Today is the day that young, attractive girls get their A-Level results, or so the photos on tomorrow's front pages would have us believe. For many students, the days and weeks leading up to that terrible moment when you open the brown envelope with your results in has been a time of much perspiration and perhaps the slightest hint of incontinence.
For some, those three little letters on the page could open doors to universities, and the opportunity for dreams to be followed. Some, though, will open their envelopes, read their grades, and perhaps hope silently that the paper they're holding is covered in anthrax, because right now dying is a better option than having to tell your parents that your grades spell words like 'DUD', or 'UUU'.
So much emphasis is placed on exam results, you could be forgiven for thinking that not getting the results you desired is the end of the world, and will consign you to a lifetime of selling the Big Issue, or asking people if they want fries with that.
But this is not the case. Success is not an automatic result of good grades. Put another way, getting bad grades does not mean you will never do well. What you do need, though, is ambition, perseverance, and a hint of business acumen. Some of the most successful businessmen in the world have barely two GCSEs to rub together. For example:
Lord Sugar Net worth: £770m
Goodness knows we're reminded every time The Apprentice is on TV that 'Sir-Alan-come-Lord-Sugar' made his fortune at an early age and with little to no qualifications. Indeed, the 16 year-old everyone called 'Mopsy' because of his curly hair (call him that to his face, Karren Brady, I dare you) saved up £100 of his own cash and started selling electrical goods out of the back of a van. 48 years later, he owns a host of companies, is one of the most recognisable faces on TV, and has a cool £770m in his back pocket: which, incidentally, is enough to buy around 60,000 brand new Ford Transits.
Richard Branson Net worth: £2.58bn
The 5th richest person in the UK at the moment, Richard Charles Nicholas Branson left school with limited academic success, due mostly to his dyslexia. But, at 21 years of age, he had opened his first Virgin Records store on Oxford Street, and since then has gone on to expand his empire to include rail, mobile phones, and - of course - Virgin Atlantic Airlines: which, if the adverts are to be believed, only employs ridiculously attractive air hostesses. He has also made cameo appearances in a number of TV and film productions, including Superman Returns, Casino Royale, and Friends.
Duncan Bannatyne Net worth: £310m
You will know Duncan Bannatyne from the BBC television series Dragons' Den. He's the surly Scottish one on the far left who often has a strop if things don't quite go his way. You may not know, however, that Bannatyne left school at 15 and volunteered for the Royal Navy, serving for several years before being kicked out for trying to throw an officer off a boat landing jetty. His foray into business began soon after, when he bought an ice cream van for £450, eventually purchasing more vans and selling the business for £28,000. Now, he owns Bannatyne's Health Clubs, as well as a number of hotels, and is a seasoned philanthropist. So maybe there is a heart behind that grumpy exterior, after all.
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