Ok! You’ve decided that college is not for you but you still want to be successful? The idea of 50k a year without 4 years of textbooks, financial aid, easy mac, and gpa jitters is quit appealing so you want to step out and jump start your career now. The good news: history has proven that you may have huge success without ever stepping foot into a college classroom.The bad news: if you think you can rest for a bit, play a little playstation 3, and find your way somehow, the closest you will ever come to success in life is being promoted from dish-boy to register.
College vs Education
I am a gigantic proponent of education and I often encourage youth to prepare for college. There are numerous benefits in going to college but one of them is not job security. I loved my college experience. The books, the friends, the travel. Everything I learned was helpful in developing my character and my skill. The downside to the college experience is that far too often the immature, unlearned, excited student that comes in to school ends up graduating an immature, unlearned, and excited graduate. It was Winston Churchill that said “My education was interrupted only by my schooling.”
Education is fundamental and valuable to all people. You can miss out on formal institutional training but you had better not ever miss out on education. Education is a process of enlightenment that begins at birth and ends at death. Here’s the kicker: you chose whether you press forward on the path or stop to smell the roses and get a thorn stuck in your nose.
What’s next? Act now
Whether you have been out of high school for 6 months or 6 years you must understand that if you do not set any goals and implement some key behaviors YOU WILL FAIL. I am attempting to be as realistic with you as I can be. Nobody is accidentally successful. Here’s the golden rule that you must remember: the world around you will not bring you the things you desire, rather, it will take everything from you until there is nothing left. A decade from now you will sit around with your friends or family reminiscing over the ‘good times‘ in high school because you will have realized that since you received the diploma you have not lived a day in your life. You have just existed and, in many cases, wasted away. A friend of mine spent 14 years in the Marines and was a very successful leader. One day after allowing the voices of those who were living off of his steam, off of his ambition, to encourage him to leave the Marines. He ended his career in the military and settled into a safe secure job as a financial planner.The people who were closest to him continually belittled his work, he was told that he needed something that he could ‘settle’ into, a ”better job. Within 6 months of his departure from the military my friend smoked more cigarettes than ever, he began to drink more alcohol, and eventually became very closed and shut down. Many would say that it was some type of transitional problem or post-traumatic stress but I maintain that it was something worse. It was something that has killed many others throughout history, it was the failure to pursue and develop his own passion and purpose. The chase for people’s approval and acceptance of his career moves cornered him into a lifestyle that, though financially rewarding, sucked the very life out of him. Don’t allow that to happen to you! Make your lasting mark on this world!!
Here is where you should start today (that means now)
- Get a job or make a job: Pick One! Mom loves you and you will always be her lil snukie! Guess what!? Even snukie can get on her nerves. Don’t freeload, contribute! If your going to live at home decide right now how you are going to contribute to the household financially. Parents wont accept rent? Good, save up and get the heck out of the house. NO EXCUSES! I am not a proponent of 9 to 5 jobs. Some say they can even be hazardous for your health. That being said, you have to start some where. There are times where it’s advantageous to get a job, particularly where you stand to learn some valuable skills and gain value. Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad Poor Dad, often advises that you should not work to earn but work to learn. Get a job if it helps you to move a step closer to your vision for your life, if not, create a job. You can make money in a multitude of ways varying from Home-based business to blogging. Perhaps you are creative and have an idea for a startup. Create a dream book. Write down every idea that passes your mind and plan to pursue the skills and resources you need to make them come to fruition. Watch some Ted videos for inspiration.
- Turn your bedroom into a classroom Just because you aren’t in college is no excuse to cheat yourself out of quality education. You need skills and the right information to empower yourself. Check out Marc and Angel’s Hack life blog for an awesome post on 12 Dozen Places to Educate Yourself Online for Free. An extremely valuable resource to bookmark!!
- Determine what ‘Success’ is to you I don’t have a resource to give you for this one. You are the resource. You must turn off all the voices, judgments, and ‘advice’ you are receiving and start by knowing YOU! some guiding words: add up everything you have that money can’t buy and death can’t take away, build a category of these things and never let go of it. Success doesn’t begin or end with money or ‘things.’ Your ‘success’ must culminate in a legacy that will be around long after you have left this earth.
Now that you are on your way remember to stay creative, have fun whenever you can, and love everybody! If you can articulate what your doing and why you are doing it then you are already ahead of the curve.Align yourself with a workout partner to keep you accountable and stay disciplined. Get up each day excited to get out there and make plenty of ripples!!