You don’t need a diploma to be successful

What if I told you that the piece of paper in your hand that was handed to you when you graduated is for all intents and purposes a very expensive piece of paper?

No diploma, no problem

And that’s pretty much all it is because if you are looking for a quick and instant path to a high-paying job, a college diploma can only go so far.
You see, in a very competitive market, experience trumps pretty much everything. Believe me; I know a thing or two about this situation because my nephew graduated with a Mathematics degree from a fairly decent college in Southern California. Now, please understand that math is not exactly an easy subject. It definitely is not basket weaving 101, and it’s definitely not English 101.
A Mathematics degree means that you are comfortable with ideas. A Mathematics degree means that you can show your worth as you figure out equations and you can persuade people based on Mathematical situations why you’ve achieved a certain answer instead of another answer. In other words, this is some high-grade intellectual, heavy-labor type of academic discipline.
Unfortunately, my nephew has been looking for a job going on for six years now. On paper, it seems that he would make an awesome insurance actuary. In reality, insurance companies are actually incestuous. What this means that they would only hire people who are already in the network or already recommended by people who have worked in the industry.
If you are a complete and total stranger with absolutely no connections, good luck! That is precisely what has happened to my nephew. It breaks my heart when I ask my brother how my nephew is doing and I get the same answer over and over again.
You have to understand that it is not the diploma that makes you successful. What makes you successful is your attitude. He could have turned things around by asking to volunteer for almost zero money in a non-profit organization that deals with actuarial tables or issues related to actuarial work.
This is the key because a lot of people who get out of college are under the impression that the world owes them $100,000 a year. This is the Middle-Class delusion in the United States and it really leads to a serious problem in terms of skills mismatch. In fact, in certain parts of the continental United States, there is a lot more demand hard labor. I am talking about skilled hard labor that pays $75,000 to $100,000 per year.

To this day, there is a lot of fracking companies in North Dakota and other places who, for the life of them, cannot find people. They are willing to pay six figures, mind you, but nobody is taking it. Nobody is biting. People could not care less.
So instead of focusing on your diploma, focus on your attitude instead. Are you the type of person who is going to show up at least 15 minutes ahead of time? Are you the type of person who actually listens to your boss and pays attention to the problems that are being resolved? Are you the type of person who will stay up late at night trying to come up with your own solutions? Are you the type of employee who would stand up and share whatever answers you come up with because the team means so much to you? Are you the type of person who believes in the mission-vision statement of your company so you would work for however long it takes and do whatever it takes for the team as a whole to achieve success?
If you answered “Yes” to all of these, then you have what it takes to become a real all-American success. In other words, you have the right attitude to make it. Let me tell you, it’s not your diploma that will make you successful. If you define success as $1,000,000 a year instead of just $100,000 a year, then it’s going to have to be your attitude. But I always like to say, “Your attitude determines your life’s altitude.” Pick the right attitude starting today and you’ll be surprised as to how far you can get in life.