As I am preparing for the Mobile Home University weekend course starting tomorrow (Friday, June 1st), and concurrently reading BiggerPockets, Scott Trench’s book “Set for Life” and “Head Strong” by Dave Asprey, I have been reflecting on how important self education is for me (and everyone really) and how nurturing my passions lights me up and gives me energy to carry through to the rest of the areas of my life.
As most of you know, I have not walked the typical path in this life. I am someone who has a deep need to find my own way and do the things that make sense to me. A prime example of this was during high school. We had moved from Florida back to Hawaii and all of a sudden, I was in a school a ⅕ of the size and my Honors English teacher was speaking Pigeon, a broken version of English, native to Hawaii.
I was bored and deeply unfulfilled in school. I researched my options and discovered that I could simply drop out of High School, study for my GED and move on to the local community college, where I could study subjects of interest to me and be challenged. What I did not expect, was all the backlash on my clever plan. Even though my mother was ever supportive of my wild ideas, “friends” and their parents, as well as school administrators all warned me that if I dropped out, I would end up a deadbeat with no direction in life. Eff that! I went for it. At 16 years old, I left high school, entered a GED preparation program and took the test that December so I would be ready for Spring Semester in January.
My test scores ranked in the top 5 percentile in the country, I went on to be a A student in college and during the college fair, found a school that I wanted to transfer to. Although my mother took some college classes, it was in Puerto Rico’s free education system, so I didn’t have any guidance in the area of financial planning for college. The me of today would say “don’t do it”. I know, most people are fiercely protective of the university system and insist that college is a necessary step for everyone, but I disagree. At 17, when I left for my fancy Art school, and signed crazy loans for 20K/year, I only had a small glimmer of what I was interested in and had no idea how much money I was really committing to.
These days, the only “schools” I really stand behind are ones teaching trades: massage, electrician, contractor, real estate agents, etc. There are endless amounts of courses out there for under 10K that can give you an education that directly relates to a job or entrepreneurial business like coding/programming, life coaching, personal training, etc. If someone really wants to use the subject sampling of college to figure out their way, I suggest going with a no or low cost community college.
I started my private school journey as an Interior Design major but switched to Marketing after a quarter of comparing myself to other students and deciding that I did not have the natural talent required for the role. This is ironic since I furnish vacation homes quite regularly these days. By the last quarter of my associates Degree, I realized that the fashion marketing career I was gunning for was manipulative and would wind me up in a cubicle under fluorescent lighting, so I never actually worked in that field. Fast forward 10 years of paying those students loans only to find they were at the same 40K balance that I begun with. It was a hopeless feeling.
What I have learned since then is that I can give myself a degree and full education a 1000 times over with all the free content available on the internet. My first love and passion was personal finance and early retirement, which allowed me to “graduate” with 2 years being retired and financial freedom. Since then I have really leveraged books, blogs, and podcasts to teach me everything I want to know about an array of subjects.
I have since geeked out on Real Estate Investing in general and specifically Mobile Home Park Investing and Note Investing. More recently I have gotten really into Biohacking and health, which has taught me a lot about Chemistry and Biology as a byproduct. Authentic Relating, Ennegram, and even more on Airbnb optimization, SEO, and the different softwares in the space are things I’ve learned from blogs, youtubes, books, weekend workshops, etc.
Being referred to as an Expert in this Airbnb world, dangerously led me to believe for a short time, that everything I needed to know I was learning through my own experiences in the field. I have since looked to other leaders in the space, to see if there is anything I have overlooked and have definitely been picking up some nuggets.
Here are a list of some of my favorite podcasts at the moment:
-Bigger Pockets (although I find it is more inspirational than how-to)
-Vacation Rental Success
-Mobile Home Park Investors
-The Mobile Home Park Investing Podcast
For more resources, check out my ever growing list of recommended books. Lastly, I want to mention an incredible volume of free education that I have not used personally (yet) but have heard great things about: Khan Academy. My friends 11 year old son learned to code there 100% for free.
So if you can’t afford a fancy college education of big shot training, start from the ground up, digest all you can on the subject from books and podcasts. I feel we need to keep learning and growing or we become stagnant.
I would love to hear from you all about what you are geeking out on these days. Share below!