Today I’m going to talk to my younger brothers, those men in their 20s. If you’re older than this, you can take the day off if you wish.

In a recent post, John, a 29 year-old, made a comment that I thought was interesting enough to elaborate on. In it, he describes many concerns many men in their 20s have these days.

As always when I give advice, I will be brutal and blunt when I need to be, but I will tell you what honestly needs to be done, from real-life experience. I too used to be young and poor. I too had to look for financial success in a down economy; the early 90s when all the downsizing and layoffs were occurring, years before the economy picked up later during the dot com boom. I too had to learn how to be good with women when I was an unattractive beta with zero seduction skills.

All the advice I give in these areas are things I did myself. They work.

John begins:

I admit, I am one of those guys who lacks faith in getting laid because of my station in life currently, despite the fact I was able to get laid before. Let me give you some background: In my past, this last year actually, I worked a crap job as a housekeeper making minimum wage, and living with two, lazy, nasty roommates.

Shit jobs are part of the deal in terms of your financial growth and success. There is no avoiding them unless you were born into a wealthy family.

My first “real” job was doing minimum-wage (or close to it) data entry for a large hospital chain. I would sit for 6 – 8 hours in a hot, crowded room with a bunch of old fat women, each one of us in a little desk like in school. With my right hand, I would type numbers into a ten-key, and with my left hand, I would pull carbon-copy papers off a large stack. For hours on end, that’s all I did; stare at carbon paper and punch numbers into a ten-key machine. It wasn’t manual labor like digging ditches, but it still really sucked ass. I almost would have rather digged ditches; at least that’s exercise.

I’ve noticed that a lot of young, inexperienced guys these days get pissed off and complain a lot when they can’t find an “awesome” or “fun” or “respectful” job for their first “real” job. I’m not saying John is like this, I’m just speaking in general.

Lesson number one: Your first real job, perhaps your first few, will SUCK ASS, and there’s nothing you can do about this.

Don’t complain. Put your head down and get it done, while still looking for better jobs or researching starting your own business so you can increase your income later and as fast as possible.

There’s nothing wrong with working shit jobs. The only wrong there is if you work them forever. You have to start somewhere.

I have a college degree in History, and am almost done with my Masters.

Oh dear. Now we come to John’s first big life mistake. A mistake repeated by millions of young men everywhere. A mistake he will deeply regret many years later.

As I have said numerous times, unless you’re going to be an attorney or doctor, going to college is an insane idea for most Americans. Wasting years of your prime time when you could be making money and learning real skills, going $30K, $50K, or $80K into debt to learn things that you’ll never use, to get a low-income job that will be insufficient to pay off that huge loan…good lord, it’s the height of insanity.

Instead, set some goals, make some plans, read some good books, and get into the work world as fast as you can and learn what you need on the job, as I describe right here in my free ebook on the subject.

John not only went to college, but doubled down on that mistake by majoring in history. What high-paying job was he likely to get with a degree like that? He then triples down on his mistake by going after not just a bachelors degree, but a going into extra debt and wasting extra time by getting a masters degree. In a near-useless topic with little prospect for a high-paying job. Yikes.

John mentions that he paid most of his debt. Good. He still made a huge mistake by wasting many years of his prime time youth though. How much money could he have been making during the 4-6 years his masters consumed? How much better would his resume look now? How further ahead in his career could he have been?

Millions of young American men are making this mistake. Don’t do it. I don’t care what your parents and friends say; don’t fall for the false Societal Programming surrounding the greatness of college. If you live in quasi-socialist Europe where the government forces taxpayers at gunpoint to pay for your useless degree, then I have less of a problem with it, but you American men need to heed this:

Lesson Two: If you live in the US, stay the hell away from college unless you are going in order to get a virtually guaranteed high-paying job that will quickly pay down the debt you incur, like a doctor or attorney.

I had several job offers when I graduated years ago, but they all disappeared when the economy crashed, so I’m stuck doing crap jobs.

I talk more about this in my upcoming Alpha Male 2.0 book, but back in October of 2008 I lost 60% of my income from my largest business within 90 days because of the economic crash. To recover, I indeed had to do a lot of “shit work” that I didn’t want to do. It sucked and I hated it. But I did it. Now I’m okay again.

Because of our utterly insane monetarist fiscal policies and addiction to big government and debt, we experience a major recession at least every 10 years. Plan on this. Prepare for this. When it happens, suck it up and get through the shit work as fast as you can.

Lesson Three: Plan in advance on regular recessions occurring, and suck it up and put in the shit work when they do happen.

It might also help to stop voting for the Democrats and Republicans who keep causing these problems, but that’s a topic for another time.

I am not super good looking, I am about average in looks. I am tall, super skinny, and nerdy as all hell with glasses. But still, I was able to get laid. Earlier this year, right after my last GF left me with a bad excuse, I managed to get 3 FBs on a regular basis. They were not the best looking, maybe around 6 and 7s, but they were good, we got along great, and we had lots of sex. Not bad for a guy who worked a crap job and lived with crap roommates. That was because I had confidence, I met them all online, and I just went for it.

Good work. I too am average looking and I too get laid a lot via online game. That’s what confidence, outcome independence, seduction skill, and hard work putting in the numbers does.

Now, I live with my parents, my bank account is trash because my last boss screwed me over, my credit is good because I paid off my loans and car on time. I still clean, but for someone else. I currently have a GF, and I’m not here to debate about that, but if her and I do break up, or even if we decide to sleep with other people, I live with my parents. Honestly, what woman would sleep with a 29 year old guy who lives with his parents? I’m surprised my GF sleeps with me right now.

I doubt very much that John would have surrendered to monogamy if he knew he had the confidence to quickly get other women. That’s who monogamy is for: men who can’t get laid, or for men like John who think they can’t get laid.

Ironically, John made this comment on the post I made about the homeless guy who gets laid left and right. I made very clear in that post what I think about the above excuse John is making, and my hatred for it. Go read that post to see what I have to say about that. Also read this post right here about boo-hoo excuses.

Lesson Four: Stop making bullshit boo-hoo excuses. For every excuse you make that you “can’t get laid” there are thousands of men out there right now with the same excuse, or worse, who are getting laid anyway.

I live in Bozeman Montana. Expensive place with low wage jobs, and I can’t afford to move right now.

That is a lie and another excuse. Anyone with a car, even a piece of shit car, can move for less than $1000-$1500 to a lower-cost area. Anyone, even very low-income people, can bite the bullet and spend a few months to save up that much money if they don’t have it at the moment.

One of my current and favorite women, in her early 20s, with no money and no job, moved from high-cost Minneapolis, Minnesota to low-cost Eugene, Oregon, using nothing but her run-down, piece of shit car. The entire move cost her less than $1000. I can be done if you want it bad enough.

Lesson Five: If where you live sucks, MOVE! Moving does not require a lot of money unless you’re being very picky. Stop making excuses. You can move if you want to bad enough. 

You say get your income up to $75,000 a year. How is that even possible right now with the economy and with someone like me? I have a lot of doubt about myself, even though I am almost done with my Masters and that will give me more opportunities. There is still doubt I will get nowhere. I look around me, and I see people my age, and younger, doing way better in their lives then I am. I’m not lazy, I work as hard as I can, burning myself out all the time.

When I started my first full-time business at age 24 on October 1st, 1996, my income was near-zero. Exactly 3.5 years later I was making over $100,000 annually. It can be done, if you bust your ass and do the right things rather than the societal things your mommy and your friends tell you to do.

The economy isn’t nearly as bad right now as it was back in 2009-10, so again, stop with the excuses. But even if it was, the answer to “How do I get my income up?” is the same as it has always been:

1. Set specific goals and commit to them.

2. Make specific plans to hit those goals.

3. Avoid Societal Programming regarding money and success (like “you need to go to college to make more money”) and only focus on what works in the real world.

4. Focus on sales and marketing skills rather than technical skills or book skills. A man good at sales or marketing will never be poor unless he chooses to be, but a man who has none of these skills will always be at the whim of society and ever-changing economies, regardless of how knowledgeable he is in technical areas. The world is jam-packed full of men who are much smarter than me who make way less money than me.

5. Focus on growth industries (healthcare, energy, etc), not stagnant industries (education, construction, etc) or dying industries (newspapers, manufacturing, etc).

6. Stay the hell out of debt and keep your living costs very low.

7. Move away from high-cost or high-taxed areas, even if very painful to do so.

8. Avoid hanging out with your typical, left-wing, millennial generation friends who think money is evil, rich people are bad, and/or that marketing and sales is somehow immoral. Don’t spend time with them and don’t read their angry blogs. A sure-fire way to stay poor or average is to listen to guys like that.

8. Work really, really hard, even when it sucks, because sometimes it will.

9. STOP MAKING EXCUSES.

Let me talk about that last one. Notice in John’s comment how he blames all his problems on other factors outside of himself, such as:

  • His roommates, who are “lazy and nasty.”
  • The economy, forcing him to do “crap jobs.”
  • His ex-girlfriend, who “left him with a bad excuse.”
  • His ex-boss, who “screwed him over” and “trashed his bank account.”

This is victim-talk. I’m pointing this out because a hell of a lot of you younger guys talk like this. If you lost your job, it’s your bosses fault or the economy’s fault. If a girl breaks up with you, it’s because she’s being a bitch. If you have trouble meeting girls, it’s because you had shitty parents. Blah blah blah BULLSHIT.

Listen god dammit. Barring the unusual 1% exception to every rule, EVERYTHING IN YOUR LIFE IS YOUR FAULT. Your income is YOUR FAULT. Your living situation is YOUR FAULT. Your relationship status is YOUR FAULT. Your physical appearance is YOUR FAULT.  If you start whining to me about how it’s always someone else’s fault and you’re just an innocent victim doing his best, I’m to play a violin while you keep whining like a bitch, then I’m going to hit you over the head with it.

Some of you millennials make me want to puke with your excuses about how all of your problems are someone else’s fault. No, they’re your fucking fault. And that’s a good thing. That means you have the power to change them whenever you want…if you want it bad enough.

Stop whining and start taking MASSIVE ACTION to change your circumstances. Unlike me when I was your age, you have access to vast amounts of information online on exactly how to do this, so there’s no excuses. Again, you should download my free ebook on how to become successful if you’re just starting out (right here). Read my business success blog right here. Buy my Alpha Male 2.0 book when it comes out in a few weeks, since it specifically discusses how to get your income up to $75,000 a year if you’re not there already. Join the Sovereign Man Inner Circle, where we discuss the specifics regarding increasing income and success with women in detail, with stuff I don’t share with anyone else publicly. Keep reading this blog and other blogs like it; blogs focused on self-improvement rather than whining and bitching about how horrible everything is.

And last but not least, STOP MAKING EXCUSES.

You only live once. You’re a fucking MAN. You are the inheritor of a great legacy from your ancestors. You deserve better than the lifestyle you’re now settling for.

If you strongly disagree with anything said above and want to debate me on it, notify me in the comments (or send me an email) and I will add you to the Great Blackdragon Debate topic list.

27 Comments on “Success Advice For Younger Guys

  1. Shit jobs are a non issue, right on. My manager started out doing data entry for an insurance company. He figured out how to automate stuff they were doing manually, got somebody to listen (bigger hurdle!), and was off and running. I worked as a typist while I taught myself programming, BSd my way into a first job, and learned fast enough to thrive.

    My girl’s brother put up sheetrock for two years, wrote code on the side, made a lot of friends, and just got his first coding job this week.

    A third guy I know has an engineering PhD from MIT and he’s going nowhere because he’s stuck in the mentality that you follow the rules and somebody will always promote you to the next step. That might happen at IBM, maybe, but even there I doubt it’s reliable. In real life, you go nowhere that way.

    I know a girl who doesn’t understand why she doesn’t have a management job even though she has an MBA. I told her: pound the pavement and present yourself like a manager. In every job, seek responsibility and show the kind of open-ended commitment a salaried professional is expected to show. “I shouldn’t have to do that”, she says. “If they want me to stay late or take on responsibility, they can give me a fucking raise first”, she says. “They just take advantage of you”.

    “I earn twice what you do”, I say. They took advantage of me for a couple years when I was young. So what? It’s been paying me dividends ever since.

    Find something you like doing that can provide value. Never miss a chance to show somebody with a budget how you can add value for him. Keep your eye on the long term.

    You may eventually fail anyhow. If that scares you, go ahead and commit to failure right now. You only get two options: Risk of failure, or certainty of failure.

    “The leads are weak? YOU’RE weak!”

  2. Note on university in the UK:

    Whilst we don’t have to pay for our degrees upfront, the situation isn’t much better for us here. Most degrees are worthless, the tuition fee cut-off keeps going up and most people waste their time at university. They choose something they “like” rather than something practical, get stuck with no employment prospects, then need to get a Masters or a PhD so they can work as a writer or lecturer (the only jobs available after some of these degrees), that they have to pay for themselves. Fast-forward five or ten years and they’ve paid off any personal debt, got into a reasonable job, got children and a mortgage. Then they’re finally earning enough to pay back their loans. Being in the second batch of 10 years worth of reproduction, I’m now seeing my siblings and their friends just managing to pay off the mortgages, with kids that are getting more expensive every year, fretting about this loan they were “given for free” to get them into university. The others have rubbish degrees, no family or house, a load of personal debt and are retraining. The tuition fee loan is less of a helping hand and more a free-trial of opium.

    Plus, when in your 30s or 40s you work out where you would rather be (few people in their late teens and early 20s actually know where they’re going), you have a load of debt and, if you want to retrain, it’s out of your own pocket.

    My idea is to wait until we’ve had children, the younger ones are old enough to work part-time jobs and the older ones are leaving for a good degree, learning a trade or be starting their own businesses. After that I’ll look at what I want to do, whether I still want to work in a school or I’ve changed my mind and then use my “first-timer’s free pass” to get a degree that will be useful to me when I need it. After all, even if I planned it all out now, there’s no way of knowing if I want to work in education forever, or if any degree, no matter how good, will still be relevant by the time I need it. Plus, by then we won’t be spending as much on housing or kids and will have no further long-term expenses coming up, so we could have all options available.

  3. “You are the inheritor of a great legacy from your ancestors.”

    This seems societal programming 101 no different than disney. What is so “great” about the legacy of our ancestors? I just don’t see it, just as I don’t see happily ever after.

  4. I would like to second the lesson number two. I regret few things in life… going to college was one of them. I started an aerospace degree in 1997 and finished after 2001. I was lucky… my family paid for tuition and book. I paid for my home, car, food, entertainment, and pussy. In the time I went to college my industry tanked. The cost of tuition doubled… no lie. It was during the first parts of the college bubble. The first jobs were shit… just rude slave like environment. I worked a black market job on the side and made twice the money. I walked from the aerospace industry in less than two years and went full time into the black market. Years later my hard work has paid off… Im one of the best at what I do. The laws have caught up that Im perfectly legal to do what I want… I have no debt, live a simple low overhead life. My college friends that stuck it out either work in a different industry of fly for around 24k a year. Overall the only thing you need to be successful is hard work, intelligence, and DRIVE. Drive is the opposite of this whiny excuse latent talk… Drive is, fuck this shit, Im going to make it. 🙂 my two cents!

  5. RE: Lesson Two, a J.D. or M.D. do not virtually guarantee a high paying job these days. Not even close. A minimal amount of research will reveal that getting a J.D. is probably one of the worst investments of time and money that you can make, especially on the east coast–UNLESS you already know someone who is going to hire you in 3 years, or on a personal level you simply must be an attorney and no other job will do. In all other cases, the amount of effort, hustle, and brilliance that is necessary to make it as an attorney these days would result in similar or greater success in any other business–without spending 3 years and $100k+ on a J.D.

  6. I’m now seeing my siblings and their friends just managing to pay off the mortgages, with kids that are getting more expensive every year, fretting about this loan they were “given for free” to get them into university

    Yes, even in many parts of Europe, college is a seductive black hole of death. Even if it’s 100% free it’s often the wrong move to make.

    College was a great idea 50-100 years ago. But hey, so was marriage.

    Times change.

    What is so “great” about the legacy of our ancestors?

    I thought I told you to stop posting here Orel. Keep it up, creeper. I’ll just keep banning you. (Or you could go get a life; that might be a better use of your time.)

    A J.D. or M.D. do not virtually guarantee a high paying job these days.

    Great point!

  7. +1 great post.
    It is a common misperception and mental trap (especially among the younger and more inexperienced) to look around at people more successful than yourself and think that they are that way because they don’t have your problems.
    The truth is that your problems aren’t special and overcoming them is just what everyone has to do to get anywhere. Those successful people DID have your problems and they OVERCAME them. It’s real simple actually, just not easy, and no one likes to hear that.

  8. To all of you young guys finishing high school or in college/university: are you in a degree program that will get you a good, high-paying job? If you’re not sure, go figure it out. If you’re not in a program that will get you a good job, then why exactly are you going to school?

    These points were true 25 years ago when I went to school and they’re true now.

    Even when you do choose a program with a strong future (chemical engineering for example) – you’re going to have to work hard to be in the top half of your class and you’re going to have to search out interships. Those are typically your entry into the professional world. Do not goof off during the summer. Do not go work at a river rafting company if it’s unrelated to your degree. Get your foot in the door. Ask your professors, university job placement department, etc. to find that opportunity. Everything builds from there.

    Staying on top of this while you’re still in school pays huge dividends down the road.

  9. WOW!!! MIND BLOWN, Very inspiring and a post I am gonna read again and again,

    Appreciate your thoughts BlackDragon.

    2 points, the first is for funfunfun, – hey buddy – read some history and some evolutionary biology, you are part of a species, which has overcome, out witted and created like no other since life has begun

    Second point (more of a question) to BlackDragon. I am going to be 32 years old in February, would you say what you have written also applies to guys my age. or would you make any other points, for guys in there early 30’s.

    Again, Thank you for the post and I am joining your sovereign man inner circle at the end of this month!

    Glory awaits!!

  10. As long as you major in something sensible, there’s no reason to avoid college. In particular engineering, math, physics, and chemistry majors will never lack for a good job as long as they play their cards right.

    But even then experience matters a little. I spent over a year looking for a job without success, but when I decided to settle for an internship I got one fairly easily, and then I got all sorts of job offers. Now at 23 I’m pretty close to that $75k a year number. A 31 year old woman I work with makes close to $100k. And this is in one of the lowest cost areas to live in the country, a fairly low stress job that doesn’t demand more than 40 hours a week.

    It does amaze me how people waste money at college. I went to one of the most expensive colleges in the country, yet there were people I knew who majored in Women’s and Gender Studies and African American Studies. You’d think they’d want to at least go to a cheaper school if they wanted to major in that kind of stuff.

  11. Words can’t begin to describe just how fantastic this post is! So spot on, very practical and tons upon tons of priceless advice. I had an emotional reaction to this post and believe you me folks, I’m perhaps one of the LEAST emotional people you’d ever come across in life…….really!

    I’m a living example of BD’s insight. The part on everything in life being our fault/within our control to change especially resonated with me. I come from a shitty country(Nigeria), foresaw from early on it was going to hell and planned to leave. Being young, in high school, jobless, inexperienced and still dependent on parents for stuff, combined with our worthless currency, this seemed impossible. Asked parents for assistance under the guise I wanted to further my education abroad and was turned down. Fact is, they did everything they could to “rid” me of such “silly” thoughts. Being a very stubborn headed guy by nature, I still went ahead and researched sources of funding of which very few were available for Africans. Still, I went ahead and took the required exams, (SAT and TOEFL), scored outstanding marks and was awarded a 100% merit based scholarship. Applied for a US visa and was denied twice!

    Took a hit, I mean that really affected me and with my parents drumming my ears with their ‘I told you to forget this” comments, I felt real bad. I had worked hard and put everything I had into this and it had failed. For a while after the second visa denial, I just couldn’t figure what I wanted to do next. Needing some time alone to put myself back together and escape from negative influence, I left home and got a room to myself in a completely different state. Got a minimum wage job for upkeep and still continued to think about how to leave the country that was increasingly becoming more fucked. Someone suggested I try UK, that the visa process was easier and more straightforward if one met the requirements. Sounded cool to me, problem was, going that way needed money as hell which I didn’t have and couldn’t save up in 50 years with my current job.

    Did more research and discovered internet marketing. Got really excited again at the prospect of being able to make money from my laptop, problem was everything seemed to cost money which I didn’t have! I needed some “seed” money to invest in certain programs and a little more to invest in adverts to make my first sales. From which I could start to build.

    I did more research. Long story short, I was able to come up with the “capital” even though it was by engaging in certain stuff I’m not proud to admit…..not illegal but certainly not something I would want to mention. I got in, hired a mentor, learnt the ropes and started making massive progress.

    In 8+ months, I got the money required, applied for a UK visa and was granted one! My dream of leaving the country had finally come true. Now, I can pretty much travel anywhere I want because I have the dough and only visiting Nigeria once in a while to see friends and family.

    Bottom line is, as BD said, one just has to stop making excuses, farting around, make plans and get to work. A lot can be achieved in life if one just learns to take control of one’s life and future.

    Fantastic post BD, keep this up!

  12. “Yes, even in many parts of Europe, college is a seductive black hole of death. Even if it’s 100% free it’s often the wrong move to make.”

    The exceptions I’ve found: 1: Universities reputable for your degree and Oxbridge. For people with a clear career path, the contacts built in such places are important. Even someone with a Literature degree specialized in 16thC poetry can get a decent job at the BBC, for example.

    2: People who set up a business whilst at university. I’ve only known one person who did this well, though, so either he’s very smart or the others are very misinformed. The idea is to take a degree that looks good at a university with good grants in a big city, develop contacts and use your student loan and grants to keep yourself alive whilst you throw yourself 100% into making businesses. After 3-5 years something had stuck and he paid off most of his debt at 0 interest.

  13. Looking back I can tell for sure: my college degree got me just 4-5% of the skills I use!!! The rest was a long process of real life trial and error to build experience.
    Those 5 years were wasted? Hell no!!! But I could’ve put them to better use if I had the mindset that I have now…

  14. A Masters degree in History, is probably only useful if you want to teach history in high school, or lecture in it at a university.

    Compared to working for the minimum wage in the US, since getting a good, decent paying job is usually always dependent on having a degree, going to university isn’t a waste of time, if a male or female is wanting to become a professional in fields like : Accounting, education, architecture, law, business, IT, web design and/or computer programming, anything engineering related, or anything health and medical related. Plus the contacts acquired, can also be helpful.

    If you’re studying anything in the arts or humanities, it’ll probably only help if you want to teach in that area.

  15. College is useful if you know how to optimize the experience.

    I’m 21, grew up in “the manosphere” starting with David DeAngelo and now watch his videos as Eben Pagan for business advice. I go to university for business and believe my life is richer from the whole experience (partying, co-op, meeting people – not the classes themselves). Then again, I have parents who can foot the bill and I took the opportunity to explore careers with a safety net. Either way, I use the time to gain actual work experience, learn new skills, and meet people relevant in the fields I want to work.

    College can be useful if you:
    1 – Have the resources
    2 – Use your time effectively (get involved, get experience, do way more than just going to class)
    3 – Want to try different fields/careers before committing

    You can learn what is taught in class online for free now with MOOCS and ebooks. I’m mainly here for the experience.

    Solid post BD. You have so much great advice and knowledge, what advice would you give someone in their 20s who is already familiar with many of these life lessons? Someone who already knows that we, as people, tend to victimize/make excuses, success takes a lot of work, and that working in the real world is not as pretty as people make it out to be?

  16. Saying that going to college “could” work or “might” work “depending” on whatever, is just like saying long-term monogamy “could” work. Of course there are exceptions to every rule; that doesn’t mean I’m going to recommend a course of action based on the uexceptions.

    In the US especially, college is a very bad idea the vast majority of the time, period. If you would like to debate me on that topic, let me know and I’ll add you to the Great Blackdragon Debate list.

  17. Here is what I’ve realized : I’m in engineer school. A year from now, I will graduate and get a job that pays 2 000$ a month. I will then spend 40 years working like a slave for a boss who will make sure my life is shit. I will not have the time to do anything I love or want (keep playing music, teaching martial arts, traveling…). The money I will get from my job during those 40 years will be used to pay the loan for my appartment. The job market here is worse than in the US, which means I will barely have the time to do sports from time to time. I sure as hell won’t be able to have any time to develop a side business or to find a way to make money on my own. Then I will retire (if I’m lucky) but I will not be able to do anything because I will be old, weak and probably sick and because society and this soul-crushing job will have destroyed any will to do anything on my own. On my death bed I will realize I have spent my whole life sitting at a desk, making someone else richer and that my life was worth nothing. I have already rejected the dating plan society has for me (be monogamous and date carefully one woman at a time, then get married with a feminist who will divorce-rape your ass, get married again, repeat…). I found out I’m happier when I don’t spit my guts out on a girl and keeps things light and poly. Now I feel it’s time to reject the professional plan society has for me…Gotta find a way out now.

  18. Hi BD,

    I’m a longtime reader and fan with a question.

    As of now, I’m only 18, and I’m struggling between cheapass backpacking for 2 to 3 years and making money via working immediately. I’d like to thoroughly plan ahead for my 20s, but I don’t know whether it would be better to have fun while young and then start working from my late 20s, or to start working from my early 20s and have fun afterwards. Any advice would be highly appreciated. Don’t spare the rod.

  19. As of now, I’m only 18, and I’m struggling between cheapass backpacking for 2 to 3 years and making money via working immediately. I’d like to thoroughly plan ahead for my 20s, but I don’t know whether it would be better to have fun while young and then start working from my late 20s, or to start working from my early 20s and have fun afterwards.

    It depends on how badly you want to go backpacking for 2-3 years. If on a scale from 1 to 10, that desire is a 9 or a 10, then you should do it. Make damn sure you put a deadline on when it ends and when your work phase begins.

    If it’s like 7 or 8, I’d skip it, get to work, get rich, and live that exciting stuff once you’ve achieved your big goals in life.

    Don’t spare the rod.

    I never do. 🙂

  20. Hey BD,

    You stated that young guys should focus on sales and marketing rather than technical and book skills, but then your following point states that young guys should focus on growth industries, which require a certain degree of technical skills.

    Could you elaborate?

    For example, is it more beneficial to learn about a highly demanded skill such as computer engineering or is it better to learn about general marketing skills?

  21. You stated that young guys should focus on sales and marketing rather than technical and book skills, but then your following point states that young guys should focus on growth industries, which require a certain degree of technical skills.

    Incorrect. Growth industries do not require technical skills. No industry demands technical skills for all jobs they employ. You could be a commissioned salesperson for a very high tech energy firm or biotech firm, for example.

    For example, is it more beneficial to learn about a highly demanded skill such as computer engineering or is it better to learn about general marketing skills?

    General marketing skills. By far. IT guys are a dime a dozen, but men who know how to market and consistently sell products and services are rare and prized in the marketplace.

    Also, you can always outsource technical skills. I do all the time. It’s cheap and easy. But it’s much more difficult to outsource marketing and sales skills.

  22. Interesting…I assumed that science, technology, engineering, and math related skills were valuable because there is supposedly a “skills gap,” as in too many idiots with bachelor degrees in literature and a lack of technicians with bachelor degrees in areas like computer science. Well, you live and learn.

    Forgive my ignorance, but why is marketing skills difficult to outsource?

    And by the way, aside from general marketing skills, could you list out other crucial, career-related skills that are necessary for successful entrepreneurship? After all, I am living in New York. Gotta keep up with the competition.

    Thanks in advance.

  23. I assumed that science, technology, engineering, and math related skills were valuable because there is supposedly a “skills gap,” as in too many idiots with bachelor degrees in literature and a lack of technicians with bachelor degrees in areas like computer science.

    That’s true, but that doesn’t contradict what I said.

    Will you have better job prospects if you get a degree in computer science vs. a degree in woman’s studies? Of course you will. The computer nerd will make about $50,000 a year (maybe) and the woman’s studies idiot will work at Starbucks for minimum wage.

    My point is that if you want to make a LOT of money, and do so in your own business, that means marketing and sales, not computer nerd skills. If you want to just get a job and make $40K or $70K or whatever for the rest of your life, then yeah, go to college and get a computer science degree.

    Forgive my ignorance, but why is marketing skills difficult to outsource?

    Because A) fewer people study marketing as a science because it’s not pushed by society like woman’s studies and engineering are and B) people fear marketing because they view it as petty, dirty, bragging, or beneath them.

    aside from general marketing skills, could you list out other crucial, career-related skills that are necessary for successful entrepreneurship?

    Sales, business management, time management, goal setting, employee (subcontractor) management, cost control.

    I am living in New York. Gotta keep up with the competition.

    Move out of New York the instant you’re done with school. Taxes and cost of living are way too high there for easy success and long-term happiness.

  24. wow perfect timing im 20 i really needed to hear this , i am in a bad situation with rich immigrant parents trying to control my life by “knowing whats best for me” , time to break free of fucking shackles even though i have to agree their commands on paper for the next 6 months to buy myself time!

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