The current problem/situation
It is harder than ever to get admitted to a top university. Even if you do get accepted to college and manage to graduate, that does not guarantee you anything either.
44% of recent grads are underemployed. Clearly traditional paths to financial security are not getting the job done.
College admission coaching services need to do much more beyond just helping you get accepted into your dream college. It’s nice to get a piece of fish (i.e. getting accepted to college), but how can you protect yourself against future adverse changes unless if you learned how to fish (i.e. HOW to get into college and why, how to get a job after college and why, how to thrive in any uncomfortable life circumstance and why)?
Why the current problem exists
We’re still using old methods that used to work. Following a step-by-step formula that typical college admission coaching services out there offer doesn’t help you actually develop the ability to get into college and advance in your career if any new external factors come into play.
Following a rote formula gets you from point A to B, but you still don’t know how to get from point B to C or to D, E, and F. This is the problem with memorizing instructions and blindly following “in vogue” tactics that many college admissions assistance services provide.
The underlying cause is that their goals aren’t aligned with yours. You’re trying to get to point F (career success and financial security); point B (getting accepted into college) is just a stopover for you, not your final destination. But upon arrival at point B, you’re still no better prepared to deal with getting through college and finding your first real job.
You’re still reliant on someone else to tell you how to navigate because you never learned the fundamental ideas that can be applied to all situations to help you advance in both your academic and professional career.
That is why we constantly stress the fundamentals: become a high value-added person and learn to convey that value to others so you can thrive on your own in any situation in life.
On top of all that, taking our approach (a mindset focusing on timeless, transferrable principles) will be helpful in achieving your immediate term goal (i.e. how to get into college) as well.
To generate revenue in business, you need a good product that the market needs + strong sales/marketing
Apply the same thing to college admissions and getting accepted into college. We need a good product (i.e. you…developing your strengths) that the market needs (i.e. fits what colleges are looking for) + strong sales and marketing (i.e. promoting yourself by conveying your value added). Ask yourself where the breakdown may be occurring.
This translates to your future endeavors, too. The same skills are needed for finding a job after college (be qualified + have skills that are in demand by prospective employers + access to those employers).
To further advance your career, the same skills are needed to get internal and external promotions as an experienced professional (track record of success + market your ability to fill a need and/or navigate office politics).
These are three fundamentals that will always apply to whatever situation is at hand and will help you figure out what specific actions you should employ.
(1) Market research, including the ability to verify market demand and product-market fit (i.e. ability to learn and adapt)
- What are the needs of the universities?
- What are the needs of prospective employers?
- What can I offer currently (or teach myself) to satisfy those needs? (i.e. how to get colleges to notice you)
If you’re trying to get someone else to do something (e.g. send you a college acceptance letter), then we must figure out what motivates them to act. Value is subjective: it doesn’t matter how “qualified” you think you are if we don’t factor in their goals and challenges.
(2) Need a good product
Once we understand what colleges and universities are looking for, we have to make sure you are genuinely of high value. In business, you can sell a low-quality product to someone and make a few bucks in the short term, but that model won’t be sustainable in the long term.
There are short term “hacks” you can employ to “ensure” you get into your dream school, as certain college admission coaching services promise, but think about how ill-prepared that leaves you to do well in college, find a job after college, and advance in your career. That is because you would be completely reliant on someone else to teach you the Tricks and Tactics of the Day, which quickly become outdated.
But if your goal is to get accepted into college and do well after graduation, you must be someone that adds value to every institution or organization you are a part of. That involves constantly investing in the most important thing: yourself. That work starts early and often. It requires long term commitment and isn’t something you can just “hack” at a bootcamp.
(3) Need good sales and marketing
There is no use having a great product, even if the market is ripe, if the sales and marketing is ineffective (or even worse: dishonest). Many deals have been lost because the customer didn’t trust the salesperson.
In getting into your dream college, it does your college acceptance chances no good if you are unable to differentiate your application from others’ and promote yourself convincingly, even if you have a strong portfolio. Grabbing and holding attention is absolutely vital.
In the long run, adding value is key. And as mentioned above, value is determined by the customer. In addition to promoting your own strengths, you back that up by learning to add value wherever you go, and you’ll find it a lot easier to get whatever you want, whether it be admission to your dream college, a great career, great friendships, etc.
Getting into college is more competitive than ever. And even after you conquer that first step of college admission, with the glut of college graduates on the job market, finding a good job after college is more difficult than ever.
One big reason for these common frustrations is that there is a disconnect between what works (and will continue to work) and what many people (including many well-intentioned college admission coaching services) focus their time, money, and efforts on.
The tactics of yesterday no longer apply to today. Instead of solely trying to keep up with the latest, focus on the timeless fundamentals that will serve you well in your academic and professional career, now and beyond.
Market demand + good product + strong sales and marketing = college admissions and career success.