Read Millionaire Fastlane
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- Jul 4, 2016
My perception is that the "college sucks"-trope that's going on nowadays is largely because:I’m not a big fan of the amount of hate that formal ed receives around here sometimes.
Most of the top successful Fastlaners are university educated.
Sure you can self-educate yourself, but a lot of people self-educate and then come out believing in The Secret Law of Attraction or that Vaccines cause autism.
The problem with self-education is that there’s no quality control. People just read some alternative medicine blog or Conspiracy theory website and think it's true. You really need a good way of separating the truth from the bullshit, and that's a skill that's really emphasized in universities.
The information presented in legit universities have been thoroughly vetted and fact-checked and are based on research.
Sure universities aren’t perfect, but they’re really great places to learn.
(A) It's what people want to hear. I notice lots of slowlaners have adopted the opinion -- probably because it means they don't need to hold themselves to as high standards. Why delay your gratification when you can order some bracelets from AliExpress right now and become an ENTREPRENEUR?
(B) It's what people want to focus on. All these people who talk about Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg may be unaware of the survivorship bias. How many dropouts end up like Bill Gates, and how many do not?
(C) It's what people want to say. If you never went to college it's tough to admit you perhaps made a suboptimal choice. Of course, most people will live with the belief that their way of life is the best. Why would they settle for less?
Of course, this also applies to university graduates. But the fact that non-university graduates say something the majority wants to believe may contribute to the popularity of their opinion.
Personally, I'm from both camps.
I'm a high-school dropout who never got a diploma in a country with no equivalent to the GEDs. But this year I used my entrepreneurial skills to literally talk my way into a Computer Science undergraduate programme in university. It's a cakewalk compared to real life, and most students will probably never amount to much. But if you go through it with a fastlane mindset... it will open your mind up to countless possibilites. And you'll get armed with a superpower called expertise in an area you can build solid companies off of.
A few weeks ago I went to Stockholm to see Nassim Taleb. He talked about aiming for optionality. An option is, according to him, something of limited downside with a large, open-ended upside. It made sense to me, as he managed to clearly articulate something I'd been thinking about for some time myself.
No one knows the future for certain. But everyone can improve their options and probabilities.
A teen could drop out of high school and work to achieve their dream of millions. But frankly, the odds are stacked against him. And what are his options if the dream does not play out within a couple years? McDonald's? Hustling on UpWork like everyone else in the gig economy (with no special skills, too)? Cleaning hepatitis-infected blood, piss, puke and shit in a hospital?
For an university graduate, the odds are also stacked against him. He could also end up on Mickey D's. But he could also end up armed with tons more knowledge, connections with the people who may not end up successful founders but C-suites, and potential for quite well-paid jobs that provide money, flexibility and experience which the high school dropout will not have.
Let's assume you will fail in your ambitions of building a multimillion dollar company - worst case scenario - would you rather end up with a pocket full of mumbles in a world with ever-increasing demands on workers, or a well-paid worker drone with better circumstances?
I don't only bat for the fences. I hedge myself as well.
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