Tuesday, February 19th, 2008

I Am Going Back To College

College

 {This post contains no information on how to make money online}

Yes, the title says it all. I am heading back to college at age 27. Not to a campus though! I’ve been pondering this decision for a long time. So long that I cannot remember. It probably started back when I was working 3 jobs, 7 days a week. Working exclusively online for well over a year now (3+ years total) and being an equal owner in two Limited Liability Companies, en equal owner in a Limited Liability Partnership AND running my own Sole Proprietorship I have come to the realization that I desperately need to educate myself further in terms of Business Administration, Accounting and Tax Law. Furthermore, I believe that it will also help educate me to effectively communicate with my Certified Public Account and maybe give me an added edge as I look past mutual funds, stocks and insurance as my current investment vehicles.

If it’s one thing that I know, it’s that nothing is certain online. I am making more money and my businesses are thriving better than ever but what if something were to happen in the future? I mean seriously look at it. Would I want to return to my old job of loading and unloading trucks for 12 hours a day? Would I want to be in the hundred degree heat roofing houses in the summer? I can tell you that is something I will never go back to and being financially independent is allowing me to grasp this chance. Do I sit back and NOT take this opportunity and just continue to build more entities and enlarge my online presence OR do I stop and look around and realize that what I have accomplished is GIVING me the chance to seize something that finances have never allowed me to have?

I have given this a ton of thought and the fact of the matter is that things are a lot more flexible now days than they used to be. After speaking with a Representative for the University of Phoenix we were able to work out a very flexible course for me to achieve my Associate of Arts in Accounting. I am going into this with a very open mind. I realize that I have tons of responsibilities with my family and my businesses and I have done everything in my power to make sure neither will suffer while I am partaking in my studies. However, this is something that I feel have to do. I realize I am not conquering the world or anything and I also realize that to a lot of people that an Associates Degree may me nothing to them. However, I started working before I was even in high school and while having excellent grades, financially there was never really a chance for me to pursue an education. Maybe those were mistakes were entirely mine, maybe they were not, but I realize right now that with the position I am currently in this is one mistake I will not make and one opportunity I will not pass.

So what influenced my decision?

Like I stated above nothing is certain in this world. If something were to ever happen at the very least I will have some type of education in case I ever need to enter the workforce again. As a multiple business and entity owner though, I can tell that as far as taxes and investments are concerned, there is really nothing worse than to walk into a Professional’s office seeking advice with ZERO clue as to what they are talking about. If you walk in with no knowledge then your just relying on them to make your financial decisions. This is stupid and it is one thing I will tell you to never do. Dont do it. Those Professionals jobs are to serve as your ADVISORS and not as your DECISION MAKERS. I might not be an educated man as far as college is concerned but I managed to go from DEEP debt to financial independence in 2 years. I am not an expert at making money and never considered myself one, but I have come out of debt and built an empire online that allows me to not even work if I dont want to.

With that kind of flexibility it’s about time for me to start taking the initiative and taking everything that has been given to me and what I have done with it and put it to the absolute best use as I can. If this requires to me slow down a little bit online so I can acquire the skills necessary to educate myself to make better business and financial decisions, then so be it. It’s a sacrifice I will pay gladly.

Ok enough with the rambling. Is there anyone out there that has taken what they have done online to better educate themselves on making better financial business and investments decisions? If so I would like to hear about it. It does not matter how small you may think about it, let me know what you have done online or off to help you make better financial decisions.


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43 Responses

February 19, 2008

Good for you, man. I think it’s an excellent decision.

I wish I’d got a more useful degree. I didn’t know what I wanted to do wth my life so I ended up with a degree in biochemistry – and now look at what I’m doing. I could really have done with some ‘business’ education.

Does it strike you as amusing that the course you mentioned considers Accounting to be an Art rather than a Science? :P


February 19, 2008
solvetheproblem

Ruck,

Go for it! As someone who teaches at the middle school and high school level of an inner city system, I am appalled at the students who aren’t even considering higher education at this time. They are looking for the welfare state to take care of them forever and its not going to happen.

One thing to watch out for in these online programs is that a lot of co-operative learning takes place. Four people are assigned a project and two or three of them are too busy to do it. The other one or two knock out the project and all four still get credit for it. This happened a lot to some of the teachers in one of my schools. Not to discourage you, but its something to watch for.

Its great to see that you trying though.

Solvetheproblem


February 19, 2008
Pdaguy9

Great choice Ruck. College will teach you more than just the nuts and bolts of business. You may end up pleasantly surprised that it can teach you different ways of thinking. And for IM, thinking outside the box is probably one of the most important things you can acquire.

Good luck man!


February 19, 2008
gokarter

Ruck ,
This prolly going to be one of the best decisions you will make in your life. It never hurst to know to much .As they say knowlege is Power.Things for you seem to always come some what natural in what ever you do, so you should just get on awesome with this choice of yours.

Besides know you can show us houw to make millions and help us do our taxes(wink)


February 19, 2008

@ HugePedlar — Interesting, it kind of struck me as a Science as well.

@ solvetheproblem — I was thinking about that. I will be watching out for that but any advice on combating that should I need to?

Thanks for the support so far everyone! I just talked to the enrollment counselor. I will be talking again with the enrollment counselor and an administration counselor tomorrow. So we will go from there.


February 19, 2008

Congratulations.

I don’t think that going back to school is ever a bad idea, as long as a degree is a means to an end, instead of an end in and of itself. I was railroaded into going to college before I had any idea who I was, or what I wanted to do. The degree was an end by itself.

The best advice I could give you is to get somebody else to pay for it. Have one of the businesses you own set up an employee tuition reimbursement plan. That way you can get a tax credit for paying the out of pocket tuition (Lifetime Learning Credit), then as the business owner you get credit for paying for tuition.

The other advice is something I’ve been planning for when my endeavors actually amount to something. Set up an employer sponsored 401K with a match program, then plug the maximum amount in. Once again, tax benefits on both sides of the equation.

Finally, unless something has changed, once a year, you can gift your wife, children, and parents $10K tax free.

Don’t know if you’ve thought of, or are doing any of those ideas, but I thought I’d toss them out there. Best of luck with your studies.


February 19, 2008

If I remember anything from my college accounting classes, Accounting really is more of an art. Just ask any successful embezzler ;)

With online classes, the group participation aspect can really be wonky. I know that in certain of my classes, you would have to participate on message boards and attend chats, which doesn’t really work well. I actually failed a class or two since the weekly chats were during my working hours. I tried to explain it to them, but they wouldn’t budge on it.


February 19, 2008
Denise

I agree with getting as much education as possible. The world has become much smaller and you need to be well armed to compete, whether you are working online or off line.

HugePedlar, biochemistry is where I wanted to go in college. Never got past 2 years however. Now I am fascinated by nuclear science.

Ruck, so far I have made some horrible business decisions as far as investing in educating myself in growing a business online. After throwing away a lot of money to the so called gurus, thanks to you I have an opportunity to restart and hopefully make money this time around to be able to live out my golden years with dignity.


February 19, 2008

Good luck with college, man. I have 24k from the Army that I haven’t even used. I want to use it, but the way the montgomery GI bills works it wasted it if you only take a class or two at a time. So I’d pretty much have to go full-time and I can’t afford to do that to my business.

Love the new theme!! Great new look!

You passed me up with RSS subscribers ;) I’ll have to do something about that lol


February 19, 2008

Ruck,

Congratulations on the decision to get your degree. Always better to have more education than less. A word of caution on the accounting degree, though. For perspective, I am a CPA with 10 years of experience.

The accounting degree will help you understand things a bit when you discuss them with your CPA, and you will likely get more out of school since you have real-world experience running businesses, but a lot of what gets covered in college courses is the basics. Most of the practical things I learned about accounting, taxes and running a business happened on the job. Stuff like setting up mutiple corporations to maximize depreciation deductions are things they don’t teach you in school.

Said differently, the degree will give you a foundation of knowledge, but the really good ideas are learned through experience. I am not writing any of this to discourage you. On the contrary, I think what you are doing is great and if your CPA is any good, he/she will appreciate you taking this step as well. I just wanted to give a view from somebody with a little experience and don’t want you to be disappointed by what you might/might not learn in courses.

Also, in my experience, college education gives a false sense of security when investing – e.g. “I went to 4 years of school for this. I know the right investments to pick…” Took me a while to unlearn what I “learned” in college about investing. Sure, I know all about betas and alphas and spot prices and arbitrage, etc., etc. The real trick to investing is the same trick needed in internet marketing. You have to have an edge. If you don’t know more about an investment than the other guy, all you are doing is gambling. Many colleges want to jam the Efficient Markets Hypothesis down your throat. Buying into that hypothesis just leads to bad investing. Markets are not efficient. They should also tell students 99% of what is on CNBC is bullsh*t.

Just my $.04 (inflation).

Pede


February 19, 2008

Nice going Ruck! I did the same thing when I was 27, finishing my degree that is. Online degrees seem to be the thing to do now a days. Just make sure you learn what you need to, a lot of the online schools are diploma factories and they just hand out degrees.


February 19, 2008
The OA

Good stuff Ruck. Those course are really good, and you may only need those. I did a double major and can honestly say I have only used a hand full of the courses since then.

Take only the essentials and you will be in good shape.


February 19, 2008
Della

Good for you, Ruck! Like a lot of others, here…I wish when I had gone I had known what direction my life was going to take and maybe I would have gotten a degree that would have served me better.

As a business person, an accounting or general business degree can always help you. Having had to learn what running a business entails by the seat of my pants…the one thing I have learned is to get good people to work for you. Like Pede said, a lot of what you learn in college is the basics, and the real knowledge comes once your out in the field.

I am always an advocate for getting your education, however. In this day and age…the person with the degree may not be any smarter than you…but you having a degree will certainly level the proverbial playing field.

Personally, I think you already have what you need to succeed…and I am sure that you are stashing away enough to ensure your future security. Once you have been self-employed, it is hard to go back to work for The Man, or any man (or woman), for that matter! (:


February 19, 2008
D

Im in college right now and its a fucking waste Id kill to make decent money online


February 19, 2008

@D – Interesting point but 9 years ago I would have killed to have an education that would/could have landed me a better job instead of the miniscule, manual labor intensive jobs I was an employee of.

The money will come if your persistent. However since I am in a status of financial independence I am trying to open my eyes wider to other means of educating myself. The degree really is not that important but what I learn and take away from this opportunity hopefully will be.


February 19, 2008
Rob

Good for you, Ruck.

Scientia est Potentia. A lot of people shun college education but it is great practice and training in problem solving (no matter which course you take).

What are marketers, if not problem solvers?


February 19, 2008
jmmgmm

Congrats Ruck,

Its a good decision.

I started late at the age of 24 and got a computer science degree. Of course when I graduated in 2001 the computer jobs were being outsourced. My wife started after me at the age of 29 and became a CPA and now is finishing her actuarial studies.

I find the longer you wait the more you can understand how to truly apply college to your daily life.

I have two businesses right now both llcs. I started a computer consulting firm and found a niche to law firms in ny city. I took that money and moved to Tulsa where things are way cheaper to live.

This has given me the opportunity to pursue my IM dreams full time which is still coming along at a snails pace so it still goes to show you college is not a magic bullet to anything but for me it made me have to pursue something for years and learn how to complete something which before college I greatly lacked. Learning to complete a mission (graduating) for me was the most valuable lesson. I apply it to everything I pursue. As long as I am putting time into my chosen goal, I know eventually I will complete it.

You have all the skills in place. I’m sure you will do well. You should apply for all the top business schools just for grins. your story is truly an example of what can be done when a person truly applies themselves which makes you a perfect candidate for a top business school.

Good luck

Jay

I think the best thing I ever did was go to college.


February 19, 2008

Ruck,
Congrats on your decision to get your degree. It’s interesting that you want to pursue a degree now that you’ve created financial independence for family & yourself. Most want to pursue financial success in business or investing after they get the degree and realize corporate America isn’t the ticket :-) . Good choice in selecting accounting, but like Pede said what you’ll get from the courses (in most cases) is the basics. Your real education comes from practical application of the basics and expanding on it from there. What amazes me is that some really smart people can’t take it beyond the books and successfully apply what they know in ‘out-of-the-box’ situations. I can’t tell you how many securities offerings I worked on where the atty. didn’t understand how the numbers worked. I was the unsung hero on those deals because of the practical accounting knowledge I gained from keeping the books & doing taxes for several small businesses after I graduated.

I think you’re gonna do great man :-).


February 19, 2008

That’s awesome. Business admin is something that might be useful. A few years ago I looked into getting a comp sci degree, since I’m a web programmer and all, but it won’t really help me get a job. What would help would be more experience talking to business-type people and speaking their language. That’s a great decision, Ruckster.


February 20, 2008

Education is never a waste. It makes you better armed for the future. Who knows where the future is going to take you? College never makes any one smarter. It just makes you better informed. Plus when you have that piece of paper, it does open more doors for you and broadens your perspective. I am glad that you don’t think you have it all because you are financially set right now. No ones financial future is guarenteed.


February 20, 2008

Ruck,

I know everyone is telling you to go to school. However let me tell you first hand, once you get the taste of being an independent business owner, you will never go back and be happy.

You had the drive to strive for financial independence, that drive will translate into any business whether it is online or not. You are very capable of running some other business that is not related to the internet.

I learned this the hard way.
I went back to school and got a bachelor degree from Phoenix, and I will tell you it was a waste of money. I landed a job and am miserable. That is why I strive each day to become better an Internet Marketing, so I can go back to being an independent business owner.

Rest assured that degree means very little in the eyes of an employer. Further if you don’t have any relevant work experience, you are going to maybe land a job for $40k.

While I admire you for the reasons for wanting to go back, you might be better off learning about other businesses and moving some capital into other offline ventures.

If you do decide to go back, a Phoenix degree is very easy to complete and you will only spend a few hours a week working at it.

Derek


February 20, 2008

Hey Ruck,
I’m going to the University of Phoenix right now. Its not so bad. I’m going for an associates of arts in business and then a bachelors in business finance. Hopefully after the bachelors I will continue on and get an MBA in international business finance.

I’ll tell you what… I’ll sell you home work for web scripts HAHAHA just playing.


February 20, 2008

Ruck,

That is very inspiring and also I am struck by the fact that you don’t just want to “outsource” something this important. I lost my income from all the automated sites I had and went back to a job using my degree (social work). I am rebuilding things online via article writing and ideas from your site but I am glad I had the degree. For me , I’m not technical so I wonder what if things go all video on the net or a technology I have no idea how to master – what would I do?

It would be great if there were “objective” financial types of resources but any advisor it seems gets a commission and that does seem like a good reason to gain the knowledge yourself.

Debbie


February 20, 2008
Nick Flame

Just when i was thinking about dropping out of college….
I guess it depends a lot if you actually think that the degree will help you. If you go to university just to have a degree but you never plan to use it, then it is a damn waste of time – that’s for me right now, at least.I never plan to work in the field i will have my degree. If you think that your degree can actually help you in the long run, then go for it.
Good luck.


February 20, 2008
imprincess

Congratulations, Ruck! You are on your way to another exciting journey, and I am sure you will do very well. As others have said, you will never regret furthering your education.


February 20, 2008
dolomite

At one point I did believe the hype that college is so important and blah blah blah. Personally i thought college was overrated and somewhat a waste of time for me. Aside from main courses, all the electives were usesless (I always thought they were). The vast majority of students in college really don’t learn anything because most of them are busy copying each other’s answers and scamming their way towards getting a degree. Granted probably only like 10% only really “learned” anything usefull and made it through with hard work. And then once you hit the real world, everything you learn is thrown out the door anyways. If you ask me, the only true benefit of college is you get to say you have a degree – which is good enough to get you a job interview but if you can’t bullshit your way through the interview and appear “qualified”, it all doesn’t matter.

I know I sound critical about it, but this is comming from a guy who spent 4 years rolling around the dirt in the US Marines, got out and went to college for 3 years straight to get a Bachelors in Computer Information System, then got hired immediately by a US government contracting firm and making decent money. But at the end of it all, I know for a fact that I could easily get this job without a degree. It just took that degree to get in the interview door and a tap dancing act to get hired.

What a fine system we have.


February 20, 2008

Smart move to educate yourself more concerning finances, taxes, accounting, etc. It’s not the most exciting topic in the world but you’ll definitely be better prepared to make better decisions. I think the problem with a lot of successful entrepreneurs isn’t making money, but keeping it, and understanding how to best make it grow itself. Best of luck to you.


February 21, 2008
gray

You’re such a looser man….. LOL

You know your the shit…I”m proud of you now that you decided to pick up the hooked on phonics SEO addition…

Ryan


February 21, 2008
nomad

Well, if you have really such success with your i-net business like you write in your blog i rather would say a degree is a waste of time.

If you really want to have a degree, you wont have much time for your business since university is quiete a full time job.

If you think you have chances for the future with i-net bizz with good financial and as well long term chances, go for it… you can always do some accounting curses which give you more practice knowledge than some totally university theories. Get a couch for accounting if you really need knowledge, a degree is only worth if you really want to work in this job.


February 21, 2008

Hmm,

I think you might have misunderstood me. I am not going go to college. I am taking my courses online. Also, the degree really means nothing to me either. It’s what I can take away from the studies that matter most. As far as business is concerned, making money online is not even a worry anymore and hasnt been for over a year. And that’s really all this is to me…Accounting Courses. The degree will probably sit somewhere and just gather dust.


February 22, 2008
K$$$

Holy crap! You are a real working machine, this is a good decision on your part and I only hope success, knowledge is really beneficial and you are flipping your blessings in a responsible way, I’m sure your going to hold on this rate! Keep up the good work, don’t slunk on it, and keep flipping to the top!


February 22, 2008
essential_clix

Good choice, Ruck. It’s always good to have a backup plan.

University of Phoenix is a bit expensive though, isn’t it? I’ve been taking classes online for about 4 years now through Jones College in Jacksonville, FL. It’s only $3k a semester and they offer BS degrees in Computer Info Systems or Business Administration.

Either way, you’ve made a good choice.


February 22, 2008
essential_clix

Also, I’d just like to add that I’m about to change my major to … Accounting! Been considering it for about a year now. Programming jobs are just too hard to come by, and they all seem to want 3-5 years experience on top of the degree. How the hell are you supposed to get 3-5 years experience, if no one will hire you!? And don’t even get me started on my Cisco classes…

I like working on/with computers, but there seems to be so many more Accounting jobs out there compared to computer-related jobs. Hopefully I’ll be able to make a full-time living online soon and won’t have to worry about it, but like I said it’s always good to have a plan B.


February 22, 2008
nomad

Ah i see ruck, yeah its not a bad idea to take some courses for accounting basics. I did study economics for a while, so you get a good overview if you take some accounting courses.
I have no idea what type of accountiny they offer, but in general its about industrial production. So if you want to get knowledge after you did learn some basics, i guess you need a coach or special courses for entrepreneurs for your business type. In general most small entrepreneurs have their tax accountant for a fee each year but its always good to know a at least the basics of accounting. Good luck with it and have fun =)


February 22, 2008

Good for you bro. My wife got her bachelors in Business Management from UOP at the age of 42! She was already making good money but it opened more doors for her at her company.
Good choice.


February 24, 2008
solvetheproblem

They used to say that getting an education was just paying your dues. In the hard knocks of life it looks as though you have already paid your dues. Back in my undergraduate days at Iowa State, college was only 3 grand per year. Yeh, thats right, a Massachusetts boy went to Iowa State. Anyway, we looked at college as learning how to learn. Even then, (before the internet) people knew that everyone would have several occupations before they retired. Unfortunately today, college is a place where you meet people and make deals for life. The kids going to Harvard for 50K a year don’t go there to learn, just to make contacts. Sharpening the Saw, keeping the toolkit up to date and having your world widened will be an experience. Stay away from the liveral Profs though who have not had as much experience as you do but still want to jump all over conservatives, the US and especially the government.

Solvetheproblem


February 25, 2008

I think its so good to work online and earn some good money rather than wasting time in doing nonsense in internet. Your point of view related to online internet business is so positive and so effective for me.


November 26, 2008
SkyWatcher

Going to college is great but the commitment with regards to time, money and resources is great and takes a lot of preparation.

I am studying in a college supports a portion of my college funding…if only I could reach a super affiliate status…


March 16, 2010

Hi
Internet is a great world of education and you will definatelly get great information


March 18, 2010

Glad to see you heading back for your education. The University of Phoenix is a good choice. Good Luck.


April 16, 2010

Good luck with your college.