This archived article was written by: Austin Palmer
Nearly from the time we can remember, the adults in our lives were asking what we wanted to be when we grew up. Many probably replied by saying that they wanted to be a policeman, a firefighter or maybe even a cowboy. If you were born a little girl, the replies were likely more feminine in nature. As we grew older our answers changed to professions that are typically thought of as more prestigious; doctors, lawyers and dentists. Our early replies would be met with quiet laughs and smiles. Latter responses are marked with excited nods or pensive approval. Even from an early age, we were being taught in subtle ways that the path to esteem led to the bank. Whether intentional or not we were trained that the right road to take was the one that led to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
While the pursuit of wealth in our society is seen as normal and good the appropriate roads aren’t always so clear. The general rule of thumb; however, has been drilled into us. More school equals more money. This unfortunate fact has led to countless college dropouts and unsatisfied professionals. Many young people looking at entering the job market are realizing that more school doesn’t necessarily mean more money. In fact, the opposite is often true.
For years, a college degree has been viewed as the secret key that opens the door to wealth and success and we have ignored one of the basic components of a capitalistic society, entrepreneurship. The American dream has never included, until recently, working for someone else for the majority of your life and receiving in return mediocre pay and treatment. The majority of wealthy Americans are business owners and in order to be a business owner you don’t need a college degree.
However, a college degree can be very helpful in your pursuit of wealth. You can receive invaluable training and doors can be opened that would otherwise have remained closed. A college degree is more of a map that shows you various destinations but ultimately you are responsible for getting wherever it is you want to go.
Without drive and ambition, your college diploma is nothing more than a piece of paper. When you go for your first job interview you will need to sell yourself. If you show up for that meeting and your only weapon is a piece of paper, you will get slaughtered.
If you don’t have a strong work ethic you will fail. If 40 hours a week is a heavy load, you will fail. If you are the type of person who is always looking forward to Friday or the next holiday, you will always fall short of your goals. In order to be successful you have to be better than the average Joe. You can never accept complacency or mediocrity. A college degree may give you lofty ambitions but without skill and determination you will never fly.