Why College & Media Ruined Your Dreams of Being Self-Employed

Start a business

“Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing worth knowing can be taught.” — Oscar Wilde

Every single teenager wants to run a successful business or at least be perceived as someone who is successful in business. In college, we all dream of starting a business, flying around the world, closing deals, and putting bottle service on the company credit card (don’t lie!).

Then in our 20s we still hold on to hope while we work a job that we don’t really care for because we want to get out of debt.

We want to make it. We think about it often. Yet for some reason, many of us never become successful business owners. We get stuck in jobs that we hate around people that we can’t really stand.

Nobody grows up wanting to hate their job by 30. It just sort of happens.

Where am I going with this?

I have been on tons of trips and I go out all of the time. I also try to talk to everyone that I meet. Naturally, the topic of work comes up. Almost every single person I’ve met has visions or had visions of being self-employed and working on their own. For some reason, it just didn’t work out.

There’s a bad guy here. Two of them. I’m pointing the finger at college and the media today.

Let’s look at why college and media have killed your inner-entrepreneur…

It’s boring/way too wild.

Well, the school part is boring. The media makes it seem like a party 24/7.

When in college I was completely bored with the idea of starting a business because all we did was look at charts, answer pointless questions, and get marked based on our ability to follow instructions instead of anything else.

Every business-related class I took was pretty much lame, with one exception. The one professor worked for the Dragon’s Den so he made the class interesting. In general though, most college courses on business are pretty boring. That really sucks.

When you watch a movie (Wolf of Wall Street, awesome flick), you think that owning is a business is completely wild. The whole movie features drugs and sex. The reality is that running a business, you sometimes neglect your partner because you’re so damn busy. You also certainly would have a difficult time functioning high on drugs or totally wasted all day.

So what happens? You either get really bored or expect some colossal party to begin. Most of us fall somewhere in the middle. Sure, we enjoy a party, but we don’t want to party every single day.

This ties into the next point…

The lifestyle is unrealistic.

We get unrealistic lifestyle expectations from movies and school about being a business owner. We think it’s all supposed to be marvellous 24/7 with constant attention on you.

Nobody ever glorifies the months you go without proper rest or a social life. I don’t even want to mention the months where you don’t bring in any money. Not fun stuff by any means.

The media will only cover the high points. Nobody wants to do a news story on the lows unless you get caught pissing in public.

This leads to…

The money isn’t always there.

You won’t always make huge money working for yourself. Actually, you shouldn’t work for yourself if you only care about money. You can easily get a job if you want guaranteed money.

There’s no guaranteed money at all in entrepreneurship. I’ve seen friends go from lighting cigars with money to begging for change.

Don’t listen to what anybody says about the money. There are no promises.

And finally…

We only look at the survivorship bias.

Entrepreneurship courses and the media only really look at the success stories.

Nobody ever talks about the dude that borrowed money from his family to get his business off the ground and now owes relatives over $20k. We never hear about the young lady that risked her social life and spent her 20s working on a new venture, only to have it fail.

All we hear about are the success stories and triumphs. Well, guess what? Those are really rare. Think of how few people actually make it in sports, acting, or any other highly-competitive field.

That’s why media and college have ruined your plans for working for yourself.

What can you do instead if you still have aspirations of starting a business?

Any of the following tips will help you today:

  • Take some action today.
  • Invest in yourself.
  • Try to make your first dollar.
  • Test out an idea this evening.
  • Ask a friend that has a business to work with them.

I share exactly what I did to get started in freelancing, the process to go about, how to manage a job, how to make your first buck, how to manage problem clients, and how to even find some time for sleep. It’s an absolute steal!

What are you going to do today to help your future business? Hint: reading more articles isn’t the solution.

“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.” — Steve Jobs

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