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10 Reasons Why Entrepreneurs SHOULD Enroll in College

Joel Brown (Founder of Addicted2Success.com)

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Entrepreneur Successful In College

It’s easy for young entrepreneurs struggling to break through to blame college for their delayed success. After all, they wouldn’t have this problem had they not wasted years earning a useless piece of paper, right? They can become fully equipped to run their own business without it, right?

Jason Smith seems to think so, according to his “10 Reasons Why Entrepreneurs Should Never Enroll in College.” Well, here I am to play devil’s advocate; let’s take a look at why college is still worth it for entrepreneurs.

 

The 10 Reasons Why College Is Good For Entrepreneurs

 

1. It will build your professional network and open doors for you

Networking is perhaps the most important benefit of college and a must-have for entrepreneurs. If your main competition for that new contract is someone who went to college with the potential client, who do you think has the edge? College will also teach you how to work with people from all walks of life, allowing you to be confident and personable no matter what the situation.

 

2. You will learn to think critically

College is a great learning opportunity in many ways – not the least of these is the fact that you will often question what you learn. This is a place for you to develop critical thinking skills. A truly well-rounded individual can clearly address any question and think about both sides of the argument. Finding your own answers and explanations in a collegiate setting will help you to deftly handle assessing a multitude of situations in the future.

 

3. You gain a fall back plan

Everyone wants to be the next Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerburg, or Steve Jobs. They never finished college; why do you need to? Hate to break it to you, they’re the outliers. For every one Steve Jobs, there are thousands of entrepreneurs who were confident in their business, only to realize that they didn’t understand their market, their customer, their financials, etc. Those people had a few options: fail, or learn and succeed. Throughout college you probably failed a few times and if absolute worse comes to worse, you have a degree to go out and get a steady job to give you a safety net while you work on your business.

 

4. You earn credibility

Besides showing mastery in a subject, a degree shows that you were committed enough to spend 4+ years studying, and are thus a far more reliable individual than someone who spent their post-high school years in their basement. When your company bio proudly displays your picture, what credibility will stand out next to it? The next time you look at a successful venture, check and see if (and where) the owner went to college. You’ll notice most of them did.

 

5. The experience is irreplaceable

They say it’s the best four years of your life… well, it’s a great start. Without college, you miss out on the great times that your peers are having, the lessons they learn, and the experiences they have: living on your own, meeting friends, the Greek system, sleeping through an exam, joining an organization you never thought you would like and much more. Much is made of college’s academic benefits, but it’s truly an intriguing time in all other areas.

 

6. You will learn diverse subjects

College gets a bad rap for its “traditional” educational style. Traditions are still used for good reasons too. The seemingly useless courses will show you how to handle different subjects, no matter what you encounter in life. You may wonder why you have to take environmental science as an aspiring tech entrepreneur, but five years down the line when you are trying to establish greener energy to run your company this class might suddenly seem a lot more important. The traditional education experience creates a person prepared for many challenges in life.

 

7. You will develop and appreciate more individualism

All you need to do is watch College Game Day on any given weekend to see that there are no two people on a campus that are alike. College is an opportunity to become you. For most, it’s their first opportunity. College is (or, should be) based on you pursuing your passion for the first time. You pick your major. You pick your classes. Everything is up to YOU. This time of your life gives you the opportunity to explore what makes you tick, which may play a big part in the company culture you want to have within your startup.

 

8. Diversification is everywhere

Up until the end of high school, you’re surrounded with the same people. These people usually come from very similar socio-economic and demographic backgrounds. How boring! From the second you get to college, you meet a whole new potential market that may be completely different than you. You meet international students, inner-city kids, rednecks, redheads – everyone. Democrats? Meet Republicans. Republicans? Well… hopefully you’ll meet a few Democrats. But overall, guess what? Everyone lives differently. They all approach problems differently. It’s definitely beneficial to experience firsthand the global village that exists outside of our hometown. How will this help your company? Diversification will give you the chance to see what skills you need to look for when hiring your first employees, who your ideal clients will be, and how they think.

 

9. You will take on the challenge of risk-taking

In College, mom and dad are no longer there to watch you. Take advantage of that. Mix your red laundry with whites – who’s going to stop you? Join clubs you never thought about. Spelunking? There’s a club for that. Nonpartisan politics? There’s a club for that. College campuses pride themselves in having everything available. Almost every campus now has entrepreneurship clubs; why not run your idea by the members and advisors of the organization? There is your temporary Board of Advisors! Entrepreneurship is about taking (calculated) risks. College will teach you how. You build confidence in a relatively safe – not to mention less embarrassing and less costly – environment.

 

10. It’s okay to let loose

Traditionally, college is a transition point from adolescence to adulthood. In many ways, it’s an opportunity to “get it all out of your system.” Partying, late nights, all sorts of things – these are learning experiences. Once you leave college, it’s time to buckle down and be serious. College is good for getting a little bit of the party animal out of the way before you start your own business.

 

It may seem as though college is an unneeded expense, but believe you me; when you get out into the real world, you will be ten steps ahead at every turn. Beyond that, you will be happier having had the experience of those four years. Your degree is your friend. Without it, you’ll end up lost in a world in which college is becoming more and more necessary to have the skills to start your own business.

 

 

Dr. Greg BierAuthor Bio: Dr. Greg Bier is a Professor of Management at the University of Missouri. He leads the newly formed Entrepreneurship Alliance at the University of Missouri Trulaske College of Business.

He is also a partner with Entrepreneur MO (www.mo.com). Follow Greg on Twitter at @gregbier.

 

I am the the Founder of Addicted2Success.com and I am so grateful you're here to be part of this awesome community. I love connecting with people who have a passion for Entrepreneurship, Self Development & Achieving Success. I started this website with the intention of educating and inspiring likeminded people to always strive for success no matter what their circumstances. I'm proud to say through my podcast and through this website we have impacted over 100 million lives in the last 6 and a half years.

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12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Rich

    Mar 14, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    Hi. Liked reading both points of view and there’s one aspect that was “forgotten” and that is, if you leave college before graduating, and down the road, you discover that you need some of information/skills that a college course or degree will give you, you can always go back!! I did. I left a Biology masters program, worked part-time as a self-employed musician for almost 15 years, and then got tired of that and returned to the 9-5 work force, and eventually got my PhD – started back part-time and then transitioned to full-time w/ teaching assistant. The point is, in today’s world, you can move in and out of any system, pretty much at will, and get what you need when you need it!

    There was one backhand stab at teachers in the “Don’t need College” article though that has always irritated me and it comes from that old mentality of “those who can, do, those who can’t, teach”. BS through and through. Many teachers I have had both in and out of college teach because they love to teach and have lots to offer to those who are ready to receive. And their accomplishments in the varied fields of research they pursue have shaped the world we live in and saved millions upon millions of lives. Like on any Bell curve, there are always outliers but to denigrate a whole profession because of a few bad apples is ignorant, unfeeling and unprofessional. Teachers deserve better.

    Having said that, thanks for the chance to voice an opinion and for two good debates on the issue!

  2. Cristóbal Gutiérrez

    Dec 8, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    Hi. I just liked this post. But i think that people in college sometimes doesn’ t understand that reality, ’cause they are inmature and they just Wanna have fun. You have to be clear about your future and the things you Wanna achieve, and at that age sometimes it’s very difficult.
    Anyway, great article.

    Regards

  3. Richard

    Dec 5, 2012 at 5:32 am

    When I started student magazine, we had no intention of becoming entrepreneurs or starting a business but we had to sell magazines too keep the business running.

    It wasn’t a difficult decision to make although my parents were hoping I would become a lawyer like my father. However I struggled in school and decided that a ‘higher education’ wouldn’t be beneficial.

    I have been very lucky and successful all thanks to the great people in my businesses. I now advocate rather than entrepreneurs go to college or university, they start their own business and use those years to build something great!

    Richard

    • Pam F

      Dec 20, 2012 at 9:32 am

      Great stuff! I love your site. I will frequent it often for motivation and empowerment. This article confirmed what I know school(college) is beneficial!

  4. Bob

    Dec 3, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    I agree with everything but have one more very important reason. You will make friends and business contacts that will stay with you forever. In addition to the people you will meet, is just the fact that alumni stick together. In most large schools, especially the ones with football teams, the alumni still refer to themselves by the team name. For example, everyone who attends the U of Florida refers to themselves as “gators”. You can look up other “gators” in any town in the country and have an instant friend who will help if they can.

    • Greg Bier

      Dec 4, 2012 at 8:55 pm

      Bob, you are so right! I have many friends and contacts from my years in school that I still keep in contact with on a personal and professional level. I have also kept in contact with many of my students, providing references and recommendations it’s great to see where the world takes them after they leave my classroom. Mizzou definitely has a similar almuni base, the “Tigers” are always willing to help another Tiger in need!

      • Ronnie

        Dec 12, 2012 at 3:27 pm

        I thinks its very personal which way to go. Either way its will take focus and hard work. Even if you don’t go to college a person can improve there networking ability by being more sociable. They can go to SBAs seminars. I think a person has to have the time to put into their business. I don’t think Bill, Mark or any other guy dropped out because school sucked. I think they realize that they only needed to focus on that one goal, without studying for a Math test. Mark Zukerberg parent had him taking computer courses a young kid. College is a great achievement But no one should every think they would fail if they didn’t go. If its really a dream from the heart then you will give your all and stay motivated on either journey. You have to know in your heart that thats would you want to do. I never been to college but I have a local graphic company and doing well. Everyone is unique in their own way. Putting GOD first and going in like a champ you never fail but no trying you will.

  5. Gabriel

    Dec 3, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    Neil,

    Great comment! I agree with everything you mentioned. I’m currently in the crossroads of staying in college, or stopping it to use more free time to devote to business and just enjoying life. I think life is too short to spend lots of time on things you don’t want to do. I would hate to lose the social aspect of it and that’s whats bothering me the most. As for self education, yes you always have to keep learning and growing. “Don’t let school get in the way of your good education,” is something I apply on the daily.

    Did you dropout to start a business? If so let me know how its going, what its about, etc.

    Thanks for sharing that comment

    • Greg Bier

      Dec 4, 2012 at 8:52 pm

      Gabriel,

      Thanks for reading! That’s definitely a tough decision, and I’m glad I was able to give you some perspective on the pros of staying in school. I wish you the best of luck with whichever path you choose to take.

  6. Neil Pepito

    Dec 3, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    I agree with both opinions of Joel and Greg.

    Entrepreneurs must make their own choice. Whether they should enroll in college or not. It must be their own decision.

    Take the first step.The most important thing is you need to keep learning. In fact, I myself was a student in a University, but not until I decided to stop schooling to follow my dreams and passion. It took me 2 years before I took the decision. Yes, I was 2 years in college and I was a good student with good grades(Dean’s list) and having a great time socializing with different types of people. I’ve been in different organizations. I was even a varsity player of football since I am an athletic kind of person. I believe in traditional education, it is GOOD. But self-education is BETTER. If you decide going to college just to secure a job and you don’t know any other purpose, then you’re absolutely going to fail. And if you decide not to enroll in college just because you’re lazy and don’t want to interact with people, you’re also going to fail. The lesson here I want to point out is that regardless of which way you want to walk, you must know yourself and keep learning. You must know where you stand and act on it.

    Experience is the key here. Take risks. Double your rate of failure to succeed. I understand the fear, just take the first step and act on your specific goal. Entrepreneurs must have a core value of an entrepreneur. Keep educating yourself even if you’re in college or not, in a classroom or in your mom’r basement, that’s the key. Never stop learning.

    • Mike

      Dec 3, 2012 at 4:51 pm

      Exactly Neil! I’m tired of this back & forth argument about college or no college (ironically most are made by people who haven’t founded anything). People are confusing our entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs should shut the noise and follow their hearts. It’s a cat & box problem. You drop out, it will work out somehow, because you dropped out. If you go to college, it will work out in a way that makes it look like it wouldn’t had you not dropped out of college.

      • Greg Bier

        Dec 4, 2012 at 8:51 pm

        Mike and Niel, Thanks for reading and starting the conversation! You are right, the decision of whether or not to go to college is very personal. Everyone’s situation is different and it is definitely a situation that each entrepreneur must make for themselves. With that being said, although college may set you back a few years it will also provide you with experiences and opportunities that you can’t get elsewhere. The key is making the most of your time and using this to your advantage.

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Success Advice

Stop Denying Your Negative Thoughts and Start Embracing Them

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Over the years, many of the talking heads and pundits in the personal development and success science industry have talked about the immediate replacement of negative thoughts with positive thoughts. The logic behind that particular behavioral strategy seems to make sense on the surface. Think about it, when a negative thought rears its ugly head, we should immediately dive into the repository of positive thoughts that we have available to us so that we could immediately begin to dwell on it.

Even further, some gurus of the genre suggest removing any chance of having a negative thought by the constant repetition of affirmations. Again, tried-and-true motivational technology that is very workable and still useful. I would suggest, however, that you view the above behaviors as tactics more than strategies.

I will further suggest to you that you do not abhor your negative thoughts but rather embrace them, examine them, and place them under a spotlight. My reasoning behind this goes back over 100 years into psychology with stimulus/response, that is, the cause and effect of certain behaviors. Many individuals look at a negative thought as a causative driver. The negative thought exists as a cause, and our behavior toward that cause will determine the effect.

So, following this logic, if an individual has a negative thought which makes them feel sad, and that sadness causes them to binge drink, by removing the negative thought you’ll have removed the motivation for binge drinking. Doesn’t that sound kind of silly? The suggestion here is to turn off the negative thought so that it will turn off the consumption of alcohol.

Of course, this makes sense if we view the negative thought as a primal force in behavior. So, what if we started to think of the negative thought more as the result of something else? It means that the “something else” must change first. What if we took a different approach? What if we looked at a negative thought as an effect of some larger causal factor?

“You’re going to go through tough times – that’s life. But I say, ‘Nothing happens to you, it happens for you.’ See the positive in negative events.” – Joel Osteen

By reversing the cause-and-effect motion of negative thinking (saying that the negative thought is an effect), we now can ask a deeper, more penetrative question: Why are we thinking that negative thought? What is the underlying cause of that specific train of thinking? By reversing the cause-and-effect relationship of negative thinking, it allows the negative thinker to assume the role of diagnostician!

Below is a three-step process you can use to examine your negative thoughts, the role of it in your life, and how you can get rid of them:

1. Simply acknowledge the negative thought

Recognize the fact that there’s a negative thought in your mind instead of trying to go through a process of emotionally overlaying positive thoughts on top of it. Can you see how this exacerbates the issue? You have a negative thought, you immediately recognize that it must be changed, and you frantically scurry through the museum of your mind to find a positive thought to replace it.

In the meantime, while you are trying to find that positive thought, you’re feeling anxious, nervous, and guilty! When you finally find a positive thought to replace that negative thought, the normal process is to squash it. But you can’t! It’s like trying to get rid of weeds by covering them with rocks.

They will always find another way around the rock. It is the same with negative thoughts. Consequently, try acknowledging the negative thought.

2. Affirm the negative thought

It is a part of you. Instead of denying its existence, accept that it is there in front of you and that you are now willing to deal with it. If any of you reading this are dog lovers, you will know that the best way to get a dog next to you is by attempting to push it away from you. Every time you push the dog away it gets closer. This is the same with negative thinking because the harder you push the closer it gets.

“Always turn a negative situation into a positive situation.” – Michael Jordan

3. Acquit the thought

Give it permission to leave you. Thank it for its past importance in your life and allow it to be on its way! At this point feel free to replace the negative thought with a positive thought. What will begin to happen when you place the negative thought under the spotlight is that you will see how insignificantly small it actually is.

This is a process I’ve been using for quite some time, and it works! Oh sure, I still use affirmations on a daily basis; as a matter fact I have them right here in front of me. I find that affirmations are a tremendous way to stay positive because it doesn’t allow any room for bad things to grow. But since the average person thinks 60,000 to 65,000 thoughts per day, let’s face it, a few negative thoughts have to squeak in there!

The best advice that I can give is to not freak out over a negative thought. Acknowledge it, affirm it, and acquit it! This is magic. Watch what happens!

How do you handle negative thoughts? Let us know your tips below!

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Success Advice

One Thing I Can Teach You About Life That Will Help You Forever.

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I used to be a very anxious person.

I was embarrassed by what I couldn’t do and every day was a struggle. From the moment I would wake up to the moment I’d go to bed, everything felt impossibly overwhelming. It’s a battle I’ve dealt with most of my life.

This daily struggle with mental illness taught me that the satisfaction didn’t lie in beating it; the satisfaction was in helping other people beat mental illness through my success in fighting it.


Recently, I was at work. It was a pretty standard day — nothing too exciting. I then had a catch up with one of the leaders I worked with.

She said something that got my attention: “One of our colleagues is battling a mental illness.”

I really wanted to help. My eyes lit up. There was no need to uncover my plan with anyone else. I knew that staying discrete was fundamental.

I approached the person in question and asked for a few minutes of their time.

I didn’t ask them to admit their mental illness struggle; I just shared my story.

I talked about the anxiety stopping me from having a normal life, eating the right foods, going on dates with girls, having the career I wanted and traveling the world.

I wasn’t sure if any of it was sinking in or even helping. I felt compelled to go on. One thing I knew was that he was paying attention. I could see it in his eyes.

I then went on to talk about how I beat mental illness. Strategies such as:

  • Creating fear lists
  • Seeking professional help
  • Working on myself
  • Books I read
  • Events I attended

Out of nowhere, he started opening up about his own struggle. I was shocked.
It wasn’t pretty. He had an extreme case of mental illness that I certainly couldn’t diagnose or give professional advice on.

All I could do was show him through my own story that there was hope

I offered him access to all the resources I had. I told him that he had my full support and I’d be happy to help in any way I could. He then said:

“What was your psychologist’s name?”

I told him I’d look it up and send it to him. I didn’t have the answer in front of me, but I was determined when I got home to find it.

At the end of the catch-up, he smiled. I don’t think he’d smiled like that in a very long time.

That smile gave me so much satisfaction. It made my own struggle with mental illness worth it. All those sleepless nights, times spent vomiting into the toilet and dark days where I didn’t want to go on made sense.


“It took more than seven years for me to understand that my own battle with mental illness actually had a benefit”

That benefit was the satisfaction in seeing someone beat their mental illness because I was able to defeat mine.

It’s probably the greatest satisfaction of my entire life.

That’s one thing I can teach you about life that will help you forever.

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Success Advice

5 Productivity Shifts You Need to Make to Make 2019 Your Best Year Yet

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Everyone wants more time, that is something almost all of us share. Time is the most valuable resource and when you learn how to make your time work for you and how to get the most out of it – you experience life differently.  

Improving how you manage your time is one of the biggest gifts you can give yourself – it’s a real game changer in your business and personal life. There are many ways that you can get more productive and get the right things done sooner; but not all of them are obvious or bring the same results.

Here are 5 productivity shifts you want to make if you are trying to make the most out of 2019:

1. Ditch your to do list

Productive people don’t keep to-do lists, they schedule everything they need to do in their calendar and work directly from their calendar!  To-Do lists are just ineffective and they are impeding your productivity. A never ending list of items only leaves you overwhelmed and with a false sense of ‘productivity’.  

If you schedule your To Do’s directly into your calendar at a time to get them done, you commit to it and you are more likely to get it done. Less is more – you don’t need a separate list to remind you what you need to do.

“Productivity is less about what you do with your time and more about how you run your mind.” – Robin Sharma

2. Give up on motivation

Productive people don’t always have to be motivated before starting something. They balance discipline with motivation and do what they need to do, regardless of motivation. When we come up with resistance to take action on what we have planned, we might tell ourselves that we are not motivated and we believe that we need to be motivated to complete any task.

If you want to increase your productivity, you need to challenge yourself more in the moment to take action and give up on motivation sometimes. Do what you need to in order to get the results you want in the future. Don’t make decisions based on how you feel now, make them based on what result you are really after.

3. Master your mornings

Wake up early and get yourself into the productive mindset with your routine and diet! Productive people start the day with some sort of routine, whether it’s meditation, exercise or visualization, etc. AND they have a healthy breakfast to fuel them for the day. Your health is everything when it comes to productivity, what you eat directly affects your productivity.

We can just no longer ignore the direct connection any more. Get in the right mindset to start your day and fuel your mind and body to get the most out of it. Starting your day off in any other way undermines your success – there is no doubt.

4. Schedule according to energy

Productive people know their energy cycles and they plan tasks around their energy levels. Why plan something at a time when you know it will be hard to rise to the challenge? Schedule tasks that require focus and concentration for those times of day that you feel the best and you will find it’s easier to follow through and you will be at your best to perform. Identify your filler tasks and complete those when your energy drops. Be more realistic when scheduling your tasks and set yourself up for wins.

“Productivity is never an accident it’s the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning & focused effort.” – Paul Meyer

5. Working backwards

Productive people always focus on those activities that will take them to the next level. They plan backwards, they look at their goals, then identify the tasks they need to do to support those goals. Those tasks get broken down into weekly actions. That’s how they plan.

Don’t only plan on tasks that come in or those which you ‘feel’ or ‘think’ you should be doing. Your day needs to consist of at least one activity that directly supports your longer term objectives, your big project. What sounds like common sense is definitely not common practice.

Create the right habits to achieve your goals, work on adopting easy tips and techniques so you can manage your time and yourself better to get things done.

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Success Advice

You Need to Grow Your Memory in Order to Grow Your Life

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We all have access to the most powerful computer ever created in the universe…our brain. Unfortunately, few of us have ever been taught how to use our minds efficiently, and even fewer have learned how to develop a fabulous memory. Thankfully, like any skill, memorising can be learned and using the correct strategies, your memory can be improved in only days.

One of the best coaches on memory is Dominic O’Brien the eight-time world memory champion. Self-taught after watching Creighton Carvello memorise a pack of cards on the BBC’s Record Breakers programme. Dominic, through his work on memory, has given us many tools and techniques for improving memory.

Below are 5 rules that will help you develop a better memory:

1. The Rule of Five

Probably seen as one of the most significant contributions to the body of knowledge on memory is O’Brien’s Rule of Five. This rule details how to remember things using a strategy of regular staged repetition.

These stages are as follows:

  • First Review:Immediately
  • Second Review:Twenty-four hours later
  • Third Review:One week later
  • Fourth Review:One month later
  • Fifth Review:Three months later

Utilising stage repetition at these intervals ingrains the memory for the long term.

2. The Dominic System

The Dominic System is a system for remembering numbers. The system is a Person Action system where the association between two sets of paired numbers is the person with the action of the next person.

1139 would become Andre Agassi doing a roundhouse kick which is the action of Chuck Norris. This system combined with the journey method allows for long random numbers to be easily recalled without error. The fantastic thing about this system is that you get to customise for yourself with memorable people and unique actions which when combined really make it easy for you to recall numbers. The table below associates each number to a letter.

Number     0     1    2     3     4     5     6     7     8     9
Letter     O     A     B     C     D    E     S     G     H     N

Creating a simple document with pairs of numbers in one column, the letter pairs in the next and an action column will help you learn this system quickly.

“Nothing can substitute for just plain hard work. I had to put in the time to get back. And it was a grind. It meant training and sweating every day. But I was completely committed to working out to prove to myself that I still could do it.” – Andre Agassi

3. The Link Method

This method relies on two essential elements of memory, association and exaggeration. Utilising these two elements, it is possible to link together unrelated objects to allow you to remember them.

Trying to remember a list of five separate words such as: balloon, papaya, gold, football and hat, might go something like this. You imagine seeing a giant balloon and inside the balloon you can see a small papaya, in bursting the balloon the papaya falls out and as it hits the floor a gold football bounces into a large sombrero.

4. The Journey Method

Using location has been a fundamental part of mnemonics almost since time began. Before humans, writing elders would pass knowledge to others using stories of journeys, with each piece of knowledge being associated with a location on the journey.

O’Brien’s system utilises journeys that you would undertake on a daily basis, like your commute to work or train stations on well-known line. Items are then associated and exaggerated along the journey, so for instance if you were trying to remember a list of ten random things you would associate each piece along with a unique ten stop journey and utilise exaggeration to make the items more memorable.

“You are well equipped with an incredible potential for absorbing knowledge…Anything’s possible.” – Dominic O’Brien

5. The Story Method

To remember groups of information, create a story that links them together. Remembering the planets of the solar system and their position relative to the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

Imagine that Mercury was hitting the nineties as Venus tossed the tennis ball into the air, striking the ball it soared over the net striking the earth and bouncing high into the air, knocking the mars bar out of Jupiter’s hand, and so on.

Developing a good memory will assist markedly in all of your personal development goals as well as assisting greatly in your daily life. The methods above are tried and tested by one of the leading memory champions. Whether you want to become the next World Memory Champion or just improve your recall, the techniques outlined above will assist greatly.

Combining the various elements will create an exponential improvement in your memory that you will find hard to believe, and you will be kicking yourself for not applying them sooner. The best part about using these methods is that they are fun, so enjoy using them.

Which one of these memorizing methods sounds most interesting to you? Share with us below!

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Life

5 Ways You Can Make the Most Out of Failure

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It’s been said that only two things are certain in life: death and taxes. I’d like to add another one to the list: rejection. No matter who you are and what life you live, there will be instances in your life when you experience rejection. (more…)

McVal is the author of How to Make $2,000 a Month Online and Start Up your Life: Why we don’t know what we want, and how to set goals that really matter. McVal writes about motivation, decision making, and strategic thinking. He graduated from UC Santa Barbara in 2011 with a degree in Spanish, and has since worked as a market researcher and business consultant in Washington D.C., New York City and London. You can reach him on Twitter @mcval or on IG @mcvaliant.

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12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Rich

    Mar 14, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    Hi. Liked reading both points of view and there’s one aspect that was “forgotten” and that is, if you leave college before graduating, and down the road, you discover that you need some of information/skills that a college course or degree will give you, you can always go back!! I did. I left a Biology masters program, worked part-time as a self-employed musician for almost 15 years, and then got tired of that and returned to the 9-5 work force, and eventually got my PhD – started back part-time and then transitioned to full-time w/ teaching assistant. The point is, in today’s world, you can move in and out of any system, pretty much at will, and get what you need when you need it!

    There was one backhand stab at teachers in the “Don’t need College” article though that has always irritated me and it comes from that old mentality of “those who can, do, those who can’t, teach”. BS through and through. Many teachers I have had both in and out of college teach because they love to teach and have lots to offer to those who are ready to receive. And their accomplishments in the varied fields of research they pursue have shaped the world we live in and saved millions upon millions of lives. Like on any Bell curve, there are always outliers but to denigrate a whole profession because of a few bad apples is ignorant, unfeeling and unprofessional. Teachers deserve better.

    Having said that, thanks for the chance to voice an opinion and for two good debates on the issue!

  2. Cristóbal Gutiérrez

    Dec 8, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    Hi. I just liked this post. But i think that people in college sometimes doesn’ t understand that reality, ’cause they are inmature and they just Wanna have fun. You have to be clear about your future and the things you Wanna achieve, and at that age sometimes it’s very difficult.
    Anyway, great article.

    Regards

  3. Richard

    Dec 5, 2012 at 5:32 am

    When I started student magazine, we had no intention of becoming entrepreneurs or starting a business but we had to sell magazines too keep the business running.

    It wasn’t a difficult decision to make although my parents were hoping I would become a lawyer like my father. However I struggled in school and decided that a ‘higher education’ wouldn’t be beneficial.

    I have been very lucky and successful all thanks to the great people in my businesses. I now advocate rather than entrepreneurs go to college or university, they start their own business and use those years to build something great!

    Richard

    • Pam F

      Dec 20, 2012 at 9:32 am

      Great stuff! I love your site. I will frequent it often for motivation and empowerment. This article confirmed what I know school(college) is beneficial!

  4. Bob

    Dec 3, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    I agree with everything but have one more very important reason. You will make friends and business contacts that will stay with you forever. In addition to the people you will meet, is just the fact that alumni stick together. In most large schools, especially the ones with football teams, the alumni still refer to themselves by the team name. For example, everyone who attends the U of Florida refers to themselves as “gators”. You can look up other “gators” in any town in the country and have an instant friend who will help if they can.

    • Greg Bier

      Dec 4, 2012 at 8:55 pm

      Bob, you are so right! I have many friends and contacts from my years in school that I still keep in contact with on a personal and professional level. I have also kept in contact with many of my students, providing references and recommendations it’s great to see where the world takes them after they leave my classroom. Mizzou definitely has a similar almuni base, the “Tigers” are always willing to help another Tiger in need!

      • Ronnie

        Dec 12, 2012 at 3:27 pm

        I thinks its very personal which way to go. Either way its will take focus and hard work. Even if you don’t go to college a person can improve there networking ability by being more sociable. They can go to SBAs seminars. I think a person has to have the time to put into their business. I don’t think Bill, Mark or any other guy dropped out because school sucked. I think they realize that they only needed to focus on that one goal, without studying for a Math test. Mark Zukerberg parent had him taking computer courses a young kid. College is a great achievement But no one should every think they would fail if they didn’t go. If its really a dream from the heart then you will give your all and stay motivated on either journey. You have to know in your heart that thats would you want to do. I never been to college but I have a local graphic company and doing well. Everyone is unique in their own way. Putting GOD first and going in like a champ you never fail but no trying you will.

  5. Gabriel

    Dec 3, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    Neil,

    Great comment! I agree with everything you mentioned. I’m currently in the crossroads of staying in college, or stopping it to use more free time to devote to business and just enjoying life. I think life is too short to spend lots of time on things you don’t want to do. I would hate to lose the social aspect of it and that’s whats bothering me the most. As for self education, yes you always have to keep learning and growing. “Don’t let school get in the way of your good education,” is something I apply on the daily.

    Did you dropout to start a business? If so let me know how its going, what its about, etc.

    Thanks for sharing that comment

    • Greg Bier

      Dec 4, 2012 at 8:52 pm

      Gabriel,

      Thanks for reading! That’s definitely a tough decision, and I’m glad I was able to give you some perspective on the pros of staying in school. I wish you the best of luck with whichever path you choose to take.

  6. Neil Pepito

    Dec 3, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    I agree with both opinions of Joel and Greg.

    Entrepreneurs must make their own choice. Whether they should enroll in college or not. It must be their own decision.

    Take the first step.The most important thing is you need to keep learning. In fact, I myself was a student in a University, but not until I decided to stop schooling to follow my dreams and passion. It took me 2 years before I took the decision. Yes, I was 2 years in college and I was a good student with good grades(Dean’s list) and having a great time socializing with different types of people. I’ve been in different organizations. I was even a varsity player of football since I am an athletic kind of person. I believe in traditional education, it is GOOD. But self-education is BETTER. If you decide going to college just to secure a job and you don’t know any other purpose, then you’re absolutely going to fail. And if you decide not to enroll in college just because you’re lazy and don’t want to interact with people, you’re also going to fail. The lesson here I want to point out is that regardless of which way you want to walk, you must know yourself and keep learning. You must know where you stand and act on it.

    Experience is the key here. Take risks. Double your rate of failure to succeed. I understand the fear, just take the first step and act on your specific goal. Entrepreneurs must have a core value of an entrepreneur. Keep educating yourself even if you’re in college or not, in a classroom or in your mom’r basement, that’s the key. Never stop learning.

    • Mike

      Dec 3, 2012 at 4:51 pm

      Exactly Neil! I’m tired of this back & forth argument about college or no college (ironically most are made by people who haven’t founded anything). People are confusing our entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs should shut the noise and follow their hearts. It’s a cat & box problem. You drop out, it will work out somehow, because you dropped out. If you go to college, it will work out in a way that makes it look like it wouldn’t had you not dropped out of college.

      • Greg Bier

        Dec 4, 2012 at 8:51 pm

        Mike and Niel, Thanks for reading and starting the conversation! You are right, the decision of whether or not to go to college is very personal. Everyone’s situation is different and it is definitely a situation that each entrepreneur must make for themselves. With that being said, although college may set you back a few years it will also provide you with experiences and opportunities that you can’t get elsewhere. The key is making the most of your time and using this to your advantage.

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Success Advice

Stop Denying Your Negative Thoughts and Start Embracing Them

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Over the years, many of the talking heads and pundits in the personal development and success science industry have talked about the immediate replacement of negative thoughts with positive thoughts. The logic behind that particular behavioral strategy seems to make sense on the surface. Think about it, when a negative thought rears its ugly head, we should immediately dive into the repository of positive thoughts that we have available to us so that we could immediately begin to dwell on it.

Even further, some gurus of the genre suggest removing any chance of having a negative thought by the constant repetition of affirmations. Again, tried-and-true motivational technology that is very workable and still useful. I would suggest, however, that you view the above behaviors as tactics more than strategies.

I will further suggest to you that you do not abhor your negative thoughts but rather embrace them, examine them, and place them under a spotlight. My reasoning behind this goes back over 100 years into psychology with stimulus/response, that is, the cause and effect of certain behaviors. Many individuals look at a negative thought as a causative driver. The negative thought exists as a cause, and our behavior toward that cause will determine the effect.

So, following this logic, if an individual has a negative thought which makes them feel sad, and that sadness causes them to binge drink, by removing the negative thought you’ll have removed the motivation for binge drinking. Doesn’t that sound kind of silly? The suggestion here is to turn off the negative thought so that it will turn off the consumption of alcohol.

Of course, this makes sense if we view the negative thought as a primal force in behavior. So, what if we started to think of the negative thought more as the result of something else? It means that the “something else” must change first. What if we took a different approach? What if we looked at a negative thought as an effect of some larger causal factor?

“You’re going to go through tough times – that’s life. But I say, ‘Nothing happens to you, it happens for you.’ See the positive in negative events.” – Joel Osteen

By reversing the cause-and-effect motion of negative thinking (saying that the negative thought is an effect), we now can ask a deeper, more penetrative question: Why are we thinking that negative thought? What is the underlying cause of that specific train of thinking? By reversing the cause-and-effect relationship of negative thinking, it allows the negative thinker to assume the role of diagnostician!

Below is a three-step process you can use to examine your negative thoughts, the role of it in your life, and how you can get rid of them:

1. Simply acknowledge the negative thought

Recognize the fact that there’s a negative thought in your mind instead of trying to go through a process of emotionally overlaying positive thoughts on top of it. Can you see how this exacerbates the issue? You have a negative thought, you immediately recognize that it must be changed, and you frantically scurry through the museum of your mind to find a positive thought to replace it.

In the meantime, while you are trying to find that positive thought, you’re feeling anxious, nervous, and guilty! When you finally find a positive thought to replace that negative thought, the normal process is to squash it. But you can’t! It’s like trying to get rid of weeds by covering them with rocks.

They will always find another way around the rock. It is the same with negative thoughts. Consequently, try acknowledging the negative thought.

2. Affirm the negative thought

It is a part of you. Instead of denying its existence, accept that it is there in front of you and that you are now willing to deal with it. If any of you reading this are dog lovers, you will know that the best way to get a dog next to you is by attempting to push it away from you. Every time you push the dog away it gets closer. This is the same with negative thinking because the harder you push the closer it gets.

“Always turn a negative situation into a positive situation.” – Michael Jordan

3. Acquit the thought

Give it permission to leave you. Thank it for its past importance in your life and allow it to be on its way! At this point feel free to replace the negative thought with a positive thought. What will begin to happen when you place the negative thought under the spotlight is that you will see how insignificantly small it actually is.

This is a process I’ve been using for quite some time, and it works! Oh sure, I still use affirmations on a daily basis; as a matter fact I have them right here in front of me. I find that affirmations are a tremendous way to stay positive because it doesn’t allow any room for bad things to grow. But since the average person thinks 60,000 to 65,000 thoughts per day, let’s face it, a few negative thoughts have to squeak in there!

The best advice that I can give is to not freak out over a negative thought. Acknowledge it, affirm it, and acquit it! This is magic. Watch what happens!

How do you handle negative thoughts? Let us know your tips below!

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Success Advice

One Thing I Can Teach You About Life That Will Help You Forever.

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I used to be a very anxious person.

I was embarrassed by what I couldn’t do and every day was a struggle. From the moment I would wake up to the moment I’d go to bed, everything felt impossibly overwhelming. It’s a battle I’ve dealt with most of my life.

This daily struggle with mental illness taught me that the satisfaction didn’t lie in beating it; the satisfaction was in helping other people beat mental illness through my success in fighting it.


Recently, I was at work. It was a pretty standard day — nothing too exciting. I then had a catch up with one of the leaders I worked with.

She said something that got my attention: “One of our colleagues is battling a mental illness.”

I really wanted to help. My eyes lit up. There was no need to uncover my plan with anyone else. I knew that staying discrete was fundamental.

I approached the person in question and asked for a few minutes of their time.

I didn’t ask them to admit their mental illness struggle; I just shared my story.

I talked about the anxiety stopping me from having a normal life, eating the right foods, going on dates with girls, having the career I wanted and traveling the world.

I wasn’t sure if any of it was sinking in or even helping. I felt compelled to go on. One thing I knew was that he was paying attention. I could see it in his eyes.

I then went on to talk about how I beat mental illness. Strategies such as:

  • Creating fear lists
  • Seeking professional help
  • Working on myself
  • Books I read
  • Events I attended

Out of nowhere, he started opening up about his own struggle. I was shocked.
It wasn’t pretty. He had an extreme case of mental illness that I certainly couldn’t diagnose or give professional advice on.

All I could do was show him through my own story that there was hope

I offered him access to all the resources I had. I told him that he had my full support and I’d be happy to help in any way I could. He then said:

“What was your psychologist’s name?”

I told him I’d look it up and send it to him. I didn’t have the answer in front of me, but I was determined when I got home to find it.

At the end of the catch-up, he smiled. I don’t think he’d smiled like that in a very long time.

That smile gave me so much satisfaction. It made my own struggle with mental illness worth it. All those sleepless nights, times spent vomiting into the toilet and dark days where I didn’t want to go on made sense.


“It took more than seven years for me to understand that my own battle with mental illness actually had a benefit”

That benefit was the satisfaction in seeing someone beat their mental illness because I was able to defeat mine.

It’s probably the greatest satisfaction of my entire life.

That’s one thing I can teach you about life that will help you forever.

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Success Advice

5 Productivity Shifts You Need to Make to Make 2019 Your Best Year Yet

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Everyone wants more time, that is something almost all of us share. Time is the most valuable resource and when you learn how to make your time work for you and how to get the most out of it – you experience life differently.  

Improving how you manage your time is one of the biggest gifts you can give yourself – it’s a real game changer in your business and personal life. There are many ways that you can get more productive and get the right things done sooner; but not all of them are obvious or bring the same results.

Here are 5 productivity shifts you want to make if you are trying to make the most out of 2019:

1. Ditch your to do list

Productive people don’t keep to-do lists, they schedule everything they need to do in their calendar and work directly from their calendar!  To-Do lists are just ineffective and they are impeding your productivity. A never ending list of items only leaves you overwhelmed and with a false sense of ‘productivity’.  

If you schedule your To Do’s directly into your calendar at a time to get them done, you commit to it and you are more likely to get it done. Less is more – you don’t need a separate list to remind you what you need to do.

“Productivity is less about what you do with your time and more about how you run your mind.” – Robin Sharma

2. Give up on motivation

Productive people don’t always have to be motivated before starting something. They balance discipline with motivation and do what they need to do, regardless of motivation. When we come up with resistance to take action on what we have planned, we might tell ourselves that we are not motivated and we believe that we need to be motivated to complete any task.

If you want to increase your productivity, you need to challenge yourself more in the moment to take action and give up on motivation sometimes. Do what you need to in order to get the results you want in the future. Don’t make decisions based on how you feel now, make them based on what result you are really after.

3. Master your mornings

Wake up early and get yourself into the productive mindset with your routine and diet! Productive people start the day with some sort of routine, whether it’s meditation, exercise or visualization, etc. AND they have a healthy breakfast to fuel them for the day. Your health is everything when it comes to productivity, what you eat directly affects your productivity.

We can just no longer ignore the direct connection any more. Get in the right mindset to start your day and fuel your mind and body to get the most out of it. Starting your day off in any other way undermines your success – there is no doubt.

4. Schedule according to energy

Productive people know their energy cycles and they plan tasks around their energy levels. Why plan something at a time when you know it will be hard to rise to the challenge? Schedule tasks that require focus and concentration for those times of day that you feel the best and you will find it’s easier to follow through and you will be at your best to perform. Identify your filler tasks and complete those when your energy drops. Be more realistic when scheduling your tasks and set yourself up for wins.

“Productivity is never an accident it’s the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning & focused effort.” – Paul Meyer

5. Working backwards

Productive people always focus on those activities that will take them to the next level. They plan backwards, they look at their goals, then identify the tasks they need to do to support those goals. Those tasks get broken down into weekly actions. That’s how they plan.

Don’t only plan on tasks that come in or those which you ‘feel’ or ‘think’ you should be doing. Your day needs to consist of at least one activity that directly supports your longer term objectives, your big project. What sounds like common sense is definitely not common practice.

Create the right habits to achieve your goals, work on adopting easy tips and techniques so you can manage your time and yourself better to get things done.

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Success Advice

You Need to Grow Your Memory in Order to Grow Your Life

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We all have access to the most powerful computer ever created in the universe…our brain. Unfortunately, few of us have ever been taught how to use our minds efficiently, and even fewer have learned how to develop a fabulous memory. Thankfully, like any skill, memorising can be learned and using the correct strategies, your memory can be improved in only days.

One of the best coaches on memory is Dominic O’Brien the eight-time world memory champion. Self-taught after watching Creighton Carvello memorise a pack of cards on the BBC’s Record Breakers programme. Dominic, through his work on memory, has given us many tools and techniques for improving memory.

Below are 5 rules that will help you develop a better memory:

1. The Rule of Five

Probably seen as one of the most significant contributions to the body of knowledge on memory is O’Brien’s Rule of Five. This rule details how to remember things using a strategy of regular staged repetition.

These stages are as follows:

  • First Review:Immediately
  • Second Review:Twenty-four hours later
  • Third Review:One week later
  • Fourth Review:One month later
  • Fifth Review:Three months later

Utilising stage repetition at these intervals ingrains the memory for the long term.

2. The Dominic System

The Dominic System is a system for remembering numbers. The system is a Person Action system where the association between two sets of paired numbers is the person with the action of the next person.

1139 would become Andre Agassi doing a roundhouse kick which is the action of Chuck Norris. This system combined with the journey method allows for long random numbers to be easily recalled without error. The fantastic thing about this system is that you get to customise for yourself with memorable people and unique actions which when combined really make it easy for you to recall numbers. The table below associates each number to a letter.

Number     0     1    2     3     4     5     6     7     8     9
Letter     O     A     B     C     D    E     S     G     H     N

Creating a simple document with pairs of numbers in one column, the letter pairs in the next and an action column will help you learn this system quickly.

“Nothing can substitute for just plain hard work. I had to put in the time to get back. And it was a grind. It meant training and sweating every day. But I was completely committed to working out to prove to myself that I still could do it.” – Andre Agassi

3. The Link Method

This method relies on two essential elements of memory, association and exaggeration. Utilising these two elements, it is possible to link together unrelated objects to allow you to remember them.

Trying to remember a list of five separate words such as: balloon, papaya, gold, football and hat, might go something like this. You imagine seeing a giant balloon and inside the balloon you can see a small papaya, in bursting the balloon the papaya falls out and as it hits the floor a gold football bounces into a large sombrero.

4. The Journey Method

Using location has been a fundamental part of mnemonics almost since time began. Before humans, writing elders would pass knowledge to others using stories of journeys, with each piece of knowledge being associated with a location on the journey.

O’Brien’s system utilises journeys that you would undertake on a daily basis, like your commute to work or train stations on well-known line. Items are then associated and exaggerated along the journey, so for instance if you were trying to remember a list of ten random things you would associate each piece along with a unique ten stop journey and utilise exaggeration to make the items more memorable.

“You are well equipped with an incredible potential for absorbing knowledge…Anything’s possible.” – Dominic O’Brien

5. The Story Method

To remember groups of information, create a story that links them together. Remembering the planets of the solar system and their position relative to the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

Imagine that Mercury was hitting the nineties as Venus tossed the tennis ball into the air, striking the ball it soared over the net striking the earth and bouncing high into the air, knocking the mars bar out of Jupiter’s hand, and so on.

Developing a good memory will assist markedly in all of your personal development goals as well as assisting greatly in your daily life. The methods above are tried and tested by one of the leading memory champions. Whether you want to become the next World Memory Champion or just improve your recall, the techniques outlined above will assist greatly.

Combining the various elements will create an exponential improvement in your memory that you will find hard to believe, and you will be kicking yourself for not applying them sooner. The best part about using these methods is that they are fun, so enjoy using them.

Which one of these memorizing methods sounds most interesting to you? Share with us below!

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