Schooled vs. Educated

Posted: March 6, 2012 in Schooled vs. Educated
Tags: , , ,

It’s 2:30 a.m. I can’t sleep so I’m surfing and stumbling. After four cups of Maxwell House, I found another great post over at The Altucher Confidential. While I recommend his most recent post, “Did Obama Really Say He Wants Everyone to Go to College?”, I highly suggest, after reading the post (your welcome James), the comments pasted below by a commenter named “Mike”. He destroys, with real life examples, Big Education’s infatuation with college. Raised by a plumber with a tenth grade education myself, I can relate. Here’s one of Mike’s unedited contributions:

While I certainly don’t know the answer to all this what I can do is tell you from my own experience some of the results of people around me who have no education and what they have accomplished.
1.) MEI own a plumbing business. In 2011 my my net income was $187,000 and I have no employees. It’s just me and a 1-Ton cube van that’s a mobile hardware store for plumbing parts. I do service work only and I’m busy 7 days a week. My parents offered me college all paid for but after drinking away my first year they cut me off and I was on my own. I started at $7 an hour and learned on the job the skills I needed and after 8 years I became a licensed master plumber. I was broke. I started with a rusty van and about $100 in parts. I literally had to go door to door and knock to get work. It was hard, everything in life is hard. The thing is this, I enjoyed it. I currently own a home and have have zero debt. Nothing, not my home not anything besides $20 bucks I borrowed from my buddy the other day because I forgot my wallet.2.)Mom & Dad

My parents own a manufacturing company that employees about 400 people. The company was started during the great depression but was defunct when my Dad bought it. He was a farmer but had a vision. My parents leveraged everything they had and he made it work. We were so poor growing up I can remember being embarrassed when relatives came over because our clothes were old and wore out. Over time the business grew and now is one of the largest manufacturing companies supplying structural composite components to the door and window industry as well as the growing health care sector. My parents are multi- millionairess. No college.

3.) Uncle

My uncle can’t read. Literally, he simply can not read and write. It’s so bad he can’t even work for somebody because even simple jobs require some reading and writing skills. At the age of 17 he started hauling lumber for a builder. 20 years later he owns one of the largest residential building companies in the Midwest. He also owns and manages about 30 apartment buildings. He built them and now people pay him. He is a multi- millionaire many times over and is debt free. No college

4.) Other Uncle

My other uncle owns one of the largest small engine shops in the State. He is the preferred dealer for some of the most well respected brands in the country. He is a multi- millionaire many times over. I can remember when he started, he was flat broke fixing engines at a hardware store in town. One day he got fired because they shut that part of the business down. He rented a small hole in the wall as a space and hung a sign out. 7 years later he built a massive building where he occupies a space for his business and rents out the other spaces to other businesses. They are debt free. No college

5.) My Sister

My sister is a Realtor and rental property owner. She became a drug addict but managed to hold a job at a local greasy spoon cafe. For years all of us thought she would waste away to nothing and end up dead. Nobody understood why she could’t cope with life. It was as if she was in a mental prison. One day she met an old man who was dying of cancer. He would come in to the cafe where she was a waitress and would sit and drink coffee in the morning. He shared with her how he was dying. One day he stopped coming in. My sister was worried so she did something she has never done before, she escaped her fears and called every hospital in the area and found him. She was the only visitor and she held his hand when he died in the hospital bed. The old man asked my sister if she could take over his tiny business. He was a window cleaner but only had a few accounts. If I remember the sales were only abut $275 a week. She did. For some strange reason, reasons none of us understand, she up and quite her job. She started washing windows and had to teach herself how to do it. Over a couple year period she blossomed into her own generating a business with sales in excess of $500K a year. Not bad for a window cleaner. She decided to move on and sold it. She took all the cash and bought a POS rental building. She made money and bought more. She became a licensed broker so she could be on the inside with real estate deals. She doesn’t sell houses, she buys them. She has become one of the most prominent people in the area. She is a millionaire, is debt free, and never went to college.

6.) Friend #1

Total goof off in high school. Was a drug dealer because he wanted the easy way out. Got busted and served time. He couldn’t get a job so he had to make his own job. On his kitchen table he designed a clever way to do directional boring for underground utilities. He was a pusher. He talked all of us into the idea. He bought a chunk of steel and a metal lathe and machined (self taught) a device to grab a cable, stick it in the ground, and through an air compressor bore a hole under a road so as not to disturb the pavement. They are in use worldwide now. He has since sold the idea to a major manufacture and is wealthy. He is 47 and never went to college.

7.) Friend #2

Jeff never went to college but he was always really book smart. One day he recognized a gap in the computer industry not being filled. He now owns a company manufacturing specialty computers for use in hospitals. It is a global business and employees a couple thousand workers. He collects vintage Porsches.

I could go on and on and on because most of the people I know never went to college. Two types of people come out of college. Those who are “schooled” and those who are “educated”. If you are just schooled you are headed for a world of hurt, one day you will wake up and realize you have built a mental prison for yourself. If you go to college and work on being educated chances are good you will be fine. But being “educated” doesn’t always come from a college, in fact, I would say it’s rare. College is often taught by high school kids. Think about it. The graduate high school, go to more school, then go back to school to teach. It’s really quite stupid.

Getting “educated” is a mental thing. It’s a realization of sorts. Not everybody can get it though, regardless of what the books say. Some people will look at life through a lens built around the idea that security is found in following a program acceptable to the rat race. Those people and up getting screwed in the end. “educated” has nothing to do with math skills or taking classes. It has everything to do with understanding that “uncertainty” is where 100% of the opportunity is located. The real security is in the uncertainty of life. I can’t see tomorrow so I don’t care about it. Today is a beautiful day and is full of opportunities, you can either seize it and take advantage of it or spend your time thinking about tomorrow which is a false sense of reality.

“College is our only hope for our children,” came out of her mouth. Bull crap is what I almost shouted to the simple mind spewing the propaganda at our department meeting. I re-grouped.

The walls of our school and other government baby-sitting services across the nation spread this myth to unsuspecting clientele. Pretty colored charts with skewed “facts” plaster our hallways. James and Mike help bust the college myth.

Of course, your mileage may very.


  1. Mike says:

    Hi, this is “Mike”, the guy who wrote what you posted above. Had to check it out after you posted on Altucher you were going to paste my comments. I found your blog interesting and look forward to reading some of your posts. It’s always fun discovering new and informative websites.

    • Thanks for stopping by Mike. Really enjoyed you comments on The Altucher Confidential. James has given some great advise, inspiring! I’m working on a book myself, and would really like to hear more from you and your family about being schooled vs. educated. Take care.

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