July 13, 2021

What is Degree Free? - Ep. 1

What is Degree Free, and Why Should You Care?

The very first episode of Degree Free!

Aloha folks!

We are Ryan and Hannah Maruyama. We live in Honolulu, Hawaii, have degree free careers, and own several small businesses.

In the last year, we've helped friends, family, and strangers to realize that they can find amazing careers and learn outside of college.

We ignore the rules about how work and business should be done, and find ways you can accomplish your goals, no matter where you are starting.

In this episode, we talk about what you can do with a college degree, and go over how many things you are barred from. Hint: it's way less than you think.

Here's what can you do instead of college:

  • Get a job in your desired field
  • Find paid training or have a company pay for you
  • Ask a business owner to train you
  • Buy a business and include training in the sale
  • Get a professional certification

We're breaking it down; don't miss this episode!

Much aloha,

R and H

Enjoy the episode!

Desperate for an alternative to the college debt trap for your teen?

Overwhelmed by all the college alternative options?

Help your 16-20 year old build a the life the want!

Checkout our book, The Degree Free Way, to Help Your Teenager Save $100,000, Stop Feeling Overwhelmed, and Start Getting Excited About Their Future.

Like, subscribe, write us a review, and if you have a question or want some advice email us at [email protected]

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Want to hear our next episode? Listen as we talk about what jobs actually required college degrees, and how you can apply for them anyway! Check it out!

Links and Notes from the Episode

Episode Transcript
Please enjoy this transcript or our episode!

Please note the transcript may have a few errors. We're human. It can be hard to catch all the errors from a full length conversation. Enjoy!

Ryan: Aloha guys, welcome to Degree Free. We are your hosts, Ryan and Hannah Maruyama.  This is our very first episode.

Hannah: It is our very first episode.

Ryan: This is our very first episode of degree free. And I guess the question is what is Degree Free?

Hannah: That's a good question. And I am so glad that you asked. Degree free is a concept that Ryan and I have come up with over years of being entrepreneurs and finding alternative ways to educate ourselves and build businesses and even get jobs without college degrees.

And, over the years, people have started asking us how to do that. And it has become so frequent that we have decided to make a podcast about it because it's easier to tell people to listen to a podcast.

Ryan: It is easier to tell people to listen to podcasts.

Hannah: So many emails.

Ryan: Actually, I don't know, actually, I, we don't know.

We don't know if it's easier.

Hannah: We think it's easier. I don't know. It seems like it's already a lot more work, but hopefully it's easier.

Ryan: Yeah. Yeah. It is already a lot more work. Yeah.

But no, we've got people asking all the time.

Hannah: So,  it came to there was a tipping point with the zoom calls and the emails and the meetings and the texts and the novel texts.

So here we are. And we are actually happy to be here though.

Ryan: Absolutely. Yeah. And so Degree Free it's basically just trying to tell people different options that they have. Instead of going to college, not necessarily telling people to not go to college, but telling people there are other options if you decide not to go.

Hannah: Yep.

Ryan: And I think a lot of what happens today is that young adults are entrenched in the mindset of having to go to college. And they're not even aware of the different opportunities and the different options available to them outside of it. And I think that's basically what, that's what we want to talk about here.

Hannah: Yeah. I definitely, I think that's exactly what it is. Are the people who we'd like to talk to who also, we feel like we've been talking to are people who got a degree and it didn't pay off. And that those people now feel that they are underemployed and they don't know what to do other than go back to school.

To move up or move into a different career. And then people who are just looking at the college system and the cost and just doing the rough math, which we wish people would be doing the whole time. And just saying, I can't afford to do that. It doesn't seem like a good idea. And then there's the people who just didn't go.

And those people, often feel, I think as somebody who is, as somebody who's part of that group often feel boxed out. Like there's no resources for us to figure out how to get good jobs, even though we are equally capable of getting the same jobs as college graduates and oftentimes have more practical skills.

So I think that this podcast is for all those people too. Because we want to just give them stuff that you and I have learned over time, like resources, tools, and also just the life lessons we've learned being entrepreneurs for five years and living this way.

Ryan:  So maybe if you can, maybe, so maybe this is a good opportunity just to give our backgrounds really quickly before we get into our first topic.

Hannah: That sounds good to me. Hi everybody. My name is Hannah Maruyama. I am Ryan's wife and I am a college dropout. We own several businesses together. We, I'm also now an it business analyst consultant, and I did that completely online and without a college degree. And that really, I think, was the final straw for me, realizing that you don't have to go.

And I think that. That really solidified my position in this was learning that I could even get a tech job without a college degree, which what? Even as somebody who believes in degree free, I didn't realize that was possible.

Ryan: Yeah. I think, and that's something that a lot of people don't know, it's just not talked about much.

Hannah: Yeah. They don't tell us yeah. That's not talked about. Why don't you introduce yourself?

Ryan: Perfect. So I'm Ryan Maruyama. I actually did graduate college. I got my degree in economics. I wasn't smart enough to get a degree in finance. So here I am. I, so a lot of people might think that I'm a hypocrite for telling people that they don't have to go to college if it's not necessary, people, cause I have a degree.

Right now, I'm a fireman. I'm a firefighter for the city and county of Honolulu. That's definitely a job. You don't need a college degree. You need two requirements. You need to have a Hawaii state driver's license and you need to have a high school diploma.

Hannah: Do you have those things?

Ryan: I do. Just barely.

Hannah: Wow. That is amazing.

Ryan: Yeah. And yeah I was. I was pressured into going to college. I think it's, I don't think my, so I don't think my story is very unique. I think that what we from what we hear is actually very typical. And so I grew up in a very Asian family. I grew up with a very Japanese family and going to college was mandatory.

It was never an option to not go to college. And so I did. And I got a degree. I think it was, I was meant to get a white collar job and make a lot of money work behind a desk.

Hannah: Do you feel, what do you feel like would have happened if you had at that time chosen not to go?

Ryan: My family would have been disappointed in me.

There would have been, I don't know really, because I don't know cause I went, but my family would have been disappointed in me. I think that it probably would have saved a lot of time and money. I would have been able to do the things that I ended up doing eventually earlier. So along with being a fireman  I'm also an entrepreneur, right? You and I run a few businesses together while I take it to piece of paper. I don't feel like I learned too many skills, too much skills in college that I couldn't have learned that I wouldn't have eventually learned in the real world. Yeah. So that's my story.

Hannah: I have I have a follow-up question in that. Another aspect of this is that Ryan and I have both been in the three groups that I mentioned at the beginning. Between the two of us we've been in every single one of those groups. Another group is the folks who went to college and got a degree.

And then it did not fulfill their job expectations. And because they were taught that college is the only place to increase your professional skills when they do not get a good job as a result of their first degree, their impulse is to return to college because that is what all they know, even though essentially what that is just digging a deeper pit for yourself because it didn't work the first time.

So you're going to go back for round two. And you considered going back to school, you almost did.

Ryan:  Yup. Yeah. I almost did.

Hannah: And it was even for a practical thing.

Ryan: Yeah. I thought, yeah, I thought about going back to school, I thought about getting a degree in mechanical engineering. But that was just throwing darts at the wall.

I didn't really know what I wanted to do. I didn't really, I didn't really know. And I figured that I didn't really know what I wanted to do. I just figured that's a respectable career.

Hannah: Well, you wanted to do it for a cool reason too.

Ryan: Yeah. And I luckily, I realized that if I'm just throwing darts, if I'm just throwing darts at a wall, I don't want to throw that $70,000 dart.

Luckily, I already had a degree. And so I did the research and it probably would have only taken me like two years. So it was about $35,000 each, maybe a little bit more. So I just I like to call it $70,000. But it would have also taken two years of my life. So I'm very glad I didn't do it now.

I didn't know what I was doing

Hannah: So, right. But it's a good, it's a, it's an, it's a known reflex. People, feel, when they feel lost their inclination, if you're looking at it objectively, it's somebody who just spent six figures often who, when that didn't work out for them, goes back to spend 30 40, 60, a hundred thousand dollars again.

And it's interesting. And that, I think is what, that's what we want to address in the podcast is that you do not have to go to college to get more skills. You do not have to go to college to get a job. You don't have to go to college at all. You are not obligated to do so.  A lot of people think that. A lot of Americans, I will say I'll add that a lot of Americans think that you are obligated to go to college or nothing, nothing in your life is going to go right.

Ryan:  Yeah.

Hannah: It's never objectively stated, but it is implied all the way K through 12. And that is what this podcast is about.

Ryan: Yeah. That's our background. That's what we're, that's the reason why we're that way. That's the reason why we're having this conversation with mics in front of us.

Enough about us. Let's get into today's topic. So our today's topic is we wanted to talk about the question, there's a big question that we get all the time. One of the, one of the largest questions that we get all the time, which is what can I do instead of go to college?

Hannah: Oh, this is my favorite question. This is the best question. The reason this was the best question is because, and I'll start this off with two stories. So three years ago when Ryan and I moved back to Hawaii, we had the same conversation with two of our sisters who are the same age. They are the exact same age.

They were both in that limbo of graduating and being a little unsure about what they were doing and why they're doing it, which makes sense because they were 18. You're entitled to be that way at that age. You're not supposed to have the whole rest of your life figured out at 18 years old. And when we had these conversations, we sat we sat Ryan's sister down and we just told her we were, we asking her about her experience and when we did at one point, and I will never forget this because I feel like this started a lot of this journey was the fact that, and this was the most shocking thing that she said was when we said, "Hey, you don't have to go."

And she looked us dead in the face. This girl, she's been in American schools her whole life, good schools, but expensive, very good quality schools with good teachers and good people. And she said, "no one has ever told me that before."

What?? No one's ever told you that you don't have to buy a college degree? And that's crazy. But then as time went on, I think that I realized, and I think that you did too, that most people have never been told in their entire lives that they don't have to buy a college degree.

Ryan:  Yeah, definitely. I don't think.

Hannah:  Which is insane.

Ryan: Yeah. It's very, yeah, I don't think that we've, I can't think of anybody off the top of my head that I've had this conversation with that didn't say that said that somebody did tell them that.

Hannah: Yeah. And so, I think that's, and this is different from saying we're not telling people not to go to college.

What we're saying is you don't have to go. Because you should have someone in your life that has told you that you have should have heard that phrase at some point somewhere. People need to know that you're not obligated to go to college. You do not have to. You do not have to get a job. You don't have to make money.

You don't have to be successful. You don't have to be in good relationship, is not a requirement. It is completely unnecessary and it is unattached. So how this ties, how that story ties into the question is when we talked to my sister about it, she is a little bit she's she's an interesting person.

She has a very she's very technically inclined. She always has been, and she then went with it and I did help her a little bit discover, but she asked me, oh, what can I do instead? Which is a great question to ask, because it's also a terrifying question though, because now instead of having this nicely paved, you say this a lot, but this nicely paved path where oh cause college really is college is autopilot.

People don't want to say that, but it's true. You pay, you pay the man and then you walk the path and that's it.

Ryan: Yeah. So with college you're, with college you're basically sold on, at least for the majority of people that we've talked to and it's the way that I felt, I just, the way that I viewed it, is that you're sold that when you go to college, you're going to get the education and the experience that you need in order to get a good paying job.

Hannah: Networking, the experience, all that jargon.

Ryan: Yes. And then all of that. Most importantly, for most, at least it was for me and my family was that you are going to get the knowledge and experience to get relevant jobs in that field. And that is just not the case. So for me, the way that I, the way that my decision was, and I think this is for a lot of people, is that your path is laid out for you, as you were talking about.

It's just go to college, get a good job, work, retire. Perfect. It's done. Okay. When we tell people to not go to college and they ask us what they can do instead, that is difficult. That's I  feel it's much more difficult because now you have to make decisions. Now you have to go...

Hannah: ..And you have to read and you have to educate yourself and you

Ryan: have to

Hannah: ask questions.

Ryan: Have to make your own path.

The path doesn't exist. And so now you have to, instead of going to college and then get a job. You have to decide of what you want to do now, you have to be like, okay, I want to, I don't know. I want to be a, one of my sisters, she wanted to be like a news anchor, it was like, okay, going to college, isn't going to help you become a news anchor, go get coffee for the guys doing the news.

Like I don't understand. Or, and now in today's day, why don't you start a YouTube channel and just do the news. Like, look it up.

Hannah: I get my local news from a guy called Justin Kainoa and he just goes off on his YouTube on his Instagram. And he does little funny narrations. Sometimes they're serious and sometimes they're not.

And that's, that is the news anchor who I'm the most familiar with; he's on Instagram. He does, I think he does work for the news, but I don't watch the news. I watch him on Instagram report the news, and I'm like, that's a great illustration of that though. There. The terrifying and the beautiful thing about not going to college is that now there's no rules, you can make it up and there's no really wrong answers.

The only wrong answer is when somebody finally tells you, no, you can't do that. The thing is though, it's really hard to get to that point. And a lot of people never try to throw their full weight up against these like imaginary barriers. Applying for jobs that, that say they require certain credentials.

But what a lot of people don't realize is if they just applied to the job and you get to the interview and they like you, they'll hire you. They don't care if you have a degree. And that's that's a great secret that I feel like also a lot of people don't know. And that's what you can do instead of go to college.

So bringing it,  just to bring it back around what I like to answer this question, because the first answer is anything. And the second answer is, now, what you have to do is you have to figure out as Ryan said...

Ryan: Is it really anything though?

Hannah: Yeah. Just about.

Ryan:  Well, but then.

Hannah:  Okay. All right. So do you want, do we want to start with the ones you can't do?

Ryan: Sure. I think. The, well, the I'm pretty sure that list is a lot smaller.

Hannah: It is.

Ryan: So what can't you do?

Hannah: There we go. You're right. So this is the craziest thing you're going to hear all day, people. So the list of things that you can't do. Unless you have a college degree is very small.

The list of things you can do without one is massive. It's literally almost everything, almost all of the jobs. And then there's also, as we get deeper into this. Medical field pretty much is off limits to you. The reason for that, and I think something that in the future is going to change because of financial constraints, is in the future, I believe that licensing will not be attached to colleges because it costs too much. But as of right now, the licensing and medical licensing boards are all wrapped up in universities and colleges because that's the system that it's in. So, it's the easiest system to use, to license people to practice.

Ryan:  Medicine.

Hannah: So doctors, nurse practitioners, that though there are exceptions to the medical field. So if you really want to work in medicine, you can do specific things around it. You can work in massage therapy, you can be a midwife. There are states that allow you to be a midwife, which is very medical very much so delivering babies, that's extremely medical and you can do that without having a medical degree. And so mostly though it's going to eliminate you from medical jobs. But there's, there's because because college is so restrictive and expensive for people in medicine and the medical field has growing demand for jobs. It is much more frequent now that you can actually get on the job training.

So I know people that work in the labs that are all paid training. They get paid to train. I know a guy, we had a client actually.

Ryan: We're talking about. So you're talking about so when you say medical field that you're talking about, like doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners.

Hannah: You can work in administrative medicine without a college degree. So it really is just operate high-level operational medicine.

Ryan: Okay.

Yeah. And then, so one, that one that I hear a lot is. Like law.

Hannah: This is, this is my favorite one though. So I'm about to tell you guys, you can be a lawyer without going to law school. I'm going to say it again.

You can be a lawyer without going to law school. The coolest thing about this is there are current, currently, California is, I believe it's the last state doing it. I think Virginia has a very constrained version of this, but in California, and this is a remnant of law. Law was actually one of the first apprenticeships you would apprentice to be a lawyer.

You wouldn't go to law school to become a lawyer. That kind of makes no sense because a law office is business. And so people would apprentice so they could learn how to become lawyers because then they learned how to run the business of law. I heard a podcast a while back about a guy who was a lawyer saying that as soon as he got out of law school, he knew absolutely nothing about being a lawyer, which makes sense because the law.

Ryan: He knew the law.

Hannah: He knows the law, he knows what they taught in law school. He actually doesn't know. He doesn't know the type of law he's practicing because he's never been practicing that law before. I just want to say just isolated, I want to say this college is not job training. College has, have marketed themselves as job training, but the complaint you'll hear of a lot of people who can't get jobs afterwards is that they say "they want experience".

And the irony being that the students themselves applying for that jobs don't count college as experience as jobs. They don't, they themselves don't count it as relevant job experience.

Ryan: Wait, like the student doesn't?

Hannah: Yeah! And then they get annoyed that businesses don't count it as job training experience when they don't, they themselves don't even count it as job experience.

They don't even put it on their resumes.

Ryan: What it, yeah. I see what you're saying.

Hannah: Yeah.

Ryan: Some people do.

Hannah:  No, almost none. The only things that they put on are going to be some extracurricular stuff and they'll put on internships.

Ryan: No, I've seen, I'm pretty sure if I looked, I dunno, I don't, I probably don't have my resumes.

Hannah: Oh, I'd love to see that.

Ryan: But I'm pretty sure that when I had almost no relevant job experience, but anything, I was busing tables and waiting tables and stuff. I'm pretty sure that I embellished some of the things that I put on.

Hannah: You know what, I believe that you did. I believe though, that you put your college experience on there because to you that is job training, but most people don't view it that way.

Like the irony being that it's so funny. Cause it's all miscommunication, right? It's the colleges implying that it is job training, right?

Ryan: Yeah, absolutely.

Hannah: Anybody who says that they don't is lying. That's not true. They do. They apply, they do false advertising. They believe that. The colleges imply that when you graduate from college, you will know how to do whatever job you majored in.  But people don't, because it's not job training.

Ryan: Yeah. I also agree.

Hannah: And again, just restate this, but like college is not job training. So if you want to get trained for a job, what you can do instead of go to college is go work in that field and get somebody to train you, how to do it. There's you, there's a lot of ways to do this.

You can do that by literally find Googling, paid training for in whatever field. So if you want to work in the energy field Google "paid energy training". I wrote, I saw just the other day I was looking for, I was looking for something for my sister who's doing paid welding training and I saw locally here in way that they were paying.

Ryan: Wait like, she has to pay?

Hannah: No, she gets paid.

Ryan: She gets paid.

Hannah: Yeah. Oh yeah, no, I don't even think that a lot of people, a lot of people harp on the trade schools, but the trade schools have just as poor results as the as the colleges do as far as earning potential. The reasons, cause again, they take too long and they cost too much, but it just it's the metric that people use to show that. It would depend.

So there's two ways that you can do this. You can find someone who's offering paid training, or you can find a job that is going to pay for your time. Either one of those would work. The core of our message here too, is that if you want to go to college, do not pay for that. Find a company to pay for it.

Or something else, but do not pay for that yourself. If you're 17, 18, if you already have college debt, guess what you can't afford, you can't afford more debt. You have enough debt.

Ryan:  Or if your parents are gonna pay for it. Right on.

Hannah: Different. Totally fine.

Ryan: Good for you.

Hannah: Totally fine. The idea is don't put your name on a loan. Stop taking out. If it didn't work, stop buying it.

Ryan: So what can I do?

Hannah: So you can get paid training is where somebody hires you and they train you to do the job they hired you to do. Much better than trade school because you're getting paid.

Ryan: Yeah. Yeah. The economics go the other way.

Hannah: Yes. you're cashflow in not cashflow out. And not only that.

But this also works for, if you go into a lot of HVAC, people do this, but a lot of HVAC people will hire and then they'll pay for you to go to trade school.

Ryan: Why HVAC?

Hannah: I don't know. Maybe because it's too difficult to train on the job, liability. I don't really know why, but they don't. A lot of them don't do paid trainings.  They send people to trade schools, they subsidize them. Yeah. Their trade school. I don't know why. I have no idea why. Maybe it's maybe the material that they work with to learn is too expensive or too.

Ryan: I've never heard of that before.

Hannah: Yeah. Super common practice. Also maybe it lowers the risk for them because then they're not teaching some, I don't know.

I don't know why they do that.

Ryan: Any HVAC guys out there.

Hannah: Yeah. Just let us know. Why do they subsidize instead of self-train and maybe it's not everybody. Maybe some people do. So let us know if the HVAC people do pay trainings and not just the company paying for trade school.

Absolutely. I'd be interested to know that a good example though, is I saw just the other day. Locally, there was a convey combustion combustion propeller operator. Do I know what that is? No. Does it sound super cool also? Yes. And it was paying $26 an hour with zero experience. There's some 18 year old kid out there that needs to be going to do that.

The other thing though, I think is that when we talk about these things, the trades are very flashy in this Degree Free space. But you can do this with anything. Another way, so a softer version of this would be you can actually ask a business owner to train you. And this is something where this is what we were talking about at the beginning, which is where you're going to have to do things that are difficult, in that, I would imagine that most people have never gone into a business and said, I want to learn how to do this business.

I want to work for you. Will you pay me while I learn while I work for you and have and be, because it's scary because they can always say no to you. But the thing is, all they're going to do is say "no thank you.". And you're going to walk out and then you're going to walk into the next place. And they're going to say, "no, thank you".

And then finally, you're going to ask enough people and someone's going to say yes to you.

Ryan: Yeah, absolutely.

Hannah: So if you want to be a baker, go ask 10 bakers. If you can work for them and train in their bakery, one of them is probably going to say yes to you. Like one of them, odds are.

Ryan: Yeah. And then also, people don't think about. You don't necessarily have to get paid. You should value, you should value what, you should value what your work is worth.

Hannah: If you can get paid, you always should.

If you can get paid, why not? The reason being is because you're going to learn more value, more valuable skills, cost money. So someone should be paying like your time is valuable.

And it's a good idea to.

Ryan:  Is it though?

Hannah: Oh, I don't know.

Ryan: Yeah. I don't know. I think I think another aspect of this is being willing to apprentice. Being, so a part with that business, with coming to business owners is yeah. Being willing to apprentice. And when you walk you to that place, if you're like I can't pay you or I can't pay minimum wage or whatever, and legal, not legal, not sure.

Okay. That's bit, that's a different, but that's a different, that's a different discussion. But what I can do is I can take it on an apprentice, and where you can learn where you can basically volunteer your time. And you learn the skills and you learn the trade. And then when you're, and when you're ready, when you're ready, they, then they hire you.

That's different.

Hannah: You say a lot of the time, the explain being in the room,

Ryan: I'm not sure how I, how I heard about that or how I've come to that. But I talk about it a lot. And I remember in the early days of your career and I mean my career as well and still to this day, it's a lot of it, 80 to 90% of the battle just being in the room is literally just being in the room.

Doesn't matter. Doesn't matter how you're in the room.  Being in the room. I, I remember at your old job used to be a fundraiser for a nonprofit and you had to.

Hannah: That's code for asking people for money.

Ryan: So, you have to ask that you basically have to ask rich people for money, and you were.

Hannah: What's the step one?

Ryan: You had access to all of these rich people, right? I remember you talking to me like, man, I don't really feel like at home and I don't feel like I belong. And because you're looking around the table and everybody there is wealthy, successful. And then there's you the leech, the person that's.

Hannah: Trying to get money from them. Yeah. Yeah. I was.

Ryan:  Literally trying to get money from them.

Hannah:  I'm literally there to ask, to take their money from them.

Ryan: But I used to always tell you shoot, you're in the room. Like you're in the room with billionaires and millionaires, right? There's some value to that, it  just, as it happens, nothing has come from that, but it's just being in the room, who knows So I think that's a lot of it just being there.

Hannah: I agree. And I think that's you're right. That's underrated. I think too, that might be something that again, I do think this goes back to colleges and back to the marketing of college degrees, which is it implies that just because you go to college, you won't have to do any of those things.

You will. You will have to do the same thing that these people have to do, which is get in the room. And you're going to have to do things that you feel are below your pay grade. You're going to have to sacrifice your time, your energy to move ahead in your career because that's how jobs work. But then you're going to do it, um, four years older with, for what most people is a crippling amount of debt and a lot of stress. You could just do that first and see if it works. If you are willing to apprentice or ask for paid training and you can get a business owner to hire you to work in their business, you are in the room as it were, as you just said.

And if you can do that, you can move up there, possibly. Or you could eventually buy the business from the owner that also happens. A lot of people don't realize that's something they can do. And that is a fantastic way to make a career. Yeah.

Ryan: A lot of businesses, a lot of small businesses, that's actually how they change hands. A lot of small businesses. If they're not.

Hannah: People don't know that.

Ryan:  If they're not passed down, multi-generational there are a lot of business owners that have created a successful business that have nobody to hand it down to. Or the kids, if they do have, they're not interested. And that is something.

Hannah: It's a wasted opportunity.

Ryan: Yeah. That's something that being a young person, instead of going to college, help out a business owner, and then eventually, you could buy that business and you don't have to have the cash to buy the business, you can come up with some sort of alternative financing where you give them checks for the rest of their life. If they're a business owner and they have been for a really long time, if they don't have retirement savings set up. Then, that could be almost a, that could be a guaranteed income for them for the rest of their life. And it could be you don't have to take out loans for.

You don't have to take out loans or have the cash necessary to buy the business. That's a huge opportunity.

Hannah: That is a really underutilized thing, too, I think is something that if you're a parent listening to this `too maybe you,  instead of sending your kid to college with all of that money that you're about to spend, which is a lot, why don't you go around and see if anybody is willing to sell a profitable business?

Like they don't have a way. They're, like Ryan said, their kids are not interested. Their kids left, they don't have kids or they have multiple businesses. And they're just looking to offload this one because they're focused on a different business. And so they're trying to it's called an exit strategy and a lot of business owners don't have them because they don't a lot of business owners don't go into it, thinking about how to get out. So they're stuck basically.

Ryan: They're business owners. They're not thinking about how to get out there. They're busy thinking about how to make it work and it's out of it.

Hannah: And it's a shame. That they go to waste because they've spent often years cultivating a profitable business.

Ryan: And that's one of the things that's one of those, that's one of those different things that it's not talked about all the time, but alternative financing.

Where is yeah. If you are. Or even if you're if you're a young kid and you have some sort of your parents give you the money to do it, you can.

Hannah: CO-sign a loan with you.

Ryan: Yeah. Yeah. Co-sign a loan with you. You can go ahead and ask the business owner, if they'll train you as part of buying the business and be like, okay, I'll give you X amount of, I'll give you what you got to figure it out.

Hannah: This also works for any kind of business, if they say yes, the answer is yes. So this could be a bakery, an acupuncture clinic. This could be.

Ryan: Visual media. A website.

Hannah: It could be a video company, a photography, a website is a great example, but it could be anything like,

Ryan: It could be a general store.

Hannah: It could be a boutique, a convenience store, like a wedding dress shop. It doesn't really matter.

Ryan: Mechanic shop.

Hannah: Yeah. Mechanic shop is a great example. That's a fantastic example.

Ryan: Yeah. You run up, you could run a whole bunch of, yeah. You run a bunch of,

Hannah: We wouldn't recommend a restaurant. If you want it to.

Ryan: There are people that make it happen. There are people that make it happen, historically it's very tough business.

Hannah: Very tough business.

Ryan: It was tough, big business to make profit.

Hannah: And people think they're fun, but it's the less fun when your profit margins are this big, really small. Yeah. It's labor-intensive too. Right.

Ryan: Buying a business is an opportunity that you can do instead.

Yeah. What else can you do?

Hannah: So another thing that you can do is you can just, and this is a really, this is a really novel concept. You could just get a job. The jazz hands are necessary because it's not flashy. But the thing is and here I think too, I think here the key, so there's a couple of key things about getting a job. One.

And this is myth-busting right here. Like where, are Jamie and Adam right now, because we're, myth-busting here.

You can apply for a job that says in the description college degree required. And if they bring you in for an interview, and they like you, and they hire you without a college degree then guess what? A college degree was not required.

Ryan: Yeah, absolutely.

Hannah: People do that all the time.

Ryan: Yeah. And I think that's one of the things I think that was one of the things that's not talked about.

Hannah: I have discovered through posting on Tik Tok that people think that it is illegal or that you are not allowed to. I don't know who they think can, won't allow you to do it, but they think that it's illegal or you're not allowed to submit a job application to a job that says college degree required.

If you don't have a college degree. You can it's that. It's literally clicking, apply and emailing a form. The thing is, and I don't know if it's, I don't know if it's fear. I don't know if it's fear of them telling you no. I don't think it's that though. I think genuinely that colleges, and I think that schools like K through 12 schools, imply that you are not allowed to do that.

That is bull crap, for lack of a better term. That is gatekeeping. That is them telling you that you have to pay the college before you're allowed to do this. It is an absurd, it is absurd. And I think that I think that the colleges and the schools imply that you are not allowed to submit a job application to to a job that says college degree required if you don't have a college degree,.

Let me just clear that up real fast. It is not unethical to do,  it is not wrong to do, it is not illegal to do, and in fact, you should be doing it because one thing that this goes back to the, the being in the room concept that Ryan talked about, but most jobs and I'm talking, this is a known statistic.

You can look it up, most jobs and I'm talking 70 to 80% of jobs are filled by people who are already there before they're even posted. So the jobs that you see either they're already filled, or they were never posted at all, because somebody already filled it, who was just working at that company. Do you think that all of those people have college degrees?

Because the answer is no. I had a crazy, I had a crazy talk with the gal that does my hair here. And she was telling me how her dad ran the entire, he ran the entire Chevron for the state of Hawaii and he didn't have a college degree. He was literally in charge.

Ryan:  As a manager or he owned it?

Hannah: No, he was corporate management. And he didn't have a college degree. And I think too, another way you can another way you can investigate that is look up people who are of authority in your area.

Like people who run big companies or people that run big small businesses where you live, or people that are high up in local media and check to see if they have a college degree, because a lot of them don't, and that's something too, if you're feeling unsure, just do a little research. But if you see a job that says college degree required and you fit 50% of the criteria or you're interested in it, or you fit none of the criteria and you're interested in it and enthusiastic about the job or the company apply for it.

Because all they're going to do the worst thing that's going to happen is they're going to not email you back.

Ryan: Yeah. They're just going to, they're just going to tell. And then the biggest thing is let them decide whether or not you're qualified for the job.

Hannah: You're self eliminating for no reason.

You're self eliminating because the college wants your money. And so they've implied to you that you literally can't do that.

Ryan: Let them decide whether or not they want you. Just the throw, throw your hat in the ring.

Hannah: Exactly. Let them rule you out because the thing is, if they like you, they won't.

And that's the thing is if you get the job, you get the job. It doesn't matter. They're not going to rule you out cause of college degree, not when you're not, when you're interviewing, they're just gonna look at you and see if they like you or not. Another a good example of this is the job that I have now.

When I interviewed, I didn't have a college degree and on my, a lot of people do ask what I say and I acknowledge it because I'm not going to hide it. I'm not ashamed of it. And I think that I don't brag about it, but I'm not trying away from it. I just say I don't have a college degree, but I have these skills.

That's how you say it. That's how you do it. If for people wondering how you apply for college for a job that says college degree required, when you don't have a college degree, you say in your resume or in your interview, you say, I don't have a college degree, but I have X, and this is why I'm valuable.

Ryan: Yeah, exactly. And then you just have to sell yourself to the company.

Hannah:  Right.

Ryan: Make sure that you understand the job that you're applying for. This is basic stuff. You have to understand the job that you're applying for. Understand how your skills, and it might seem that if you're a, if you're a person right out of high school, it might seem that you don't have a lot of skills and maybe you don't.

If you understand the job and you understand the skills that you do have, it's going to be a lot easier to formulate your answer to that, to those questions in your job interview and say, this is how I'm going to bring value to this company. I don't have a college degree that being said, I do have this, I have this. And I can help you in these ways because of it.

Hannah: And I think too, it's, there's another aspect of that is that a lot of companies those, these people on the receiving end of your application are not hostile to you. But it's, there's nothing to be afraid of. And in fact, a lot of companies would be amazed,.Oh, we have a, you would be the novelty.

You're going to be a novelty, which also, I think increases your likelihood of being hired because you're interesting. So if you apply and you're 18 and you don't have a college degree and you want that job apply, why? Because you're, you might be the only 18 year old without a college degree that said I did this, I read your company website.

I think I aligned with these values for your company. And I want to work for you. Here's why. Dude, you're going to hire that person over all of the college graduates who come in and clearly are not enthusiastic about the job because they don't think it pays enough. So that, I think that's pretty good.

So, basically what you can do instead of a college degree is pretty much everything.

My fun thing for this too, is that I have a theory and I have a theory that... so when Ryan asked me earlier, what jobs you can't get? I said medical field. Law is not one of those professions.

You can, in fact, apprentice to be a lawyer in the state of California and attempt the bar when you fulfilled a certain number of hours. You can actually look up that Kim Kardashian is doing that right now.

Probably can't be a top, like, DOD employee. You need a college degree for that. That leaves everything else.

I, oh, NASA astronauts. And the reason this is very important, this is very important and exciting. The reason I say NASA astronauts is because that my. I theorize that in the next few years, probably in the next 10, that Space X astronauts will not have to have to have college degrees.

They might.

Ryan:  They probably will,.

Hannah: But I'm willing to bet that requirement will quickly go to the wayside based on competency. I think that.

Ryan:  You still got to know your, you still got to know your stuff.

Hannah: Sure, but you don't need a college degree.

The people who first built thought all the people that versus built the spaceships, the first ones to the moon had college degrees. A lot of people don't wanna talk about that, but that's just true.

You can't be an astronaut without a college degree yet.

I also think that Space X astronauts are eventually going to be the best ones. They're going to be the best astronauts. It's going to be NASA trying to recruit. Yeah, I see in the future, I see NASA trying to recruit astronauts from Space X who don't have college degrees, but are really good at being astronauts. That's, that's where I see the future going.

I don't know. We can ask, we can tweet, tweet this at Elon and see what he says.

So to sum it up, what can you do instead of college? You can find paid training. You can apprentice to a business owner or buy a business to learn something that you want to learn, or you can just get a job.


Ryan: So I think the biggest thing is that when you tell this to people, it sounds so simple and it sounds like there's not that many options because you just gave me three options, just there, but really, that's everything. That's literally everything.

Hannah:  You can buy a bakery, you can work on a ranch.

Ryan: Find paid training to become a firefighter.

Hannah: A pilot. Pilots don't need college degrees.

Ryan: So yeah. So paid training, you can go out and do anything. So if you look at, if you look at something like for me, I did paid training. I. I'm a firefighter. And before I got hired to city and county of Honolulu, I wasn't a firefighter as a sales person, I sold tours and activities in Waikiki.

I, I sold people their luaus and their circle island tours. And. Whatever. Helicopter rides. God. That job. It was that job. That job was the worst.

Hannah: It's good though.

Ryan: It was good.

Hannah: Don't knock sales jobs. If you're going to get a job, you should get a sales job because you'll learn very valuable skills.

Ryan: I learned a lot.

Hannah: If you can sell timeshare, you can sell anything.

Ryan: I also sold time share, well, I didn't sell timeshare but I sold.

Hannah:  TImeshare offshoot.

Ryan:  A timeshare offshoot.

Hannah:  I did that also. And I think actually, if you want to learn sales. Go work at a timeshare company. That is those people are the hardest.

Ryan: Those guys can sell.

Hannah: It's terrifying. They're amazing.

Ryan: Granted it's a specific product and the specific people and specific demographic

Hannah: But high pressure and high dollar.

Ryan: N ot high pressure, but

Hannah: low pressure, high dollar high speed, low drag.

Ryan: It's. It's salesy, it's a sale.

Hannah: Very salesy.

Ryan: So anyway, I was a salesperson and then I applied and I got hired and then for eight months they paid me to learn how to do my job. And now I'm a firefighter, right? That's the perfect example of finding paid training, but that's an example.

So that's an example of doing it in the trades. But you can do that anywhere else.

Hannah: Another example, I just realized we'll make another episode about this, cause this is going to be its own episode. But my job, what I did to get my job was I got a certification.

I got a tech cert that it costs $362 and it took me 31 days to get a Salesforce certification and doing that was what secured me, my job, because in my submission for my job, I just said, Hey, I saw this job. I want it. I went and I did this thing. To get this job.

And then they hired me because you'd be crazy not to hire somebody who did that. And so you can also get a cert and leverage that. So you can, how that's applicable is you go into a job description and you see what's listed. And if it's something that's not college related, and it's a certification or a skill, you can learn on YouTube, like being good with Excel or using Tableau, which is a data analytics software, using Pinterest using it doesn't matter.

But look it up on YouTube, teach it to yourself or get one of the certifications that one of those platforms offers. You can be whatever certified can be Excel certified or Google certified or whatever, and then apply for the job and say, I went and got this for this job. And that's another option that you can do.

Ryan: Yeah, definitely.

Hannah: We're going to do a whole episode about that though, because the tech jobs are really a huge, you can it's really crazy what you can do to get into that's.

Ryan: Buy a business.

Hannah: Yeah, so you can find paid training, you can buy a business, you can just get a job or you get a tech cert also is the bonus feature for this one too.

But basically the getting a job encompasses everything. Yeah. Like just go find work. Yeah. Go do work.

Ryan: Go do anything. Work.

Hannah: And if you're really passionate about something, go try to work in that thing.

Ryan: The good thing about, and the good thing about the good thing about just getting a job and I know it sounds lame.

It sounds to lame. Like.

Hannah: But it's not though. It's it's hard.

Ryan: Yeah. It sounds lame though, man, I don't want to get it. I'd want to get a career. That's what, that's why you're going to college. You're going to college to get your career and I'm just telling you to get a job. Yeah, absolutely.

Cause you gotta, like, work. What happens, what happens a lot of times is people go to college for one thing that they think they want to do. And then they end up working in that field, for those for those select people, for those select people that actually degrees in their field.

And then they go actual work in that field and then they've been, they hate their job and they're just like, whoa, I didn't know that it was like that, but you can, but there's a way where you can have your economics go the other way, your personal finance go the other way.

Instead of you paying all this money up front and then figuring out what you don't like it, or it's not for you, or just guessing. You can go and get a job in that field.

Hannah: I have a story about this really quick before we go. But we had, I had a conversation with someone who was interested in the medical field and this person was very afraid of blood and things that you encounter in the medical field. And this person, this individual wanted to be a nurse.

But was terrified of anything having to do with that. So afraid in fact, that she wasn't able to even look at she had a family member pass away and she wasn't even to be in the same room because it was just too disturbing for her. She's a very sensitive individual. And, and I said, then why do you want to be a nurse?

Because anybody who's a nurse, it's fricking hard work, those hard work, and you cannot get away from those things. That's all you're going to do is do things like that.

And when I said why don't why don't you we have a mutual friend who is an EMT. And I said why don't you go do a ride along and see what it's like, or just go volunteer at a hospital?

She's no, because then I think I won't want to do it. And then, and I don't want to get scarred. And she said, I'd rather just go to school. I was like, but when you're done with school, you're going to have to do the job.

And clearly you are going to hate the job because you can't even, you don't even want to be anywhere near that stuff now.

And it's almost I think that actually feeds into the college mindset a lot too, is that for a lot of people, I think that they don't realize that after they're done with college, they're going to have to do work. So if you think you might want to do a type of work, maybe you should do that work first and see if it agrees with you.

Ryan: So that's it for this episode, guys.

Thanks so much for tuning in until next time. See you around.

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