College Degree – Sam Kwak
Yup! I said it! You college degree means nothing without these 4 things that I’m going to talk about in this article. While I appreciate and respect those who attended a traditional 4 years University, our college institutions are failing to prepare our students for the real world success. Making students to memorize definitions and concept is not an education. Our college system is broken! This goes for both entrepreneurs and employees working for a company or an organization. I’ve argued with other professionals in academia about this subject and it’s clear to me that college institutions have done a great job sucking these students in regardless of their talent, interests, skill level, or application. I mean, college isn’t for everyone. And everyone shouldn’t go to college if their career choice doesn’t align with it. I’ve personally interviewed 100s of interviewees and candidates for hire. After awhile, I began to notice a set patterns between a college grad that made their degree worth it for them versus the other way around. In today’s job market, the amount of college grads are staggering! It’s never been this competitive for the college grads when it comes to finding a job or starting a career. I personally don’t endorse the whole idea of getting a job but we still need them to make our society work. And just to be clear, I have tremendous respect for those who work hard at a job. It takes courage and dedication to work hard for that long. Anyhow, the overflow amount of college grads have made it difficult for most grads due to market saturation. The supply and demand curve simply dictates that there are too many college grads thus the demand goes down. When you have too much of anything, the value goes down. Thus, college grads are getting paid less and less because a degree is dispensable in that context. If you’re working on your college degree or have recently graduated.. Read on! I will share with you 4 distinct skills and subjects that will make you stand out among your peers. These 4 things will make you bullet proof and airtight against the changing economy for both employees and entrepreneurs.
1. Network = Net worth
There’s a reason why those two words sound so familiar. I’ve met college graduates who are just awful at networking with other people. And just to be clear, networking isn’t about how much people you know or how many Facebook friends you have. Although there are some correlations between how many people you know versus your true network but it’s more about what resource can you pull from those people that you do know. If you had the choice between knowing 1,000 people versus 100 people who have critical resources, which would you go for? In my world, I would go with the 100 people with the critical resources. And when I say critical resources, it can fall under the categories of more relationships, money, time and/or knowledge. Everyone has these resources but it’s how you apply them is what makes it truly valuable. Education is good but applied education is powerful.
So here’s how you can increase your true network. Contact your peers and find out their strengths. Find out what they know, their list of contacts, and opportunities that they are working on. From there, find out how you can contribute to their cause and mission. Notice I didn’t tell you to go suck their resources out them. That is pure evil and unjust. You first need to give, give, and keep giving. Contribute! Just because you have a college degree, doesn’t mean that you are automatically entitled to benefits and resources. This isn’t how the real world operates. You first need to create value by contributing your own resource to the table.
2. Public Speaking & Communications
Due to the mass information age that we live in, college grads and students are losing the ability to connect and communicate directly in person. After interviewing hundreds of candidates for my company, public speaking has to be the #1 skill that I personally favor over technical skills. Anyone can learn technical skills over time but public speaking is a challenging skill to develop. This also applies to presentation skills and being able to influence or persuade others. If you are confident in your ability to influence and/or persuade others, there should be zero reasons why anyone wouldn’t want to hire you. This is true for entrepreneurs. If you have your own business and you can’t get yourself in front of your prospect to sell or persuade then you’re wasting your precious time. Learn to influence and sell. The ability of persuasion and communication has diminished. It’s a rare sight to see an individual who can speak well in today’s world. Learn to persuade and influence!
Begin by taking classes in communication and persuasion. Take it seriously! If there is one skill that helped me succeed in business, it’s the ability to influence and persuade. One of the best way to continue your development is to join Toastmasters. Toastmasters is a club that you can join in your local city to practice and improve your public speaking skills. Another recommendation I can give you is to check out Jordan Belfort’s Straightline Persuasion program. Jordan Belfort is the infamous Wolf of Wall Street. Though he has a rough background in illegal stock trades and money laundering, he’s changed greatly in creating seminars and training programs to teach people how to persuade and influence others. Whether that’s in sales situation or getting interviewed for a job, it’s a great training program!
3. Create Your Own Opportunity
For too long, students and the millennials have been spoon fed with resources and opportunities. Some millennials have been handed free things, causing them to lose the value of hard work and commitment. We need to teach the new generation on applying their resources and talents to creating opportunities for themselves and for others. We need millennials to step up and create jobs not chase them. I think we lost in touch with the little entrepreneurs in all of us. Because all of us have that ability to create and discover new opportunities for ourselves and the community. The ability to build systems, infrastructure and ideas are truly rare among-st the college grads these days. Very few are doing this but the mass majority has yet to discover this. We need to stop telling our young adults to chase after the perfect job but rather, give them the option to build their own opportunities. Give them the option to be their own boss.
So to do this, create a volunteer program at your local church, synagogue, mosque, or a community center. You’ll notice that the theme here is to contribute. Give Give and Give! Start with this and you’ll end up learning lot more about managing people, information and finances. Which of course leads us to….
4. Financial Literacy
It’s no accident that our government doesn’t teach you how to read the numbers when it comes to finance. When was the last time you took a class on doing taxes? Opening a checking account? Getting a loan? How to negotiate with a mortgage broker? How do you know if you’re getting jipped by these highly trained sales & loan officers? If you don’t the answers to any of these questions, our government has intentionally made you this way so that you can passively accept the fact that this is just the way it is. Do you know why the wealthy 1% only pay 5% on their taxes, despite their tax bracket being 40+%? Wealthy people take advantages of tax write-offs using their businesses and corporations. College institutions don’t teach you this because if everyone learned how to pay close to zero taxes, the government will go bankrupt! But that’s the thing. That money is yours and it was always yours. Our tax laws were written for the wealthy by the rich and powerful politicians. If you think this is all a conspiracy theory or something that I made up in my head, then tell me, right now, the exact percentage of your tax bracket. Tell me exactly what your interest rate is on your student loans… If you don’t know, you have fallen for the government’s plan and the bank’s tactic to quietly press you into throwing money away. You NEED to learn to manage your finances. Take control of your debt and increase income. Focus on growing your earnings and income instead of worrying about how you’re going to pay your debt. Because when you’re at a six or seven figure income, your debt will take care of itself. Listen, money is important but don’t let it drive you because you’re at unknown. Educate yourself in financial literacy and drive your money. Learn to play the same game that the top 1% plays and I guarantee, finances will no longer be an issue.
Start by reading books about finances. Robert Kiyosaki’s book, Rich Dad Poor Dad, is a great book in understanding the basics of finances and how to manage your assets and liabilities. I, personally, am not a fan of Dave Ramsey. I have a whole set of reasons why and that’s a topic for a whole another article. But for now, be curious to understand our tax laws, constitutional law, financial tips and investment strategies that can boost your finances.
If I offended you with my blog article, well that’s just the truth. This is just my experience in the real world after running 3 businesses, studying human behavior, our law, success and finances. Be proud of your college degree and your experience at an University but don’t stop there. Keep on learning! Stay curious! Get ahead of the game by applying those 4 topics into your life! I promise you, that even if you’re halfway good at those 4 things, you will be very very impressed!
By the way, if you’re sick and tired of working for a job that you dislike… I have a plan for you and I to start making $12,000/mo. doing real estate without sacrificing your precious time. Watch this 15 min. video that I’ve prepared for you: