College Education not Necessary, but Education Is

If you have been reading these blogs, there might something you’ve noticed.  I haven’t talked about education or college or how smart you need to be to succeed.  The fact is, in order to be successful, you need:

  • To have a goal
  • To have a job or income
  • To change your habits and choices to save and invest
  • Persevere when times are difficult and stick to your plan

I am proud to say that I have a college degree in Civil Engineering for which I used that degree for about three years before discovering the internet.  Then, the degree and all of the classes I took went out the window while I self taught myself how to build web sites and a friend helped me with understanding how to use graphic design software to create images.  I self taught myself how to do “some” programming, but mostly I outsource programmers to do the hard stuff.   I figured out how to sell, how to create passive income with my business (although I didn’t even know what that was until later) and then how to do marketing.

The title of this blog should tell you a lot about what I am about to say.  You don’t have to go to college to be successful, but I can tell you right now that you won’t be successful if you are not educated.  You need to understand what is happening in the world around you to make good decisions.  As the popularity of iPhones started growing and the introduction of cameras on the phones started getting better and better, would you want to be stuck owning a company that developed camera film?  As video streaming became more and more popular, would you want to be the one trying to sell DVD players?  Being educated means you are in touch with the world and how it’s constantly changing and jumping into an industry that could be the future.  It requires you to read the news daily and business news to see what industries are coming up and which ones are failing.

Why do you think I left civil engineering to get started in the internet industry back in the late 90s?  It was obvious to me that the internet would change our lives.  Another reckoning is starting now in the crypto blockchain space and I am moving to that industry next.


So, the question on your mind, “what do I need college for?”  This is a great question and college is great for a lot of things:

  1. It provides a transition for most people living at home into the real world – if you have some financial support from your family, it eases you into real life unlike getting kicked to the curb at 18
  2. It provides your first steps in being self sufficient
  3. It allows you time to reflect on what you really want to do in life
  4. It provides an experience in social skills that you didn’t have growing up
  5. Depending on your major, it provides case studies and a guide in your industry for being successful. From a business aspect. some courses are invaluable if you are looking to start a company:
    1. Business Majors
    2. Economics Majors
    3. Marketing Majors
    4. Law School
  6.   Other areas of expertise could help in starting a business that could change the world:
    1. Technology
    2. Bio – Technology
  7. Getting your foot in the door at a company.  Unfortunately, the minimum requirement to get most jobs is a college degree.  If you are looking for a really good salary while you figure out a business to start, you will need a degree to get a job.

Now, many of the people I knew went into Social Studies, Fine Arts, History or History of Dance.  In the real world, I am not sure how many opportunities are out there for those people, but a degree is helpful.  What do you get after you’re done?

Many companies require a minimum of a college degree to even get in the door.  No matter how smart or driven you are, if you are looking to land a job in an industry you’re interested in, you won’t be able to compete with other young applicants who have college degrees.  Having a college degree gets you in the door.


There are many industries that don’t require a college degree where you can make a lot of money.  However, this is where being educated is vital.  Think really hard about industries that are up and coming and, more importantly, recession proof.  A few of these industries include:

  • Nursing
  • Home care or Healthcare
  • Computer Programming
  • Accounting
  • Legal

These are industries that will always be around regardless of how the economy is doing.  The baby boomer generation is getting older and there will be a greater need for health care providers than ever before.  If you don’t go to college, there are many vocational schools where you can get degrees or certificates and introduce you to real world cases so you will already be familiar with jobs when you get your certificates.  Also, many of the teachers in these schools work in these industries and if you network right, you can land a high paying job in any one of those industries.  These vocational schools tend to be far less expensive than 4 year colleges also.

Overall, in order to be successful, you do need to start working in a field and generating as much knowledge and education as you can.  It doesn’t mean you need a college degree, but you need to start somewhere and getting a steady income is vital as you look to expand your horizons and goals.


Being educated and well-spoken will help you in all areas of your life.  If you currently have a job, being educated about different topics will help you communicate with higher management and will help you to move up in your company faster.  If you are able to relate to people on topics such as sports, news, politics (although I recommend staying away from this one), world events or even entertainment, the more you know, the more chances you have to connect to people.   Those people can, in turn, help you in your career or provide business opportunities you might not have otherwise gotten.

You don’t have to be an expert in any one field.  However, you should know a little bit about as much as you can so you can carry a conversation on almost any topic with anyone.  By reading the news and knowing about the things going on, your conversations and your knowledge will help you succeed.


You Don’t Have to be Cheap, but Always Look Out For Deals

Do you remember when newspapers were mainstream and they had TV shows about people who would spend hours cutting coupons and walk into a store and buy $1,500 worth of cat food and detergent and Ritz crackers and pork rinds and then use all of those coupons and then only pay $4.50 for all of their shopping?  Yea, that was cool.  The show was so popular that people were stealing other people’s newspapers and mail to get more coupons.  Oh man.  Good times.

Well, I am not here to tell you that you are going to be wealthy by cutting coupons every day. First off, it’s a waste of time unless you’re not working and you have the time to find coupons for $0.25 off a can of tuna.  While many newspapers are going the way of the dinosaur, there is a new discount game in town called “the internet” or “the interweb” as some folks call it.  The internet is full of thousands of dollars of discounts on products and services and you should take advantage of it.

Due to Covid and the nation shutting down, some very large habits exploded over the year proceeding the national shutdown and one habit was online shopping.  Retail shopping was already having a lot of issues, but Covid put the nail in the coffin for hundreds of brick and mortar retail stores.  Now that online shopping has exploded, here are some things you can do to save some cash.


As I am buying items from online shops I am always looking to save some money here and there.  It takes about 5 minutes to do a search for a web site name + discount code.  The easiest example is Snapfish where I create and purchase photo books.  For a 30 page photo book, the typical rate is about $75. A quick search of “snapfish discount code” usually brings up codes that offer up to 70% off the books.   This isn’t like saving $5 or $10.  This is saving like $45.  Another example was a summer camp I was signing my kids up for.  It was really random but I put in “blah summer camp discount code” and lo and behold, there was a code there for 20% for new attendees.  One code saved me about $200 off a sports registration for both of my kids.

Some sites that provide discount codes for thousands of retail web sites include:

Like I said, I don’t hunt around every day, but if you are buying something and it costs over $50 or $100, I recommend that you look for online codes.  It’s fast and could save you some money.


If you are shopping a lot online, you should take advantage of a ton of cashback offers you get through Google extensions.  Browser extensions are plug-ins you can download on web browsers like Chrome or Safari, and some of these tools can do your bargain-hunting homework for you.  How does it work?  If you are browsing a product on Amazon for example, a plugin like HONEY will see the product page you’re on and go out into the web site and compare prices with other sites immediately and tell you if you are able to purchase the product on another web site.

The following are 5 browser extensions you can use on Google to save you money:

    Honey is a browser extension that promises to help you find and automatically apply the best coupon codes at checkout before you complete an online order.
    Giving Assistant is a shopping website that helps people locate deals and donates a portion of eligible purchases to the shopper’s nonprofit of choice.
    Rakuten is a cash-back website that calls its browser extension the Cash Back Button. After download the extension, you can use the button to activate cash back directly at store sites and automatically apply coupon codes at checkout.  Basically you get paid cash back for shopping you are already doing.  You will get notified by email of your savings and a check every few months.

    Save money, earn up to 5x more cash back and get paid faster with CouponCabin’s free, easy-to-use money-saving app! No matter what you’re shopping for, we can find a discount.

How do you get these apps?  Simply click here and go to the Google Apps store and search for the apps above.  Once you find an app you want, simply install in your chrome browser and you will see the icons at the top right of your browser.



Stop Keeping Up with Joneses

If you are truly going to change your habits and your spending, the first thing you need to do is get rid of any idea that you have to somehow keep up with your neighbors’ spending or their habits.  This is going to be hard.  I know when you see your neighbor drive up in a new BMW and you look at your 6 year old car, your first thought is, “wow. I could get a new car like that too.”  JUST STOP HERE!

I can tell you right now that I have had neighbors who bought it all.  New cars, boats, ATVs, trailers, RVs, you name it.  They made close to $500,000/year and saved none of it.  If you really want to be wealthy or you want to be financially free, you cannot start your journey with the idea that you need to buy everything your neighbor has.  It just doesn’t work in this plan.

If you have a nice car and you pay off the loan, there is no need to run out and buy another car.  You are most likely saving $400 – $500/month.  Do you honestly think anyone you know is thinking “Damn, my buddy Bob has a 5 year old car.  He needs to upgrade. He needs a nice new car because if he doesn’t get one I am going to think less of him.”  Now, if you have a 15 year old car with 200,000 miles on it, it might be time to look for something newer as you don’t want to deal with the unexpected repairs.  I had a paid off Jeep Cherokee that I owned from college for about 9 years.  I think it finally kicked it at 175,000 miles.

Speaking of cars, there is no way that you should ever purchase a brand new car.  First off, no car increases in value over time.  The minute you drive that shiny new car off the lot, you are losing 10% or more of its value.  From that day on, the more you drive and the older the car gets, the lower in value it becomes.  In other words, cards are a money suck.  They are a liability and high car payments prevent you from using your money to invest.  I bought an SUV used.  Brand new, it had a sticker price of just over $65,000.  With just over 35,000 miles and 2 years old, I was able to buy the car for $37,000.  This is a 43% savings!  Just because someone else drove it a couple of years.  When you factor in taxes, it’s closer to a 45% savings.  For me, this was an expensive buy, but I love my truck.  If you are starting out, I recommend finding as inexpensive car as possible and getting your car payment down as low as possible or even buy a used car for cash so you don’t have a car payment.  Every extra dime you have can be used for savings and investments that will grow over time.

On top of cars, there are trips or clothes you can buy, home renovations and other things constantly popping up.   You have to realize one thing.  If you invest money today into something like real estate and you invest $10,000 at 7% per year, that comes out to $58 in free money every month.  Remember that internet subscription you had at $60/month.  If you paid that with your interest gained, that internet subscription would be FREE!  If you invest $100.000, you could generate $580/month at 7%.  So, that money could cover:  a car payment, internet service, cell phone service, nails and probably hair every month.  All FREE and paid for with interest from money you SAVED.

All you have to do is ignore the feeling that you have to keep up with everyone else.  Focus on your own finances, your own savings, your own investments and the money will come.  For all of those people making $500,000 a year and saving nothing, the minute something happens and they lose it all, they will wish they had read this blog and put that money into passive income investments instead of wasting it all.

Power of Goal Setting

One of the most powerful tools you have in your arsenal is the power of thought and focus and drive.  If you truly want to change your circumstances and you want a better life for yourself and your family, you really can make a change by simply creating goals and figuring out ways to achieve those goals.

I lost a ton of money in the stock market trading on margin (borrowing money I didn’t have to invest in stocks) and the one stock I had (not diversified) went into the toilet one day.  Right before they were going to announce earnings, they announced the CEO was doing shady deals and was fired. The visionary of the business was leaving the company.

I lost over $80,000 in a few hours and $100,000 overall.  We were renting a house at the time and looking to buy a home for the family.  I had a wife and two kids to support and pretty much lost almost all of the money we needed to put down on a house down payment.  I sat in the kitchen that morning with my head in my hands and dreaded that call to my wife.  What came out of that day was a spreadsheet with a monthly goal for each month to save money and cut spending.  My goal was to get it all back in one year.  My wife and I went through our expenses, cut the shopping and eating out and I busted my tail on my business.  I was able to see each month the amount of money I lost coming back.  I almost got it all back by the end of the year and took another two months to get back to even.  We were able to buy the house we wanted by the end of that year.  I hadn’t saved that much money in a year I don’t think at any other time in my life.  I followed up on more leads, got more business from existing clients and made sure we didn’t spend on things we didn’t need.  We still went on vacations, but they weren’t to exotic places and we achieved our goal.

What can you take from this example?  What are the things I learned during this time?

  1. How to create a simple plan using a spreadsheet and create a goal
  2. Work with my partner to review our expenses, cut back on what we didn’t need and only focus on the necessities
  3. Get creative with how to increase revenues for my business – increase prices, market to existing clients, follow up on every single lead
  4. Continue to focus on my family with events that allowed us to be together, but maybe not trips to Hawaii

When I was done with the exercise, I maintained increased business revenues, bought a house, spent less and had more money to save.  You can do the same if you put your mind to it.

Every single person has a different circumstance and some are in better financial situations than others, but at the end of the day, it’s up to each individual person as to how determined they are to reach their goals.  People who have had a more difficult upbringing have dealt with the pains of poverty and might persevere harder than someone who grew up in the middle class neighborhood and didn’t face as many harsh realities.  No matter what your circumstance, if you want something, you just need to be determined to get it.

The power of setting a goal will start you on your trek.  Maybe your goal is to buy a new house or create enough passive income to retire early.  Whatever your goal is, make it specific.  If you are trying to buy a new house, how much do you need?  If you want to generate passive income, how much do you need on a monthly basis and then how much would you need to do everything you ever wanted to do in life? Having a specific number is important because the tools and resources in this blog will track those numbers every month and year.  And as you see your numbers increasing, you will change your habits and your spending and your saving to increase the numbers faster.

Most important, make the goal ATTAINABLE.  Don’t start with a goal of passive income of $100,000/month.  If you get to $500/month, you might start to get overwhelmed with the feeling you are never going to hit your goal.  If your goal is to buy a house and you’re starting at $1 million, you might want to temper your expectations.

On a daily and weekly basis, you will start to think differently.  At some point, as you follow this blog, your money will be automatically moved to investments and your spending will stabilize so the one thing that you can do is to look for more opportunities to generate more money in your job or through side gigs or by starting a company.  As you generate more income, you will automatically save more or put more aside for investments.  Just remember, NEW MONEY IS NOT “FREE TO SPEND” MONEY.  You were doing just fine with the old money so just wasting the new money on spending instead of investing will stop your journey up.  You’ll just move sideways.

When you reach your goal, there will be a sense of accomplishment that is unparalleled.  Trust me.  I’ve been there and it’s amazing.



The Millionaire Mindset

If you’re reading this blog post then it means you are looking to make your life better and trying to find a way to increase your wealth to at least $1 million or more.  At the end of the day, becoming a millionaire is a journey.  I call this blog an expedition because you have a starting point where you are today and a goal to reach a mountain top where you can be financially secure and not have to work day in and day out.

This blog will outline a step by step process to figure out where you are today, where you want to go and how to get there.  Three simple parts.

Millionaire Mindset

The first thing you need on your journey is the millionaire mindset.  I have gone to a few seminars with “self help gurus” and paid the $100 entry fee and I have seen what the $1000 pays for when it comes to these seminars.  I have also read the books by guys like Tony Robbins and I am here to save you $1000s of dollars.  The one common thread between all of the seminars is simple – you need to change your mindset.  If you want to be wealthy and you want to have more freedom to do what you want in life, you need to PUT IT OUT THERE into the universe.  That sounds weird doesn’t it?  The fact is, when you think about the goals and dreams you want to achieve, things will happen.   The more you focus on your goals, the more you will subconsciously start making different choices to achieve your dreams.  It may seem weird, but it really does work.

Time is Invaluable

The next thing you will learn is that time means everything in achieving success.  Going back to the mindset of a successful person, time is the one thing that will determine your success.  I had a pretty nasty divorce and every day, I would spend about 2-3 hours thinking of a myriad ways that my ex could fall off a cliff “by accident” or different ways to get back at her vicious attorney.  Those 2-3 hours took away from my goals of growing my web design business and started to affect my income.  I would stop following up on leads from interested companies or lose business because I was just distracted with thinking about my wife’s attorney drowning in acid and I flat out just wasn’t paying attention to what made me money.  That led me to a realization.  I have CHOICES on how to use my time.   If I took that 2-3 hours per day and made one extra call or created one more marketing email to send out to my clients to generate more income, I would be able to increase my monthly revenue instead of being angry and distracted.

In addition to using your time effectively, it takes time for money that is put into investments to mature and multiply so you can sit back and generate money without doing anything at all.

Focus, Patience & Determination

The last thing I would say is that to complete a successful expedition, you need focus.  I have started a few businesses over the past few decades and talked to people about their dreams.  Every time people start something new, there is a beginning phase that will determine the success or failure of their journey.  Everyone gets really excited about starting a company.  They build web sites, create business cards, tell all of their friends about their amazing new venture and start riding high based on the “idea” of owning a company.  Then, reality sets in. The t-shirts they were selling aren’t making enough money fast enough.  Customers are a pain in the ass to deal with.  Their child care facility closed and now the kids are back to home.  Life changes, circumstances change and this is when you will decide if your dreams will continue or if you will go back to the grind and the same habits.  If you can navigate the changes and challenges in your life and persevere with your business, you will see results.

Also remember, marketing and branding takes time.  People are getting hit every day with marketing messages from the internet, tv, friends, radio and more.  It takes someone to see an ad about 6 times before it gets embedded in their brain.  Also, research shows that only 3% of people are looking for a specific product or service at any one time.  Therefore, if you are marketing a service (like accounting), someone might see your ad, but they don’t need that service that day.  However, the LONGER or more frequently you market your service and advertise, the more chances you have that that same person might need your service 6 months or a year from now.  I have given people quotes for web design work and took 9 months for those people to come back and start when they were ready.

The good news is that you don’t have to jump into starting a new company immediately.  You can work your regular job and start a side business like I did.  You can make small changes in your life and gradually change your habits to work up to something bigger.  If your business takes off immediately, GREAT! If not, you have the security of a job while you grow your business.  An expedition requires small step by steps.  Just always keep in mind that nothing in this blog will make you rich overnight.  This isn’t a lottery or a gambling bet.  This is a process and a journey that takes time, focus and determination.

Say What You Do and Do What You Say

One of the most important things in life and and in business is to perform your service or create a product that will satisfy your clients.  If your service is outstanding and you follow through with what you promise your customers, two things will happen 1) they will be a customer for life and 2) you will get referrals.  Referrals and consistent business from your current clients are absolutely vital to a business.  I am good at what I do.  People love the web sites I create for them and I am very responsive (usually within hours).  In my industry, people and businesses are SUPER FLAKY so just being responsive and completing projects in a timely manner are huge reasons I have over 300 clients who pay monthly hosting and maintenance fees.  I also get a ton of referrals and repeat business from my existing clients because they know the quality they will get in a web site and the service.