Successful entrepreneur’s four alternatives to a college education

We’re in the midst of profound change. It’s happening in the country, on Glenn’s show, and within Glenn himself. And as Glenn sees the world changing, he is trying to connect his audience with people who are finding new ways to make the world work. Tonight, he was joined by James Altucher, a entrepreneur and author who has some radical alternative ideas about education and success.

In his book Choose Yourself, Altucher talks a lot about happiness and success. Below are the five  most highlighted passages of the book from  Kindle readers.

1) Success comes from continually expanding your frontiers in every direction—creatively, financially, spiritually, and physically. Always ask yourself, what can I improve? Who else can I talk to? Where else can I look?

2) Only think about the people you enjoy. Only read the books you enjoy, that make you happy to be human. Only go to the events that actually make you laugh or fall in love. Only deal with the people who love you back, who are winners and want you to win too. 

3) Every time you say yes to something you don’t want to do, this will happen: you will resent people, you will do a bad job, you will have less energy for the things you were doing a good job on, you will make less money, and yet another small percentage of your life will be used up, burned up, a smoke signal to the future saying, “I did it again.”

4) The only real fire to cultivate is the fire inside of you. Nothing external will cultivate it. The greater your internal fire is, the more people will want it. 

5) Rejection—and the fear of rejection—is the biggest impediment we face to choosing ourselves.

So what advice did Altucher offer on The Glenn Beck Program? Focusing on education based on gained through experience rather than the classroom, he proposed that people:

1. Start a business

Even if you fail the education you receive is invaluable. “Now, everybody will say to me, “Well, not everyone can be an entrepreneur,” and that’s the point, learn how to fail.  Nobody in college ever teaches you how to fail, and yet the rest of your life is basically a sentence of failures punctuated only by the briefest of successes.  So you need to learn failure, but in college everybody gets A’s, go to class, get your A’s.  So start a business, fail or succeed, you win.”

2. Travel

It costs a lost less than college. “Now, travel costs money but not anywhere near as much as college, and you could make it cheaper by traveling with a charity or whatever.”

3. Work in the real world

Want to be a doctor? Go work in a hospital and see if you really want to work with sick people. “Now, let’s say you want to be a healer or a doctor or whatever, okay, work in a hospital.  I’ve never seen someone say I’m just going to work for a year, I’m going to intern in a hospital for a year and get vomited on and see what it’s really like to heal people, and that’s how I can learn whether this is what I want to do.”

4. Take advantage of online education courses

Use Youtube and other outlets to learn new skills, and seek out much less expensive online education options. “Now you can go on YouTube, start getting millions of views, and make a living.  There’s many other ways to make a living.  There’s many other ways to get an education,,, Khan Academy.  There’s many ways to get an online education that cost zero…Of course, and then you get a four- or five-year head start on all your peers who spent the four years in college, and you have no debt.  Can you imagine a society where an entire generation is $1 trillion in debt?  That’s what we have now.  That’s creating this economic uncertainty.”

Read more of Altucher’s alternatives to college HERE.

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  • Stuck_in_Ca

    Doing what you love can be expensive. Ask him what to do if doing what you love requires you to have a job to pay for it.

    • Rebecca Taylor

      If you love it, others will too – can you find a way to help others do whatever it is?

    • George

      There are professional video game (eSports) players who make six figures. Anything is possible.

    • jp123456

      Stuck in cal. I understand your position. It can be done. First go to church (if you don’t already) ground yourself and reach out to the members. Someone may need a service you can provide. Be generous. If you can’t financially then do it with time by volunteering. Figure out what your passion is. Look around your home and sell that what you don’t need to generate the money you need to invest in yourself. There is a huge difference of what we need to survive compared to what we have. And lastly, the difference between success and failing is those that succeed have the will to try again. It takes many failures b4 a win. Good luck to you

      • Anonymous

        What you said is very true. I would add to that, if one determines before hand that it can’t be done, it can’t and won’t – by that person.

        This person Glenn interviewed is talking about an alternative to college. So, these are people who are students or parents of students in middle school and high school. There is nothing saying that a part-time job while living at home could not contribute to the costs of traveling over seas.

        As jp123456 mentioned, there are opportunities to travel that often come as part of mission trips that may be sponsored by a church.

        Find a passion that can be sold at a farmer’s market or flea market and earn some cash that way. Be crafty and sell stuff on

        Find opportunities to learn about a field you are interested in by volunteering while living at home. Even a grunt who is interested in something can learn whether that field will ultimately lead to a career that interests him or her or not – and what it takes to become successful in that field by asking the people who are successful in that field.

        Another option is to train in a skilled profession and earn the licensing that would provide a sufficient income to work part-time and go to school without getting into debt. It takes longer, but you always have skills to fall back on and you aren’t owing the price of a house in student loans when you graduate. Some professions require college degrees and some of those require graduate degrees which are expensive. There are also ministerial degrees that require private university tuition. If those are fields one is called to, great! Identify ways to mitigate those costs – CLEP tests, scholarships, work-experience credit (if possible).

        There are no free rides, some take volunteer work, some take being the person who cleans out the waste bins and moves up from there, some require the time dedicated to learning a particular skill. The thing is, find the ride that looks like the best deal for the long run – or the one that gets you closer to the one you really want to be on – and make it happen. Make sure to hone your people skills all along the way, because you never know which people you meet can give you the perspective you need or which ones can help you get to where you are going.

  • Eric Ziegler

    Cool. Thanks for the info!!

  • Jenn

    They should have life counselors and self discovery classes in high school (in preparation for life)…. instead of “college” counselors and “how to take the SAT” classes.

    • Linda Gerald


      ♚♚♚ ♚♚♚� ♚♚♚ ♚♚♚ ♚♚♚� ♚♚♚

    • Mike Nelson

      It used to be that way. Within living memory, even.

    • Awall

      Why on earth would you want anyone from a school teaching a kid how to live. When they cant even teach the subjects that they are supposed to be teaching now.

  • Bryce

    This is exactly why I quite school and started to better myself “on my own” so to speak. Surprise surprise, I’ve learned more in one semester of self education than almost three years in college (Note, not all colleges are bad, but they also aren’t for everyone under the sun).

    • Mike Nelson

      God bless you, sir – don’t ever stop reading. When you can get your hands on them, get hold of ORIGINAL literature written in/before the early 60s even if only to juxtapose it to modern works.

      I am a 3x HS dropout and could have passed the GED test out of 8th grade, though they wouldn’t let me take it before age 18.

      • Guest

        Wow, thanks you =) I will be on the look out for them for often then.

        And my God bless you and your own as well.

      • Bryce

        Wow, thanks you =) I will be on the look out for them more often then.

        And my God bless you and your own as well.

  • Dave Novak

    I am all for ‘out of the system’ but I have a hard time taking seriously anyone who goes on TV and does not comb their hair or tuck their shirt in. I mean, I get it. You’re a maverick. Doesn’t mean you have to be a slob.

    • Mike Nelson

      There’s something to be said for camouflage.

      Chuck Liddell (champ UFC fighter) painted his toenails so that guys who were fighting him would be unnerved by the holds he’d put them in, and suffer a psychological emasculation when they saw the pink and purple manicured toes while getting beaten up.

      I personally dress down in protest of my perception of societal judgment and observational prejudice. When I suddenly engage a guy in a suit and tie from my ratty sweatpants in a debate on the merits of political rectitude, it gets people’s attention in a way that I could not have otherwise achieved.

      Now, if they guy doesn’t bathe… eh, that’s pushing it… but there’s a difference between “slob” and “slovenly”.

  • Phatcow07

    Dave……come on……shut up before he crushes you with his wallet.

  • John Scott

    Years ago it was a no brainer to attend a college. Just a extension of schooling that was mandatory. But today, you must weigh the costs vs benefit of a degree. Maybe the better ideal is a slower educational calendar for some. Is 4 straight years the best way to go? Too many, don’t have a plan for college only to go. That won’t fly these days. Can’t get a degree with no demand. Then end up with a low wage job. Another reason to not just do OK in high school. Your competing many times with a lot of applicants for jobs. You have to make yourself stand out as exceptional.

  • Dawn

    It’s ridiculous I spent years in college to receive a degree and a HUGE bill that would take forever to repay to only apply to jobs where it appears nepotism was the one qualification needed to get the job. Unfortunately what I learned from college was that I didn’t really need it to be successful in my endeavors. Hard work and persistence is what one needs now-a-days to make it. Unfortunately college in my view is just an extension of high school, for some kids it is just a delay in having to grow up-oh then you get billed for it! I started my own business almost ten years ago, and am still going strong. I could have done that before I spent $30,000. on an education – by just watching how my parents did it.

  • Tom Ritchie

    Save money on your travels-
    Be part of the solution when it comes to our environment-
    Make money every time people buy fuel-

  • Anonymous

    So how do you get a job for one of the big national corporations (like IBM, Wells Fargo, Google, etc..) when they mostly only hiring people with college degrees?

    • Mike Nelson

      Why would you want to put a leash on yourself and associate with people who are interested only in hiring a piece of wallpaper?

      Are you really interested in willful entry to corporate slavery? :)

      • Anonymous

        Having good guaranteed income every month sure is nice. Especially when you have a family to provide for.

  • Jennifer Petry Coulter

    sounds good!—-going to read this with my homeschool students: )

    but shouldn’t this, “a entrepreneur and author who..” read “AN entrepreneur…” instead?

  • Anonymous

    A New song for the Federal MOB FROM GOD!

  • IT IT IT IT 9

    The LAST thing America or the world needs
    is another round of franchise slum ‘PRO—SPARE—-‘IT’ —-HE’.

    TIME to CAST UP about 5 decades worth of FAKE EUGENICS op
    ANTI–CULTURE —–and weaponized, mind control ‘medea’.

    TIME to FIND your CULTURE and your SOUL.

    TIME to STEER with ALLLL your MIGHT!

    ——————————-HUAC/ NUREMBERG 2014——————————-

    WE are DEALING with RED CHINA handover TREASON.

    WE aer DEALING with OPEN globalist MAFIA USURPATION.

    WE are DEALING with a PSYCHOPATHIC system,
    designed, managed, directed and run- – – – – -by PSYCHOPATHS.

  • Ocean Sprayz

    Since liberty subjectively allowed isn’t liberty at all, we cannot maximize its benefits if liberty’s forbidden when it appears undesirable.

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