Most people go to college.
I'm not most people.
Instead, I decided to carve a different path, take a bet on myself, jump straight into the real world, and gain experience.
I'm glad I did.
Currently, I lead sales at a high-growth startup. I have no debt and make a decent wage for my age. I also graduated high school just over a year ago.
When I decided to skip college, my friends and family were shocked. They didn't get it. They thought that the degree was the only ticket to success.
Were they wrong? Absolutely.
But that's not their fault. Society conditions us to believe that college is the only way to a successful career. Maybe that was the truth 50 years ago.
However, today you can forge your career without the help of some third-party institution saying you're valuable on a piece of paper.
How do I know? I did it. And so many other people have done it.
And you can do it too. Feel free to take what you want from this, but here's my story.
Here's how I unlocked my first career opportunity without a degree:
When I was growing up, schooling wasn't very hard for me. But I didn't enjoy it. There's something about listening to someone speak for hours or just reading a textbook for hours that didn't appeal to me.
I love doing things, creating things.
So the idea of going to college after I graduated high school became less and less attractive the more I thought about it. I didn't want another four years of the same boring routine, especially considering that I knew I wanted to go into business and possibly start my own company one day.
And you don't need a business degree to go into business - no, you need hustle.
So instead of going to college, wasting four years of my life and crap ton of money, I jumped straight into the working world after high school by taking on a program called Praxis.
It's a 6-month online boot camp that helps people unlock their first career opportunity at a high-growth tech startup - and it changed my life.
Through the program, I learned that you all need to have to unlock a great career opportunity was a mix of grit, a strong work ethic, a willingness to learn, and quality communication skills.
It's honestly scary how low the bar is to stand out as you move forward in your career.
To understand what I mean, let me explain how I landed my first job at a startup:
Once I went through the Praxis program and learned about business and developed valuable skills, I went into the placement process to land an opportunity at a company.
To make it happen, I found a handful of companies that interested me. All of which was hiring sales roles.
I knew that they wanted to hire someone who could sell, who could make them more money - that's all they cared about from a result perspective.
So I showed them that I could do just that by building what you call a value proposition.
To give you an idea of what that is: It's a project that demonstrates your ability to do a given task or perform in a specific role.
So my value proposition for one of the companies was that I could increase their onsite conversions by implementing a chatbot like Drift or Intercom - because I noticed they didn't have one.
I ended up building an entire logic branch for them that they could turn around and immediately use on their website. It's the Q&A's that a bot will have in the backend to interact with website visitors. After building it out, I recorded a short video of me walking through it and explaining how the messages could funnel more visitors to starting a free trial of the software.
Through that project, I not only proved that I could make them more money if they hired me. I built something that they could use to make more money. Even if they didn't hire me.
So you can see why that's powerful, especially when you compare that to everyone else just sending in a generic resume that they also sent to 100 other companies.
I created value. And I communicated that I could effectively. And that's all it takes.
Once I landed the job, I grew my sales skills. Once I felt confident in my sales role, I expanded my usefulness in the company by helping them launch their very own podcast. It was an invaluable experience that taught me about business and more importantly, how to create value - do you see a theme here?
Four months into Scripted, I was offered the opportunity to go work at Praxis to scale their sales initiatives. Of course, I took it in a heartbeat.
I love their mission and I want to help grow their company.
I'm passionate about helping others launch their careers.
So, that's my story. And it's only just the beginning. If you'd like to help me follow my passion, feel free to contact me. Tell me your story and where you want to go in your career.
I'll do my best to help you get there.