Should You Drop Out?

Hi there! Nathan Sykes here, live from our office in Bangor. Thanks for joining us.

Today’s podcast episode is about deciding whether you should drop out of school. The reason I’m bringing it up is because I just had a conversation with someone who wanted to come work for me – it turns out he quit high school the week before to focus on other things worth his time.

To determine if leaving the traditional academic environment is a good fit for you, you need to analyze a few things.

First, I would almost never recommend dropping out of high school unless you have a very good reason, and if you do, you should already be being advised by a manager or an agent.

I founded Howdy Interactive in 2017. At the time, I was attending a very prestigious private school in Maine. I focused so much on my business that my academics completely flopped, and I received a notice that I wasn’t invited back for another year.

I was kind of bummed out, but I understood how they were making the decision – they were a college prep institution, not geared towards entrepreneurs.

In 2018, I enrolled in my local public high school. This is slightly better because you don’t have attendance requirements (sure, they report you to the truancy officer, but “I’m traveling internationally expanding my business with Fortune 500 clients” seems to get him off my back). Still, I had missed a ridiculous amount of school, and my teachers were starting to get pissed at me. I had to find another solution.

I originally heard of Maine Connections Academy when I was in my counselor’s room, and we were brainstorming what we could do to get my attendance back in line.

I put myself on the waitlist, and transferred over just a few weeks ago. At the time of writing, this is my third week on the platform. Now, my high school education is entirely virtual.

That is my advice for teen entrepreneurs and high-performing students that want to drop-out: try taking things down a notch first. If you’re in private school, go to a public school – it’s a lot less stressful. If you’re in public school, try virtual – it’s a lot more flexible. If none of those work, then you should look into maybe continuing your education with a GED instead of a high school diploma.

College is another story. Obviously, you’ll take a financial hit the longer you’ve been in college, but it’s a smaller risk. If you have a project that has the potential to scale to the billions of dollars, and is already making a profit, then I would tell you to go for it.

I’m taking college classes to earn my college degree while in high school, but I don’t think that I’ll continue with college independently after I finish high school. There’s too much money to be made in the world to waste four years like that.

Alright, that’s all I got for you. See you tomorrow!


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