At the risk of the dreaded duplicate content I will tug the tail of the Google tiger on this one, something I posted in another forum. I believe it worth repeating here and search engine indexing be damned.
I guess I’m a reasonably bright individual. For whatever it is worth I was valedictorian leaving grade 8, among the top academically in a large high school, and then dropped out early in second year university when I realized they couldn’t teach me anything that would actually be useful.
I immediately went into business for myself; learned what I needed for the task, and moved forward. I built, sold, and folded, several businesses over the next few years while my contemporaries were still at their studies. I had some resounding successes and some miserable failures. Each was a powerful learning experience worth far more than a course, or even a year, at university, and it usually made, rather than cost, money!
I spent the first 50 years of my life figuring out what I wanted to be when I grow up. Along with the businesses I built, I also explored a significant array of jobs — from common laborer to creative artist to freelancer, consultant, and corporate executive. Some might say it produced an unmarketable resume. In total, however, the experience was priceless.
I returned to formal education later in life because it was something I wanted to do. Now I get to put extra letters in front of my name and after it. Their value is, truly, academic. The real value in my life is the multitude of experiences I enjoyed and shared with so many, and which I put to far more use than any academic success I might have.
At the age of 60 I decided I pretty much had it figured out and set upon the journey that will take me through the latter years of my life. Three years later I know I am on the right path. It’s about giving back, sharing with others, and maintaining a renewable, sustainable, lifestyle built on multiple income streams, many of them residual, regenerative, or recurring. Most of it is made possible by applying things they never taught you in school.
I sometimes work long, and even hard, hours. But they are hours of my own choosing, mostly from an office in my home. My wife and I enjoy our time together — nearly 24/7 which, surprising to many, is actually a blessing; not having to struggle with work schedules, and work places, outside the home, then coming home to last minute choices and frustrations. Working for ourselves, from home, together, is nothing short of wonderful.
If I had it to do again I wouldn’t even begin university. Why take on vast debt for half-vast (say it fast!) information and a piece of paper that actually isn’t likely to get you the job you thought you were training for? Get your high school diploma — you may actually need that later — and then begin work. Whether it is for yourself, or someone else, it really doesn’t matter.
Learn your craft and deliver the best you can on the job at hand. Be the security guard, but not the one standing at the door with his hands in his pockets. Be the shelf-stocker but not the one who doesn’t know where anything is in the store. Be the junior assistant or the junior manager or the mail clerk. Give it your best and keep your eyes open, both for what you can learn, and take away from where you are at the time, and for the next position you will move too.
And whatever you do, continue your education — your REAL education. Read books; at least one a week. Take interest course and technical/related courses in support of what you are doing and where you are going. Don’t worry about degrees or diplomas. Read books and take courses that actually teach you something you can use.
And, somewhere along the way, like me, you might actually learn to write essays! ;o)