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I lost 5 years in College like a Loser, now What?

mark688

New Contributor
Apr 28, 2018
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Hey everyone, I'm new here and this is a god send gift forum for me.

I've read the MJ de marco's book and I'm still changing my mindset.
I've found this book in a book shop, I had to read that because I was so depressed and confused.

I still feel like a loser, I've lost like 5 years in college, studying electronics engineering, still didn't get the bachelor because I also had health problems so more time passed away and I still didn't finish the damn college and I'm getting crazy about it..

In my free time I've started helping small companies with digital marketing (getting paid with a small fee) and I've found out that I love marketing and sales.

I don't see myself working in the engineering field neither building a company around engineering but I'd like to be the sales/marketing guy.
Many entrepreneurs told me sales is a skill I have to master.

What would you advice to a guy like me that want to master sales and marketing to build a company and realized that hate college ?

I'm thinking that the best option would be to dropout but I'd have wasted 5 years of my life and I'd stop studying something I'm not interested about and start hustling to master sales skills to become a real entrepreneur.
 

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Late Bloomer

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Hi Mark, welcome fellow forum newbie :)

As someone who's had some very heavy duty health challenges in my life, my personal perspective is just one person's opinion. It might be different than what some other people suggest. I recommend that you do whatever you need to do, to get your health back on track as your first priority. Everything else in life, whether you do sales or engineering, go to college or don't, are a freelance or an employee, whatever... it will ALL go better with better health, right?

If you drop out of college, and later decide you want to finish a degree, that's possible. Many people do that. It's not like you only have one chance in your life, right now to get the degree or it could never ever happen for you.

My personal suggestion is to get a foot in the door at any paid job in sales/marketing type of work, preferably for a mid to large size engineering company with a really great health plan.

As you know, there are plenty of engineers who can build something but are not very good talking with people about why it matters. Work on whatever promotional campaigns you can in-house, then see if you can pick up some freelance sales/marketing clients for small projects on the side. Bob Bly's book "Confessions of a freelance writer" (I think that's what it's called) might be good inspiration. He got a technical degree, worked in marketing in a technical company, wrote sales letters, then left after a couple of years for a very successful freelance career doing sales and marketing writing, mostly for high-tech, financial, and medical companies with complicated offers that had to be explained to buyers.
 

adiakritos

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May 30, 2011
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Determine your objectives first, your 5 year plan, the decide if you'll finish college. it'll be easier to decide.

Also be aware of the stories you're telling yourself. "Woe is me for 'wasting' 5 years in college'. That conversation isn't gonna get you anywhere but more 'woe is me'. I know, I did it myself. I decided to stop crying about it and just get it done, put it behind me, and move forward with a plan.

In my case my plan was to learn software development and get a job at a company building internet software so that I could learn from senior devs, and work on Fastlane projects from a place of comfort. It took me only 1.5 years since graduating to do exactly that. 8 months freelancing in a small town in California to minimize distraction. Another 3-4 months in Florida freelancing, about 8 more months as a contractor with a satellite company, and now for a huge enterprise.

As far as college goes, I decided that having the degree would give me ideas, a background, a plan B credential to fall back on if I needed to get a job when a project fails. True or not, it's what I believed and that was enough to make me finish. If the degree is that important to you, just finish it. If you're gonna live in regret and it's gonna be a burden for you, just finish it. Find the upsides. Also think about this... there are people who fail after 5 years in start up companies that go nowhere.

Is college necessary to be an entrepreneur? Arnold Schwarzenegger came to the US with no degree, no money, but had a very very specific objective and plan. That's all he needed. He became good friends with Joe Weider, a successful businessman in the bodybuilding world and learned from him. He became a millionaire in Real Estate while he was winning body building competitions. He started a mail order business that make him 6 figures. He made like 3X the money of his smart friend who had a PhD. He remembers thinking "wow, he's so smart with his degree yet he drives a shitty car. I lay bricks with Franco Columbo and mail people diet plans and I drive a new sports car..." It took Arnold like 10 years to get a Bachelors, he took classes here than there ... and he didn't even know he had it until he ran into the dean for a community college at some event he was at. The dean told him "Arnold you have more than enough credits for your BA, but you need Physical Education to earn the BA". So he did it. He valued knowledge. I love his story, it provided me a lot of inspiration.
 

HugoMoreno

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Fix your health #1, it's not worth the money

And 2nd, start living in the moment and whatever
happened happened.

Now depending on your personality type, I'd suggest
you start looking into different type of online business
models you wanna implement

Email marketing
Affiliate marketing
Shopify
Product creations
Etc, etc.

You might not like the first one you try
so keep experimenting and then stick to
it like a diet
 

Roli

Gold Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Jun 3, 2015
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I still feel like a loser, I've lost like 5 years in college, studying electronics engineering, still didn't get the bachelor because I also had health problems so more time passed away and I still didn't finish the damn college and I'm getting crazy about it..
You know what would make you feel like a bigger loser? Running a race for 5 years and then stopping just before the finish line and walking away.

President Kennedy once said;

"We choose to go to the moon not because it is easy, but because it is hard."

I remember saying those words to myself every morning (I substituted the moon bit for something more relevant to me, and changed we to I), as I was going through a huge mindset change. I said them to remind myself that if it was easy, everyone would be doing it and there would be less merit in pursuing my goals.


The resiliency you have built up thus far, is turning you into one tough cookie . . .

Plus of course, being an entrepreneur is also about being growth minded, meaning that you are always open to new opportunity and at chances to learn and grow.

Start seeing college as a collection of opportunities, some of which will be just right for you, it doesn't matter if you don't take up in engineering, I'm betting that being a good engineer instils qualities within you that will be useful for other things you do, like design or invention.

Last but not least, you may meet a person or people that you go onto partner with in some way, many, many business owners and entrepreneurs met their biz partners in college. Trust me, once you leave college it is hard to surround yourself with as many focused and determined people, not saying that everyone in college is focused and determined, but you'll get what I mean once you leave.

OK here's the least, there will be a lot of people on here who say college is a waste of time, and how you should blow it off and just get out there right now, however you cannot get away from this one stark statistic, and that is:

People who graduate from college, are generally more successful than people who don't...

Of course it is no guarantee, just like it's possible to run faster than someone who is on steroids, when you are not . . .

Tough it out, finish college and remember:

"... not because it is easy, but because it is hard."
 

ProcessPro

Bronze Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Speedway Pass
Apr 26, 2018
215
255
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Hey everyone, I'm new here and this is a god send gift forum for me.

I've read the MJ de marco's book and I'm still changing my mindset.
I've found this book in a book shop, I had to read that because I was so depressed and confused.

I still feel like a loser, I've lost like 5 years in college, studying electronics engineering, still didn't get the bachelor because I also had health problems so more time passed away and I still didn't finish the damn college and I'm getting crazy about it..

In my free time I've started helping small companies with digital marketing (getting paid with a small fee) and I've found out that I love marketing and sales.

I don't see myself working in the engineering field neither building a company around engineering but I'd like to be the sales/marketing guy.
Many entrepreneurs told me sales is a skill I have to master.

What would you advice to a guy like me that want to master sales and marketing to build a company and realized that hate college ?

I'm thinking that the best option would be to dropout but I'd have wasted 5 years of my life and I'd stop studying something I'm not interested about and start hustling to master sales skills to become a real entrepreneur.
Regarding how you feel about the wasted time, I'd say that it was just a relatively small season of your life. You did not know better then, you do now, so don't beat up yourself about it. You were doing what you thought was the best course of action based on what you were taught.

You have the rest of your life ahead of you. You probably picked up a few things while there that you don't realize at the moment. So your 5 years isn't totally wasted. You probably got some value from it.

So now it's time to build your fastlane business. Question is, one day? Or day one?

-M.
 
OP
OP
M

mark688

New Contributor
Apr 28, 2018
13
16
16
Hi Mark, welcome fellow forum newbie :)

As someone who's had some very heavy duty health challenges in my life, my personal perspective is just one person's opinion. It might be different than what some other people suggest. I recommend that you do whatever you need to do, to get your health back on track as your first priority. Everything else in life, whether you do sales or engineering, go to college or don't, are a freelance or an employee, whatever... it will ALL go better with better health, right?

If you drop out of college, and later decide you want to finish a degree, that's possible. Many people do that. It's not like you only have one chance in your life, right now to get the degree or it could never ever happen for you.

My personal suggestion is to get a foot in the door at any paid job in sales/marketing type of work, preferably for a mid to large size engineering company with a really great health plan.

As you know, there are plenty of engineers who can build something but are not very good talking with people about why it matters. Work on whatever promotional campaigns you can in-house, then see if you can pick up some freelance sales/marketing clients for small projects on the side. Bob Bly's book "Confessions of a freelance writer" (I think that's what it's called) might be good inspiration. He got a technical degree, worked in marketing in a technical company, wrote sales letters, then left after a couple of years for a very successful freelance career doing sales and marketing writing, mostly for high-tech, financial, and medical companies with complicated offers that had to be explained to buyers.
Thanks for the kind words man.
Actually I'm already recovering from my past health problems. I was depressed, couldn't sleep and had problems with my heart so some days my energy was down and I could barely move my body..this lasted for more than one year.

However, yes that's what I'd like to do. I feel like I'm happy to work more with people than with computers and technology.
I understand tech stuff but I like more the sales and marketing part. I've also tried affiliate marketing some time ago (only had little success with it) and I've realized I like it as I can use my marketing and tech skills as the same time.
And yes, I know many engineers that could barely talk to people or to a woman LOL

Maybe a tech sales job could teach me more than college so I can develop skills to build my own company in the future.
 
OP
OP
M

mark688

New Contributor
Apr 28, 2018
13
16
16
Determine your objectives first, your 5 year plan, the decide if you'll finish college. it'll be easier to decide.

Also be aware of the stories you're telling yourself. "Woe is me for 'wasting' 5 years in college'. That conversation isn't gonna get you anywhere but more 'woe is me'. I know, I did it myself. I decided to stop crying about it and just get it done, put it behind me, and move forward with a plan.

In my case my plan was to learn software development and get a job at a company building internet software so that I could learn from senior devs, and work on Fastlane projects from a place of comfort. It took me only 1.5 years since graduating to do exactly that. 8 months freelancing in a small town in California to minimize distraction. Another 3-4 months in Florida freelancing, about 8 more months as a contractor with a satellite company, and now for a huge enterprise.

As far as college goes, I decided that having the degree would give me ideas, a background, a plan B credential to fall back on if I needed to get a job when a project fails. True or not, it's what I believed and that was enough to make me finish. If the degree is that important to you, just finish it. If you're gonna live in regret and it's gonna be a burden for you, just finish it. Find the upsides. Also think about this... there are people who fail after 5 years in start up companies that go nowhere.

Is college necessary to be an entrepreneur? Arnold Schwarzenegger came to the US with no degree, no money, but had a very very specific objective and plan. That's all he needed. He became good friends with Joe Weider, a successful businessman in the bodybuilding world and learned from him. He became a millionaire in Real Estate while he was winning body building competitions. He started a mail order business that make him 6 figures. He made like 3X the money of his smart friend who had a PhD. He remembers thinking "wow, he's so smart with his degree yet he drives a shitty car. I lay bricks with Franco Columbo and mail people diet plans and I drive a new sports car..." It took Arnold like 10 years to get a Bachelors, he took classes here than there ... and he didn't even know he had it until he ran into the dean for a community college at some event he was at. The dean told him "Arnold you have more than enough credits for your BA, but you need Physical Education to earn the BA". So he did it. He valued knowledge. I love his story, it provided me a lot of inspiration.
That's true. Thank you!
 

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OP
OP
M

mark688

New Contributor
Apr 28, 2018
13
16
16
Fix your health #1, it's not worth the money

And 2nd, start living in the moment and whatever
happened happened.

Now depending on your personality type, I'd suggest
you start looking into different type of online business
models you wanna implement

Email marketing
Affiliate marketing
Shopify
Product creations
Etc, etc.

You might not like the first one you try
so keep experimenting and then stick to
it like a diet
I've tried sometime ago affiliate marketing and had little success, then got again health problems and stopped.
I like it, I can use my math knowledge and creativity to create great marketing campaigns and make money. It's kinda fun for me.
 
OP
OP
M

mark688

New Contributor
Apr 28, 2018
13
16
16
You know what would make you feel like a bigger loser? Running a race for 5 years and then stopping just before the finish line and walking away.

President Kennedy once said;

"We choose to go to the moon not because it is easy, but because it is hard."

I remember saying those words to myself every morning (I substituted the moon bit for something more relevant to me, and changed we to I), as I was going through a huge mindset change. I said them to remind myself that if it was easy, everyone would be doing it and there would be less merit in pursuing my goals.


The resiliency you have built up thus far, is turning you into one tough cookie . . .

Plus of course, being an entrepreneur is also about being growth minded, meaning that you are always open to new opportunity and at chances to learn and grow.

Start seeing college as a collection of opportunities, some of which will be just right for you, it doesn't matter if you don't take up in engineering, I'm betting that being a good engineer instils qualities within you that will be useful for other things you do, like design or invention.

Last but not least, you may meet a person or people that you go onto partner with in some way, many, many business owners and entrepreneurs met their biz partners in college. Trust me, once you leave college it is hard to surround yourself with as many focused and determined people, not saying that everyone in college is focused and determined, but you'll get what I mean once you leave.

OK here's the least, there will be a lot of people on here who say college is a waste of time, and how you should blow it off and just get out there right now, however you cannot get away from this one stark statistic, and that is:

People who graduate from college, are generally more successful than people who don't...

Of course it is no guarantee, just like it's possible to run faster than someone who is on steroids, when you are not . . .

Tough it out, finish college and remember:

"... not because it is easy, but because it is hard."
Thanks, that's really motivating!

I think only that while I've realized now after 5 years that I like more marketing and sales than engineering, I'd have chosen maybe marketing or business as a degree but now I think it's worthless to switch and better finish the current degree.
 
OP
OP
M

mark688

New Contributor
Apr 28, 2018
13
16
16
Regarding how you feel about the wasted time, I'd say that it was just a relatively small season of your life. You did not know better then, you do now, so don't beat up yourself about it. You were doing what you thought was the best course of action based on what you were taught.

You have the rest of your life ahead of you. You probably picked up a few things while there that you don't realize at the moment. So your 5 years isn't totally wasted. You probably got some value from it.

So now it's time to build your fastlane business. Question is, one day? Or day one?

-M.
Yes I think I've got some life lessons from this. I'd like to start doing again affiliate marketing in the evenings as a side hustle but only to make money to build my own business.
 
OP
OP
M

mark688

New Contributor
Apr 28, 2018
13
16
16
What percentage of the coursework is left to complete the degree?
At least 50% and I feel bad about it. If I keep studying while maintaining a low GPA I could finish everything in one year but in the worst case scenario it would take me at least two more years and I feel really bad about it.
 

Roli

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Read Millionaire Fastlane
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Thanks, that's really motivating!

I think only that while I've realized now after 5 years that I like more marketing and sales than engineering, I'd have chosen maybe marketing or business as a degree but now I think it's worthless to switch and better finish the current degree.

No problem, we all need a bit of motivation now and again!

I'm glad you've decided to finish your current degree, because unlike the specialist knowledge of engineering, you can learn marketing in the field. In fact, it's probably better to get real experience of marketing with (your own) real money, than it is to theorise about it in university.
 

Roli

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but in the worst case scenario it would take me at least two more years and I feel really bad about it.
You'll look back in 20 years at this time and think; "man, I had way more time than I realised..."
 

LeoistheSun

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You only wasted 5 years if you absolutely learned nothing. By this post alone, looks like you learned something...

Probably not the only thing you learned either.

Perhaps a biz idea to help people in your current situation?
 

ay47

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Mar 29, 2018
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Unless you spent your 5 years in college huddled up in a shack without adding anyone to Facebook or LinkedIn, I wouldn't call it a waste of time. College is a great tribe. I still get business and job opportunities from my college network 10 years after leaving it.

Spot anyone that went to the same college that can help you? Simply ping them and say, "Hey, we went to the same college." You're at least 25% more likely to get a reply. I've met CEOs of multi-million companies because of college.

Take it as a large networking event that will pay dividends if you take the time to nurture it.
 
OP
OP
M

mark688

New Contributor
Apr 28, 2018
13
16
16
No problem, we all need a bit of motivation now and again!

I'm glad you've decided to finish your current degree, because unlike the specialist knowledge of engineering, you can learn marketing in the field. In fact, it's probably better to get real experience of marketing with (your own) real money, than it is to theorise about it in university.
I think finishing is the only way. Switching to another degree would waste me more time and money.
 
OP
OP
M

mark688

New Contributor
Apr 28, 2018
13
16
16
You only wasted 5 years if you absolutely learned nothing. By this post alone, looks like you learned something...

Probably not the only thing you learned either.

Perhaps a biz idea to help people in your current situation?
I've learned more on my own indeed instead of college.
What do you mean a business about this? Help people in this situation?

Wouldn't it be this like coaching, would it be?
 
OP
OP
M

mark688

New Contributor
Apr 28, 2018
13
16
16
Unless you spent your 5 years in college huddled up in a shack without adding anyone to Facebook or LinkedIn, I wouldn't call it a waste of time. College is a great tribe. I still get business and job opportunities from my college network 10 years after leaving it.

Spot anyone that went to the same college that can help you? Simply ping them and say, "Hey, we went to the same college." You're at least 25% more likely to get a reply. I've met CEOs of multi-million companies because of college.

Take it as a large networking event that will pay dividends if you take the time to nurture it.
Indeed I've got some contacts. Always went to networking events and met succesful people.
I use Linkedin but I'd like to know it more about it, is there any good course about Linkedin you would advice ?
 

socaldude

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I don't see how spending 5 years in college makes you a loser.

Even if it didn't lead to a job or degree there has to be at least something that changed in you.

The first place you always start is self-awareness of your own thinking.

Almost all behaviors, judgments and errors in thinking have to do with our own lack of awareness. It doesn't matter if it's business or personal. Start there.

If life sucks and seems depressing its because of yourself not because of anything external.

This is when you get your power back because it's something you can directly control.

Oh, and better knowing yourself makes it easier to know others. Which makes you a good marketer.

It seems counter intuitive but once you shift attention from the external to the internal all of a sudden the external begins to have more clarity.

It's called foundationalism or reasoning from first-principles. You always attack problems from the source of things.
 
OP
OP
M

mark688

New Contributor
Apr 28, 2018
13
16
16
I don't see how spending 5 years in college makes you a loser.

Even if it didn't lead to a job or degree there has to be at least something that changed in you.

The first place you always start is self-awareness of your own thinking.

Almost all behaviors, judgments and errors in thinking have to do with our own lack of awareness. It doesn't matter if it's business or personal. Start there.

If life sucks and seems depressing its because of yourself not because of anything external.

This is when you get your power back because it's something you can directly control.

Oh, and better knowing yourself makes it easier to know others. Which makes you a good marketer.

It seems counter intuitive but once you shift attention from the external to the internal all of a sudden the external begins to have more clarity.

It's called foundationalism or reasoning from first-principles. You always attack problems from the source of things.
Thanks. Yeah I'm working to improve myself and to change my reality.

I think I feel stuck because 5 years have passed away. And if I leave college now or change I could waste more time. I'm still confused on what I should do.
 

maverick

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Stop being a loser.
 

ay47

Contributor
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Mar 29, 2018
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Indeed I've got some contacts. Always went to networking events and met succesful people.
I use Linkedin but I'd like to know it more about it, is there any good course about Linkedin you would advice ?
What would you like to learn about LinkedIn?
 

Late Bloomer

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I think I feel stuck because 5 years have passed away. And if I leave college now or change I could waste more time. I'm still confused on what I should do.
Thinking that way doesn't help. Suppose you did waste five years, what should you do now? Something that makes the most of today, for a better week, for a better month, so the next year's better. Suppose you didn't totally waste five years, what should you do now? Something that makes the most of today, for a better week...

Don't drive forward staring at the rearview mirror. Identify if the roadkill of the past is in your path now, so can steer around it this time... otherwise, make a fresh start today. If you don't know what you'd like to choose, then consider what you're interested in... what you value and cherish highly (excitement? comfort? love? discovery? adventure? friendship? etc.)... what you might like your life to be like after another five years... then start to add those ingredients into your current week, as much as you can.
 

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