I remember being a Senior in high school just a few months ago. I told both of my parents that I was set on joining the Air Force Academy as a cadet to become a fighter pilot. I’d be able to travel the world, have a good paying job, have a great skill set, and blow sh*t up! Who wouldn’t want that! Well, every day I came closer to graduating, I had a shift in motivation to join the Air Force and realized it wasn’t for me.
Of course, when I told my parents this (who were all born and raised in military families) they panicked. They already told their friends and family I was working on joining the academy and have one of the most respectable careers on this planet. They freaked out even more when I made the decision to learn Digital Marketing.
See, imagine being a parent and your child runs up to you and says “Mom! I just paid this guy $100 online to teach me Digital Marketing! I don’t even need to go to college!” Yeah, doesn’t look so good, right?
If you are truly aspiring to have your own business that can make millions, if you want to be the next Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffet, etc, you need to have marketable skills that businesses need. If you think college teaches these skills, you’d be surprised as to what college is actually like. Still reading? Let’s read some more shall we?
College is outdated
If your parents are pushing you to go to school and have good grades, don’t be surprised. They lived in a time where the only way to have marketable skills was by getting an education from a government accredited school (AKA college), but we live in a different time.
Your parents didn’t grow up with the internet, or at least not what the internet is like today. If they wanted new cooking recipes, they’d have to buy a cookbook. If they needed to call a local mechanic, they’d have to look in the phone book. These times are long gone now. All it takes is a simple Google search to find any information you need at your finger tips.
Let’s take my profession, Digital Marketing. Some colleges teach Digital Marketing but they can’t update their curriculum when the market changes. Digital Marketing is constantly changing with numerous different factors every single day.
I’m not saying everyone should learn digital marketing, but here’s the point.
Half of recent college graduates don’t use the skills they learned in college at their job. 86% are learning skills outside of college.
Very few degrees offer potential job openings, such as computer science, law, medicine, or engineering. Even then, those degrees don’t guarantee anything. All it really is is a piece of paper that say you’re certified. It doesn’t show if you’re going to be a top performing employee, that you have job experience, or if you can show leadership. Instead, it just shows that spent tens or sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars for a degree in gender studies, you have great short term memory, and that you really need a job.
Student Debt is rising and it’s not going to stop any time soon
It’s estimated that student loans in the U.S alone is over 1.5 Trillion dollars. The cost of tuition is also rising each and every year. My girlfriend just told me that her tuition is $15,000 every semester! How is an 18 year old or even a 22 year old supposed to pay that off if they’re spending almost all their time studying?
Not to mention, you spend half of your time at college learning general education. That also means that half of your tuition is spend learning general education and not what you’re actually studying.
Bottom line, college is not going to give you a good return on investment if you want to be an entrepreneur. Even if you have it completely paid for by your parents, you could so much more with that money than going to school.
Learn a high income skill
Notice why did I put in skill? The reason I’m saying learn a high income skill is because you don’t want to be limited by having a job. At a job, you have a boss who decides how much you’re worth. With a skill, you decide how much you’re worth with the ability to scale.
Now, I’m not saying that working a job is bad. In fact, I think it’s necessary if you’re just starting out.
If you’re brand new to the game, and don’t know what skill to pick, I’ll give you some ideas.
I personally chose Digital Marketing as my first skill. I was impressed by the first course I took (indemandcareer.com). There is a huge demand for Digital Marketers all across the world across all companies and businesses with huge opportunities to grow. I’m currently working as a Digital Marketing Specialist for an agency as a high school graduate.
It doesn’t have to be related to marketing or business at all. If you can make 100k a year being a golf instructor or selling cooking recipes, then you have a high income skill. Although, it would be better to pick a skill related to the business world for your purposes.
Stick with it
Having your own business is going to take lots of time, experience, and resources to be the 1% that survive after just 5 years. If you’re in high school or college, don’t worry about having your own company or brand!
If you did what I said and picked a skill, great! Now you just need to become a master at it. Build your experience any way possible. Take as many courses as you can. Get certified in anything possible in your field.
These are all very tangible things you can achieve if you work hard. The younger you are doing this, the more impressed these employers are going to be by you.
Work work work
Once you’ve become familiar in your field, you should be able to get a job.
If you don’t get one right away, it’s okay! If you don’t meet qualifications for certain jobs, apply anyway!
Once you land a full time job using your skill, get a side hustle/job using your skill too. This will double the experience you have within the same period of time.
I currently work full time as a digital marketer and part time as a content writer which are both are in the same world. The most important part of marketing or a business is copy, or the words you use.
Between your job and your side hustle, you should be making some pretty good cash. This the time where you can start experimenting small business ideas that don’t have too much risk.
Consider launching your own Amazon product or maybe start a blog. Or maybe, you can start a food truck or flip products on eBay. The possibilities or endless!
Be creative with this step, that’s what being an entrepreneur is all about.
take it to the next level
If you’re making more money from your side hustle than your job, this is when you should consider making your side hustle your full time job now. That’s where it gets fun!
This is where you can become the top 1% of the world. Your side hustle has become your job or your business and it’s ready to scale exponentially.
You’ll have to start hiring people to manage the work because there’s too much to do! You could even hire enough staff to completely manage it for you as well! This gives you the opportunity to invest into another business, either building another one or buying one that has proven cash flow, whichever makes sense with your situation.
You could repeat this process over and over and eventually become a millionaire with all of the capital you own!
Now I know the last sentence sounds very simple with potential but that’s not the point I’m trying to get across.
This takes very difficult and excruciating work to be successful. Every day it gets harder to get into the business world, but every day there are new opportunities to take, you just have to find them.
The road to entrepreneurship is a rough one. You’ll have to outwork anyone and everyone to be the top 1% that succeed. So if you want this, you’ll have to love the process.
To any parents that are reading this, here’s a message from a former high school student just a few months ago of this being written.
My parents nearly kicked me out of the house because of my ambitions and my ideas about school. I put all of my time and energy into becoming a Digital Marketer so I can have a skill set for the rest of my life. That alone would be a “back up plan.”
Now, my dad brags to all of his coworkers about how cool of a job I have and my mom takes me to work every morning, 5 days a week. My dad is even saying that he might end up working for me if I can build a large business.
Keep in mind, I live in an old-school military family with a dad who has a big temper.
You cannot force anything onto your child. If he/she is putting in the work to becoming an entrepreneur or even has the fire in them to get it, let them go on that path. Let them figure out who they are before making a huge life decision like getting in student debt or joining the military like my dad suggested.
Let them find their own path to success.
Student? Parent? Let me know what you think or have any questions. This is quite the discussion to have in today’s world.