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Brian Tracy Found his Maximum Potential Despite Being a High School Dropout

To Brian Tracy, luck is foreseeable. Those with good luck have a reason for it. “If you want more luck, take more chances. Be more active. Show up more often,” he says.

Brian Tracy was born in Canada in 1944. His early life was humble and he did not seem to have the makings for success, as he was born to a poor family and dropped out of high school. He worked as a laborer, then got a job on a tramp steamer and traveled around the world, visiting and living in many diverse countries. He eventually became a salesman, which started him on his path to success and helping others achieve success.

Tracy did not begin as a great salesperson, but worked hard and copied other good salesmen and read about their techniques. Soon he was the top salesperson in his company, and in two years went into management as vice president of the company. He eventually became the CEO of a $265 million development company.

Starting as a salesperson, Tracy later became involved in real estate, advertising, the auto industry, investments, training and consulting. He went back to school and got his MBA from the University of Alberta. He then developed his first training program that would become the book Maximum Potential (1995). Read the rest of this entry »

Michael Phelps Attended the University of Michigan While Training for the Olympics

Sports enthusiasts know that when it comes to Olympic greatness, Michael Phelps holds the crown. In London alone Phelps dominated his opponents to bring home four gold and two silver medals, which made the most decorated Olympian of all time with 22 total medals. If that isn’t bragging rights, I’m not sure what is.

But before Olympic fame and glory there was education, which is an important thing to remember for young athletes aspiring to walk in Phelps’ footsteps. And even though Phelps never pursued a formal degree, he did still see value in taking classes and coupling athletics with academics as an intentional career move.

Phelps, who was born and raised in Towson, Maryland, attended Towson High School where he graduated in 2003. While he started swimming at the ripe age of seven, it wasn’t until later that he realized his true talent. A series of swim clubs and competitions led to his qualifying for the 2000 Summer Olympics at age 15, at which point he became the youngest male athlete to make a US Olympic team in 68 years. And even though he didn’t win any medals, his next three Olympic appearances would more than make up for it. Read the rest of this entry »

Comedians With Ivy League Degrees Prove Smart and Funny Go Hand-in-Hand

Hollywood is ripe with eclectic celebrities, a majority of whom reach stardom before they ever think about entering college. Perhaps to them, the fame and fortune is greater than a college degree. But there are some celebrities who go to college before diving head first into acting careers, including a surprising number of big name comedians.

Conan O’Brien received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard University in 1985, majoring in history and literature. He even graduated with honors and wrote for the Harvard Lampoon – a humor magazine at the university. Conan’s writing skills came in handy when he became a staff writer at Saturday Night Live, where he would occasionally appear on skits. Eventually, he started hosting his own television show, ‘Late Night With Conan O’Brien,’ which he’s most well known for now. Taking a look at Conan’s resume, it’s not hard to see that this funny man is a smart one, too.

John Krasinski, known for his witty character on NBC’s sitcom “The Office,” attended Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. During his time there, Krasinski studied theatre arts where he was also part of a sketch comedy group. Around that time he landed an internship with the above-mentioned funny man on ‘Late Night With Conan O’Brien.’ In addition to an Ivy League college education, Krasinski also taught English in Costa Rica before attending school, which proves he has much more to offer than just his funny quips and good looks. Read the rest of this entry »

Tony Hsieh’s Career Has Delivered Happiness to Himself and Inspired Others

By Samantha Bandasack

Tony Hsieh is an Asian-American, of Taiwanese decent, who was born on December 12, 1973. Growing up the eldest of three boys in California’s BayArea, he attended the prestigious Branson School in Marin County. Like his career now, Hsieh was able to make the make the grades, but still know how to have fun. After high school, Tony attended and graduated from Harvard, where met Alfred Lin, who would become his business partners.

After graduation Hsieh went to work for Oracle and five months later found he was not a fit for the corporate world. Soon after leaving Oracle, he founded LinkExchange, which was a popular internet advertising cooperative. By 1997 the company had received $3 million in funding from Sequoia Capital. The company was growing at a rapid rate and in 1998 Microsoft bought it from Hsieh and his partners for $265 million dollars. Read the rest of this entry »

Shaquille O’Neal Earns Doctorate Degree, Shares Views on Education

This spring Shaquille O’Neal earned his doctorate degree in Organizational Learning and Leadership from Barry University the old fashioned way: by spending his days in a library instead of on a basketball court. No honorary degree for this guy!

“I’m as proud of this as anything I have accomplished in my life,” O’Neal wrote in an article for USA Today.

Wait, wait, wait. Is he really saying that earning a little piece of paper is as important to him as his career in the NBA? What would make someone think that way?

“I was fortunate to have a mother who understood the value of education, even as she saw me join the NBA,” he continued. “…My mom knew that education not only would help me down the road, it also would make me a better person.”

O’Neal was studying for his bachelor’s degree at Louisiana State University when he was drafted into the NBA. He was in his junior year and only had a few more classes to take before he would have his bachelor’s degree. Instead of giving up on his education and focusing only on his career in the NBA, he took correspondence classes in order to earn his degree. Read the rest of this entry »

Hayden Penettiere’s Education Background

actress hayden panettiere with long blond hairHayden Leslie Panettiere was born on August 21, 1989  in Palisades, Rockland County, New York. She is the daughter of Alan L. “Skip” Panettiere, a fire department lieutenant and Lesley R. Vogel, a former soap opera actress.

Panettiere attended South Orangetown Middle School in New York.  She was educated at home from the 9th grade through high school. Currently Panettiere has postponed higher education in favor of pursuing her acting career.

Panettiere first appeared on screen at eleven months old. She starred in commercials as a baby. As a child Panettiere began acting in daytime television. She held roles on the soap opera One Life to Live and Guiding Light. Panettiere’s most prominent role was that of Claire Bennet in the NBC series Heroes. The show ran from 2006 to 2010.

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Bobby Flay’s Education Background

chef robert william flayRobert William “Bobby” Flay was born on December 10, 1964 in New York City. His parents are Bill and Dorothy Flay. Flay dropped out of high school at age 15.

Flay worked many restaurant jobs as a young man. One of his jobs was making salads at Joe Allen Restaurant in New York’s Theatre District. Flay’s boss recognized his natural ability and paid his tuition to attend the French Culinary Institute. Flay received a degree in culinary arts in 1984.

After culinary school, he started working for several restaurants. The stressful business moved Flay around a lot. Flay held several executive chef potions in several establishments. Flay took the position of executive chef at Mesa Grill in 1991. This career move was pivotal for Flay. It lead to many of his profitable successes.

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Dakota Fanning’s Education Background

headshot of actress dakota fanningHannah Dakota Fanning was born on February 23, 1994 in Conyers, Georgia. She is better known as Dakota Fanning. Fanning is the daughter of Steve J., an electronics salesman, and Joy Fanning. Fanning attended Campbell Hall School in North Hollywood, California.

Fanning first acting job was at the age of five. She starred in a Tide commercial. Fanning’s first notable job was a guest role on NBC’s drama ER. Fanning’s career skyrocket in 2001. Fanning starred opposite Sean Penn in the movie I Am Sam. The film is a  story of a mentally challenged man who fights for the custody of his daughter.

Fanning’s performance as Penn’s daughter earned her a Screen Actor’s Guild nomination. At the age of seven she became the youngest person ever to be nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award.

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Mitch Albom’s Education Background

Mitchel David “Mitch” Albom was born on May 23, 1958 in Passaic, New Jersey. Albom attended high schools in Southern New Jersey and Philadelphia. One of his schools included Akiba Hebrew Academy in Lower Merion. Albom attended Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts and earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology. Albom went on to graduate school and earned Master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Albom then received a MBA from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business.

Mitchel David AlbomAlbom worked his way through graduate school with a few minor writing jobs. He wrote for the Queens Tribune, a weekly newspaper. Albom even he wrote for local supermarket circulars. Eventually he took a part-time job with SPORT magazine, which began his interest in sports writing. Albom freelanced as a sports writer for multiple publications such as Sports Illustrated, GEO, and The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Albom earned his first full-time position in 1983. He was hired as a full-time feature writer for The Fort Lauderdale News Sun Sentinel. Eventually he became a columnist. In 1985 Albom won the Associated Press Sports Editors award for best Sports News Story. This lead to Albom’s promotion to lead sports columnist for The Detroit Free Press. In 1989 Albom branched out from sports writing. He was asked to write a non-sports column. The column ran on Sundays in the “Comment” section. It dealt with American life and values. Eventually Albom’s column was syndicated across the country.

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J. J. Abrams’ Education Background

producer J.J. AbramsJeffrey Jacob “J. J.” Abrams was born June 27, 1966 in New York. Abrams was raised in Los Angeles. His parents are television producer Gerald W. Abrams, and executive producer Carol Abrams. Abrams’ first job in the movie business was at age sixteen. He wrote music for Don Dohler’s film Nightbeast.

Abrams attended Sarah Lawrence College. During Abrams’ senior year at college he wrote a film treatment. That treatment was purchased by Touchstone Pictures and became Abrams’ first production. Taking Care of Business was released in 1990. One year later Abrams produced Regarding Henry.

Abrams had success very early in his career. His projects were often very successful. In 1998 Abrams co-produced the box office hit Armageddon. Still in 1998, Abrams made his first attempt at television production with Felicity, which ran for four seasons on The WB Network.  Abrams founded his own production company called Bad Robot. With Bad Robot, Abrams created and executive-produced ABC’s Alias. He also co-created and executive produced Lost.

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