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Thread: Thinking about dropping out--- advice?

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    Default Thinking about dropping out--- advice?

    I'm currently in my freshmen year at a community college because I'm too poor to attend a real university. I am about 3/4 of the way through the semester and I am miserable. I hate taking classes and hate everything to do with college right now. Sure, I go to the local state school with my girlfriend and party, but it doesn't feel the same. I want to take a semester off and pursue my business idea that I've been cooking up since this summer, but I'm not sure it's the best route. I currently work a good job making about $55,000 a year with $600 a month with no expenses, so I'd much rather do that and use some of that money to start a real business instead of taking liberal art classes. Any advice?

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    At the very least finish out this semester. I can't really give any more advise as I'm a college dropout myself (one credit to go 15 years ago and I still can't tolerate sitting in class).
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    Owen, I don't think any of us can tell you whether school is right for you or not. That's ultimately a decision only you can make for yourself. I think education is important, but I don't think you necessarily have to go to school to gain an education. I would say that college is more than just future job training and that much of what you gain from a college education has nothing to do with getting a job. That said, it's not for everyone and only you can decide if it's right for you.

    I think you should definitely stick through with this semester. You made it 3/4 of the way through. If you quit now you throw that all away. There are going to be a lot of time throughout your life you're going to have to do that you absolutely hate to do, but you're still going to have to do them. Let this be practice for those times.
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    Quote Originally Posted by vangogh View Post
    Owen, I don't think any of us can tell you whether school is right for you or not. That's ultimately a decision only you can make for yourself. I think education is important, but I don't think you necessarily have to go to school to gain an education. I would say that college is more than just future job training and that much of what you gain from a college education has nothing to do with getting a job. That said, it's not for everyone and only you can decide if it's right for you.

    I think you should definitely stick through with this semester. You made it 3/4 of the way through. If you quit now you throw that all away. There are going to be a lot of time throughout your life you're going to have to do that you absolutely hate to do, but you're still going to have to do them. Let this be practice for those times.
    I'm going to definitely stay for the rest of the semester, I just don't know if I'll continue and go to school next semester. Does it look bad if I am to transfer if I don't go two straight years?

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    It won't look bad at all. People transfer schools all the time and they don't always go consecutive years. If you transfer schools, it's possible that some of the classes you took this semester won't count toward the requirements of the next school, but otherwise it's not an issue.

    I have two undergraduate degrees and I went to four different schools to earn them. I started as an engineering student, but wasn't happy. I transferred to another school and earned a degree in history. Not every credit from the first school transferred and it took an extra semester to earn the degree. A few years later I decided to finish the engineering degree. I took a few classes at a community college near my home and then went off to a university for a few more years. Some of my earlier credits counted toward the degree and some didn't.

    I wouldn't advise you to follow my path. I had no clue what I wanted to do with my life when I was younger and it took me awhile to figure that out. Just know that you're likely to want different things as you get older and gain different experiences. Don't ever feel like you can't change your mind. You can definitely skip next semester and the year after and still return to school the year after that. The worst case is all the credits you're earning this semester won't count.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Owen View Post
    I'm currently in my freshmen year at a community college because I'm too poor to attend a real university. I am about 3/4 of the way through the semester and I am miserable. I hate taking classes and hate everything to do with college right now. Sure, I go to the local state school with my girlfriend and party, but it doesn't feel the same. I want to take a semester off and pursue my business idea that I've been cooking up since this summer, but I'm not sure it's the best route. I currently work a good job making about $55,000 a year with $600 a month with no expenses, so I'd much rather do that and use some of that money to start a real business instead of taking liberal art classes. Any advice?

    Owen,

    Let me, in the most adamant terms, encourage you to finish school, without interruption. All of us here have long had the entrepreneur bug. Many have been successful without a formal education. Success comes from drive and persistence, not just education. Personally, I skimped on my education, interrupting it with false business starts, like you are considering. For me it was a mistake!

    The mistake wasn’t about lack of knowledge, it was lack of gravitas. I found myself in a world of highly educated people, MBAs, accountants, attorneys, PHDs, engineers, scientists etc. Dealing with them I realized they weren’t any wiser because of their education BUT they were taken much more seriously than I was and of course were expert in their field. I lost many opportunities and was always at a disadvantage.

    Over the years I became educated. I found myself in positions of authority that required I work with those who were more formally educated. I needed to be able to work with them on an equal basis. I did and I do but it took a long time. I regret not focusing on the education first.

    You are a bright young man, with many years ahead of you to succeed in business. Don’t stunt your ability to compete by dismissing a formal education. You will be surprised that knowledge of even the most mundane subjects will become important. Even subjects unrelated to business.

    I know your head is filled with ideas and the drive to be a successful entrepreneur. Give yourself the tools to succeed. You will not regret it.

    Sorry that this sounds like a lecture from an old guy and I imagine many may disagree.

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    My advice would be to man-up, make the sacrifice and get your degree behind you. If you don’t know what you want to study study accounting. It is important both personally and with business.

    If you cannot manage manning up to college, join the military. When you get out you might have a clearer idea as to where you want to be.

    Cannot stomach college or military? Find something and make the sacrifice to it. In the future build a business from the knowledge you gain from; truck driving, restaurant, plumbing, retail or something. Spend five years making the sacrifice to home remodeling and then get your real estate license. Your knowledge would be a great asset to both sellers and buyers being a realtor. You would make money from being a realtor and you could flip houses with your spare time.

    Also learn to play piano and speak a second language.

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    I can't tell you whether to drop out or not. What I can say is that you have an opportunity to get smarter and learn things will give you a real shot at success. Sometimes we only get an opportunity once.

    Smart money would tell you to party less, study more, keep the job, and do business ideas on the side. The odds are that your business idea won't make it. I'm not rooting against you, those are the odds. Why throw everything away now when you're just getting started and still don't know that much?


    Also, what about the girlfriend? Will she still want to date a first year college drop out? That's a big change. Most people never go back. I dropped out and never went back like I planned. Things would have been much easier for me had I gotten at least one degree. I wouldn't have had to struggle so much. I would have had more opportunity.

    Will things stay the same between you if she goes on to get her degree while you bounce from failed business idea to failed business idea? Probably not. Will you still hang with the same friends? Trust me, you won't.

    IMO, you have a chance to learn things and meet people. So learn things and meet people.

    Being successful in business means doing the tedious stuff too. Learning even when it;s hard and boring. You romanticize business too much. It's hard work. It's hard boring work MOST of the time. Here you are getting a taste of hard work, and already ready to drop out. Not a good sign.

    You're lucky enough to have opportunity to get an education to help make your business ideas a success. You're healthy. You're young. You will never have this time again. A lot of people your age and older would kill to be in your position. Try to enjoy some of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold Mansfield View Post
    Being successful in business means doing the tedious stuff too. Learning even when it;s hard and boring. You romanticize business too much. It's hard work. It's hard boring work MOST of the time. Here you are getting a taste of hard work, and already ready to drop out. Not a good sign.

    You're lucky enough to have opportunity to get an education to help make your business ideas a success. You're healthy. You're young. You will never have this time again. A lot of people your age and older would kill to be in your position. Try to enjoy some of it.
    Owen,

    Harold is so spot on! What you don’t realize is that “success” isn’t just having a cool idea, IT IS HARD HARD WORK! From your posts you don’t seem to have a particular skill or interest to base a business on. IE: Lawyer, electrician, computer guy, plumber , mechanic etcs. If you did the answer would be obvious, just focus on that skill with some other basic side knowledge.

    If you plan on being a “serial entrepreneur”, with big ambitions then you better be able to swim with the sharks. Without an education they will chew you to pieces, if they even bother to talk to you! Not that it hasn’t been done before but wow, what a disadvantage.

    Let me double down on what Harold said. If you can’t even stick to taking some classes for a couple years, how can you expect anyone to take you seriously. It makes you look like a gadfly that can’t follow through.

    I want you to think about this. Some time ago we spoke about a product you wanted to develop. Do you have any idea what that takes, the people you must work with, the convincing and selling and administration and coordination of operations that it entails? Lawyers, accountants, engineers, manufacturers, marketing, distribution finance etc. It doesn’t “Just Happen”. First of all you need to have some clue about all of that to even be able to communicate. Then they need to take you seriously. Since you have no experience, education is your only qualification at the early stages of your entrepreneurial career.

    Unless you have some new billion dollar internet deal up your sleeve or a truly valuable proprietary product, forget about jumping from one business idea to the next until you have prepared yourself with an education (and work experience). Work also is an education. Pay attention to management styles, operations, infrastructure etc. You will learn very valuable lessons.

    As Harold as often said “Ideas are a dime a dozen”. (Sorry to be piggy backing on your comments Harold). There are always ideas and opportunities. You need to be able to implement them, not just dream about them. Education is your foundation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul View Post
    I want you to think about this. Some time ago we spoke about a product you wanted to develop. Do you have any idea what that takes, the people you must work with, the convincing and selling and administration and coordination of operations that it entails? Lawyers, accountants, engineers, manufacturers, marketing, distribution finance etc. It doesn’t “Just Happen”. First of all you need to have some clue about all of that to even be able to communicate. Then they need to take you seriously. Since you have no experience, education is your only qualification at the early stages of your entrepreneurial career.
    The only experience I have right now is sales (I work at Verizon and am about to company hop to AT&T for $30 an hour), digital asset management, and some journalism. I make websites, manage social media, etc. for some small businesses in my local area. I do enjoy web design and probably have a really good opportunity to start a larger digital asset management firm, but I'm undecided if that's something I'd want to pursue. I have a million business ideas in the arsenal, but I don't have a single resource right now to start them. As for the journalism, I have written a few articles for college magazines and Vox.com and was invited to help start a "neutral" news source that specializes in viral marketing and basically dumbs down current news events, but I passed. As for sales, I'm very talented in sales and would love to start my own company that sells products on Amazon. I've experimented with a clothing company while marketing it with more viral media, and it did well for a month until I ended it because I wanted to go to college (which at the time was going to be $40,000 a year). So basically, I was looking at:
    - Digital asset management firm
    - Clothing brand
    - Journalism (business journalism sounds fun)

    I honestly think why I hate college is because it's community college. There's so much less of a college experience, and that bugs me.

    Oh, and the other thing I was thinking about doing was starting a franchise. Not a big franchise like Dunkin' Donuts (as I don't have $1,000,000 in liquid assets) but a coffee shop that's local that's huge and has no asset requirement. Just a thought.

    I got offered a job today at my local news paper to write articles for them covering local events, I don't think it'd be a bad idea to do it as a side gig and get experience in journalism.
    Last edited by Owen; 11-19-2017 at 04:15 PM.

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