Hi everyone and welcome to my new blog! As this is one of my first posts here I'd like to introduce myself and explain why I've called this blog No Status Quo.
My name is Emil and I'm a 21-year old student from Latvia. I've spent the last three years of my life studying in the United States and the Netherlands. I'm studying economics, psychology and mathematics. A strange combination, I know. I'm currently in my last semester, and I'm really looking forward to graduation.
Why? Well, I have some great plans after finishing college. But first let me start by explaining what I don't want to be doing after I graduate.
I no longer want to study at a university because all the world's knowledge is freely available on the Internet. If the world's greatest universities offer their lectures for free, why would I waste my time and money studying at an average institution? Sure, I might not get any credentials for what I learn online, but I want to live a life in which I'm rewarded for knowledge and hard work, not formal credentials.
This brings me to my next point. I don't want to spend my life working for someone else, wasting my time and energy at a job I don't like. Many great people waste their talent at jobs they hate doing things they don't care about, thinking that it's the only possible way to get through the life. After all, having a stable job is far better than being unemployed, right? Well, not necessarily.
Thanks to the Internet everyone can set up a business, build a website or sell their services as freelancers in a matter of hours. There are no expensive startup costs, and you don't risk losing anything. Even if your project doesn't work out, you'll still learn from the experience and be more prepared when you start over. Even if all goes wrong, you will only lose a few hours of your life. That's not a high price to pay, especially considering how much time the average person wastes every day.
Unlike my peers who want to get a 9-5 job after college and spend their lives slowly climbing the corporate ladder, I want to make a living on the Internet. I want to become location-independent, I want to travel the world, and I want to be my own boss. And I know that the income potential is far greater when you're working for your own business.
Now all of this requires a tremendous amount of discipline and perseverance. While my study mates are getting wasted at a bar, I'm in my room working on my blog. While others are wasting hours on Facebook, I use my computer to create stuff that is hopefully of value to others. Of course I'd love to work as little as possible and still make a lot of money. And who wouldn't? There's a reason why get-rich-quick BS sells so well.
But I know that the only way to really achieve anything in life is to work hard, preserver, and keep getting better are whatever you're doing. Don't stop at what you already know. Get out of your comfort zone. Try new things. Work harder than you ever thought possible. Don't settle for status quo.
Let me be clear. I'm only at the beginning of this road. Two weeks ago was the first time I ever wrote down all my yearly, monthly, weekly and daily goals. Last week for the first time ever I started tracking how I spend my time. Only recently I've realized that if I really want something, plan for it, and then actually work hard on it, I can do pretty much anything.
I'm at the very beginning of a long, hard and rewarding road, and I'll be sharing this journey with you. Right here on this blog.
You are starting from a good place. Finishing college is a great first step as it allows you something to fall back to or to build on in the future. It's also a good starting point as most of your expenses are likely low. I look forward to following your story as it unfolds.
Thanks for your comment Eric!
I'm still not convinced about the value of college, it has nothing to do with what I want to do in my life. I haven't learned anything new there that I couldn't get from reading a book on my own. If I'm even moderately successful, I'll never need that degree again.
It's great that you mentioned expenses, I'm trying really hard to keep them low (after I blew way too much on luxuries). This article really convinced me why I have to do it. Over the next few years I want to build and maintain a security fund that always equals my yearly expenses. I don't ever want to be in a situation in which I lose my freedom due to poor finances.
You're right, a degree can be very useful in the corporate world.
I want to stay away from that world at any cost. If I start working now, work hard, always pursue new opportunities and save up enough along the way, I don't see why I would ever have to work in a corporate setting. I know it's possible to avoid it, and that thought alone has spoiled me forever and for better.
If a company pays different wages to equally productive employees depending on whether they have a degree or not, it might not be a good company to begin with. It seems that they've got their values wrong.
This month I started writing down my goals for the very first time. There have always been things I really want to do, but somehow I never bothered to write them down. At first I thought I was just being pragmatic. After all, I already know what my goals are. How is it going to help if I write them down?
But now I've realized that I was actually scared of the future. Writing down your goals forces you to look into your own future, and that can get scary. Not only do you have to know what you really want, but you also have to confront the idea that it's not going to happen unless you start working towards your goals.
I've always wanted to start my own business. Ever since I remember myself, I've been daydreaming about being a successful entrepreneur, being my own boss, and more recently, making a positive contribution to the world. But the ugly truth is that none of this is going to happen unless I start taking action right now. Writing down my goals forces me to confront the harsh reality and actually start working towards my future.
I know that things will get tough at some point. They always do. But persisting through hardship is what separates successful people from those who never manage to get anything done. I've learned this myself the hard way. But now that I write down my goals, I know exactly what I'm struggling for. And I won't stop until I get there.
I write down my yearly, monthly, weekly and daily goals. Most of my monthly goals are small steps towards my yearly goals, my weekly goals are small steps towards my monthly goals, and so on. If what I'm doing this month won't help me get where I want to be at the end of this year, should I really be doing it?
I currently go to college, and if it weren't for the fact that it is so cheap due to scholarships and financial aid, and because my parents really want me to graduate, I would have probably dropped out already. It's been said by various bloggers and other minds already : College just isn't an effective place to get the skills required to succeed in life. Unless you're going for a profession that requires a lot of credentials, or need access to institutional level equipment or processes to get your research done (such as say an electron microscope) College just doesn't work. Here are the main problems.
1. Its expensive. I want to mention this one first and underscore it substantially. College isn't cheap, even a state college can end up costing 10-15 thousand dollars a year. or about 40-60 thousand dollars for your diploma. And its not only that, you have to look at the differential, in other words you can't compare going to college versus not going college, you have to compare going to college, with what you give up to go to college. Not only could you have used that time to make 40-60 thousand dollars working minimum wage, gotten some real life work experience, but that gave you money. Thus the actual cost of going to college, comparing it to a minimum wage job, is actually 80-120 thousand dollars. And this is for state 4-year colleges, if its private, I hope you have a scholarship or have very rich parents.
But, it doesn't stop there, College isn't just expensive in dollar terms, but also in terms of time. It is very easy to feel very time-deprived in college, and it can be hard to get side projects done do the cognitive switch penalty (every time you shift attention you have to spend time rebuilding attention or refocusing) When you have 4-5 classes spread around a couple of subjects, maybe a club or sport, a social life, and want to tack on a side project such as a startup, or maybe something like learning some programming, poker, or just relaxing, your time really starts going through the door. You spend countless minutes doing the minutiae like going to and from class, having to meet up with groups, email professors, switch from math, to politics, to a film class, to psychology, then you want to go exercise, maybe go out to eat with friends and still have time to maybe watch a TV show or read up on a passion of yours. It all takes a large toll on your attention.
2. It doesn't train you. Everyone talks about getting an education left and right and how important it is to be educated. Then you go to college and all the professors talk about how important it is to be in class. The truth is I've noticed 90%+ of classes teach you things you could have learned just easily, or probably even better, by just buying 3-5 books on the subject on amazon, and watching a couple of documentaries on the subject. The fact of the matter is humans get better at what they do most, not at what they are taught to do. But wait, isn't that the same? No. A person who spends all day analyzing tennis matches and tennis players gets better at doing just that, analyzing tennis matches and tennis players, they don't get better at tennis. The same goes for college. if you spend all day studying management strategies you get better at doing just that.