Dropping out of High School.

209 Replies

I want to build a real estate investing business. I want to buy and hold, I want to rent I want to do BRRRR's and I feel like High School is holding me back. I also want to get a job working with GC starting out as a laborer and working my way up. I sit in school for 6-7 hours a day miserable, tired and annoyed. I feel like I could be home studying, or in an internship and gaining real world experience. I dont feel like i fit in school because of what I want to do. What do you guys think about this? I am finishing up 10th grade. I have big plans and I want to start executing them. The only issue with this is I want to join the fire department and I dont know if they require a High School diploma or not. Im feeling really torn at the moment. (For reference I am a honor roll student 90.4 GPA)

Originally posted by @John Moorhouse :

I want to build a real estate investing business. I want to buy and hold, I want to rent I want to do BRRRR's and I feel like High School is holding me back. I also want to get a job working with GC starting out as a laborer and working my way up. I sit in school for 6-7 hours a day miserable, tired and annoyed. I feel like I could be home studying, or in an internship and gaining real world experience. I dont feel like i fit in school because of what I want to do. What do you guys think about this? I am finishing up 10th grade. I have big plans and I want to start executing them. The only issue with this is I want to join the fire department and I dont know if they require a High School diploma or not. Im feeling really torn at the moment. (For reference I am a honor roll student 90.4 GPA)

 There are many benefits to school to those who are willing to look for it. This is a great topic to bring to your guidance counselor as he or she will be more aware of programs that may be beneficial. Woodworking, metalworking, and auto mechanics would be great classes to learn more about working with your hands. If you have a local vocational school, you may be able to get bussed over there for half the day to learn more in depth contracting or related trade skills. If you DIY, this can save you money as an owner one day. Even if you do not DIY, the knowledge will keep you from getting ripped off by a contractor who mays suggest something you don't need.

You can also ask about any classes that may support entrepreneurial ventures. Classes that discuss business, investing, taxes, economics, would all support a general knowledge base that can help you build a business later on.

How about classes for networking or sales or public speaking? Those are also skills you would need when trying to build a real estate business.

My point, is that there can be many opportunities to learn skills in school if you look around. At the bare minimum, you can use this time to get to know your teachers, who may be knowledgeable enough to point you in the right direction or may know people who can help you. (This is where that networking thing comes in).

All that being said, not having a high school diploma is also likely to detract from job opportunities. W-2 work is known for being helping you get bank financing.

I know it may seem tough now, but patience is one of the most useful skills you can develop now.

@John Moorhouse I understand that high school is a cesspool of drama and classes that teach subjects geared toward the mainstream student.  I will say that if you drop out of high school, you are 15/16 years old.  Banks will usually only loan money to 18 year olds, investors will not trust you yet, and seller's may not believe that you have a team set up and that you will go through with the deal.  Dropping out may seem like you will clear the path and start building your business, but will you be working as a laborer for 8-10 hours per day instead of school?  It seems like that may take away from your time as well.  

You could start organizing your business and get yourself prepared.  Build a website, start a blog or podcast, read more real estate books, and start finding a team (realtor, broker, attorney, CPA, etc).  If you have all that ground work done, once you graduate from high school, you can get a running start.  So many people will ask you what you are going to do after high school once you're a senior, and you can tell them that you are going to be a real estate investor- refer them to your website and give them a business card.  THAT will give you private investors.

Good luck.  Keep fighting the good fight.  Maybe you can also start thinking of ways to change the mainstream education system and help the generations below you.

Steph Martinson

@John Moorhouse

While I admire your drive, you need to switch your focus.  Instead of dwelling on the negatives of school re-focus your attention on creating that "side hustle" business and finishing school.  School does not tie up ALL of your time so it's all about time management.  Manage this effectively and get EVERYTHING done and to the best of your ability; especially school!

The fact of the matter is school is very important whether you like it or not.  Go to college and network with others because at the end of the day those very individuals will help bring YOU closer to your goals.  In this business it's all about your network and if you remove school out of the equation (which a lot of your network would come from there initially) you are now making your life a lot harder than it needs to be.  

Take the time while you're still in High School to educate yourself and build a business plan. I was in your shoes. I went through four years of college and the entire time I just wanted to quit and start my journey in real estate. I am glad I didn't because I realize that I wasn't nearly as educated as I am now, and I still have a lot more to learn. I spent four years of college doing my homework on real estate and am just not looking to get my first property. If you can stay this motivated for the rest of your high school career, you will gain so much more than you would if you drop out now and overwhelm yourself.

Sorry if I sound like a your parents, BUT . . . dropping out of high school when you have 2 years left to go is the definition of "penny wise, pound foolish."  More to the point, if you can't discern the returns you will receive over your lifetime from a diploma, there is serious doubt about whether you have the foresight to be a successful investor.  

Stick with school.  It is always a good idea to keep as many doors open as you can.  You never know when the things you thought you wouldn't need will come in handy, or even be essential to your future. High school is one of those really,  really essential things.  Just continue to excel in the area of life you're in currently (high school) and you WILL get to where you want to be.  

@John Moorhouse as an employer, I wouldn't hire someone, even in the lowest paying job, if the applicant didn't have enough drive to finish high school. My though process is that you quit when things are tough, and dont see things through to the end. I would not want that type of employee. Theres too much competition for those jobs, and the ones without a high school education are put at the bottom of the pile.

Just food for thought from someone on the other side of the interview table.

Hey @John Moorhouse Im assuming you've thought about that very long. But just understand if you do not finish at least high school EVERYTHING about investing just became more expensive. What you see is an ambitious young man with a plan, what everyone else sees is someone who cannot commit and see things through. 

AT LEAST FINISH HIGH SCHOOL MAN!

@Andrew B. I’m a year ahead in school. I went through the full business academy in my school. Unfortunately my guidance counselor is very un professional and is very quick with me when i go and see him. Thank you for your response, Im not actually planing on dropping out, I just wanted to see what the views from the other side were. Thank you.

Something i am most self conscious of in life is my lack of a college education (although i am working to get one - slowly). I have been fortunate enough in life to get ahead by learning skills that are desired. That being said, the life i have (including the investments i make) would be impossible without a Diploma. 

I work now so i can not work later. I invest and i save heavily and hope to be out of the workforce by the time i am 40(ish).

Some people make it without a Diploma but  for every 1 that achieves their hopes and dreams, there are 100 that don't. Stay in School

Lots of great points being made here.  I know it can seem like so much of what you're learning isn't important and won't apply to "real life".  But that really isn't true.  A large part of school is not so much the facts you are learning, but the skills you acquire in the process:

  • Thinking about what you've learned and applying it to find answers and to open your mind to new perspectives.
  • Working and communicating with others.  Handling social challenges.  Navigating in a world where you'll sometimes have to work with people you don't like.
  • Training yourself to have follow through and perseverance.  You need to have at least some self motivation to get school work done.  You need OODLES of self motivation to invest in real estate!  Because whether you're doing it p/t (with a W-2 job) or f/t, nobody is holding your hand or cracking the whip on you to run your business.

And then there are the practical reasons mentioned. Learning about real estate is great and key! But that's all you'll be able to do in this industry until you turn 18 anyway. You have to be 18 to legally sign a contract and there is very little in REI that doesn't involve contracts.

It's really, really tough to get started without having a W-2 type job first.  And the better paying it is, the faster you can start building up the cash you need for reserves and down payments.  But job types are extremely limited for someone without a HS diploma and are usually minimum wage/low paying.

For example, I used to manage a large convenience store/gas station.  The basic position we called "associate" was ringing up customers, stocking shelves, cleaning, etc.  It paid $9/hour.  It didn't require someone to have any experience, but even that job required a HS diploma or GED.

Don't shoot yourself in the foot like that and drop out of HS.  But, if you do, at the very least get a GED.

Originally posted by @John Moorhouse :

I want to build a real estate investing business. I want to buy and hold, I want to rent I want to do BRRRR's and I feel like High School is holding me back. I also want to get a job working with GC starting out as a laborer and working my way up. I sit in school for 6-7 hours a day miserable, tired and annoyed. I feel like I could be home studying, or in an internship and gaining real world experience. I dont feel like i fit in school because of what I want to do. What do you guys think about this? I am finishing up 10th grade. I have big plans and I want to start executing them. The only issue with this is I want to join the fire department and I dont know if they require a High School diploma or not. Im feeling really torn at the moment. (For reference I am a honor roll student 90.4 GPA)

 I totally get that you have the bug to do RE.  So did I.   But finish your damn Highschool man.  You're so close.   If you want to skip college in exchange for real world xp, I'm all for it.  

But you asked the question, and people have answered.  So now if you drop out you're an idiot since you took the time to ask for advice, got advice, and went against it.   :)

@Trevor Cox Im working on a business plan at the moment, its very time consuming lol. I also study a lot, i read as much as I can in terms of finance and real estate books. I am reconsidering what i chose to write a few hours ago. Thank you for your response Trevor!

@John Moorhouse

First - Do not drop out of school. Keep going and go to college for something that pays.

I was very similar and truly did not like high school. College wasn't much better for me but I earn a BS and I'm halfway through a MBA. While in high school I got a job for a local investor cleaning apartments, painting, cutting grass, etc. This gave me my first exposure to being a landlord. I also started my own little landscape business. I had a old Buick with a trail attached to pull my mower and tools.

I learned a bunch over a few summers. Maybe you should try something similar. Also enjoy your youth. Life becomes more complicated when you have bills and responsibilities.

You have plenty of time to build experience in real estate, especially since you are so passionate about it at such a young age.  Having that high school diploma will open many more doors for you and you don't want to be held back later in life, or have to go back for a GED in your 20's.  A lot of great experiences and friends also come from high school and you don't want to regret missing out on those experiences down the road.  The last two years will fly by.  Until then, keep reading and learning.

@John Moorhouse my company doesn't hire people without college degrees for any job but manufacturing assembly. Without a high school diploma, there is no job at my company you would even be interviewed for. 

You can get a job in construction without any education. All you need is physical strength to do the job. Working as a laborer, your body will be destroyed. By the time you turn 40 you will have trouble walking, have a bad back and be taking pain meds every day before work. I know you want to work your way up, but there are tons of people graduating college with construction management degrees. Others finish two year tech school programs for carpentry or some trade. Those people will have an advantage over you.

It doesn't matter how smart you are. High school drop outs are not desired in the work place. 

But here is the good news, you are smart! You are just bored, which is common with smart/gifted children. I think your weakness may be focus. Even in your original post you shifted focus several times:

- I want to buy and hold, I want to rent and I want to do BRRRRs

- I want to get a job working for a GC starting out as a laborer and work my way up

- I want to join the fire department

I am a lot like you. I have what I call "chasing rabbit syndrome". Ever watch a dog when a rabbit shows up? He takes off chasing it, no matter what he was busy doing. Then another rabbit and he chases that rabbit. The problem is he never catches any rabbit and in the process interrupts what he was trying to focus on doing.

Read the book called The One Thing. It really teaches the importance of focus and is real estate focused. The challenge is the smartest person in the world will accomplish nothing if they lack focus. Spend the next two years building a plan and pick your path. Finish high school. I think college is a great option for you, but if not I would avoid laborer positions. Even being a fireman is really hard on your body. What is the point of making money if you spend the last half your life in pain? 

Real estate is a wonderful profession, but be the deal maker, not the laborer. You want a business, not a job. You seem smart enough to do it, if you can focus.

@John Moorhouse the hard part's almost over. Especially if you don't take advantage of any cheap college courses. I know some people that dropped out early. They all regret it because people don't see a GED as a diploma. I'll tell you i don't use much of my last 2 years of school. But most of the jobs I've had required it. I absolutely hated school. But I am glad I stuck it out. It's hard to be taken seriously when you are that young.

@John Moorhouse stay in school. It's a few years of your life and you want that on your resume. Plenty of time later in life to go swing a hammer. Party, have fun, date lots of nice girls and make the best of it. Someday you'll be working 80-100 hour weeks and wish you were back in high school.

@Joe Splitrock As I have been reading through these posts, I have begun to agree with your view on this. But its hard to see the final goal sometimes. I want real estate to be my main line of work. I want to build a big business like Ben Mallah. I have always wanted to be a volunteer firefighter because I fell it’s something most people should do. And i wanted to work in construction because its decent money, and amazing experience for when i start buying houses. I wanted to do that and save all my money because ill be able to live with my father for next to nothing. He already has told me I can live with him for as long as i want, as long as I have a job and a plan. I want to use that construction job to save the money for my first few down payments on a income property. Thats just part of my plan. And I also just added that book to my amazon wish list, ill buy that one when I’m done with Rich Dad Poor Dad. Thank you very much for your response Joe

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