Jay Cross, Do-It-Yourself Degree (Episode #234)

The Naive Question: “If we weren’t already doing it this way, is this the way we would start?” -Peter Drucker 

How many of us are doing things we’ve always done, because we’ve always done them? Maybe it’s our jobs, where we live, the people we surround ourselves with…it could be anything. The Naive Question forces us to re-assess these lazy commitments. After all: if we’re only doing something out of habit, it’s probably time to do something else.


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Take school. If college were invented this year, how many students would rationally decide to borrow $100K to attend? Jay Cross says very few. THAT is the Naive Question in action. It shows us which decisions we made for convenience and which decisions we made consciously.

Jay is an author and ed tech entrepreneur from Connecticut. He runs The Do-It-Yourself Degree to help thousands of independent learners graduate faster (and debt-free) and is working on a book of the same topic. Jay’s college strategies have been featured by Fox Business, Popular Mechanics, I Will Teach You To Be Rich, Brazen Careerist, The Personal MBA, and UnCollege.org.

Jay Cross and Jordan Harbinger discuss:

  • Why “It is not enough to merely avoid failure: you need to strive for success.”
  • How most of us prefer a good excuse for mediocrity over temporary embarrassment for greatness.
  • How your personality type (the scientific one, not the astrology one) has to do with your Goals and your current level(s) of success
  • Are you TALKING or are you DOING?
  • How to handle naysayers and haters
  • Working BACKWARDS from your goals
  • Wagering external opportunities against going to college
  • The opportunity cost we incur when we attend traditional classes
  • Building life skills outside of school, ways we can avoid traditional classrooms
  • How a Do-It-Yourself Degree works
  • Ways to get a grip on your busy schedule

What we believe might not always be right, and we have to step back and realize at times that we are wrong. It doesn’t always have to cost us a lot of money and stress to learn life skills, and get our careers on the right track.

You might (you WILL) also like:

-Episode #157: University of Michigan Networking Talk: Success Through The Art of Charm

-Episode #225: AoC Toolbox, Relationship Foundations

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photo credit: Kris Kesiak Photography via photopin cc

AJ Harbinger - author of 1166 posts on The Art of Charm

AJ Harbinger is one of the world’s top relationship development experts. His company, The Art of Charm, is a leading training facility for top performers that want to overcome social anxiety, develop social capital and build relationships of the highest quality. Raised by a single father, AJ felt a strong desire to learn about relationships and the elements that make them successful. However, this interest went largely untapped for many years. Following the path set out for him by his family, AJ studied biology in college and went on to pursue a Ph.D. in Cancer Biology at the University of Michigan. It was at this time that he began to feel immense pressure from the cancer lab he worked in and began to explore other outlets for expression. It was at this point that The Art of Charm Podcast was born.

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