“Spending ten hours a week putting together a portfolio of your skills in college will often turn into a business before you even get the degree.” – Taylor Pearson
Taylor is a super-smart, young guy, who I wanted to bring on because he has a very interesting history and set of experiences that are relevant to anyone looking to pursue a non-traditional college path.
He graduated with a history degree but ran off to Brazil, taught himself marketing, and started landing freelance gigs with a number of different companies in the states.
That turned into working closely with a few location independent entrepreneurs who he ended up traveling around the world with, which all led to observations he made about the changing job market and the emergence of entrepreneurship which he wrote about in his book, The End of Jobs.
We cover a wide range of topics in this episode, including:
- “Silent risk,” and how college students expose themselves to it
- Heuristic vs. Algorithmic skills, and the importance of focusing on heuristic ones
- How he taught himself the skills to land his initial freelance gigs
- Turning those experiences into more direct apprenticeships and finding mentors
- Becoming a writer, and how he supports a creative life
- How he managed the expectations of his peers and parents while getting started
If you want more on self-education, handling some of the negative emotions around failure, getting started, and managing going against the normal grain, you should check out my interview with Adil Majid where we went deep on these subjects as well.
Question: What was your favorite piece or lesson from this episode? Please let me know on Twitter after you listen!
Links from the Episode:
Find Taylor online:
Mentioned in the show:
- Empire Flippers
- SEO Moz
- Tropical MBA
- Cynefin framework
- 4-Hour Work Week (Book)
- Get Apprenticeship
- Ink 5000
- Man’s Search for Meaning
- Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
- Principles (pre-order currently), original free PDF here
1:25 – Introduction and Taylor’s start in business.
19:17 – Taylor talking on “silent-risk”, safe jobs vs. artist entrepreneurship.
25:32 – College pushing graduates into silent-risk scenarios, why we should take smaller risks often rather than taking large risks less often.
33:38 – Taylor on which skills show longevity in usefulness vs. skills likely to be outsourced or automated.
37:25 – Taylor on finding creative work, measuring your skill longevity.
38:45 – Taylor speaking about grades and correlation with heuristic skills.
39:58 – Speaking about going back to college knowing what he knows now, whether or not to focus on getting good grades compared to focusing on side projects and networking.
43:58 – Taylor’s recommendations on getting out of the silent-risk scenario.
46:37 – Taylor’s advice on students getting an apprenticeship for their skill.
48:19 – His steps for entrepreneurial-type goals and becoming self-supporting.
55:18 – Recommendations on getting over the hurdle of beginning entrepreneurship obstacles.
58:28 – Taylor speaking on dealing with opinions of peers and parents on taking risks.
1:00:30 – Speaking on ADHD, dissatisfaction and Taylor’s experiences and opinions on it.
1:08:33 – Taylor’s book recommendations to freshmen at college and in general.
1:11:39 – Wrap up.
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