Signs You Should Drop Out – Part II
4. You Don’t Want to Go Into More Debt
Depending on where you live, getting an education comes with some financial chains that you have to carry. In the US, people in their 40s and 50s are still paying off student debt which is completely bollocks. There’s a strong case to be made that instead of going 100,000 dollars in debt you could take the same money and build a start-up.
In the same 4 to 5 year span that you would spend in the classroom, the return on your money when it comes to valuable skill set and know-how, skews dramatically in favour of real world experience. Building a business teaches you way more about how the marketplace behaves and will open up new doors that are unavailable even to those with a degree. You’re more likely to find a job if you ran a start-up that failed than right off the steps of university.
5. Other People are Successful at What You Want To Do Without a Degree
Here’s the thing: if you want to be a lawyer, or a doctor, or anything that requires a formal degree, then you going to do what you going to do. For everything else, you have to look at who’s winning in their space and what allowed them to get to where they are.
The marketplace is changing. Very few industries still care about a degree and these are usually old and struggling. If you look at the most prosperous industries today, you’ll see that a large portion of their workforce isn’t formally educated, instead they have real-life skills which they perfect and deploy to help the company grow. But don’t assume these people didn’t spend years of their lives learning.
Do not confuse a degree with someone’s ability to perform in the marketplace!
There’s this short but great book which we read towards the beginning of the year that’s called: Company of ONE by Paul Jarvis which we strongly recommend you get if you ended up on this article, you’re going to love it. After reading it, you’ll understand how times are changing, how being a contractor has way more benefits than being a traditional employee and how you can leverage this change to cash in big time.
6. You Value Creativity Over Rigidity
There’s this amazing quote that we love from movie director Quentin Tarantino that goes like this:
“People ask me if I went to film school… I tell them; No!, I went to films!”
Which kind of brings together this entire point. If you want to be an artist, art school – in whatever form that might take – is nice to have, you get to play with really expensive toys and learn how to do things from a fundamentals perspective, but if you want to stand out, you’ll have to break away from the norm. Everybody in your class is learning the same techniques and you’re all competing for this really slim chance of exposure. These days, this exposure has been democratized by social media.
In minutes, you can put your things up online and get instant feedback from real people. Do it enough times and now only do you build a following that is more than willing to support your art, but also, your online presence is now your resume. Start a visual blog and next thing you know, you’re getting booked to work with big brands who want what you’re offering.
Here’s an important distinction we need to make:
Businesses get started by creatives! – People who have ideas – Right brain people!
But there are grown by organized ones! – People who create rules and are disciplined – you know, left brain people. If you’re going at this alone, you better have a good grasp on both of these, otherwise you’re going to fail.
7. You’re Already Earning More From Your Business Than From Your Potential Career
You want to know if it’s the right time to drop out?! Well, how successful are you outside of academia? … See where we’re hinting at?
Many people want to drop out for various reasons, but lack that other avenue that’s outperforming traditional education. If you want to drop out, built something that will keep you alive doing what you love, before you cut the branch from under your feet. The best case scenario is when your side project is already outperforming what others are earning who have already followed the path you are on.
If that’s your case and don’t have any other weird strings attached – like a deep desire to make your parents proud from an academic perspective – go ahead, it’s the right call.
See also: Part III