What would you do if you were me?

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Hey guys,

I've been asking friends & family for advice, but would like some input from like-minded business people as well.

I'm 22, have a huge passion for online marketing, but feel like I need a backup plan.

Right now I've got a decent paying job and it's a great learning experience. I'm a web/tech guy for a well-known internet marketing guru. After demonstrating a passion for marketing and willingness to learn by borrowing books and studying info-products, they've got me slowly transitioning into a better position (affiliate management, lead acquisition, etc).

I've been here for over 4 years. However, if I lose this job I'm nothing to the next company I apply at.

I've got experience, but NO DEGREE. I got this job out of high school and college was out of reach for me financially.

Here's what I'm considering:

with some smart budgeting, I could afford to put myself through community college.

If I get a degree (maybe a marketing/advertising degree), by the time I finished the degree I'd have about 7 years of experience working for a marketing company. I would be more valuable to any companies I apply to in the future.

What do you think?

My passion is online marketing and hopefully I'll be self employed one day, but if the cards don't work out in my favor I don't want to be stuck pushing a broom my entire life. I want a solid back up plan that would enable me to earn a comfortable living, even if it is made working for somebody else.

Right now I'm in sort of a slump. I feel like I'm just spinning my wheels and not working towards something bigger & better.

Everything I've ever tried to be good at in life, I've become better than the 'average' person at.

However, when I reflect on my past I realize that I was never the best, just a guy who was better than the beginners, but not able to hang with the pros, and that scares me.

I am afraid the same thing will happen with online marketing. That I'll fall short and end up just a little better than the newbies, but not able to hang with the big dogs.

If that happens, I want to know that I can apply for a JOB and still be able to support my family comfortably.

Any and all advice is welcome.
Thanks!

P.S - Don't get the idea that I'm some sort of negative Nancy . I'm a happy person who smiles a lot and likes to look at the bright side of things. However, I've been thinking a lot and I just want to make sure I've got a bright future ahead of me. I've been watching a lot of friends move on to bigger and better things lately and I just can't help but think - when is it my turn?

I truly feel like I was meant for something special. I consider myself blessed just to have worked for the company I work for and to experience these things and know about this little 'internet marketing world' that so many will never know.
#college #education #internet marketing #plan
  • Profile picture of the author dcc1980
    I know where you're coming from. I was grateful for the company I was working for as well, but felt like they "had me by the balls". I was always thinking "what if".

    I guess I just wanted more of a security blanket. I went and got my degree. Best thing I ever did for myself even though I don't really use it since I'm working for myself.

    You seem like a very driven person and since you have a passion for this type of stuff I know you'll make it to the top.
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  • Profile picture of the author anthmyers
    Thanks!

    I appreciate the kind words and advice.

    I just signed up for classes for this upcoming semester. Going to give it all I've got for my own entrepreneurial projects, but also make sure I've got that backup plan set.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
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    Originally Posted by anthmyers View Post

    with some smart budgeting, I could afford to put myself through community college.
    That was all I needed to see. (I did actually read all the rest, too!).

    To not go to college and get a degree, if you can, is close-to-incomprehensible to me. Whether you learn something and get a qualification that clearly and directly increases your earning potential, or not.

    Education is about so much more than just "what you can earn from it", and even "what (specifically) you can learn from it".

    Education is what remains with you for a lifetime, after all the specific stuff you learned has been forgotten. (And I speak as someone in the "forgetting" stages already, myself, having graduated exactly a year ago).

    Just my perspective, and I can't tell whether any of it's relevant to you, really.

    Good luck, whatever you decide!
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    • Profile picture of the author pickthat apple
      Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

      That was all I needed to see. (I did actually read all the rest, too!).[...]
      Education is what remains with you for a lifetime, after all the specific stuff you learned has been forgotten. (And I speak as someone in the "forgetting" stages already, myself, having graduated exactly a year ago).

      Just my perspective, and I can't tell whether any of it's relevant to you, really.

      Good luck, whatever you decide!
      Well said.
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  • Profile picture of the author Undercovercash
    It is always good with an education but I would dig deep and start working on my self belief.

    Start working with your insecurities and analyze what habits lead you to always be "just over average". Because it sure has nothing with your potential being just over average.

    It is good that you are preparing for the worst, but remember to also expect the best! No need to fear what happens if do you get fired, You have come this far so I am sure that you will find a solution no matter what. Instead start being grateful for the position you are in and push the guys you work with (in a non needy way) to teach you more stuff.

    Show them the value they will get from you learning more as you can then help them with all sorts of things and they can give you more responsibility which means less worry and work for them, since they know that you understand how to do things.

    At the same time you are building street smarts by learning all of their tricks, while you are going to school and getting an education.

    You are in a great situation dude, appreciate it and use all the benefits you can instead of living in worry and fear of what might happen.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      Everything I've ever tried to be good at in life, I've become better than the 'average' person at.
      I don't think you are in a slump and at 22 yrs of age you aren't "stuck" with anything. You are just getting started and sound like your job is a perfect training vehicle for you.

      I know it's fashionable on IM forums to debate the "need" for a degree - but I agree with Alexa - if you have the ability to get a degree without going into tens of thousands of dollars of student loans....do it. You will never regret it.

      kay
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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    Here's another agreement - with Alexa and Kay. Education isn't just about money making even though some people in IM without one would like to think so. Education allows you to think in ways you can't even consider from where you are. Many subjects contain more to know than the average uneducated person knows there IS to know.

    There is no way to explain to you how education can teach you to think objectively and logically about a vast number of subjects, not just the one you study. Consider it as adding dimensions to your thought. If you are 2 dimensional, you might not be able to see into the third dimension - but from the third dimension you can view the second as well. Education gives you the same advantage. When you look back, you will see the difference and be amazed at the difference in your thinking processes.

    Go for it. Do it and love it.
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    Sal
    When the Roads and Paths end, learn to guide yourself through the wilderness
    Beyond the Path

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  • Profile picture of the author anthmyers
    Thanks everyone!

    Yeah, I love the learning experience.

    I've actually created a little mastermind group with 4-5 guys my age who have similar passions. We meet once a week and talk about what's going on in our live's and also what projects we've got going on. This group has helped me a lot with believing in myself and also stopped me from procrastinating about getting my own online business going.

    I actually am about 99% finished with my first product, just need to pretty it up with some pictures and a nice ecover... then get to work on the hard stuff - marketing. I'm excited for my progress on that.

    I'll keep you guys updated on everything. At the end of the semester I'll scan some pics of my progress report that reads A's in my classes haha.

    and maybe I'll be able to tell you guys some good news about my product in the near future as well.

    Thanks again everyone. I appreciate the insight.
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  • Profile picture of the author myeanne
    WoW! Great decision anthmyers.

    Good luck to your new endeavor!
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  • Profile picture of the author KuanYew
    Hey anthmyers, glad to know you've started your path to getting a degree, although I personally believe solid working experience is much more valuable, the reality is that big companies really look at degrees before even considering you for a mid-senior position.

    So, yes, I agree that you would need to get that degree to add on to your experience which would complete the 'package' of education and experience that big companies look for.

    Similar to you, I've also started from an internet marketing company laerning valuable skills but only to the online marketing companies/agencies alike, outside online marketing, I'm close to nothing. Also, again similar, I'm always able to be better than average but not quite yet one of the big dogs and it's the ladder going up is definitely not easy.

    One of the things I've come to learn is that sometimes, technical skills and experience can only get you so far, to get higher, you need more soft skills than you need hard skills, people management, project management, client management, all that comes under play and is expected of you as you move up the chain, so, while you're damn good at something, you're going the specialist road and there's only so much a specialist can do (no offence here, specialists make tonnes of money too, and are usually the ones who start their own businesses).

    I think you're on to something and are on the right path, 22 is a young tender age, don't pressure yourself too much, you're on the right track, just keep moving and fine-tune it along the way

    Cheers!
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    Kuan Yew is a golf addict and a serial golf shopaholic. He calls himself The Golf Man and he blogs at www.TheGolfingPost.com - He believes the world would be a better place if he could golf every day and win millions from golf tournaments around the world.

    :)

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  • Profile picture of the author anthmyers
    Thanks I appreciate the feedback.

    Now I'm just a little confused about which degree to pursue
    The classes I signed up for areI general so they will apply to any degree that I decide upon.

    I have only a few skills/passions.

    Fitness/bodybuilding, but I have no desires to meet and train clients on a daily basis. I love giving friends and family advice and I love it even more when they actually use it and become dedicated, but I have no desire to be a personal trainer.

    Computer/tech work - building and fixing computers, web design, wordpress, video editing , graphic design. I wouldnt mind doing these things for a living, but I'm not in love with then and to be honest I'm not amazing at them. I know enough to get by.

    Psychology/human behavior - I love knowing what makes people tick. I love reading books about psychology. Things from sigmund frued... Heck even pickup artist information to learn certain human triggers that allow these average guys to make them self attractive to women. Nlp if cool too, but haven't found any good books. I guess I wouldn't minds working towards a psychology degree if I could find some sort of job where I got to help young kids work on they're own self beleif... I conqueted a lot of personal psychological problem s and came out to be a way better person and lead a much happier life. I would love to help kids learn those skills before they become stuck in their ways

    Marketing - building optn pages, writing ads, subject lines , headlines, increasing conversions knitting what makes somebody pull our there wallet... This is the stuff that really interests me a
    And if I could make a career out of it if be so happy... Even if it was as somebodys employee. That's why I'm leaning towards a marketing degree.

    Apologize for any spelling errors. Writing this from my new phone. Still getting used to the touch screen swype
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