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laptop-work-creative-informationThere is no denying it — we are living in the heart of the information age. Traditional jobs that require mechanical labor are basically being replaced by robots.

In my opinion, almost all tasks that require physical work will soon be replaced by automated “smart” machines.

You know those Chinese sweat shops and factories that we hear about in the news? The ones that pay their workers pennies on the dollar, and force them to work in dangerous environments for ridiculous hours?

Thankfully, they’ll soon disappear.

Think about it, machines are able to produce things faster, at a higher quality and can work ’round the clock without vacation requests. The only reason why iPhones are assembled by an army of underpaid Chinese workers at the moment, is because it’s simply cheaper to do so.

But it won’t stay that way for long; come back to this article in 2025 and you’ll see I was bang on the money. Don’t believe me? Check out this video below (apparently I’m not the only one who’s caught on to this trend)

So what does all of this mean for someone straight out of high school?

Well, it means that if you want a job in the next 5 or 10 years from now, you basically only have three options.

In fact, I wish I knew these three options before I went to college because it would’ve made me future-proof from the get go. There was a small period in my life where I was playing catch-up. Luckily, you won’t have to.

Let’s dive into each option, starting with…

Option A: Become a knowledge worker

Knowledge workers are people that basically harness their creativity to produce results that aren’t always physically tangible.

Here are a few examples of this type of job:

  • graphic designers
  • writers
  • musicians
  • programmers
  • consultants
  • marketers etc.

When you read an article, listen to one of our podcast episodes, or purchase our ever-famous Hustler’s Success Planner, you are basically helping Martin and I leverage our skills as knowledge workers. Your support let’s us continue our work to provide intangible goods. Which brings us to the second option that you have…

Option B: Start your own business

If you run a company that provides a valuable service and produces a profit, you won’t have to go looking for a job. Like, ever.

But don’t get it twisted — while we live in a time where it’s “sexy” to be self employed and start companies, it doesn’t always bare fruit. Don’t expect a return on your initial investment of time and money in the first few years. It’s a lot more work, and a lot more grind than you’ve been told to believe.

So you can throw all that “4 hour work week” crap out the window. You’ll need to work 4000 hours before you can have the systems in place which take only 4 hours of oversight.

A Dirty Little Secret About New Tech Companies

When I heard about this little secret, it blew my mind. Most of the “hot” tech startup companies that are valued at over a billion dollars aren’t actually producing any profit!

It’s true. Google that shit if you don’t believe me. I know I had a hard time accepting it at first. As much as I love Uber (valued at $30 billion), it’s losing money year after year.

But just like anything in life, if you play your cards (and numbers) right, the rewards can be well worth it.

Having said all of that, running a business is not everyone’s cup of tea, which brings us to the last option.

Option C: Become a skilled trade worker

While machines that assemble an iPhones aren’t far away, we still need people such as carpenters, electricians, plumbers, chefs, construction workers, pro athletes, coaches, farmers etc.

And the reason these people are in demand, is that this type of physical labor requires experience, ingenuity, creativity and problem solving skills in a short period of time. See, I know a machine isn’t going to replace my expertise as a writer, podcast host or a fitness coach; teaching an athlete how to deadlift 3x their bodyweight, or create amazing articles that drop serious knowledge bombs will still be a valuable skill years down the road.

Maybe when quantum computers become a reality, we’ll be able to produce robots that can replace very complex human tasks. But the way things are looking right now, that won’t be happening for another 50 years or so.

So, which option should you pick?

choose-path-road-businessWell that’s the beauty of the situation you’re in right now – you can take the risk and find out what works, or what doesn’t with minimal consequences.

Allow me to be controversial for a second: DO NOT go to college or university and burn 20 grand just because everyone else says you should. If you have no clue what you want to do, there’s no need to be in school for the sake of being in school.

Here are two real truths about knowledge:

1 – It’s abundant; as a species we produce more information in 48 hours then we did from the time cavemen first made animal drawings on the wall till the year 2000(1). So basically, try as hard as you might, you’ll never know everything there is to know… not even in your own field. What this means is that you can constantly get better at whatever you decide to do and you can dive as deep down the rabbit hole as you wish. Imagine an endless well filled with everything you could possibly want to know. Also known as the “internet”.

2 – It doesn’t really have an age limit; this means you can always go to college or learn the knowledgeable skills you need at a later point – plenty of people do(2). I’m actually a living example of this. Just recently I spent $200 on a computer programming course over at Udemy. It contains 13 hours of video lectures along with a tonne of course materials and tools. Oh, and I have access to the course creator who’s an actual real world developer.

Contrast that with the average cost of a computer science degree which is around $30k… and I think you’ll agree that waiting isn’t so bad afterall. Plus I bring the drive, motivation and life experience that youngins’ don’t have.

sad-graduation-student-college2Now you might say, “But Sahil, no one will hire a half-self taught programmer over a college grad with a degree!”

Really? Well I asked a bunch of my friends who are in the tech space and you know what they said? They don’t care about a fancy piece of paper – if they need a developer, they just want the best damn person who can get the job done. Whether they’re self taught or not doesn’t matter.

Plus, realize that I’m not learning code to become a developer. I’m doing it because when I get enough capital to hire an army of them, I won’t be left in the dark.

It’s like hiring a ghostwriter to write your book if you suck at producing words. A great idea, but if you don’t know the English language then you can’t proof-read their work. This means you’ll never know what the hell it is they’re doing.

So while you might not have their skill, you’ll have enough knowledge acquired to vett their work. This is why I’m getting into coding.

When Going Into College Actually Makes Sense

Look, if your life long dream is to be a doctor, then you need proper schooling. I don’t want you performing surgery on me while claiming to be self taught. Any profession that’s highly regulated will need some type of formal schooling, so use common sense.

But if at this very moment you want to start a business based on an idea that you have, or want to pursue a passion that you can’t stop thinking about, then I say go for it. Get your hands dirty. Give yourself a timeline, and if the idea doesn’t take off within that time, your default can always be college.

I’d rather spend $10k launching a business, failing and learning from my mistakes which will stay with me forever, than going to college and taking aimless courses while I’m still trying to figure out what the hell to do with my life.

And if you think I’m wrong, read that last paragraph to 10 of the most successful individuals that you can find, and see what they say. Chances are high that at least 8 out of 10 will nod their heads in agreement.

As always, kick ass, take names and keep hustling!

(1) Eric Schmidt on how much data we produce: http://techcrunch.com/2010/08/04/schmidt-data/
(2) http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2013/11/what-its-like-to-be-a-middle-aged-college-student/281726/

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