AskPat 363 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: What's up, everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 363 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. As always, I'm here to help you by answering your online business-related questions five days a week.
All right, here's today's question from Chastity.
Chastity: Hello! I'm Chastity from Atlanta. Pat, I just want to thank you for all the value that you put into the world. The easy-to-understand and -follow guides that you provide make it really manageable and practical to put in practices, the ways that we can build passive income, so thank you so much. I just finished writing my first ebook. I'm now working on the second ebook in my website thanks to your easy-to-follow guides; so awesome. So now to my question. How important is a college education to having the ability to complete these processes for building passive income? I guess I'm talking specifically about an MBA program. I'm currently in a master's program that is preparing me to work for corporate America and I was thinking of just getting my MBA instead. I really have no interest at all in working for corporate America, and my goal is to build passive income, so could you please help me out with this, Pat? I mean, is it important for me to get an MBA? Is that really valuable? Thanks.
Pat Flynn: Hey, Chastity. Thank you so much for the question today. I really appreciate it, and it's interesting because a lot of people ask me about this college education thing and whether or not it's important or not. And before I get to your specific situation, I just want to say in general that … obviously I went to college. I went to UC Berkeley for architecture, and I don't do architecture anymore. That's the obvious thing. But I will say that I wouldn't take any of that back. I don't regret going to college. I don't think it was a waste of time at all, because obviously, if I didn't go to college, I wouldn't have gotten into the marching band. If it wasn't for the marching band, I wouldn't have gotten my job in the architecture world that I had landed as a result of a relationship I had through somebody in the marching band. Then I wouldn't have gotten involved with LEED Exam, which wouldn't have gotten me involved with putting my information about this LEED Exam on my website InTheLeed.com, which later got changed to GreenExamAcademy.com. Then I wouldn't have understood the power of online business and gotten to where I'm at today and have started Smart Passive Income.
So, in a long, butterfly-effect type of situation, my experience in college was completely necessary for me to get to where I'm at today, and obviously, everything that has happened in our past has had an effect on where we are today, no matter where we're at. Now, I will say that obviously, I don't do architecture anymore. And I don't use that information that I spent years learning. I still appreciate that I learned it, but if I could go back, I would potentially change my curriculum if I knew where I was gonna end up. But that being said, I would not not want to go to college. If my kids were to ask me if they should go to college or not, I would say yes. Now it also depends on what they want to do and what kind of college they want to get into. That obviously matters; what they decide to do in college is going to be important. But it's not as important as what I feel is most important about college, which is understanding how to be an adult, understanding how to manage your time, understanding how to network and make connections and live in the real world. Those are things that I learned when I was college that were completely useful to me, and are still useful for me today, truly understanding the importance of making and building relationships more than anything, really.
And again, I had mentioned just the fact that because I was in the marching band, that led to me getting a job in architecture. It wasn't a résumé. It wasn't all the things I worked hard for to put on my resume—you know, the grades and the extracurriculars. It was just a connection I had, and that's something big I learned in college. Another thing I learned in college was how to learn fast. I think that, more than anything, besides the relationships, helped out very very much. How to learn fast. You know, they get put into classes where maybe the content is useful for you down the road, maybe not, but the idea of how to take in information quite fast, how to study, how to learn, how to apply those things if possible, was truly something that I really enjoyed. The challenge of learning fast and trying to internalize that information so I could share it and teach other people later, that was really, really useful.
So, I wouldn't say “Don't go to college” if somebody were to ask me. I would just say, “Make sure you go and understand what you want to get out of it beyond the education that you get, because sometimes the education isn't gonna align with where you end up.” But the other things related to real life and building relationships and learning is really, really important, especially the time management aspect of it too. Plus, just so many fun things to do in college, extracurriculars and that sort of thing.
Now, for your particular situation Chastity, I'm not gonna tell you you shouldn't do it, and I'm not gonna tell you you should. That's not my position. I can only share my thoughts based on my own experience and things like that. But I do say you do have an opportunity with a degree, a master's degree, to learn a bunch of things that you can then apply to your passive income businesses down the road. A master's degree is definitely something that could differentiate yourself. It's obviously something you could use to prove yourself. It's a credential that not a lot of people can have, but I think if you go into it understanding what you want to do on the other end related to passive income, not working for corporate America like you said, you didn't want to do. I definitely wouldn't want to do that, if that's something you didn't want to do … It's obvious in your voice and the inflection in your voice and what you said, literally, that you didn't want to do it.
So I wouldn't plan on doing that, but you could plan on getting the degree, which it seems like it's, obviously, has been interesting and important to you, but understanding how that might apply to whatever it is you decide to do down the road. I would also go into it making sure to learn things that I know that would apply for things down the road, and taking the specific courses, and specific, you know, electives, for example, that would allow you to benefit for the future that you have planned in terms of building a passive income stream down the road. So it's gonna take some internalization and some understanding of what it is you want to do on the other end.
Now that's not to say that you need a master's degree in order to do those things, because I didn't get a master's degree. I only took one business class in college, and I hardly remember anything. The only thing I remember are Gantt charts, and I don't even know what they do, but I just remember that because they were interesting to me at the time. Gantt charts. Anyway, is a master's degree necessary to build a passive income stream? No. I am an obvious example of that. There's a lot of people out there who don't have master's degrees. Are there people who have master's degrees that are building passive income? Yes, and they obviously say that they have a master's degree if it's related to what they're talking about because it is a great credential. It helps you with your authority if you are in that space and it matters to your audience, but absolutely. It'd be great. It is not necessary, but I'm not saying that you shouldn't do it.
I'm trying to walk that fine line here when I'm trying to answer your question here, because I don't want to say you shouldn't do it, but I also don't want to say that you should. It's going to be completely up to you and what your goals are, and I think that's one of the most important things that everybody has to realize when they get into college or try to do these extra degrees, master's degrees, PhDs, that sort of thing: don't just do it to do it. Do it because you have a specific reason for doing it, and there's something on the other end that it's gonna benefit you with.
That's what I'm gonna say. So, Chastity, I hope this answers your question, or at least gives you some things to think about. But down to the basics of it and the foundation of your question, no, you don't need a master's degree in order to build a passive income stream. It is not required. Your audience isn't gonna check to see if you have a master's degree, unless you're teaching people how to get a master's degree; in that case, it would be necessary, or you'd have to have that proof in order for people to be able to listen to you, if that makes sense.
But anyway, thank you so much for the question, Chastity. I really appreciate it. We're gonna send you an AskPat t-shirt for having your question featured here on the show. All you have to do is just wait for my assistant to email you, and we'll collect your sizing and address information, and we'll send that over to you free of charge for having your question featured here on the show. For those of you listening, if you have a question you'd like potentially featured here on the show, just head on over to AskPat.com, and you can ask right there on that page.
Now, let's finish off with a quote like I always do, and this is from Betty Smith. She says, “Look at everything as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time, then your time on earth will be filled with glory.” Thanks so much. I appreciate you, and I'll see you in the next episode of AskPat. Cheers.