It may surprise you to know that I don't hold a high school diploma much less a college degree. With every position I've ever held (including this one) I learned the required skills on the job doing a TON of research and barking up the trees of those who came before me. Now while my professional path isn't for everyone (even me some days) and it's been a wild ride to say the least, I'm not alone.


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This alternative approach, whether by choice or necessity has served the likes of Virgin billionaire Richard Branson, President Abraham Lincoln, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Will Smith, Wendy's founder Dave Thomas and countless others. In fact I can count on one hand the number of people that I know that are actually working in their chosen college-educated field, much less working their dream job, ALL of which are still in debt. 'Dirty Jobs' Mike Rowe couldn't afford college and also found himself quite successful and it was no accident.


The poster that Mike was referring to was one he saw in high school which said 'Work Smart, Not Hard' picturing two people, one happy with a college degree and another blue-collar worker looking unhappy doing their job. Because of the way our society is programmed, being successful without going to college is risky in today's day and age and involves relentless work ethic, an opportunistic nose, knowing the right people (all of which we have some control over) and of course some 'right-place right-time' luck. Here's more from Mike about how to work smart AND hard, maybe at trade school instead...


Life Lessons You Won't Learn In High School Or College- How The Real World Will Sneak Up On You