If you are considering whether or not to attend college or you have a child faced with that decision, you definitely want to hear out Jordan Agolli. You may want to take an entrepreneurial gap year.
Jordan opted out of college after just 6 weeks. Not only did he not attend college, he spent his senior year of high school managing his landscaping business full time with the blessing of his parents!
His business generated $400,000 in revenue that year! He completed his credits to graduate from high school by taking classes online.
As I listened to him, I couldn’t help but think, this guy took an “entrepreneurial gap year”. (A gap year is defined as taking a year off from school to travel, work or volunteer with the goal of learning about yourself.) He’s learned more about business by doing it than from any business degree a college would award him.
Some lessons in this episode include:
- The comparison trap. Value yourself against your own personal benchmarks, not against the success of others.
- How to start a business without getting into debt.
- Apprenticeships. Find mentors you can shadow to learn real-life business skills.
Jordan recently started his second business, Force Media, a media production company. He also hosts the popular Teenage Entrepreneur podcast, but don’t be fooled by the name as he explains in our interview!
Life Skills That Matter In This Episode
- Self-directed learning.
- Embracing discomfort.
How Jordan Works and Thinks
- Wake up time: Between 5am to 8am during the week.
- 3 core work characteristics: Discipline, organization and focus.
- Definition of success: Setting a goal and achieving it.
- Self-reflection practice: Learning from past mistakes and he also surrounds himself with people unafraid to give him honest feedback.
- Ideal work environment: Enjoys working at night with no one around, no distractions and while listening to music.
- Favorite productivity tool: Evernote
- Recommended book: How to Win Friends and Influence People
- 90-day goal: Get 2 new clients.
“Anytime you start a new business it’s going to give you a nice kick in the face no matter how successful you were before.”
“Comparison is a recipe for depression.”
“If you live life for other people, you are going to end up hating your life.”
Are you struggling to find purpose in your work? Jordan offers these two recommendations . . .
1) Your passion lies in the activities you naturally enjoy doing. Jordan suggests reading this article by Mark Manson, “Screw Finding Your Passion”.
2) Ask people what they think is your purpose. Email 10 people in your life and ask them what they think you are passionate about. More often than not, others can see something in us before we are able to see it in ourselves.