“College is an accepted expense.”
“It’s easier to get financing for student loans.”
“It’s social conditioning in the United States.”
These are all reasons some BossBabes I know said they didn’t think twice about shelling out tens of thousands of dollars on a college education.
Investing in a College Degree
“From an early age, I was taught that to be successful in life you have to do good in school and graduate from college with a degree,” Topacio Boyd, a virtual assistant said. “Being an entrepreneur, freelancer, or a virtual assistant wasn't something that was really talked about.”
Megan McAvoy Matté, a mindset coach and business strategist agrees most kids are raised to believe “they should go to college and get a good job,” so they work toward that along with their peers.
“The thing with money mindset is that these beliefs are ingrained during childhood,” Megan said. “Kids want to fit in and colleges (with all their loans) can easily “take advantage” of that subconscious programming.”
Investing in Education (Yes, There is a Difference)
I graduated high school in 2002, and like Topacio and Megan, went to college because it was the traditional next step. Now, in 2019, there are so many more options.
It’s clear today more than ever that you do not need to go into debt or spend the rest of your life paying back that debt to make a living.
For example, Alternatives to College is a website that acts as a database for people looking for education and resources while bypassing years and tens of thousands of dollars. More than 20,000 programs from 2,000 providers are accessible… and that number continues to grow.
No, it’s not traditional, but neither is learning how to build a house by watching YouTube videos. (Yes, it’s been done!) That’s why this way of thinking works today.
Changing Your Money Mindset
Still, so many BossBabes are scared to invest in themselves or their business in this new, non-traditional way.
“Many lack the belief they’ll get an ROI on that money because it’s considered “risky” to invest in a business, and yet if you look at the financials of college, for instance, the inflation rate and the cost of interest over the life of the loan, then college is quite risky,” Megan said. “The income potential as an entrepreneur is limitless compared to a salary that’s only going to grow so much.”
So, what should we do as BossBabes to change their money mindset?
Don’t Think of it as Investing in Your Business. Instead, Invest in Yourself.
After thinking of starting her own business for a full year, Amy Fohr left her corporate job this summer to launch, Sweater Hound – a company that knits an image of your furry friend on a custom made sweater.
“I tell myself I can always go back to my corporate job, but I couldn't leave the question unanswered – What if I didn't try? I didn't want to have those what if's,” Fohr said. “You are going to be your biggest cheerleader so go out there, send that email, make that phone call, and schedule that coffee.”
Fohr says you need to believe in yourself so others will believe in you too. You need to be willing to invest in yourself.
Face the Fear by Doing it Scared.
In college, Adriana Carrig, founder of Little Words Project, invested $5,000 of what she made while working in retail to start her business. That initial investment was spent on creating the website, making a marketing video, and buying materials to get started creating the original one-word bracelet.
“It doesn’t matter how many people have your back, or how many affirmations you read, when you’re first starting out (and even when you’ve been around for almost six years), you’re going to have fears in the back of your mind and you’ll have to challenge them every step of the way,” Carrig said. “There is no shame in continuing to learn. I know I believe in myself and this business and that keeps me going.”
According to Carrig, it can be so easy to talk yourself out of something. It’s much harder to believe that you can do it.
“As silly as this sounds, I watched the movie We Bought a Zoo when I was starting Little Words Project. In it, Matt Damon’s character says,
‘Sometimes, all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage. Just literally 20 seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.’
This quote struck a chord with me then and remains true today.”
There is Always More Money to Make.
According to Michelle Amethyst Mahoney, investing a few thousand dollars in your business is not the end of the world.
“If you don't believe you'll ever make $5,000 back, you probably shouldn't be playing at business,” she believes. “Investing in my business changed my life. I feel sorry for people who don't believe in themselves enough to do it.”
Luckily, there are several paths to success and we can choose our own.
Lindsay Satmary, a blogger at Paperclips and Pacis, started her business at just 24-years-old and if she could go back, she’d skip college, but understands why others may not.
“Not everyone is cut out for entrepreneurship,” Lindsay believes. “College sets you up to work for someone else. It’s just a different life path.”