“Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.” – Jim Rohn

I have a confession to make. About 3 years ago, I went to University and only lasted two weeks. Yes, two weeks! Now you're probably wondering why I didn't stay longer, especially when I'm so big on persistence and success. So let me share my experience with you and why in those two weeks I learned more than I would have if I completed my University studies.

Getting Into Uni

Back in 2011, I was working an unfulfilling job and I wanted so much more in life. So I set the intention that I wanted to create great financial success. Shortly after, I attracted a business opportunity that changed my reality of what was possible.

In my business, I ended up making some money over the next few months, which was awesome. However, my dad had always been big on his children going to University. I had never gone because I got bad grades in school and couldn’t get in. At one point, I knew a friend who got into University through an alternative method and, after speaking with him, what he was studying appealed to me and I started to picture myself climbing the corporate ladder and making my dad proud.

So now I had a new vision for my life – to get into University, study International Business and climb that corporate ladder so I could make a lot of money and have that “corporate status”. It was an exciting idea, so I applied and I got in. I was officially a Uni student, ready to take on the responsibility of student debt (ouch).

Lesson 1 – Uni teaches you to think small

The first thing I learned was how small everyone’s thinking was in the class. The students would often talk about how they can’t wait to make $100,000 per year when they get a good job after their University studies. It was like that figure would be a huge accomplishment for them. The lecturer also made repeat statements of how they could one day get a super high paying job of $200,000 per year.

This was a massive put off for me. Yes, I wasn’t making either one of those two figures (yet), however I already knew people making $300,000++ without any University studies. And when the lecturer capped a job’s income in the business world at $200,000, I knew it wasn’t for me. You see, my goal was to make millions (and it still is).

Lesson 2 – Uni doesn’t teach you resourcefulness

The lecturer had a PhD in Business, however I quickly noticed that his PhD in business just meant he had a framed piece of paper on his wall at home. Why do I say this? Well, other than some jobs he’s previously had, he’d keep mentioning all these business ideas he has. He would talk about them so excitedly and how big these opportunities are for making money. Then he’d kill his own dreams by saying “If only I had money to start those businesses.”

This was another put off for me. Throughout my Personal Development journey and through having some mentors, I’d learned that to succeed financially, resources are not necessary. What’s more important is resourcefulness. When you have a burning desire for something, you’ll do whatever you can to make it happen. When I started my online business, I didn’t have the money to get started but I made it happen because I saw the opportunity and I had a burning desire for financial success. However, this lecturer was still stuck as an employee because he was not willing to think outside the box and figure out a way to bring his dreams into reality.

Lesson 3 – Uni teaches you to be an employee

Another thing I noticed super fast was that the whole University environment was one of employees teaching others to be employees. Not once did I hear the lecturer tell us students how we could one day own a business and be successful in it. All he ever spoke was about climbing the corporate ladder and hopefully getting a high paying job one day.

From my perspective, I saw this as unintentionally brainwashing the students to be employees for the rest of their lives. And guess what, they all bought into it. I remember a student next to me asked what I do outside of Uni and I said I had my own business. Her reaction was priceless – she couldn’t believe I had my own business. She even asked “Why are you at Uni if you already have your own business?” It was like owning a business was so far outside of her reality. And not to mention, this was a post-graduate course. So most of the students, including her, had already completed their degrees in business.

For me however, my vision was to create financial success – to be a millionaire one day – not an employee. And going to Uni, I quickly realised that it was a case of “the middle-class teaching the middle-class how to be an employee and stay middle-class.” I already had millionaire mentors I was learning from and my reality of business, life and success was vastly different from University.

Lesson 4 – Don’t go to Uni to make your parents proud

After I quit University, I realised that the only reason I went was to make my dad proud. I had never wanted to go to University because I’d already learned from my mentors that it wasn’t the place to learn how to create financial success. But I still went anyway.

If you want to go to Uni, make sure it’s because you’re doing something you’re truly passionate about and not because someone else wants you to go. If you do what you love, you’ll have a fulfilling life.

Not All University is Bad

Now, I’m not saying all University is bad. I know when I speak to some people about my thoughts on it, they get offended. If you want to be a surgeon, go to Uni. I know I don’t ever want to go see a surgeon that’s never been to Uni – that would be an experience! Also, if you’re passionate about being a doctor, accountant, lawyer or teacher, then go to Uni. If you don't, you won't get a job in any of these areas.

My perspective on University is more specific to business and creating financial success. If you want to create financial freedom in your life, Uni will not teach you that. Just like the quote I started this post with, University (formal education) will allow you to get a job that will make you a living, but it’s self-education that can make you a fortune.

What About Millionaires and Billionaires?

When you look at the real world, most millionaires and billionaires were school dropouts; and the small percentage that have formal education, they only accredit 5% of it to their financial success. Some school drop outs to name a few include Bill Gates, Thomas Edison, Richard Branson, Michael Dell, Steve Jobs, Henry Ford, Walt Disney, Ray Kroc, Andrew Carnegie and Mark Zuckerberg. If you don't believe me, Google it.

And I’m not saying that millionaires and billionaire are uneducated. In fact, they are some of the most educated people in the world. But the difference is that they get their education from books and mentors who have already created the success they want. They also understand that life-long learning the is key to creating greater results in their lives; whereas most University students don’t get taught this and when they finish Uni, they stop learning all together.


Today, I'm happy that I didn't follow through with Uni. One year and a half later I ended up making the most money I'd ever made in an entire year. And one of the biggest breakthroughs for me was making my first of many $14,000 USD profit sales. If I continued with Uni, I wouldn't have had the time and energy to achieve those financial goals.

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Alex Ford

Alex Ford
Digital Marketing Trainer
Email: [email protected]
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