Why I Left School When I Was 17 to Become an Entrepreneur

Create unforgettable memories while you elevate your online business.

This isn’t the story of a young millionaire. I am not here to tell you how I created a successful App, dropshipping business, or digital nomad boot camp. Nor do I intend to entice you into joining my one thousand dollar course on how to become an overnight success.

My mission is to provide you with some realistic inspiration and resources to enable you to confidently redesign your lifestyle. My advice can’t build you a nomadic business or a successful blog, but your hard work will.

I am Dave Weatherall of That Travel Blog. I currently work with a wide range of travel and business brands who want to utilise my growing audience of bloggers, travelling entrepreneurs, and those who aspire to be one. I also write and have started to sell no BS guides about working while you travel.

Dave Weatherall - That Travel Blog

Talking about creating a nomadic business, on-the-go, at the Alternative Travel Gathering in Amsterdam!

I left school when I was 17 (6 years ago) to become an online entrepreneur. I love to learn and I don’t want to discourage education, but at school I struggled to concentrate on what I was being taught. I failed to see how the textbooks I was told to regurgitate could help me reach my full potential in the modern world.

With access to a computer for only 1 hour per week, how could I have been prepared to enter into a career in the new age of the Internet? I knew that a few letters and numbers on my CV wouldn’t make me stand out from the millions of others just like me. And anyway, who needs formal qualifications when you want to be your own boss?

I left school without A-Levels or a university degree, and I started working as an assistant in a marketing agency. I built a freelance portfolio in my free time by working hard in London when I was just 17 years old. By the time I was 20, I took what I had learnt from agency life in the big city. I started to develop my own nomadic digital marketing team from the beaches of Porto, Portugal.

Over the 3 years that followed, I travelled to and worked from 18 countries around the world. Including Spain, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Czech Republic, UAE, the Netherlands, Thailand, Singapore, and Taiwan.

That’s not to say it was easy. No-one was there to show me the way. My careers advisor didn’t tell me I could quit everything and make money as a blogger! The common ideal then, and even now, is to invest the next 50 years of your life and hard work into somebody else’s business.

That’s a big part of the reason why I started blogging. I wanted to build awareness of alternative lifestyle choices, outside of the 9-to-5. So that 17-year-old me wouldn’t feel so alone in a world where everyone was telling me I wouldn’t achieve anything without a university degree.

It’s been over 6 years since I left school to become a travelling entrepreneur and technology only continues to advance exponentially. I urge those of you who are currently in formal education to boost your learning by improving your skills online. But most of all, to not give up on your dreams even if everyone around you is saying you can’t achieve them. Failure is irrelevant when you are doing what you love. You only fail when you stop believing in the hard work it takes to get there.

"Instead of wondering when your next vacation will be, maybe you should set up a life you don't need escaping from."

Picture of Dave Weatherall

Dave Weatherall

On the road since 2014. Living and working from 40+ countries, mostly in Asia. Blogging, building websites, and marketing management. My mission is to show other people, like me, the possibilities of an alternative lifestyle outside of the typical 9-5.

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