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Self-Education Gets You Further in Life than a 4 Year College Degree

by | Mar 21, 2023 | Learning

College still has some relevance.

Especially if you want to become a doctor, lawyer, or engineer. But the relevance of college is slowly decaying as online education takes over.

Universities haven’t exactly done themselves any favors by continuing to make tuition fees higher.

I mean, is a 6-figure MBA really worth it? Nope.

What to do instead of a business degree

Now that college is so expensive the 6-figures you pay for the piece of paper is better used as seed capital for whatever startup dream you have.

There’s nothing like starting a business instead of learning about business from someone who’s likely never done it and just knows the theory.

Theory, smeary.

Everything sounds great in a strategy pack or based on what Kellogg’s did in the 1950s to increase their profit margins. But in the world of tech, business now moves far too fast. The only way to truly understand it is to be in it.

Get your self-education in business by starting a real online business. Your first one will probably collapse but it’ll still be cheaper than a college MBA.

Learn from the obsessed

Not everyone you meet in life has gone all-in on their field of expertise.

There are a lot of dabblers. People who sound like they know stuff but who actually know two-tenths of stuff all.

The best educators I’ve found are practitioners. They’re the people in the game that you want to play every day. They’re obsessed. They know every little detail. And they don’t just teach from their own experience.

They’re creators who crowdsource ideas and tactics that work and apply them. They move fast too. Speed is their secret weapon.

I’m like this in the field of online writing. I’ll be reading about the latest LinkedIn feature while I eat my breakfast and wipe my daughter’s butt after a diaper accident.

People who encounter my love for writing think I’m crazy. I sound like a madman. And us crazies are the ones that have gone below the surface to dig deep for the real insights and wisdom.

You become one of the obsessed by seeking out practitioners.

Choose teachers a few steps ahead

The mistake we make is we learn from people like Richard Branson.

He’s a nice guy with a lovely smile, but he’s 1000 steps ahead of us. The lessons don’t apply to a lot of the problems we’re trying to solve.

I prefer to learn from people a few steps ahead. Not beginners, but not 40-year veterans either. Just everyday people who’ve got some results.

They’re way more relatable.

Aim for one takeaway

People will do a course or read a book and expect to get far too much.

I find the best self-educators hope to learn one takeaway from small education investments. What you want is breakthroughs, not a notebook of one-thousand lessons you’ll never use, that never get applied.

See self-education as an investment, not an expense

I allocate a budget every year for education.

I spend wildly in this area and try not to be a tightarse. Too many people do the opposite. They wait until they have the time or the money to do a little extra learning. They see it as an expense.

“How much will this cost me?”

What they should be thinking is what’s the ROI on this learning? Like can you apply it right away and make more cash?

If the course costs $98 and it can reasonably make you $10,000 in the next year, then shouldn’t you be diving headfirst into it and screaming “take my money dude!”

Increase your failure and rejection rate to increase your education

Too many people are gun shy.

They’re afraid to try things and see what happens.

They’re afraid of rejection and failure so they use education as a band-aid. Or as a clever form of entertainment that’s not that much better than drowning in Netflix.

Too much education is just procrastination.

Focus on your execution rate. How many lessons did you take action on? Because when you take action stuff is gonna blow up in your face.

I lost $1.2M. It’s the best learning I’ve ever got that’ll probably make me at least $5M over the course of my life.

These are the failures you should be praying to a higher power for. Without them, you never really get in the action. You’re just on the sidelines watching the football game without ever playing.

This sidelines-way-of-life is a great way to have huge regrets when you’re 85 and can’t do anything about them because you can’t even replace your own catheter and take a piss.

The best education is full of risks. Make a few small bets, invest time and money, and see what happens. Then learn from it.

That’s 10x better than a college degree that makes you sound smart but doesn’t have anywhere near the same amount of wisdom.

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