Joey Wickham
Jan 30 · 6 min read

What would you say is the likely outcome of a kid who had little to no academic schooling almost his entire childhood? At the age of 14, he couldn’t spell the word “education” if his life depended on it. When he “graduated” high school with a diploma bought off the internet, he didn’t even consider college an option. Colleges asked him questions like “what is your ACT score?” And, “What did you get on the SAT?” He was too embarrassed to tell them that the last math book he had touched was in 6th grade.

He kept quiet about his education for most of his life. Whenever other kids started talking about school, he slowly removed himself from the conversation, afraid that someone would ask him about his school. He was ashamed that he didn’t know what other kids knew. A kid with so much potential, yet it seems it was wasted.

But was it?

Here’s what I didn’t tell you.

This kid won almost every award in every program that he was a part of. He was the best basketball player on his team when he was 8. He was the best pianist in his age group when he was 10. He was the best player on his soccer team when he was 11, he was the best cellist in his orchestra when he was 14. His first year working at a waterpark, he was awarded lifeguard of the year. The same year, he won the award for service and dedication in the Wichita Youth Symphony. At 18, he received the highest award given in the theatre program he was in.

Now, he works several jobs that he loves, he just ran a podcast talking to sales professionals, and perhaps craziest of all, he runs a blog that he writes and publishes articles on every day.

This kid’s no longer ashamed to tell you that he didn’t have a normal education. He’s not scared that other people know more than him about most things. In fact, he’s not even afraid to tell you that this kid is me.

I never learned how to spell “education” from a textbook, but now I’m writing and publishing content every day.

But what’s the point in bringing all of this up? To make you proud of my accomplishments? To brag about how good at basketball I was when I was 8? To show how qualified I am?

No. Not at all. In fact, quite the opposite.

What are the qualifications?

I didn’t have a rough life. I came from a great family. But my academic level was far below most of my friends growing up. I couldn’t care less about that now, but that’s not the point that I want to make. The point is that I always felt underqualified to do things simply because I hadn’t had the “academic experience.”

“Running a blog? That involves words, right? Yeah. I could never do that. I don’t know anything about writing.”

I say all this, not to prove to you how qualified I am to publish blog posts. I say it to show you that there aren’t any qualifications. That if I can do it, a Kansas kid with no academic education, you can do it. I’ve never diagramed a sentence in my life. I still struggle to know what the simplest of grammar rules are. But here I’ve been blogging every day for two months. Is the content amazing? I don’t know, but I don’t really care. I’m putting content out there. Content that I’m proud of.

Cool. I’m qualified, but I don’t care.

Maybe, if you’re like I was, you don’t need to know whether you’re qualified or not. You have no desire to write anyway, so why would you care if you’re qualified?

If you had asked me even three months ago about blogging every day, I literally might have laughed in your face. I hated even the thought of it. I wasn’t a writer, and I didn’t care to be. I wasn’t even a big reader. Why would I write if I hardly read? It didn’t interest me at all.

I wouldn’t say I was against writing every day, but I saw it as a waste of time. Something stupid and unnecessary. Unless you’re getting paid to do it, why would you? It’s extra work for something that, from the outside, looks like it has zero return.

However, I was challenged after reading articles by Isaac Morehouse and others in Praxis. They seemed to swear by blogging every day. They guaranteed results. In fact, Isaac in one of his articles goes so far as to say that daily blogging directly led to the creation of Praxis.

With so many testimonies of the profitable benefits of daily blogging, I reluctantly took the challenge. I knew that if I was going to do it though, I had to commit. I couldn’t try for a week and give up. I had to challenge myself to at least a month, and then I could reassess at the end of the month.

That was December 1st. Now, it’s January 28th, and I’ve written and published over 70 articles since then. At least one every day. And I have no intention of stopping any time soon. I tried going into this writing thing with a skeptical mind. Like, “I’m going to write for 30 days straight and gain nothing from it, just to show them that it doesn’t work for everyone.”

But even with a bad attitude, it did work. Even for me. An elementary school drop-out. I have grown in so many ways these two months of daily blogging, and I’ve been amazed at the way that writing every day opens up your mind to look at life in a completely different way. I’m not exaggerating when I say that it changes your whole mindset.

I have become more curious about how things work, I have saught each day to be learning new things, I can’t explain it, but ideas for apps, inventions, and ways to improve everyday life are now constantly flowing through my head. By blogging every day, I have guaranteed that I will never have a zero-day. A day where I don’t accomplish anything productive. Every day, no matter what, I have at least one accomplishment to look back on.

My challenge and guarantee to you.

I can’t force you to do anything, of course. But I challenge you with this: If you commit to blogging every day for at least 30 days, whether eagerly or unwillingly, I guarantee that you will have gained something from it. And I guarantee that you will be glad that you did it.

So, what is the likely outcome of this kid with no education? If all you saw was his academic education, you might be tempted to say that his parents failed him. That they didn’t make him do his school, so he was dumber than all of the other kids.

But the world is so much bigger than academic education. It doesn’t matter what he did or didn’t learn in school. He has the same ability to start writing every day on a blog as a Harvard grad does. What this kid lacked in school education, he made up in social education. His parents gave him the freedom to learn on his own. To learn from the world and learn from others.

The outcome of the kid is still unfolding, but it’s clear now that “academic education” has no bearing on whether he will be successful or not.

Stop worrying about qualifications. Success is open to all, not just the “qualified.”

On Breaking the Mold

Where unconventional paths in entrepreneurship, personal development, and education meet. Learn more at discoverpraxis.com

Joey Wickham

Written by

I’m a Christian on a mission, I’m obsessed with learning new things and gaining new skills.

On Breaking the Mold

Where unconventional paths in entrepreneurship, personal development, and education meet. Learn more at discoverpraxis.com

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