Nu Age Marketing

3 life moments that taught me more about marketing than 4 years studying it in college

TL;DR — $210,000 later, I learned a ton studying marketing at a great college. But I experienced 3 major teaching moments after I graduated. And they taught me a helluva lot more.

My family spent north of $210,000 on my marketing education at a great Midwest business school. I’m lucky and so so grateful for my experience.

But I learned more off the campus for $549 than I did on it.

Moment #1: When I read Ladders of Wealth Creation (free)

For four years I never heard the word “creatorship” mentioned in a marketing or entrepreneurship class.

  • We never discussed the value of building an audience.
  • Leveraging the internet didn’t come up in a lecture.
  • And we sure as hell never talked about creating digital products.

I learned about all this reading Nathan Barry’s Ladders of Wealth Creation. For free.

Nathan Barry's Ladders of Wealth Creation

To build the life of freedom I want, I had to rethink what “work” was. It wasn’t money or wealth I treasured most. It was time!

I wanted more time to spend with people I love, to travel the world, to experience true independence.

In my traditional 9-5, I couldn’t expect to make the impact I want to make, get rich or even spend my time how I wanted.

So… I quit.

Moment #2: When I started a marketing agency ($49)

I officially registered an LLC under my name. I thought this was it – I made it! One of my buddies even brought me a mini bottle of champagne to celebrate.

Michael Scott spraying champagne

Not a big fan of champagne, but this was reason to celebrate. I had freed myself from the corporate world. Right?

Not exactly. This is when the real work began.

I made $999 in my first month freelancing. I built a decent one-page website for a friend and was off and running in my new career.

Oh, the mistakes I would make.

In college we didn’t learn about designing websites or communicating with clients or creating a brand color palette. But we did learn personal responsibility.

I had to learn the tactical stuff on the job. So I could make a living. This was do-or-die.

Moment #3: When I started an online writing habit ($499)

In August I joined a cohort-based course with 1936 other aspiring writers. The goal? To publish one article a day for 30 straight days.

Nothing has been more humbling than publishing my thoughts online.

First realization: No one cares.

But the people who do? They really do.

This is when I learned the power of specifying who you’re for. I’ll let you guess how many times I heard the word “niche” in the walls of our business school…


Never have my thoughts, vision and goals been so clear.

Never have I met such incredible people.

And never have I seen the world so abundantly full of opportunity.

Thank you to all my “professors” from the school of life. You’ve taught me the most valuable lessons of all.

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3 life moments that taught me more about marketing than 4 years studying it in college

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