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Joe Macken - I learned not to wait for things to happen

Joe Macken is the co-owner of Dublin restaurants Jo'Burger, Skinflint, Crackbird and Bear (joburger.ie)

I went to Shannon (catering) College but didn't graduate because I basically failed my finals. I failed the marketing exam, which is mad because our company is all about marketing restaurants across town. But of everyone out of my year, only a handful of them have their own businesses.

I grew up in our family hotel in Slane, and I learnt loads of rules at the very start: muck in; don't wait for something to happen; be willing to do every job; be mindful of other people. We were very lucky that we got such a good grounding.

I've never been a brainbox, and even now I'm crap at accounting, but I've built a crew around the idea that it's important to do something you love. And 70pc of my staff - managers, chefs - don't have a college education, and it's not important. Look at Mark Zuckerberg, who dropped out of college.

Do I regret not getting the qualification? The thing is, I can make food, and with restaurants, no matter what happens, you can always get back on your feet if you're willing to do the work.

I sort of look back and think, 'feck it, it's not that important', but sometimes I think that me not finishing the course probably sends out a not-great message to the students who are there now.

I don't think I'll ever get an invite back.

Irish Independent