Are you curious about what you can learn without pursuing a formal education? This post is for you. Not everyone excels in the classroom environment. Not all of us have the capacity to stay in school for 8 years.

“Back before the digital revolution, access to information was an issue. The size of the library mattered. One reason to go to college was to get access. Today, that access is worth a lot less.” — Seth Godin

Do you think it’s possible to learn without a formal education? For the longest time I used to equate education with intelligence and think that those with more education were much more intelligent than everyone else. Eventually I ended up meeting folks that ran their own businesses, made tons of money, and enjoyed life — without ever earning a formal education. This really impressed me and I decided to look into it some more.

Let’s look at how you can learn without a formal education…

Take time off.

I was always afraid of taking time off until now. I thought that time off meant that I was lazy or unproductive. Then I realized that it all depends on how you treat this time off. If you sleep in until noon and drink every night, then sure time off is counter-productive. If you use time off to explore new options and see what the world has to offer, you can end up ahead of the game.

Find an internship where you perform real work.

So few of us young folks get to do any real work. We cram for exams, consume a plethora of theory, and think that we know it all. In application, we haven’t done anything. While it’s important to excel in your studies and do well, you eventually have to get some real work done.

This is why I always praise the idea of an internship. I congratulated my cousin recently because she landed a juicy internship gig downtown. We then started to talk about the money. She was analyzing the payment and how she could earn more potentially. I reminded her that the work she was doing would help her for the rest of her life. Plus she’s only 19, so any experience you can pick up at such a young age will help you in the future.

If you’re reading this right and are tired of formal schooling, my advice to you is to find an internship where real work gets done. You might have to start off by working for free. That’s cool. The pleasure is all yours my friend.

Pursue an entrepreneurial project.

I’ve discussed this dozens of times and will do it once more. If you want real world experience on:

  • Marketing.
  • Dealing with customers.
  • Working with advertisers.
  • Self-promotion.
  • Or anything else.

You need to start a business and make money on your own. How you approach this is up to you. I just highly suggest that you don’t try to consume every book or blog post on this topic. Just get started and learn on the job!

Learning isn’t always about the piece of paper that you get at the end of it. There are different forms of learning for different types of budgets. If you’re into the whole school thing, I suggest that you try out some of the ideas in here. What do you have to lose?

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

Martin Dasko

Martin Dasko