He quickly became the data center’s lead technician, then manager, then supervisor. By age 20, Blair was named vice president at Logix, bumping his earnings up from $6 an hour to $100,000 a year in just two years. With this kind of success, he realized he could start a business of his own.