Are You REALLY In Control? (Relationship Problems)

‘Today’s been the worst day of my life’

Hmmm sounds deep

‘I spent all day on the computer doing nothing.’

I completely understood.

Have you ever spent days on youtube?  Or watching people get knocked out on Worldstar? Or reading the Daily Mail (*shudders*)?

It gets to 8pm and you wonder where the day went.

Another day in the books. To do list extended.

Dreams deferred.


Is it time to have ‘the talk?’

I realised that I spend more time with technology than actual people.

And just like my mum told me when I went for that extra chocolate bar

‘Too much of anything is good for nothing’


The Sound Of Silence

‘I think, therefore I am’ – Rene Descartes

Have you ever just shut the laptop and sat there?   Put the phone away and gone for a walk?

I couldn’t for a long time.  Technology allowed me to run away from my thoughts.

It was a diversion.

But if I couldn’t open space to think, then I could never find myself.

And find what I have to offer.


The Break Up

‘Out of great silence comes great creativity’ – James Altucher

The internet is a platform for creators.  However it’s not where the creation happens.

It doesn’t happen on Facebook.

It happens in the silence.  Which creates the idea.


The Make Up?


I’m not perfect.  I still struggle to pull away.

Another video.  Another tweet.  Another email.


But like all good relationships, me and Mrs T have to spend some time a part.

So if you ever feel you’re getting too clingy, take a walk.  Read a book.  Talk to a friend.


And maybe, just maybe, absence will make the heart grow fonder……



Dubem Menakaya


The Worst Person To Run From Is Yourself AKA F.E.A.R

‘Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?’

‘I do’


I’m scared I’ll never be respected.

I’m scared I’ll never publish a book.

I’m scared I’ll never be able to look after my Mum the way she looks after me.

I’m scared I’ll never truly earn my brothers respect.

I’m scared I won’t be a good father.

I’m scared I’ll never leave Grays.

I’m scared I’ll never see the world.

I’m scared that I’ll never have sex again.

I’m scared that I’ll never have a real relationship

I’m scared I’m unemployable, because I’ve never had a ‘real’ job.

I’m scared I’ll never earn enough money to live.

I’m scared I’ll return to Nigeria as a failure.

I’m scared I won’t learn a language.

I’m scared I’ll fall into depression again.

I’m scared I’ll gamble again and lose all my money (again)

I’m scared I won’t be able to live up to my words.

I’m scared people will think I’m a hypocrite.

I’m scared that I’ll never achieve my potential.

I’m scared to start

I’m scared to finish

I’m scared of myself.

I could do this for a while.

I used to.  I still have these doubts.  But:

‘Courage is not the absence of fear, rather the judgement that there is something more important than fear’ – Ambrose Redmoon

I was scared to ship this.

But if this liberates one person to harness there fear as it did for me.

Then we’ll all be one step closer.

Because being scared got me nowhere.  So let’s see how this goes…….


False Expectations Appearing Real


Dubem Menakaya

How To Not Feel Like Sh** (In 10 minutes Or Less)

‘Fucking hell his life is amazing…..’

I was on Facebook again.  Looking at a friend travelling the world.

And I’m stuck in Grays.

‘My life is so wack….’

Other generations see us as the lucky ones.  We can connect with anyone.

However that also means we can SEE everyone.

With comparison comes inadequacy.

And with that comes pain.

If you let it.

The Real

That person is not affecting us.

We are affecting ourselves.

I used to stay of Facebook for weeks.  Comparing.  Hurting.

Then it dawned on me, we’re all running our own race.

And we’ve all got a lot of shit that we go through.

Life is like a motorway – if you concentrate on your own lane you’ll move forward, if you look at others you will crash!


‘Your worst day is somebody’s best day’

I wasn’t grateful for the things I had.  And we all have a lot

-          Food

-          Water

-          Health

-          Family

-          Friends

-          Skills

And we can go on.

It’s simple, you write down all the things you are grateful for.

You can say you’re grateful to God or not, the most important thing is the expression.

You can do this on the computer (blank word doc) or in a small notebook.

And if you don’t have anything around you say it out loud.

Because if we’re not thankful for what we have, then we may not have it for much longer.

And then how would you feel?

By Dubem Menakaya

Martin’s Conversation With God

Gaining inspiration from Martin Luther King’s birthday, I thought what if he had never shared what was in his heart?  This is a short story based on that premise. #Day2 #Yourturnchallenge


‘There must be some sort of mistake!’

Martin was livid.

‘We don’t make mistakes.’ Peter replied, peering up from the papers on his desk.

‘I want to speak to the boss!’

‘I don’t know about that.  He’s busy.  There’s a lot of things going on in Sector E, you know that you was just….

‘Peter!  Don’t worry I got this’

A large silhouette emerged behind the gate from out of nowhere.

As it came closer Martin felt the shape looked familiar.

That’s not possible, he thought.  No one sees the boss

‘Yes they do’ the boss said.

Martin startled backwards towards Peter’s desk.

‘You of all people should know that!’ the boss continued.

Martin looked up still amazed.  He was trying to take it all in.

It hadn’t been long ago that he had been in hospital.  A normal check up had led to a diagnosis of flu.

Ahh a few days of work – I need some rest anyway, he thought.

Now he was here.  Surrounded by white cloudy space and behind the tallest golden gate he’d ever seen.

‘Well anyways, as I was telling Peter, there’s got to be a mistake.’  Martin said, snapping out his trance.

‘I work for you!  I wasn’t a contractor, I was a part of the whole bloody establishment!’

‘If this is what I think it is….’ Martin began to tail off.

‘You guys are breaking the agreement!’ he said snapping back to focus.

‘What agreement?’ the boss replied inquisitively.

By now the boss had slid through the gate and was standing directly in front of Martin.  The large figure intimidated Martin.

Never the less the familiar way in which Martin was being addressed put him at ease.

‘That I tell people about your power.  About the way the company is run.  What it can do for their life, ya know? ’ Martin replied assuredly.

‘Yes you did. And we’re very grateful for that.  That’s just one division of the company though. We got loads of freelancers as well.  You did very well though.’

‘But we still can’t let you in.’ the boss finished with a cheeky grin.

Martin was getting agitated now.  What do they want from me? he thought.

‘Let me ask you a question Martin, if you get it right I’ll let you in.’

‘What does it look like in there?’ the boss said, nodding towards the gate.

‘Actually let me change that – what does it FEEL like?’

Peter now perked up his head from his papers in interest and looked at Martin.

‘Feel like?  I don’t get it.  How can I feel it if I’ve never been inside?’  Martin said, genuinely confused.

‘Martin everyone who comes inside here has felt it at some point in there life’s. ‘

Peter looked with sadness at Martin. The boss always gets em with that one, he thought.

‘So what does it feel like then’ Martin said, still trying to understand why he was outside.

He was a good man.  He looked after his family.  He cared about the community.  He did charity work.  Why should he be left on the outside?

‘Well I can’t tell you that – that would be cheating’ the boss said and winked down at Martin.

‘But I can show you.’

‘Peter pull up the screen please.’

A large screen arose behind Peter’s desk.  They all turned round and watched.

Martin looked at it with complete shock.

Staring back at him….was him!

And he was on a stage, speaking in front of thousands and thousands of people.

‘This is what it feels like’ the boss replied.

Martin still didn’t understand.

‘You see Martin I put you in that division for a particular reason.  There we’re problems that I knew only you could sort out.  I’d trained you for it.  It’s what your skills and experiences were for.’ the boss said calmly.

‘And yes you were a good worker – one of the best even.  And you are a good man.’

But you didn’t do what you we’re supposed to do.’ The boss said shrugging shoulders at Martin.

Martin was angry now.

‘Why me though!  Why do I have to be the one up front?  I get the hard role and everyone gets the easier role.  I do my work yet I’m getting punished!’

‘It’s not like that Martin’ the boss replied soothingly. ‘Everyone has their own role.  Everyone has skills that I’ve given them to do that role.  I don’t tell them what it is – it’s for them to find out.  Some people never find out they have a role unfortunately.  You did though.  You knew there was more.’

‘And you’re playing small did not serve the company’

Martin walked over to the front of Peter’s desk and put his head in his hands.  He had known.  He was there.  When all the trouble was going on in Sector E.

He knew he could have done something about it.  He knew where to start.

He looked up at the boss, looking elegant in a long silk robe.

I was scared, Martin thought.   I didn’t know if I could do it or if I was worthy….

‘They all are’ the boss replied cutting into Martin’s thoughts, now not surprising him with the mind reading abilities.

‘But the ones who fight it are the ones who are worthy.  The ones who develop the skills I’ve given them.  And gain awareness of their weaknesses.  The ones who go after it.  The ones who FEEL it’ the boss said, pointing towards the heart area on the robe.

Peter came round to the front of his desk and offered his hand to Martin.  Martin took it and got back to his feet, small tears now rolling down his eyes.

‘I knew’ Martin said solemnly. ‘I knew and I did nothing.’  Martin’s teardrops now started to flow from both eyes like a river running down stream.

The boss wrapped an arm around Martin.  ‘It’s not too late you know’ the boss whispered in his ear.

‘What!’ Martins exclaimed as his head jolted backwards’, looking upwards at the boss.

‘No of course not, it never is’ the boss answered with a big grin.

‘You’re one of the lucky ones Martin.  Many never find their skills.  Fewer still find their cause.  Yet you had both.  It only takes one of these to take the first steps.’

‘And those who carry on are the ones who get to feel what it’s like in there’ the boss said, nodding towards the gate again.

‘For those who do and are sincere, we like to give them a glimpse.  Some in there call it the friendly version of being scared straight.  We like to call it a friendly poke.’ The boss explained grinning with a friendly wink.

‘So I get another chance!’ Martin exclaimed, his eyes now wider than since he was a child at the funfair.

‘Yes you do.  We’re going to send you back.  You can choose to act straight away.  Or you can carry on as you were.  The choice is yours.  It’s not easy to get in here.’ The boss said nodding towards the gate again.

‘And it’s not a prize – it’s the reward.  If you feel it down there, you’ll feel it up here.’ The boss said pointing at Martin’s heart.

‘I’m ready.’ Martin said excitedly.

‘Good stuff!  One warning – this will not be easy.  In fact it will be the hardest time you ever had in your life.  Many times you’ll want to quit.  Many people will try and stop you.  You will often be in grave danger.  I can’t stop those things – that is up to the people.  Only you can be aware and ready to face those challenges.’ The boss explained with a serious look at Martin.

‘Because Martin you will fall.  But it’s the amount of times you get back up that will determine your success.  So are you ready?’

‘Yes’ Martin said.  His whole body was shivering now.

Excitement, nerves, fear, relief, joy all embodied in one.

And with another pat on the shoulder he was gone, with Peter and the boss just remaining.

‘So do you think he’ll do it?’ Peter said, getting up and standing beside the boss.  He’d seen this scene many times before, rarely had the return visit not been much happier

‘Well that would spoil the fun wouldn’t it?  We’re going to have to watch and see’

And with that the boss slid back into the gates and Peter returned to his desk.


Martin woke up in his house.  He felt different now.  Giddy like a child.

As he put his foot on the ground his wife and son rushed in.

‘Daddy, daddy are you ok!’ his youngest son exclaimed.

‘Yes honey, are you alright?  You’ve been sleeping for a day now since you came back from the hospital.’  His wife explained, relieved he was awake.

‘I checked you we’re alive but couldn’t wake you up’

‘Yeah I’m fine’ Martin said with a croaky voice, as he stretched out his body.  ‘In fact I’m great better than I’ve ever been’

‘So what was it, why we’re you out for so long?  All the years we’ve been together you’ve never slept for so long.’ his wife replied, curious and puzzled at the same time.

‘Well…it’s a long story. I’ll tell you about it later.  The only thing I can say for now is……’

Martin paused.

‘I had a dream’

And with that Martin strolled past his family and out the bedroom towards the bathroom.

He didn’t know what the day had in store for him.

All he knew is that he had to take the first step.


By Dubem Menakaya

Ten Things I Learnt From Not Sharing My Work (In 5 Months)

‘The gap between mediocrity and good is large. However the REAL gap is between doing nothing and doing something’

– Clay Shirky

I was petrified.  I couldn’t press publish.  What if nobody reads it?  What if people don’t agree with me?  How am I going to market this on social media?

The last time I published a blog was on 22nd August 2014.  In that time I’ve written at least 20 articles that have never seen the light of day.

Since then I’ve thought about it everyday.  Every.  Fucking.  Day.

Looking back I wouldn’t change it.  Because it taught me……


A)     The Time Is Always Now

‘Oh I have to plan my launch first.’ ‘I have to have some food first.’

‘Tomorrow.’ ‘Tomorrow.’ Tomorrow’

These are all things I said to myself.  But as the saying goes Tomorrow Never Comes.  A week becomes a month.  A month becomes 3.

The time is always now.


B)      Create For Yourself

I got sucked into the ‘how’.  How to get more readers.  How to create a business.

So I began to think about what other people wanted.  That’s what you’re supposed to do right?

Wrong!  I learnt I had to serve myself first.  And that will serve others.


C)      Perfectionism is thine enemy

‘I need to get some lead pages first.’ ‘I need to edit this a few more times, get some more links.’

There’s always something to do before we ship.  It has to look it’s ‘best’.

I realised that the ‘best’ is unattainable.  They’ll always be something else to do.

But like in athletics –it’s all about achieving your PERSONAL best.

So it dawned on me……

The aim is not to be the best – it’s to become the best YOU.


D)     You are hurting somebody out there

Many times I thought I was not worthy.

‘Why the hell would anyone want to read my bullshit?’

Yet I had published before.  And someone read it.  And liked it.

By withholding where hurting someone out there – because we could have what they need.

But most of all you hurt yourself.


E)      It Could Actually Kill Me

My health deteriorated.   I had two chest infections.  I injured my knee.  My teeth badly decayed.

Now the smoking and the running on a dodgy knee didn’t help!

But I did those things to escape from myself.

Then I realized– this could actually kill me.  My body will breakdown.

So to create and ship is not just expression – it’s the cure.


F)      Make a decision

You chose to create.  You chose the subjects.  You chose the idea.

So I asked myself – are you in this, or are you out of it?

Only you know the right answer.

And we owe it to ourselves to honour the reply.


G)     Become A Broadcaster – Not A Receiver (Ice T)!

The internet is a gift and a curse.

A gift because there’s so much information.

A curse because there’s so much information!

It’s easy to get stuck listening to other people and not speaking yourself.

Don’t get it twisted I’ve learnt a lot from this art.  It’s why I’m here writing this.

However to know and to not act means you don’t know at all.

Only Knowledge with application comes wisdom.


H)  Three Most Powerful Words


Frontin got me nothing.  Pretending I was doing well was hell.

So I keep it real with my friends to make amends.


      I)    Everything happens for a reason

I had to go through that place to get to this place.

And I like this place.


J)  Don’t Talk About It – Be About It!

Life is like a puzzle – if your words don’t match your actions you can’t create the vision.

So that’s my biggest lesson.  To keep my promise to myself.

Because that’s the only person I hurt if I don’t.



Crush Your Fear NOW – Fascinating Insights Into The Power Of Your Ideas

‘So how long have you been singing for’ I said. ‘Since I was three’ she replied.

Funny, I thought.  She just told me she only started recording in January.

‘So why did it take so long?’ I said. ‘Because I was scared‘ she replied.

Now I understood. She was scared.  I was scared to. We all are.

The Persecution

Why do we not sit on the things that will bring us joy?  It’s a question I’ve thought about for a long time. Why do only a small percentage of people actually chase that spark?

‘You’re either running away from pain, or running towards pleasure’ 

Ideas are a gift and a curse. They give is so much pleasure of what could be but so much pain when we don’t do it. It hurts.

It did for me. It hurt my heart. I had all these things to say yet I wasn’t sharing.

Tomorrow became my rallying call. Tomorrow I’ll sort out the blog. Tomorrow I’ll edit the videos. Tomorrow.  Tomorrow.  Tomorrow.

Tomorrow never came.

We are all sinners. We are committing the greatest sin against the world – with holding our ideas.  Our Art.

Because this is what changes lives.

Persecution To Execution

If you didn’t do it it’s your fault.

This ain’t the blame game – it’s the truth.

And once you know that you can change your reactions.

Years of negative thinking is difficult to overcome in a day – but we can start TODAY.

Practise the 2 minute ruleTake imperfect action.  Embrace the journey.

‘It’s much bigger than you or I…..’

When you see someone playing the game it’s amazing. Watching the singers that day showed me.

The joy the crowd feels. The fulfilment in the artist heart.  It’s what the game is all about.

Think of all the great musicians you admire. All the great products and services that you like.

Now imagine they never started playing. They never started creating.

The changing of one person’s day.  The changing of one life. The changing of millions. Gone.

If you’re struggling to execute I admire you. We are all in the process of growth. Getting better as individuals. Getting off the bench.

I just wanted to let you know that your work will touch one person. Your idea will effect one person’s life.  Whether that’s them being touched by your work, or by them just being inspired that you’re doing something. It will happen.

So if this inspires you to create today, great. If it inspires you to commit to making that idea a reality even better.

Because just by playing we’ve already won.

Because the power isn’t in the ideas – it’s in sharing them with the world



Dubem Menakaya

4 Lessons X-Men Taught Me About Changing The World


June 21st 1997.  Saturday.  9.00am. X-Men time!

Cartoons we’re my escape.  To imagine.  To dream.  I closed my eyes and ran around the house with my superpowers…..

As I’ve gotten older my dreams have changed.  Knocking rings out of people and turning Super Saiyan are not my main objectives!

Today I want to create my own lifestyle. I want to innovate and bring something new to the world. I want to control my future.

Alas some are still trying to level up!

Looking back, cartoons showed me how to do that.

There’s one that stands out above them all…..

A)   Controlling Your Powers

‘We have awesome powers, my X-Men. It is our birthright… And, perhaps, our burden. But, as Valerie Said, with that power comes responsibility – and also accountability.’ – Professor X

‘The greatest ability an entrepreneur can have is the ability to control there emotions’ – Pejman Ghadimi

Before a mutant became an X-Man, they struggled with their powers.  They come out at the worst times.

Rogue (whose power was taking other people’s powers) nearly killed a boy she kissed.  Storm was launching hurricanes all over the gaffe!  The inability to control their powers ruined their lives.


When Professor X invites them to the X-Mansion, his top priority is teaching them control their powers.

And that’s just like us. Our powers are our emotions. If we let our emotions control us – fear, sadness, depression, anger – we will never be happy.  We’ll never do the work.  And we’ll never allow the greatness in us to fully shine.

B) Having A Mentor

‘A new generation of mutants is emerging, that much is certain. They will be called freaks. Genetic monstrosities. [...] But they are emerging in the inner cities, in the suburbs, in the deserts and the jungles. 

And when they emerge, they will need teachers, people who can help them overcome their anger and show them how to use their strange gifts responsibly.’ – Professor X

“What is a teacher? I’ll tell you: it isn’t someone who teaches something, but someone who inspires the student to give of her best in order to discover what she already knows.” – Paulho Coelho

Every entrepreneur preaches the value of a mentor.  To learn from someone who has been down the path your on – there mistakes, there successes, there why.

The beauty of the internet is we now have many mentors – whether that’s listening to great podcasts such as School Of Greatness or reading blogs from those you respect and want to learn from.  It’s all there.

Of course, nothing can replace that one-on-one connection. So check out this great post by Ryan Holiday on finding one 

C ) Working With A Team Of Superheroes 

You, my friend, are a mutant – and I have a need of mutants — desperate need!  – Professor X

You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.’ – Jim Rohn

Jim Rohn explains the law of averages

You are who you surround yourself with. And just as the X-Men surrounded themselves with other X-Men.

Likewise the great entrepreneur’s and creators hang around each other.

Now that don’t mean you should cut off everyone who doesn’t have the same ambitions as you. However the people you spend the MOST amount of time with – you should be on the same wavelength.

After all – there’s a reason the best players play on the same team!

Because by propelling each other forward we can ultimately fight together for something that’s greater.

D ) Fighting for a cause greater than yourself 

‘My name is Charles Xavier. I am a mutant. And once upon a time I had a dream… of a world where all Earth’s children, both mutant and baseline human, might live together in peace….’ – Professor X

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”Margaret Mead 

Whether it was fighting against Magneto and his crew, or fighting against human oppression, the X-Men always had a cause.

And that is what kept them together even when times got hard.

We as individuals must realise there is a cause greater than us. That playing the game is has a much wider impact.

The poem by Marianne Williamson (via Coach Carter) sums it up

‘Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate…but that we are powerful beyond measure’

It’s about being an example.  Standing up and taking control.  Showing others they can do the same.

Winning the inner battle.  Harnessing those powers

By you controlling your powers and changing your life – you can help others do the same.

And together we can fight the old system.  Show the next generation that it is possible to live the life of your dreams.

To do what you love and love what you do.

We’re all X-Men – once you make that choice to bring something new into this world you are a superhero!


Dubem Menakaya

How To Be A Fan (And Why It’s The Key To Getting Your Own)

‘I started out like a fan

Writing like every other kid

Grew up to be the man Paying bills at my mother’s crib’ – Wiz Khalifa

Who do you admire?  Who do you follow?  Who’s art do you say ‘that’s my ish!’ to?

‘I never cried when Pac died, but I will probably when Hov [Jay-Z] does’ – Drake

That’s what Drake means. Not that Tupac wasn’t an inspiration to him – but Jay-Z was his raving fan artist.

How To Be A Better Fan

Start thinking about why there art is so powerful.  How does it make your life better?  What are the stories that connect?  What about it resonates with people?

I’m a raving fan of many. I read pretty much every James Altucher blog post.   Watch every Gary Vaynerchuk video.  Listen to every School of Greatness podcast

I study them – in my mind.  I’m still a fan.  Just changing the angle.

Gary V aka Living Legend in action (once you watch one you’ll be hooked!)

Here’s some good questions to ask of those you f*** with,

What qualities do they have that connect with people?

What subject matter/references do they use that gets a response?

How do they view the world?

Who do they look up to and admire?

What could I learn from them?

This helps you understand what connects.  It helps you develop your own style.  It helps you add value.

Being a fan is the first stage of Getting Off The Bench.

Because if you can’t respect someone else’s art, why would someone respect yours?


Dubem Menakaya

The Number One Thing You Should Do Before/During/After You Start Chasing Your Dreams

‘If man has a why, he can bear almost any how’ – Friedrich Nietzche

I left the blog. Didn’t edit the interviews. Turned off my phone.

It’s always something small. Some small bullshit. But that stopped me from playing. And put me right back on the bench.

These little things eventually become big things (in our minds anyway).  And we lose our way.

We’re not match fit anymore.

Much of it is our own internal pressure. I wanted to be the best writer. I wanted to showcase these amazing interviews. But why?

Start With Why

I took a course to become a better writer.

There’s an exercise called ‘Start with Why’.

Basically you time yourself for three minutes and write down Why you want to do something.

So I did ‘Why Do I Want To Start Getting Off The Bench’ and wrote the following:

GOTB is to show that we can BE who we are and live our dreams  It’s to bring the REALNESS back to it – and show young people what it really takes

It’s so I can help and pass on my knowledge

It’s to UNITE us – instead of individuals being all over the place let’s come together

It’s to SHOWCASE – so we can tell these stories of young people killing it and how they did it

It’s to spark a REVOLUTION – let’s change the averageness that society places for us and not just AIM for the moon – actually build our rockets!

It’s so I can express myself – and really put my message into a book.

It’s also so I can do these things – so I’m not just talking about it I’M LIVING IT  

Because it’s FUN!


‘Thank God for granting me this moment of clarity’ – Jay-Z

Writing the why cleared up the mess in my head. What I’m doing is beyond me – yet it’s all about me. If I cannot play the game, I can’t tell and show others to do the same. That was my clarity.


Alas this is not a fairy-tale. I didn’t live happily ever after. There’s still much more to do. I had to build new habits. To train every day. To be grateful. To pray.

But this was the start.

I often look at it when I’m feeling fearful. When I don’t want to push publish. Or when an obstacle comes up.

So that’s what I’d like you to do. It will only take 3-5 minutes. Whether you’re playing or not. Time yourself and ask why are you doing/want to do whatever it is?

Because is man has a why, he can bear almost any how.

‘People don’t but WHAT you do – they buy WHY you do it’ – Simon Sinek


Dubem Menakaya

P.S Here’s an amazing Ted Talk by Simon Sinek to give you some inspiration

Why University Is Failing the Next Generation



‘Special session for Graduates helping you understand your options after University’

Great, I thought, this should be interesting.  I wonder what options they are going to suggest.  Of course, graduate schemes and paid internships will be on the list.  What about entrepreneurship?  Starting your own business online?  Tips on how to shadow intern for someone you admire?

Of course there was none of that.  It was the same old same old.  This graduate scheme, this job in administration.  I wasn’t really disappointed though – it’s what I’d come to expect.

Returning to University I wasn’t expecting them to spoon feed me.  My previous experiences had shown me that I had to be in charge of my life – or external circumstances would take over.  I was still disappointed though in the lack of preparation University gives you for TODAY’S world.  University might be good for how it was 10 or 20 years ago, but it’s certainly not appropriate for today.

We were all there.  We all saw what happened.  2008 the whole world collapsed.  Economic and financial structures that had lasted for decades were brought to their knees.  University was a large part of that system.  You get a degree, you get a decent paying job (most of the time doing something you don’t like), you get a house and a lot of other debt and then you retire.  Simples.  Well no more.  Those jobs are gone and they’re not coming back.  Middle managers are being replaced by technology.  So are administrators.  Of course many jobs are vital and will never go, but even in those jobs there needs to be adjustment for the new economy.

Now you have to be creating.  An article, a video, a business, a sculpture or anything.  You have to be making something happen.  Everyone has a degree so how will you differentiate yourself?  How can a company even see your passion and what you’re about?  When you create you don’t even need to rely on getting a job.  If it comes great, if not then you can just spend time on creating.

I had to learn these things for myself.  From reading, learning and experiencing.  In my first year I just did the normal student thing.  Partied, played games, barely attended lectures and breezing through.  I was lucky that a Master’s student (Rodrigo) wanted to create something called an ‘Enterprise Society’.   I was always intrigued by entrepreneurship so I signed up.  We started the society and ran a fundraiser to make money to go to the National Student Enterprise conference in Manchester.  It was so fun.  We came up with this idea in a room and then there it was.  We made over £400.  Creation.  Art. Beautiful.

That is what the new economy is.  Creation and connection.  You have teenagers building apps and selling them for millions of pounds (dollars).  Why?  Because they created it and it connected and created value for people.  People talking to a camera and millions of people watching. Why?  Same reason.

University does not prepare you or teach you any of this.  None.  I was there so I can say that.  They’re still bogged down in the system of marks and essays.  Now coursework isn’t all bad but life is more than that.  I wrote around 20 pieces of coursework at University.  Couldn’t one of those projects been assigned to building a blog?  Solving a local community issue?

That’s not to give all the blame to the University.  Students have to be seeking as well.  The enterprise society was amazing for me (I took over in the second year) as I got a chance to create events and connect with people.  However the student attendance was sadly lacking.  Yes our marketing was a problem, but the apathy amongst most students was often depressing.

That’s why I say University is failing.  They are the one’s providing the environment.  They should be making students aware of the situation and what the world is really like.  That’s not an enterprise society’s job.

We live in a special time.  A 10 year old can learn what the University taught to me in 3 years in about 6 months and for near-zero cost!

So let’s look at it from a business perspective.  In the UK fees have risen from £3000 to £9000.  The quality of the service?  Flat-lined if not decreased.  So even if they don’t want to evolve because that’s the right thing to do,  the change will come to them and less students will go to University. They’ll realise they can learn everything (unless it’s really technical like a Doctor) outside of it.  So what’s it going to be?  The future of University’s and the next generation depends on the answer.