Welcome to the first article on the Discovering Felix blog series.
****Disclaimer I am in no way shape or form advising anyone to not go or drop out of college, this is my personal experience and not everyone’s situation is the same****
That said here is a quick story and my “beef” with college degrees.
In 2008 I went to college the very first semester after I finished HS, I was barely 18 years old and I elected to take some loans for my education (let’s face it as an 18 year old working at GameCrazy (RIP game crazy) I didn’t exactly have 36k just laying around) at 18 I also wasn’t fortunate enough to know what I was going to do for the REST OF MY LIFE!!
In fear of being socially judged for not going to college right away I landed on generals and business (a broad and safe choice right?) spoiler alert I learn a lot about busy work and how to be a good worker (You know climb the corporate ladder and all that) some really good stuff if I wanted to get a 9-5 and make someone else buckets of money. I HATED IT, I hated It to the point I quit (mind you up to this point in my life I can confidently say I never quit on anything).
I was 19/20 when I quit school I started my first business an entertainment company Modern Hour Ent (sadly it died in 2012, more about that on the /about page)
in 2013 After a successful run as a Producer/DJ in the entertainment industry, I had cold hard CASH (this in lies the problem, what a problem to have right?) I remember a couple quotes from a wise man like
“You needed to do something with that money before you blow it all and have nothing to show for it” - My Dad.
and my now favorite one (because my 21 year old self genuinely thought it would last forever.)
“You needed to think about life after music” - My Dad.
I can’t thank him enough for his time, his support, his guidance on this and other topics. Especially the blueprint he left me on how to raise my kids.
I realized I don't know anything but self marketing and persistence and I started listening to him and started talking to all of the business people I knew (entrepreneurs, people I looked up to, and the people I wanted to emulate that I had met along the way.)
I started my second business (an ATM company that I could use my cash and it produces passive income. I own and operate this business to this day) At this point I was 22/23 making money with both business had an amazing girlfriend (now wife) for about 2-3 years at this point life was great! That year I found out I was going to be a father (and talk about having a drive like you have never had before).
Let's fast forward to get to the point of this article, I'm now 30 I had 2 kids and 2 successful businesses built a house drive nice cars the American dream...
Then came the dreaded the pandemic I learned many VERY important lessons mainly, 1: Nothing is forever 2: Diversify, no one was out so no one was using ATM's so I was making a big fat $0 I thought I was dead in the water however, out of this came a huge opportunity.
I talked to my clients some of which have been with me for almost 10 years (cash only business) they were in desperate need of help and I didn't want to loose them, thankfully they didn't want to leave me. Again I used my resources (the relationships and network i've build over the years not what was fed to me in school).
I started offering credit card processing as a service, with this came an entirely new set of obstacles (I live for these situations) first hurdle was how do we roll this out? We came up with landing pages and phone take out orders!
I reverted to my Jr high days (good old HTML) I used to "sell" custom Myspace.....YES MYSPACE...layouts with music players (flash-player days baby) to my friends, so I started to put together landing pages with what I knew and youtube videos for what I didn't. Thats when that old bug bit me, and I remembered I LOVED doing this!
With revenue restored and business actually growing I was back! Between streaming video games (as I was making a bit of money as a youtube partner.) on the (TheyCallMeFelix Youtube channel) which will be repurposed this year!
I was ALL IN Udemy, freecodecamp.org, MIMO on my phone, asking friends who were in the space for help, you name it I was on it! After a 2 and a half years of learning it all HTML, CSS, JS, and as my skills leveled up I went into frameworks like react, NextJs and backend with SQ/,NO SQL DBs, Fire & Supabase. I'm now a "Full Stack developer".......now what?
The pandemic ended, my kids went back in school, the ATM revenue came back plus the credit card processing ramped up, both business are doing well (BLESSED) with both business being passive income streams it left me with time.
I decided I wanted to keep the growth momentum going for the business so I started to joined the local chamber of commerce and went to networking events.
While at these events I came across a need for keeping organization and monitoring my time with the people I'm meeting (you know everyone that says "I can send you so much business" - everyone you meet at these events) so I built linkupqr.com
a business card that exchanges information and keeps track of contacts while showing the people that are benefiting me and my time. I also started helping companies do things that some of their programmers with CS degrees couldn't do (that showed me there was a gap in the industry). This got me thinking why not get a job in tech and let my passive business be that passive.
I started looking for some opportunities in the industry even with all the experience of what business owners need and proof of work a portfolio that demonstrates my skills (I knew what I was doing with code) I was passed up countless times to a CS degree even after doing better on code reviews than my CS Degree counter parts...
Its very discouraging to me to know there are people who lost there jobs or can no longer work in the fields they went to school for, they have next to 0 chance in getting in unless they NETWORK or have family in the business that can "vouch" for you.
My so called "Beef" with degrees is the inconsistency, they don't always demonstrate the skill of someone. No matter what area you chose to work in, (degree or not) if you change that category at any point of your life, you are severely punished for it. It's just something that doesn't sit right with me, to see people that are very passionate and capable not be given the opportunity, especially in the "Land of Opportunity". Don't get me wrong for the people that put in the time and work for their degrees, I am in no way taking that away from you in fact there are plenty of instances where you HAVE TO HAVE ONE NO QUESTIONS ASKED (Surgeons, Doctors, Anything in the medical field ect) But now you have to ask where do you draw the line? Could a trust a lawyer to represent you in court with out a law degree? Technically you could read all of the laws and just stay up to date with new ones right? Would you trust it? If that individual can pass the same tests and keep the same standard what difference would it make? my beef is with the inconsistency!