As we get older, we put a huge amount of emphasis on finding ourselves.
In fact, it’s astonishing how much we’re expected to know about ourselves after we spend 16 years of our lives traipsing through high school.
That’s probably why so many of us actually go to college. Not so much because we know what we want to do but because really, we have no idea what we’re doing in the first place. All we really know is that we’re expected to do something, which is insane.
There are very few 16-year-olds that know what they want to do and have the skills to pursue it. This is likely why education has been put on a pedestal when in fact, those of us that know what we want to do, just do it.
That’s not to devalue education. I believe education is unquestionably pragmatic for some career paths. I just don’t think it essential to all of them.
However, society has its own ideology and if you’re not part of that, you will likely find yourself shunned in some way.
It’s not acceptable to sit in your room and build a business from scratch unless it becomes immediately successful. Good luck with that. You can’t spend a year creating and promoting a blog, e-commerce website, Youtube channel, or consultancy without the stigma of unemployment lurking over your shoulder.
And just because you really want something, doesn’t mean that you’re going to get it. Sometimes no matter how much hard work you put into something, no matter how many hours you invest in it, it just isn’t going to be profitable for you.
It’s shit but that’s the reality of doing something extraordinary.
Personally, I would experience this 10 times over if it meant succeeding just once. It is literally ‘The Dream’ and that might be just what it takes to achieve it.
Finding yourself has its merits.
Discovering new things is essential to your internal happiness and I’d recommend seeking out and taking advantage of every possible opportunity you can. But building yourself is where the real fun begins.
This is where you take education into your own hands. You can learn in your own way, at your own pace and study whatever takes your fancy at that particular moment in time.
You won’t receive qualifications but you will enter into interviews with an unshakable wave of confidence because you have no choice but to know your shit.
Moving forward, it’ll become more about the employer being right for you than vice versa.
The title of student is one that I’ll wear proudly for the rest of my life.
I attribute any and all success that I’ve had and continue to have to my autodidactic nature. My ability to self-educate has seen me through an Extended Diploma with Leeds College of Music, the development of multiple brands and businesses that I’ve owned and run myself to varying degrees of success, and undoubtedly contributed to the speed of which I was able to secure a position on the digital marketing apprenticeship I’m currently enrolled in.
Rather than spend a year in a far-away land, which I fully appreciate is some people’s dream, I’ve dedicated my time to building myself on the foundations of a passion for digital marketing that developed during my time tending to these businesses.
This lifestyle should be exciting to you because it effectively gives you purpose in infinite quantity.
You’re ALWAYS striving to become a better version of yourself; constantly adapting to new challenges and making some amazing friendships along the way.
The ability to build yourself is one of the key skills employers are looking for in their candidates and whilst degrees are certainly a viable way of showcasing this quality, there are also alternatives if full-time employment is your end goal.
Stop passively hoping that you might one day find a new version of yourself. It’s time to actively go out of your way to start building it.