College or Startup?

I read a advice column today in a Dear Joyce letter. Here’s the issue. 18-year old grandson does not want to go to college. He wants to build websites and day trade. Grandma is scared b/c it sounds too risky.

I was surprised to see Joyce side w/ Grandma. I disagreed. Here is my comment:

“My advice to the grandson is to DO IT. I don’t like the day trading stuff b/c, at the end of the day, it is a form of gambling. If you do not have a lot of money, you can get wiped out fast.

If his heart is in becoming an entrepreneur, then he should do it. It makes sense that a single person, with no mortgage or kids takes a big chance. What does he have to lose? Let’s face it, once you have the mortgage and the kids, rolling the dice on business is risky.

As far as college, it’s more of an experience and a place to learn some life experience w/out worrying about getting fired. Personally, I think the benefits of college have more to do with the network than what you actually learn. College is also expensive. I know kids that get out of college w/ $25k in debt. Not a good investment in my opinion, if you pay that off in 20 years. Would you buy a business that took 20 years to pay off?

After I got married my mom begged me to get a job. She was afraid that my wife would leave me b/c I did not make any money. It’s five years later and making as much, sometimes more than my friends who are working. I also do not have the pressures of dealing w/ workplace issues. I can also sell my business. My friends can’t sell their jobs.”

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