Drop-Out and Get Schooled: The Case for Thinking Twice About College. I’m literally holding on to the manuscript of this book. It’s amazing. I’ve written a lot of different things and spoken about a lot of different things that have created heat, controversy and hate mail. For example, about how real estate isn’t the American dream. And nothing has created this much hate mail and messages from academia, universities, publishers, as this book has – and I haven’t even published it yet.
So I recorded this video to share about the experience, and to get your opinion on what I should do about this book.
Here’s why this inspired me. About a year and a half ago, I made a video called Dropout or Stay in School, because a lot of people asked me if, as an entrepreneur, they should stay in school or drop out. When I made that video, I got a lot of commentary. Fortune, Forbes, CNN, Fox – everybody contacted me, doing interviews and all these things. And I gave my thoughts.
I Eventually Decided to Write the Book
Eventually I decided to write the book. And once I wrote it, I started contacting publishers, because I wanted a publishing house to take it up. One publisher agreed to read it. It’s a very big publisher. Everyone knows who they are. And we got on a call with them. Initially I thought they were interested in publishing the book.
I asked them to tell me their thoughts on the book.
The Publisher was Furious!
And the publisher started asking me questions such as why I wrote it. I told him my thoughts. The next thing you know, that conversation turned into an all out debate. I haven’t seen anyone this furious in a long time. This is a guy that gets paid to publish books that are going to do well.
He said things like, “How dare you write a book about school like this! How dare you! Do you know how prestigious it is to go to university? You’ve never even been to college! You don’t have any right to write a book about dropping out of college. You ought to be ashamed of yourself!”
As I listened to this guy I said to myself, “Who is this guy talking to me and saying all this stuff?” He went on to say, “If you’ve never been to college, if you’ve never gotten a four-year degree, you ought to never write a book like this.” So I left, and asked myself, “What do I do?”
I Contacted My Friend, Tom
I then contacted Tom Ellsworth, my good friend. Let me tell you about Tom. He went to Cal State University, and got his four-year degree. Then he went to Pepperdine University and got his MBA, and he eventually became an adjunct professor at Pepperdine University. He then went into business, started with JAMDAT. He and seven other guys took JAMDAT and sold it for $680 million to EA Sports. He then started a couple of other companies and now he’s one of my friends and a partner of mine.
I asked Tom to give me his perspective on this, and he did.
Nonstop Angry Emails
Then I took the story back to the same publishing house, and others as well. Let me put it this way. Initially I thought they were furious. Whatever happened, they shared it with other people. And we’ve gotten nonstop email after email after email about how much hate they have, and how much they’re prepared to blemish and tarnish our name if we go live with this. I can’t even believe this. And maybe they don’t know my personality very well.
Why This The Topic of Drop Out or Stay in School Has Me So Fired Up
I’m telling you all this stuff because I want to tell you why I wrote this book and why this has me so fired up. Look, I’ve been in business now for many years in the financial industry. I’ve been a financial adviser since the day before 9-11, and I have my Series 7, 66, 31, 26, life and health. I started off with Morgan Stanley Dean Witter. I’ve sat in front of thousands and thousands of people and gone over their finances. And I go through their 401K, savings, investments, insurance, assets, annuities, stocks, bonds, options, checking, savings, CDs, debt. I go through everything, and it comes to school loans.
Does Your Job Have Anything to Do with Your Degree?
And I ask them how much they have in school loans. And they say things like, “$110,000.” And I always ask this one question. “What was your degree in?” And they tell me. And I ask, “Does your job have anything to do with your degree?” Maybe one out of ten times they say yes. One out of ten times, they say yes.
You Don’t Have to Go to College to Experience Life
So I ask them, to tell me about their experience. They then typically tell me why they made the right decision. They say things like, “I made some of my best friends in college!” You’re going to make best friends at that age no matter where you go. In the military I made a lot of friends. “I learned so much about human nature!” You’re going to learn about human nature anyway. All you have to go through to learn that is a couple of breakups. “When I moved away from my family, I learned so much about independence!” You could have done that by going somewhere else. But no one tells me, “The class I took in physics taught me about life.”
Massive Institutions that Take Money from Naive 18-Year-Olds
And here we are with these massive institutions who take $40,000 from naive, 18-year-old kids that haven’t even lived life yet. They haven’t even paid taxes yet to know the pain of taxes. And they get there and say all these things about rich people, greedy people, capitalism, and that entrepreneurs are bad people, while we’re students pay 40 grand a year to go to school.
And they come out at the age of 22, stuck with $110K or $150K loan that they have to pay off.
If You Want to be a Billionaire, Start a College
And the colleges get to write everything off because they’re a nonprofit. What a beautiful business! Let me tell you something. If you want to get into business, start a college. Truly. If you want to be a billionaire, go start a college. A lot of colleges are sitting on billions of dollars that they pay zero taxes on. And the media doesn’t want to talk about it.
I Have Conflicted Emotions About Publishing This Book
So I’m sitting here with this book, with conflicted emotions. As you can tell, I’m pretty frustrated with the fact that here we are with a message like this. It’s not political. Let me put it this way. Republicans disagree with the educational system, and so do liberals. Trump didn’t like it, and neither did Bernie Sanders. Bernie Sanders championed the message of why we’re having kids having so much college debt. Except his message was for tax payers to pay for it, and I completely disagree with it. Why should tax payers pay so much money for colleges to make money? Why should we give colleges so much money? What grants them the right to make so much money? So this isn’t a Republican or Democratic thing, neither it is Independent or Libertarian.
Questions People Are Afraid to Ask
This is an international thing, and it’s time for us to start asking the questions that people are afraid to ask. Why four years? Why physics? Why anthropology for a four-year degree in communications? Why even get a degree? Tell me why a business person needs to go to school and have a professor who has never had a business teach people how to run a business? I don’t get it.
And if I’m the only one here that’s asking these questions, then I’m the dummy here. But I don’t think I’m the only one. I just don’t.
Should I Publish This Book?
I haven’t fully decided whether we’re going to publish this book. Because I know that once this goes live, there’s going to be a lot of people that will disagree with it. Lots of people will hate it.
And when you read it, you’ll see we have stats, facts, stories, and peoples’ point of view. We give both sides of the argument. It’s written by me, a dropout, together with Tom, who didn’t drop out. He followed the system, and he tells a story about he and his father in the book that’s fascinating. We give formulas in the book. If you do drop out, what else do you do? So I have a feeling that if this comes out, there’s a whole drop out revolution that can happen around the world. It’s already happening with people that follow Valuetainment.
Parents Are Begging Me Not to Publish It
I’ve gotten messages from parents that say, “Patrick, please don’t publish this book” because their kids admire me. My former teachers have messaged me asking what’s happened to me, and if I’ve bought into money only. Money? Are you really saying I’ve bought into money when so many people are getting a divorce because they don’t have their finances in order, because they’re stuck with a $93,000 college debt? And you’re telling me that I bought into money? C’mon, man! My parents got a divorce. I know what it feels like to be raised in a family where my mom and dad didn’t have any money. We were refugees from Iran, and I’ve been homeless. So don’t talk to me about money. I’m trying to help other people so they don’t go through that, and I think it’s time to have this conversation.
I’m Asking You to Share Your Thoughts
So look, I have a heavy heart. I’m simply asking you, to share your thoughts. If we do publish this book, what are your thoughts about the current educational system. Should we publish this book. We will make a firm decision 48 hours from now. Tom and I need to sit down and talk about it, and my family and I need to sit down and talk about it. Because I know that this thing will go nuts when it goes out. It’s not a 300-page book. It’s only 140 or 150 pages. But if we do go live with it, it’s not because I’m trying to make another $50,000 or $20,000. If you know anything about books, books don’t make a lot of money. And I’m not going to wait 18-24 months because one publisher said they would publish it, but that it would be 18-24 months. I can’t wait that long. This is a message that I think the world needs to hear about.
So tell me your thoughts. Publish, or don’t publish Drop-Out and Get Schooled. I want to hear from you.