Right now, I’m going to be straight up with you. It’s my goal to get you riled up. I want you to rethink what’s happening in society regarding education, jobs, and making money.
More importantly, I want you to think about how this all affects your own personal freedom.
I Want You to Get Serious About Your Happiness
I want you to think about how society’s conditioning may be directly affecting your level of happiness and overall fulfillment with life.
Don’t worry though – I’m not going to gripe for long. I’m all about the solution so I’ll be sure to give you some answers.
Let’s first take a look at some of the challenges you may be facing without even realizing it including:
- Why College + Job DOES NOT EQUAL Happiness… the current trends in society are proof
- Does a college degree doesn’t guarantee a job?
- Why crushing student loans keep college grads from contributing to the economy
- How to know if college is really necessary for what you want to do
- How to determine the ROI of a degree
- Why it’s much more difficult to live your dream life with a job
- How the current and future economy is shying away from jobs and embracing entrepreneurship – and why that’s good for you and your dream lifestyle!
College + Job = Happiness. Really? Show Me the Proof!
When I was 12 years old I woke up one morning feeling like someone had buried a butchers knife in my right side. After a phone call to the hospital, my mom said we were going in. Just 8 hours later my appendix was removed and I had a cool new scar to prove it.
In some weird, almost Stockholm syndrome way, I fell in love with the entire process. At the impressionable age of 12 years old, I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up… a surgeon.
For the next 6 years, I took all of the math and science classes and always opted for the honors and AP courses.
Because that’s what you need to do to impress colleges of course! I worked hard to get A’s in (most) of my classes and managed to pull off graduating high school with honors. I didn’t have a 4.0 but I still got to wear those extra little ropey things on my graduation gown telling everyone I was “smart”.
With good grades and a good SAT score, I had no problem getting into a university of my choice (well, not the Ivy Leagues…).
As for the goal of being a doctor? Well, I wasn’t so sure. I still wanted to “help people” but I thought maybe I could focus on the mental side of things and declared Psychology as my major.
Just two years later, I stopped going to classes. I wish I could say it was because I founded a world-changing social media company or some awesome search engine but no, it wasn’t.
It was really because every single one of my professors said attendance didn’t matter. Plus, I had a flexible job that let me get all of my hours in at the beginning of the week which then freed me up to take road trips over long weekends.
Without consciously deciding it, I became yet another college dropout.
For about the next 10 years or so, I struggled with the decision to go back to school. If I just finished my degree, then I could get a better paying job and then I could afford a house in Southern California and THEN I’d be happy.
Well that’s at least what I thought.
We’ve all heard it a million times – get good grades, get into a good college, get a good job, and that leads to happiness. It’s been handed down as the right thing to do for generations now. The only other option was to work some kind of trade and be poor and miserable.
The question is, if a college education leads to more happiness, why aren’t there more happy people?
OK, that might be a bit of a stretch.
But how about this – why do I get emails from college educated professionals asking how they can do what I’ve done?
After all, they’re supposed to be the smart ones, right? They’re supposed to be rich and happy, right? Why then, are they asking some college dropout for help?
I’ve got an answer for that, but first, let’s quickly look at some of the challenges with the current university experience.
The Degree Isn’t What It Used to Be
The principal challenge with most of the arguments for college is that they’re almost always related to getting a job. Arguments for a college degree usually look like this:
- A degree will help you get a good job
- You’re showing employers that you’ve got discipline to see something through to the end
- You’re learning how to learn and that impresses future employers
- The more advanced your degree, the more money you can make
Maybe that’s true. Maybe it’s not.
It doesn’t matter really. None of this pro-college logic addresses some of the bigger problems that students are actually dealing with after swallowing the college pill.
For starters, the big majority of students entering college are doing so because it’s just what you do after high school.
Because of that, many students have a huge lack of focus about what they want to get out of their college education. Because of this lack of vision, they’re not as motivated to get good grades and really learn the material.
If students somehow survive the 4+ years of the college experience, many of them come out with no clear picture of what they’re going to do. Even worse, they got degrees in something that’s either not directly applicable to the real world or is so common that it’s just not valued.
I’ve met countless individuals with college degrees still working at the same jobs they had while in school.
In fact, I’ve gotten jobs over people with degrees based solely on my work experience and ability to interview well.
This happened multiple times. How do I know? Because my bosses told me!
If all you need to get a good job is some work experience on your resume and a skill at interviewing well, then that changes everything doesn’t it?
You can skip university and go take a class on how to land a job and you’re all set!
Another huge challenge that many graduates face is debt.
But this isn’t like a maxed out credit card for $2,000. It’s crazy crushing debt that will take literally years if not decades to pay off. Based on what study you read, students are now coming out of college with loans equaling more than $30,000.
For most of the people I know personally, the number is much higher.
Part of the challenge comes with the fact that student loans are so easy to get. And guess what? The universities know that. It’s no wonder then that tuition keeps going up year after year at an almost unsustainable rate and students are being buried in debt before they even hit the workforce.
Let’s just continue to walk through it.
Let’s say that the average college grad gets a degree in something that’s directly applicable in the real-world like bioengineering, information technology or nursing. Let’s say then that our college grad is lucky enough to land a decent paying job that’s enough to cover his or her expenses and then some.
The challenge comes with the student loans.
Like any debt, it doesn’t just go away. It comes a-knocken’ and it robs the college grad of any money that he or she would normally be pouring into the economy.
This isn’t my opinion. This is loosely paraphrasing many articles and interviews of billionaire Mark Cuban.
And it’s something I’ve seen in my own life.
Right now, I know a handful of college grads who owe more than $50,000 in student loans each and are literally working jobs making $12 a hour.
Will they be buying houses or contributing to the economy in a meaningful way anytime soon?
As Mike Rowe, the man behind Dirty Jobs once said, “We are lending money we don’t have to kids who can’t pay it back to train them for jobs that no longer exist. That’s nuts.”
Or, like a meme I saw not too long ago which read, “You want me to pay for school to get a job just to get a job to pay for school?!”
Or another one that said, “You need money for college. You need college for a job. You need a job for money.”
How is anyone supposed to succeed in that loop?
Education is Always Beneficial
At this point you might be thinking, “Sheesh! This guy really doesn’t like college!”
Nope. Absolutely not!
I’m not anti-college, I’m pro-education.
I’m 100% for the university experience if it will genuinely help you further a career you absolutely want to be in.
Let me just rephrase this. I’m all for going to college if it’s something that you’re going to actively leverage to get into a career of your choice that requires that level of education.
My own brother is an excellent example. He got started on his college experience later than most at age 26. But then once he decided what he really wanted to do, he flew through college eventually earning a Master’s degree with honors.
His chosen profession? Speech pathologist.
As in, he helps people who’ve had strokes learn to speak again. Pretty cool, right? And he absolutely needs an advanced degree and advanced training to do what he does.
But with what’s happening in the world today, my brother is the exception. Perhaps it was because he was older when he got started but he was much more intentional about his education.
He got straight A’s not because he’s some overachiever but because he enjoyed his experience and more importantly, he wanted to actually know the subject so he could apply it to his career.
What about everyone else?
What about the hoards of kids going into university “because that’s what you do after high school”?
If you’re not a 20-something, about now you’re thinking, “Yeah, yeah, yeah. Whatever. I’m done with school. This has nothing to do with me.”
It is important however. I’ve met a lot of people who don’t seem to be finding satisfaction in their work or really, just aren’t making enough money, so they decide to go back to school to advance their degree.
The thinking is “if I can get a higher degree, then I can advance my career”. And the subconscious thinking looks like this: “then I can make more money and THEN I’ll be happy”.
Again, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to advance your degree and move up in the world, but if you’re searching for more money, or dare I say, more happiness, it might not be the most effective route.
For now, there are two easy steps you can take to determine if college is for you.
Step 1: Ask yourself: is college really necessary for what you want you to do?
If it’s not, then don’t go! Get an education from alternate sources like good books and courses from experts doing what you want to do. Just like this little blog of mine!
Step 2: Think of the ROI/consequences of your college degree.
Do you really want to owe $82,000 for a degree in Communications? Unless you’re going into engineering, law, or medicine, you need to seriously consider if college is even worth it.
And now, let me explain why jobs are pretty much evil.
Your Job is Killing Your Dream Life
A job will not help you move towards your dream life.
There, I said it.
How do I know?
Because I never once lived my dream life while I had a job. Neither has anyone I’ve ever known.
Just recently, I was looking at my bucket list that I keep in Evernote. I haven’t looked at it for a while.
As I started to cross things off, I’ve got to admit, it felt pretty cool. It included things like listening to bagpipes in Scotland, snorkeling with whale sharks in the Caribbean, eating paella in Spain, seeing ancient Mayan ruins, and more.
I didn’t actually get to do any of that stuff when I had a job. I just didn’t have the time or money. It wasn’t until I had my own business that I started knocking that stuff out.
Your job, even a decent paying one, can never offer you total freedom. You will always have a boss. You will always look forward to your paycheck. You will always be a cog in someone else’s wheel.
Sure, there are remote-work agreements and a lot of people have flexible schedules, but the fact remains, you’re not totally free as long as you have a job.
I’m not saying it’s impossible to do all you want while you have a job. I am saying however that it will be about 587 times harder.
You need to think seriously about why you should ditch the concept of a job forever.
A New Income Generation Model is Here
I don’t watch the news but when I do manage to see a headline, I almost always see something about how politicians want to bring jobs back to America.
I also see groups uniting to keep back the changes brought on by the internet and technology. I hear about people going on strikes to demand more money, benefits, and other such nonsense.
All the while, these people are missing one simple fact: the world has changed and it’s never been a better time to be alive. In fact, we’re super fortunate to live at this point in history!
For most of us, to get water we just lift up a handle. With a few clicks on an app, our food is literally delivered to our front door. If we want to know something, we just ask our phone and we get it instantly.
The fact that you’re reading this on some kind of screen (a tablet, laptop, or smartphone) should help you realize we’re in a whole new world.
Yet, so many people are still making money in a way that is so old-world.
Trading time for money is an outdated model.
About now you might be thinking, “But Sean, I need money. I’ve got to pay the bills and put food on the table!”
You’re right. You absolutely do. You need money, that’s true. But a job isn’t the only way to have an income.
From the fields to the factory and now to the cubicle, it’s all the same. People are making money by being a cog in someone else’s machine.
People are still educating themselves and entering the workforce as it if we were still in the 20th century. It wasn’t a bad model. It worked well for a time. But that model is rapidly disappearing.
My intention right now isn’t to spout off how sucky I think jobs are. My goal is to help you realize that something new and improved is already here! A new model of income generation is taking over – a new, more entrepreneurial-friendly model centered on your ideal lifestyle.
The American Dream 2.0
There’s a new American Dream in town and it’s one that’s completely centered around providing value to the world through your own talents, strengths, and skills. It involves a lot of hard work and leveraging new technologies and a world economy. It involves a lot of personal initiative but the payoff is huge.
The reward is designing and living your ideal lifestyle.
At its core, everything I say here on Family Rocketship is about finding happiness.
It’s about working your butt off until one day you wake up and realize that you’re doing exactly what you want to do that day.
Sound too fluffy for you? Well it’s true.
Like I’ve already shared, because of the business I built, I spent 5 of the last 6 years living in really cool parts of the world together with my wife and kids – all pretty much because we just plain wanted to.
In fact, when living in Mexico and Europe, we met a lot of people who were there on vacation. Right now, we’re in Edinburgh, Scotland and we meet people every single week who are visiting her.
After talking for a little bit, these people learn that we actually live here.
Almost always, they say something like this, “Gee, I sure wish I could do what you guys are doing!”
My answer is always the same, “You can!”
The core message of Family Rocketship is how you can find your own freedom and happiness.
Not everyone wants to live on a tropical island or see castles in Europe. I get that.
Some people just want to golf on a Tuesday morning. Or they want to go shopping at their favorite store and not even look at the price tag. Or they want to put their kids in private school.
My deep down real reason for sharing this stuff is to help you obtain real freedom. And yes, that also includes a business that you create.
That’s what I’m preaching here. It’s all about income, security, adventure, fun, freedom, and happiness.
If you’ve read this far, you’re going to have to decide whether you want to actually do the thing or if you’re going to retreat to your job.
Your choice amigo.
This is part of an ongoing series of posts all pulled from the book: The 60-Day Entrepreneur – Create Your Own Lifestyle Business, Scale Your Income, & Live Life on Your Terms