Category Archives: results economy

Do Your Own Thing

Do Your Own Thing


Recently I had a client in my office struggling with the fact that his kid wants more money for extras but won’t seek employment. He keeps hearing a lot of buts to his advice to go out and get a job. “But dad, all the good jobs are taken around campus.” “But dad, I can’t consistently know when I have time available to show up at a part time job with a shifting assignment load.” “But dad, the experience won’t help me down the road.” All of which can actually be legitimate rebuttals, my client admits, while all the same wondering why it has to be on him to put gas in the kid’s tank.

Legitimate buts if….

If… we assume a lack of help-wanted signs means a lack of income opportunities. If…we assume work has to be done according to a set schedule. If…we assume college jobs get left behind when graduation rolls around. If… we assume we must be an employee. But why assume such things? Continue reading Do Your Own Thing

Dorm Room Enterprises

Dorm Room Enterprises

Brown Bag School Lunch

In an interesting 2015 survey of the uber-wealthy we saw that a lack of formal higher education credentials isn’t an obstacle to billionaire-dom. This has great application to the aspiring student in that we get a hint as to one of the approaches we can take to tackling tuition bills through work income. Turns out, mere high school graduates have the potential to generate larger-than usual incomes if they know where to look.

In order to achieve better pay for their labors, students may want to join the “results economy” instead of working by the hour. As I’ve pointed out before, nothing really stops a student from joining the ranks of the self-employed (along with the majority of millionaires) and competing directly with their would-be employers. But with everything else going on must a student run a full-fledged, traditional business in order to be paid well? Continue reading Dorm Room Enterprises

Understanding How Work Works

Understanding How Work Works

landscapers II

Al & Alicia

Work is Not a Four Letter Word

To this point we’ve focused on the resources available to college students that don’t directly involve any “I work, you pay” transactions. This not because a student should avoid work but because college students uniquely have access to other forms of money not readily available to the population at large. It therefore makes sense to explore those first. Whether or not those avenues succeed I highly encourage college students to pursue work with vigor for several reasons. Continue reading Understanding How Work Works

Moving Beyond Just Giving Fish to Kids

Moving Beyond Just Giving Fish to Kids

Fisherman of Lake in action when fishing, Thailand

∼ Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and he’ll eat for the rest of his life ∼

We’ve probably all heard this saying at one point or another. It relates a poignant and pithy philosophy of giving we should all take to heart. Any time someone else needs our resources we can either meet that need from our reserves- just to be back at square one the next day- or we can take a little more time with that person to teach them how to meet that need on their own forevermore. There’s also an unstated but relevant practical corollary to this idea we should note: if men want to catch fish for themselves they not only need the skills to perform the task but also the equipment.

How can we apply these principals regarding men and fish to kids and college funds? Continue reading Moving Beyond Just Giving Fish to Kids

Chart: Why Widening Wage Gap by Education Level?

Chart(s): Why is the Educational Level Wage Gap Widening?

FRBSF Article Charts Combined

Here we get a three-for-one thanks to an enlightening article by Rob Valletta titled “Higher Education, Wages, and Polarization” published in the January 12, 2015 edition of the FRBSF Economic Letter. This particular article and its chart series seeks not only to capture the “what” of the increasing wage gaps between high school, college, and graduate diploma/degree holders but the “why.” If the conclusions of the article are correct, then we get a substantial clue as to the potential earnings power of any given student as well as some applicability for those considering their options. Continue reading Chart: Why Widening Wage Gap by Education Level?

Let’s Not Assume

Let’s Not Assume

One’s an incident, two’s a coincidence, three’s a theme. And do I ever smell a theme. Just last week as I combed through my Google Alerts newsfeeds I read:

“A college degree is the gateway to success in today’s economy.” (source)

“A college degree is the only sure path to middle-class security…” (source)

“The biggest absurdity is that a four-year college degree has become the only gateway into the American middle class.” (source)

“… higher education is, more than ever, the surest ticket to the middle class.” (source)

If any of the above holds true, then it only makes sense that tuition soars and we, as individuals and as a body politic, promote a college-or-bust mentality. But keep in mind that any time we assume, in the immortal words of Felix Unger, we risk making “an ass out of u and me.”

Continue reading Let’s Not Assume