Right off the bat this blog post likely seems to negate everything that my professional life is about. I am a professor, I am currently in school for my second master’s degree, and I will one day go ahead and get my PhD, as well. However, it’s because of this extensive experience in the classroom, both as a student and as an educator, that I have arrived at this conclusion. We have people flocking to schools everywhere thinking that their money problems can be solved with a degree, and they’re graduating with debts that their entry level jobs will not allow them to pay. While a college education is fruitful for some, many (I’m one of these people), it is not the solution for everyone.
At a time when employment is so fickle and education debts are only rising, I encourage all young folks to turn to innovation, entrepreneurship, and professional independence as a solution instead. Some of the greatest contributions to our world came from people who were in their 20s – Michael Dell started up a PC repair service while attending the University of Texas at Austin, which subsequently morphed into the PC direct business we now know as Dell computers. Steve Jobs began innovating Macintosh computers with the graphical user interface when he was in his 20s. The number three coach of Beachbody is a woman named Amy Silverman, and she’s 28 years old. Need I say more?
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve begun to think of income and earnings in ways that are not linear; trading time for money is not the only way to make money. You can build a business through networking that pays you back in dividends beyond the work you put in to set it up. You can leverage the power of advertisement through an engaging and unique website or Youtube channel that offers value to viewers and patrons. You can go into business for yourself and set your own rules…you don’t have to be a line item on the agenda of the corporate world. You can write the agenda.