Do you need college to succeed? J.B. Hunt, founder of the trucking giant J.B. Hunt Transport Services, proved that you don’t need college education to succeed in entrepreneurship and even become a billionaire.
Coming from a poor background in Arkansas, Johnnie Bryan Hunt Sr. quit school in 7th grade to work for his uncle’s sawmill. He worked as a truck driver for $1.50 a day wages.
But what set him apart was his ability to see opportunities around him. As he drove in his truck across the state, he noticed that farmers simply burned unwanted hulls in the rice fields. He figured correctly that with the right machine, those hulls — which were given for free if not burned — could be used as animal bedding for the poultry industry.
And he was right. Starting his business in 1961, the conglomerate Tysons Foods was one of his first clients. A decade later, he changed the name of the business to J.B. Hunt Transport Services. From selling hulls, he has expanded his business into trucking services with Wal-Mart as one of his biggest customers. Throughout his entrepreneurial career, he was a pioneer who saw opportunities no one had before.
J.B. Hunt died in 2004, but left an empire worth about $3.3 billion in revenue employing 28,000 people. Definitely not bad for a guy who finished only 7th grade.
You can read J.B. Hunt’s story in World Trade magazine