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3 Investments That Are Better Than a College Degree



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Let’s look at the facts: the average college student leaves school with $30,000 in debt (according to U.S. News), the unemployment rate increased to 7.2% (up from 4.7%) for 2020 college grads (CBS News), and on average, tuition costs inflate by 8% every year (FinAid).

So I wouldn’t blame you for wondering — whether you’re a parent or a just-graduated high-school student — what investments are better than a college degree. 

I myself am a college-dropout (I’m now 28) who’s built a successful freelance writing business that supports my family and allows us to live in Hawaii — no degree required.

A friend of mine, Ryan Dossey (who also dropped out of college and high school), built himself a portfolio of over $8.8 million in real estate assets (with $1.94 million in equity) by the age of 26. He also has founded two businesses that are doing over 7 figures per year in revenue. 

How’d we do it?

Well, I sat down with Ryan Dossey and we discussed this simple question: what investments are better than a college degree?

Here’s what we came up with.

1. 3.5% Down Payment To House Hack

Here’s a hack that millennials love — and rightfully so. Get a mortgage to purchase a duplex (or triplex or quadruplex) and pay the minimum down payment possible. Usually, that’s around 3.5%. Then live in one of the units and rent out the others.

Imagine that you purchase a $250,000 duplex — that means you just pay $8,750 for the down payment (far less than most people spend on college). Your mortgage is around $1,100 per month. And you can rent out the other unit for $1,200 to $1,500 per month. 

That means you’re living for free and building equity for free. And now you can save extra money every month to purchase more properties and continue growing your real estate empire.

2. Real-World Skills

Maybe real estate isn’t your thing. But maybe you’re interested in copywriting, marketing, web design, sales, or computer programming — those are all skills that you don’t need a college degree to master. 

I became an experienced copywriter and online marketer by taking courses, reading, working for free, and getting people results. Eventually I was able to land a paid client. Then another. Then I got a full-time gig as a copywriter. Then I left that job to go full-time as a freelancer. 

Now I make well over six figures every year with my freelancing biz — and I can work when I want, where I want, how I want. 

So how do you do it?

Start by choosing a skillset that you want to learn. Then look online for reputable and helpful resources — that could be YouTube, podcasts, blog articles, or even social media influencers. Practice your craft every day (even if it’s on your own stuff), invest money to become a master (buy courses!), pitch potential clients, and network with other professionals in your niche.

Do those things consistently and you’re virtually guaranteed to come out on top.

3. Building a Business

Have a business idea? There’s no better time to try and start a business than when you’re just out of high school — and don’t let anyone tell you differently. 

You’re at an age where you’ll have more energy than you will 10 years down the road. You also have less risk (no spouse, kids, big debt or bills, etc.). More importantly,  you believe that anything is possible. 

That’s the best time to grab the bull by the horns — that’s what Ryan and I did… and we wouldn’t change it for the world. You can always turn the truck around in your 30s or 40s if things don’t work out, because you’ve got plenty of time. But now is the time to take your biggest risks and try to build the business you dream of building. 

Don’t let anyone tell you it’s too early. If it wasn’t too early for us… then it’s not too early for you.

Mike Blankenship is the low-profile, high-impact writer behind lots of online brands and businesses. He's also the co-founder of The Tonic, a free email newsletter that makes personal growth interesting and enjoyable.

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Success Advice

The 2-Minute Rule: The Secret to Habit Success

By starting with a small, manageable task, it becomes much easier to build consistency



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It’s a given fact that we all want to build habits, goals that we want to achieve, and things that we want to change in our lives. However, on the other side of the coin, it can be hard to sustain motivation and consistency.  (more…)

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Success Advice

20 Ways You Can Become a Powerful Communicator



Emile Steenveld Speaker and Coach

Some people seem to naturally know how to effectively communicate in a group setting. They can express themselves clearly and listen attentively without dominating the conversation.

Being a powerful communicator is important for several reasons, including building and maintaining relationships, achieving goals, resolving conflicts, improving productivity, leading and influencing others, advancing in your career, expressing yourself more confidently and authentically, and improving your mental and emotional well-being. Effective communication is an essential life skill that can benefit you in all aspects of your life.

But, don’t worry if you don’t naturally possess this skill, as effective communication is something that can be developed with practice, planning and preparation.

1.  Listen actively: Practice active listening by giving your full attention to the speaker and responding to what they are saying.


2. Use “I” statements: Speak from your own perspective and avoid placing blame or making accusations.


3. Avoid assumptions: Don’t make assumptions about what the other person is thinking or feeling.


4. Be clear: Express your thoughts and feelings clearly and concisely by getting to the point and avoid using jargon or overly complex language.


5. Show empathy: Show that you understand and care about the other person’s feelings.


6. Offer valuable insights: When speaking in a group, provide a valuable takeaway or actionable item that people can walk away with.


7. Be an active listener: Listen attentively and respond accordingly, incorporating your points into the conversation.


8. Choose the right time: Pick the most opportune time to speak to ensure that you have the group’s attention and can deliver your message without interruption.


9. Be the unifying voice: Step in and unify the group’s thoughts to calm down the discussion and insert your point effectively.


10. Keep responses concise: Keep responses short and to the point to show respect for others’ time.


11. Avoid unnecessary comments: Avoid commenting on everything and only speak when you have something important to say.


12. Cut the fluff: Avoid being long-winded and get straight to the point.


13. Prepare ahead of time: Sort out your points and practice them before speaking in a group.


14. Smile and be positive: Smile and nod along as others speak, to build a positive relationship and be respected when it’s your turn to speak.


15. Take responsibility: Take responsibility for your own actions and feelings.


16. Ask questions: Ask questions to clarify any confusion or misunderstandings.


17. Avoid interrupting: Allow the other person to finish speaking without interruption.


18. Practice active listening: Repeat what the other person said to ensure you have understood correctly.


19. Use your body language too: Use nonverbal cues such as eye contact, facial expressions, and body language to convey your message and build rapport.


20. Be aware of the tone of your voice: it should be calm and assertive, not aggressive or passive.


By keeping these tips in mind, you can improve your communication skills and become a more powerful communicator, which can help you build better relationships, achieve your goals, and lead a more fulfilling life.

I you want to learn how to become more confident in life then you can join my weekly mentorship calls and 40+ online workshops at so you can master your life with more success.

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Success Advice

Dead Men Tell No Tales: How to Navigate a Mutiny as a Leader in 10 Steps

You’re the manager. You’re the supervisor. You’re the leader. But maybe your people don’t see it that way



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You’re the manager. You’re the supervisor. You’re the leader. But maybe your people don’t see it that way and perhaps that has created a divisive and adversarial working environment that makes it difficult for you to influence and inspire your team in a way that meets your vision. (more…)

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How to Think Like a CEO for Your Future Success

A blueprint for CEOs to draw a disciplined strategy



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