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So, I'm currently at a point in my life, where I'm having to decide QUICK with where I want my life to go....as a little guy is on the way.

I have some college, but no degree, as I kept hopping around seeing if I could find my calling. Some things look to have a future, but I dunno, it just didn't "click". Kinda like you know when you meet the person you fall in love with, you just know...well, I haven't found that career path yet. Nothing has "clicked"

I do know one thing. If I goto college, I'm going all the way, to get my PhD. If I go back, it'll be child psychology....but like I said, it hasn't quite "clicked" if that's what I want to do. Fairly sure, but damn that's a long road ahead.

My other option is Gap. Some snicker about that even being an option, but it really is a company you can make a career out of if you play your cards right. You have to figure, most of the people that work there aren't life-ers. They're college kids, or adults doing it as something on the side. There are manager, but they're just that, they're content with where they are. So if you put your mind to it, you can be a store manager in no time, making around $80K/yr after bonus' for doing what, standing in a store. Given you're not scared to relocate and take opportunities as they show, you can honestly be a store manager in under 7 years if you bust your ass and go balls to the wall, and play your cards right.

$80K/year, that's what some people make with a college education. And that's not even being corporate....corporate Gap make money and Gap has tuition reimbursement, so they can fund your success if you wanna look at it that way.

And lastly, my last option if freelance webdesign, or perhaps working with a design firm. Making website, or digital work is fun to me. I'm new, and don't know even the tip of the Adobe iceberg, but it comes easily. My only restraints being my computer, and a teacher. But it's not exactly an easy to grab job, as this field is EXTREMELY competitive. You might be better than the next guy, but if you don't have the credentials or that one big break, you don't go anywhere. I know the big 3 surf company webmasters make $50K a year, on top of thier initial $20-50K to MAKE THE SITE....and they do updates MAYBE once a week with minor updates, just to keep the site from getting stale. What a job. $50K a year on a part time gig.....

My buddies clothing company, is taking off, but I dunno if I can bet my entire table of chips on it taking off and exploding to where I can be on a payroll. Yes he makes DECE money, but not to where he can afford to quit his job and support himself and all his bills, yet. Yes, I'm the co-pilot, but in all seriousness, on paper, I'm nothing mroe than the webdesigner. I help organize and give input like a motherfucker though. And everybody knows it. But like the saying says, money changes people. I just don't want to be taken for granted or be forgotten. He could literally say "fuck off" and I'de be out. He'd have to find somebody who knows flash, and would have to pay them, but yeah, I'm basically just there. I'm not even getting paid for all the promoting I'm doing, as I'm doing it all out of good faith and helping a good long time friend, hoping it pays off in the end.

College is a good option regardless of which route I take, it's just that one kinda limits me to my options. being a child psychologist, doesn't exactly open you up to other medical fields, or any field period. I'm I'm scared to DEATH of malpractice suits. Which is kinda one reason I chose child psych, as it's a relatively low lawsuit field in comparison...but it also doesn't bring in the money, and for some, that's the bottom line. Don't get me wrong, I love money just as much as the next guy, but I'm all about happiness. I honestly, sometimes that's what holds me back. I would much rather sweep the floor of a place I love, than be the CEO of a place I hate...

My problem is, things get stale easily with me. I like change, but there's also a balance of security with no change that I like. I like routines (that's OCD speaking, haha), but damned if I get stuck doing the same EXACT thing everyday.

I'm at a fork in the road. Funding myself through college isn't a problem atm, but with a kid on the way, it kinda makes you wonder...will I have the time and energy to be successful? Basically, I just wanna be a good provider and a good dad. I'm scared shitless right now, as I can take care of myself perfectly fine....it's just being responsible for the little guy, that has me worried....

So I ask you guys with your careers, how did you get there? Were you fortunate enough to know right away? Or did you have to search and try out different things. Any advice?

Sorry for it being so long...I'm at that fork, and need some input as to which durection to turn on my blinkers lol.
 

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Oh man. I'm not sure how this is going to come from me, being all of 33 years old and with no kids...

I had a big fork in the road when I came back from the Navy at 21 years old. I wanted so much to race motorcycles or run off and be in a rock band. I'm pretty sure I could have done a little something with racing, and I would have been a total failure in a band.

BUT, I had a royal flush laid out in front of me with a cheap education and very low bills while I was doing it, so I did it.

I'm not making a ton of money (I figured I'd be driving a Rolls by this time back when I was 16...), but it's enough to have a bike or two and a house, wife and kid without a problem (if I had a kid, but I have a Ducati which is almost the same thing :) ).

It's the job that affords me to not be bored with life, I can do all kinds of fun stuff after work and on the weekends.

For you, you're life is going to be planned for you to a certain extent with the kid, but I can say you probably want a "solid as a rock" career to go with the kid, unless you know yourself and you know you'll have opportunities show up when others go sour. I'm not so sure about this for me, so I stick with the job I don't really like, but I don't really hate either. I'm working on making opportunities, but it's the solid job that affords this.

Education NEVER hurts, and you may find that your life path will change once you start being educated about something that thrills you. If it's not child psychology, find something else. Whatever it is. It started out being business for me, then finance, but I could only get a job being a computer nerd at work instead of just at home so that's what I did... Wish I would have done either computer engineering or mechanical engineering now that I look back on it instead of a business related comptuer degree, but oh well...

I don't know if I just said anything useful.

Balance your heart with your situation, and I think you'll extract the most happiness out of life.
 

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OICDN, I believe you really need to spend some quiet time to work out what you want to do. These days unless you want a corporate job somewhere the degree matters nothing. I have a MBA amongst other degrees (3), and had a huge corporate job, and threw it all in 6 years ago to start my own business and build something that suited my desired lifestyle. That is work to live, not live to work.I wanted to spend more time at home, no commuting and be around for my kids, oh and do heaps of riding!
So at a crossroads do you want a job, or your own business.? anwer that first then you can start to narrow done on exactly what, where, and how.
Remember also most partnerships end in tears. I had this happen last year, so learnt a whole new set of lessons.
Pick your end desired goal, then work backwards. Then plan it properly, be disciplined and don't hang around people wanting to change your mind or drag you down.
There I think I'll go for a ride (going to the Sydney bike show to see the new 1098).
Good luck.
 

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Maybe I'm too cautious but I'd go with the direction that has the most probability of success and long term stability. My advice is to go to school. You don't need to get a PhD right away. You need something to establish a career and then get a higher degree to move you forward in that career.

Get yourself an education that will give you a skill set or profession that people are willing to pay for. In the mean time, get involved in web design or maybe even your friend's company - but not at the expense of an education. If you don't have time to go to a brick or mortar school, there are also online or "distance learning" programs that will allow you to work around your schedule.

You can always take risk and hope your friends company will go big time -or that you can get $80K working through the Gap. But I say do the thing that will give you and your family a sure income and long term stability. If you can manage to do the other things at the same time (web design, etc.), even better.

Web design and IT sounds good but you'll go further if you have a degree PLUS industry experienc to back it up.
 

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hmm..i would go for the proffesion which pays you the most cash.remember that you go to a job to make money not to have a good time.that's why mv's are for
 

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Discussion Starter #9
spalding12 said:
hey nate
your thoughtful and insightful thread is something i'm very glad you posted

rather than write all my personal thoughts here....
i will call you this weekend when/if the time is right for you

i'm glad you asked the opinion of this fine group of folks
I'de appreciate that very much Greg! I'm off all day Saturday...so if you'de like, the morning would be awesome!

As for everybody else's input thus far, it's very much appreciated.

I'm the kind of person where "if you're gonna go...go all out!" It's called overly compulsive, I call it being the absolute best I can be. It's shown with everything I do. All my friends give me shit cause all my cars were maxed out, my past bikes...nothing but the best....I took sacrifices. And I figured the same with a degree, why stop at a Bachelors, or even a masters...get the doctorate, and go all the way.

I'm in all honestly lost as to where to point. Like I said, I'm almost positive his company will take off, and I devote ALOT of time to it, but it would be stupid to bank 100% on it. I essentially run it, while he funds and makes the decisions (which is how I'm almost positive it will, as I have huge input). I recently landed us a deal with a HUGE surf shop to carry our line, at the expense of even booting another company out. In Florida, they're second only to Ron Jon Surf Shop. Without me, he wouldn't have gotten it. Well, maybe he would have, but his plate is full, and it mighta been a LONG ways away. Pretty much I've accelerated things. It's a wierd relationship, he's scared somebody wants to corrupt it or screw things up inadvertantly. So he tries to keep it all to himself, so there's nobody to blame but himself. He's slowly opening to me, especially after this deal, when the buyer at the shop said "he's better at this than you are...", I think that kinda proved myself to him...maybe not. I think it kinda insulted him a bit actually, but he's also happy, cause this is a HUGE step for the company. We've got some other stuff going on on the side that look very promising with embroidery ;) so we're not too worried about anything failing.

But again, on paper I'm nothing. I'm thinking I should invest, to solidify myself in the company would be the smart thing...but that would probably take money I don't have.

Like stated, education is important. But like I said before, I'm one to go all out. Once I focus, I'm impossible to sidetrack, impossible. If I went to school, I would work the absolute BARE MINIMUM at work so I could divert all my focus to school. Work enough to just pay for my bike and insurance. Eat ramen and just get school over with via fastrack and do it in half the time...sleep, school, sleep, school, occasionaly toss in a 4 hour shift of work. But with a kid....that doesn't work out, you have to also pay for the kid. You can't divert all your attention like that. You HAVE TO MAKE EXTRA MONEY. And this poses a huge problem for me. I only have till April to decide...and that's coming up quick. And frankly, it scares the shit outta me.

So how the hell do/did you guys do it? Being already established is one thing, but getting established WHILE having a kid...whoa.

Wow...these posts are long....
 

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allias86 said:
hmm..i would go for the proffesion which pays you the most cash.remember that you go to a job to make money not to have a good time.that's why mv's are for
Hmmm, I know plenty of rich MISERABLE people who would gladly chuck it all for some happiness.

I also know a few people who gave up very lucrative, high paying careers to do somethig they WANTED to do.

Make the quick money if you can but bail out before you go postal.

Money does not make you happy. (but it does help)
 

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First off, you're going to get tons of advice here - there's a wealth of knowledge so take it all in and take the pieces that work for you. One person's path isn't another's.

That said, my experience is of someone who always did well in school, but hated it. So I ended up taking a couple of years off. I had my own business that was rewarding, but because of changing markets, posed some hurdles. I went back to school and now work for a major internet co. and deal with all the hurdles and headaches that come with any huge co. Long story short, I've worked for big co's and small co's and they all have pluses and minuses. Which brings me to my point...

You can work hard making $30K or you can work just as hard making $100K+. I know the retail space very well and let me tell you in store management is a GRIND. Long hours, weekends, etc. Once you hit mgmt, it's very hard to progress. From there and your salary starts to cap.

I would get an education. If you love web work, go for that. Online advertising is growing double digits - all that ad $ is going online. Somebody with talent needs to produce those ads and build those sites. Do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life.

Lastly, take a look at the book: Now, Discover Your Strengths. I always approach books like this with more than a healthy dose of cynicism, but this one is really interesting. There's an online test that lists your top 5 strengths and it can be a great way to help you focus on what you're good at and may provide at least a little bit of a path.

Good luck and keep us posted.
 

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I'm 50, father of 3 teenage girls (one in college) a lawyer, a real estate broker and have been self employed most of my working life. I say most, because I also worked for big law firms where I learned the ropes. My 2 cents, go to Gap. Sounds like a huge opportunity and also a great springboard if you decide to go elsewhere. But what ever you decide to do, you have to be passionate about it, or it won't work.

Best regards,

Vince
 

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One thing to watch out for is being extreme. Success is more than just playing cards right, working hard, or a paper degree. A lot of it has to do with personality and judgment.

For example, going all out and gettng a PhD is a good thing - but you have a lifetime to do that. Get one and then move on the next degree later on. You know that old saying a bird in the hand.... It's also like saying -for my first motorcycle, I'm going to get a Tamburini or I'm not going to get a motorcycle at all.

As for devoting 100% to school, I tell the same thing to my wife (studying to be an RN and working nights). Life is not as such were you can devote 100% of your efforts to one single thing. Life is about handling mulitple issues effectively.

Hope this helps. I'm 34, and if I could go back knowing the things I know about myself now (personality traits that were good and bad), I'd be much more successful. When I was 24, I lacked direction. I knew what I wanted to have but could figure out how to get there. And btw, I don't consider myself as having "made it" yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Allan Gibbs said:
Hope this helps. I'm 34, and if I could go back knowing the things I know about myself now (personality traits that were good and bad), I'd be much more successful. When I was 24, I lacked direction. I knew what I wanted to have but could figure out how to get there. And btw, I don't consider myself as having "made it" yet.
That's the thing...I know what I want...but I dunno how to get there. Rather, I do, I can see the end of the road, but I don't see any roads in front of me....only thick woods.
 

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"Fatherly advice"...I am not a father, although I have one. One time, facing a HUGE crossroads in my career, I explained the situation to my Father and asked for advice. He said, "Son, if the choice between option A and option B is a hard one, then it doesn't matter at all what you choose." Thanks Dad! I remember being initially disappointed in his philosophical approach (He has a PhD in Philosophy, coincidentally), but I now know what he meant.

If it were an EASY choice, we wouldn't be having this discussion, there must be huge positives in each option, along with some known and probably some unknown risks or downsides.

I have a corporate job, but I had an even MORE corporate job for thirteen years prior. I made tons of dough, but I wasn't really a happy person. I am glad I left a multi-billion dollar corporation for a multi-million dollar one, because I am much happier now, and the money is just fine.

The thing of it is, is that you don't have to make the decision of your lifetime, just a decision. If things don't start going the way you want, you can make another one, life is full of them. GAP or something else will be there if you attempt school, school won't go away if you start a career at GAP. You can always do your side job in either case.

My advice, if you are not happy with where you are or what you are doing, at any point, make a change. It has worked out so well for me.

Yes, money won't make you happy, but if you are already happy, the money is certainly nice to have. One thing worth considering, a corporation like GAP probably offers health and insurance benefits that may come in very handy right now, and it is always good to have that type of recognized corporation on your resume. It is like going to school and getting paid for it. Not all jobs require a degree anyway, it is just one way of seeing that someone set out about a huge task, and completed it. Experience, success, training, and a desire to succeed is all you need for some jobs, and your next job probably won't be your last.

Good luck with it Nate, I am sure you will do just fine either way.

Griff
twoeleven
 

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Deeeznutzz,

Lets just go over some numbers first, shall we?...In 1995 there was less then 250,000 total new motorcycle sales in America..........................In 2003, 2004, and 2005 there was OVER one million units sold per year, in America alone....

......In the last three years, 10% of all new motorcycle sales have been to women...So .......In the last three years, more women in America have bought motorcycles,-then total new motorcycle sales in 1995!!!!.......Now, forget the women-we will get back to them later.......Do you realize that in less then 10 years new unit sales in America jumped from less then a 1/4 million to over a million?.....In 8 years?!....Thats quite a jump....I think it's actually been something like 1.2, 1.3 million last couple of years.....Now, lets forget all this, we'll get back to this later.....

Does traffic ever get better?.......No, it does'nt.... It only gets worse, I dont care where you live- it has been getting worse and worse....Does the price of a gallon of gas ever REALLY go down?....Not really, maybe a penny here or a penny there, but its safe to say the price of gas is going to continuie to escalate for all of eternity...The price of gasoline will continue to creep up until it is 10$ a gallon or 20$ a gallion or whatever the hell it is in various parts of Europe...{poor bastards}...Does parking and congestion ever really get better?.... No......No-of course it wont either.........It only gets worse as well.....

Where am I going whith all this?............MOTORCYCLES ARE HERE TO STAY!....Go get yourself a job in the motorcycle industry!!....Now I know what your thinking, "FBD, you are unemployed, you are living out of a suitcase, you dont even have a permanent adresse, The cops took your license for being an overall menace-How could you possibly be giving deeeznutzz carreer advive?".........

Well I'll tell you why I am taking the time out of my very busy, very unemployed, very homeless, and very non-license having day...

MOTORCYCLES BABY!!.....In America m/c's enjoy a VERY different reputation then in Europe....In Europe{higher gas price's } motorcycles are practicle, nessasary and "smart".....In America- motorcycles are still some bullshit toy that folks fuckaround with on a few sunny sundays in the summer..Not to be taken seriously...

This is all changing!...Capitalize on it!....Look man, I know I am a little fucked up by now{ I am On my second bottle of Kenwood-chardeney...Sorry-I drank all the guinness}...But you've got MMI right there, yes?..This could be an option{but with your child due in the spring, maybe this is a little too aggresive}....But what about finaly pulling the trigger and "marrying"{ I'm sure this might be on your mind as well} Your need for a proper career and your obvious passion for all things moto?..........Look brother, we have all seen your little "myspace" bio-we know {slightly} who you are...And we all think the world of you- BUT THE GAP!!!!!!.......Come on!!!!!!......Look man, I am only a few years your senior, so you really should not be listening to me, BUT...I defy anyone on this board to walk through a mall parking lot, straight past your sexy little MV, and right into the gap.... For what?... So we can see you kissing three broads at once?.....Not gonna happen!.....


GO get a job at a dealership, go to MMI,go do something involving motorcycles, You cant lose, it's a growth market....

Your gonna doubt me?.....Yea, right.......-Go do the numbers pal, You cant deny what I am saying, the numbers dont lie......Just look at yourself!...Look at your own fucking pictures on your precise little "myspace"........You think that guy on myspace is going to be a GAP employee?......Your fucking balls you are.......

You are crazy for motorcycles, yes?....We all get that even if you dont....Now take the ball and run with it....I dont want to get too " halllmark" on you but .....FOLLOW your heart!!!...If I can see it from 3,000 miles away, then certainly others can see it....You've got "motorcycle industry" written all over you....Just accept it pal, A tiger cant deny his stripes....................................................I am a little drunk....



Keep it between the hedges everyone,
FBD
 

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I always told my kids that a person who makes a living by doing something they love never really works a day in their life.

Work is something that occupies your time when you'd rather be doing something else. If you love what you're doing and wouldn't rather be doing something else, it's not work.

If you can make a living this way, count your blessings and quit dreaming about the big bucks.
 
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