College or Career? Your Choice Will Change Your Life

by Bill Wilson, CEO/President, Peoples Products, Inc/HR40 Replacement Windows

There were always two paths that anyone can travel that would lead to career positions. Neither are inherently right or wrong. Those who were college bound probably had a basic idea of what they may be interested in pursuing (although many don’t), and those who didn’t take the college path and went right into the working world. These two convergent paths sometimes take us in different directions, but today, you might be surprised to learn that the distance between where a person will wind up working is often the same (and without the mortgage-size college loans to repay).

Like you, I know many people who went the college route, believing it was expected of them. Some felt a sense of obligation to their families to make something of themselves, to better the familial lineage as the years progressed, adding a sense of increased measure and worth. There’s nothing wrong with that perspective. After all, life is said to be short, so why not make the most of your opportunities. For those who became teachers, professionals in specific areas of vocation, doctors, lawyers, and many others, you needed to go to college to attain a position of that relevance. Not that those positions are high-minded by virtue of a title, a student learning any of those positions had to study a great deal to achieve a level of expertise’. Now, having written that, have you ever had the displeasure of having to deal with a bad teacher, a poor public servant, a useless lawyer, or a less than stellar doctor? Of course, we all have.

There are countless reasons why people choose the vocation they do. And sometimes, like in my case, it happens because you just happen to be where it happened to happen. My uncle Frank had a part-time phone solicitors job at a company in Newington Connecticut. The company is long gone, but when I turned 16 (cough-cough -in 1979), I worked a summer at this company and recognized that I suppose I had a certain diamond in the (very) rough ability in the way of talking. I was trained as a solicitor (the term telemarketer had not yet been invented) and I liked it and hated it all at once. Yet, over time, as I grew my skill level, I liked it more, and eventually grew to love it. It was through that job that I emerged from my shell and learned to hold my own in conversation. It was in that role that I learned the art of influence and persuasiveness. I’m not really sure that I could have learned these particular skills in college, but I know I did learn them in the working world.

Many of my good friends, whom I love deeply, went on to work in roles they could have procured without their college education. So, in reality, why would college be the only standard for which we measure our intellect or potential wisdom?

In today’s world, you can attend YouTube university by passionately pursuing knowledge. There are countless books available to teach us anything we’d care to know. Psychology, health, fitness, gardening, computer programming, business, selling… the list is endless. If we would rather learn the knowledge we pursue in a book but don’t have the time to read one, why not subscribe to Audible? There, anything you would want to understand better is available for you to listen and explore. You have to drive places, why not invite the author as an audible companion and learn from their experiences? Not going to college is no longer the Scarlett A of business. Not for those who have an energized persistence. Some people have a gift of being a bit more attuned with their empathetic qualities that allow a higher emotional intelligence. Only those with an elitist snobbery would shun someone who is in pursuit of learning outside of college. Don’t get me wrong, you can learn plenty in college, although today, in certain circumstances the learning may be different than what you might expect. You can get something from anything you care to learn from. It’s up to the individual.

Okay, so where does all this lead? To me, it doesn’t matter if you went to college or not. It doesn’t matter where you work right now. What matters is what you want out of life. What purpose are you willing to work at and make happen for you? Becoming a bit more driven gives a person a sense of purpose. A bounce in their step. A reason to get up each day with a zest for accomplishment. To help others achieve bettering their lives through products, services, or consultation.

How you get there doesn’t matter. Getting there  requires a certain state of mind. In the world of acceleration, it’s attitude that matters. Don’t make excuses. Reach out to learn what you don’t know. Become and stay open to listening from others, and willing to do what it takes to achieve your own personal world of accomplishment unique to you!

Bill Wilson wrote the book, Master Virtue, Master Selling, available on