Tagged: startup

Praxis Customer Reviews

We opened up customer reviews on the Praxis Facebook page, and in the first day, we got some amazing feedback!

“I spent September 2015 – July 2016 in the Praxis program. It was without a doubt the most productive and wonderful year of my life. I started the program as an 18-year-old high school graduate with no real skills. I left the program with two full time job offers, an awesome website, an article published on Vox, and so much more.

I can’t really describe the effect Praxis had on my life. It seems like all my peers are struggling every single day. In 3 years they will graduate from school and struggle to find a job that can pay off their debt. The future is scary for most young adults. That’s not the case for me. Praxis gave me everything I needed and more to come out of the program ready to conquer the world!

Opting out of school and joining Praxis was the single greatest decision of my life. If you’re ready to kick life to the next level, Praxis is your answer.”

And…

“Praxis changed the game for me. It connected me with driven, high-growth, ambitious, life-learners and self-starters. It introduced me to a world where people who want things go out and get them, on purpose. They don’t wait for good things to come or for permission—they just start building.

The experience as a whole flipped my notions about the aim of education on its head—from going school to “get a job” versus learning as a means to creating a fulfilling life according to my terms.

It challenged me. The curriculum, the underlying philosophy, the people. All
of these elements pushed me beyond the original notions I had about my personal limits. Praxis is to young professionals what accelerators are to startups.

If you’ve ever wondered of what you’re truly capable and wish you could start working to discover that sooner rather than later…don’t waste another minute. Apply right now. Jump in. Get started. You won’t regret it.”

And…

“Praxis is full of the highest caliber young people that I have ever met. From the very beginning of the program the growth is immediately noticeable. If you are ready to reach the next level, apply for Praxis and break the mold.”

And…

“Praxis has launched my career forward by more than I can express. I’ve learned real-life skills that I’ve used to create massive growth during my Apprenticeship. I’ve got data proof that I’m valuable – something employers care about much more than a degree (which is becoming more and more meaningless).

Most people my age are just beginning their 4-year-long path to massive debt that they’ll be paying for into their 30’s. Meanwhile, I’m spending net $0 on my real-life education.

On top of all the knowledge and skills I’ve gained, I also have an amazing career as Sales Manager at a tech startup. I truly feel like I’m growing and learning every day. Best feeling ever. Thanks Praxis!!”

And…

“Praxis was a quarter million dollar decision for me. I offer no exaggeration. I completed the Praxis program from Feb ’14 to Nov ’14, was promptly promoted by my business partner the day it ended to VP of Business Development, and have earned over $250,000 in income since I began at my business partner.

I opted out of college after one year, did some stuff in the middle, and ultimately was introduced to Praxis, a completely life-altering decision. I am a high performance sales professional, a creative marketer, and a valuable professional. I’ve created over $2,000,000 in revenue for my business partner in 2 years, and countless millions in revenue for my clients.

I would not have this life if I had let Praxis be an idle thought instead of number one priority. I have built a life, career, and skills that will carry me through a successful life.

Apply for Praxis. Ask me if you want and further details.”

We set out to create the best education/career program in the world and we have.  We set out to create a program where we are directly accountable to the customer for value creation, and we did.

We’re just getting started.

The College Dropout’s Guide to Getting a Job

Praxis intern Amber Grubenmann put together this great infographic on how to get a job without the need to purchase paper prestige.

And, of course, you can join Praxis and we’ll give you the job straight up!  We provide a three month professional bootcamp, help you build a personal website and populate it with projects that demonstrate your value, give you a paid apprenticeship at a startup, and at the end you walk away with a job offer.

Graphic

Let Me Know What You Think of Our New Praxis Video

We’ve made some awesome updates to the Praxis program.

Professional bootcamp + paid startup apprenticeship = full time job. 

No debt. No degree required. Nine months. 

Check out the new video:

Apprenticeships Aren’t Just for Welders; Startups Aren’t Just for Coders

I make the case over at the Praxis blog that apprenticeships, especially at startups and growing small businesses, are the best possible way to learn and build an awesome career.

Be around people who are doing what you want to do.  Create value for them.  Don’t just theorize, but practice.

“There is no better way to be a part of something meaningful, to learn what entrepreneurship means, to get a great job, and to take the first steps in an exciting career and life than to apprentice at a startup.

Not everyone wants to write code.  And startups need more than just coders.  They need people who love people!  People who want to learn marketing, sales, and operations.  People who are eager to contribute to a powerful vision and help it grow.

If you want to build an amazing career and be a part of the entrepreneurial Renaissance there’s no need to wait on the sidelines or blast out resumes and hope.”

Check out the post and check out Praxis if you want to build a great career today!

“I Hated School but Thought I Had to Do More of It”

One of the youngest participants in the Praxis program, Charles Porges, was just hired on full-time at his business partner, even though he’s not even halfway through the apprenticeship.

No one, Charles included, assumed someone straight out of high school could be doing amazing work in project management and analysis at a growing startup.  If you’re not loving and excelling at formal schooling, how can you build a career and succeed in the market?  Turns out the opposite is more often true.  The academic-focused world tends to devalue what the market values and vice-versa.

Charles’ story is inspiring to me.  Not because he got a job without the debt and waste, but because he’s happy and fulfilled in a challenging, meaningful work environment.  That’s what it’s all about.

I’ll let him tell the story.  Here’s what Charles shared with the Praxis group:

“Yesterday was my first day of working full-time at my business partner.

Words cannot express how ecstatic I am to be in the position that I currently am. Every single day of work is extremely valuable for both my business partner and myself. Not to mention, I believe deeply in the product, and my boss is one of the most interesting people I’ve ever met. Every one of my interactions with him has been both positive and meaningful.

This time about one year ago, I was in online high school, dreading every second I spent in front of my computer. My days were filled with meaningless assignments, time-wasting projects, and a feeling of hopelessness.

And not too long before that, I was in public high school. I felt like I was in a prison for forty hours a week, and on parole when I had to complete hours upon hours of homework. Most teachers were up to par with your average DMV worker, and almost none of my peers shared my ambition or intellectual curiosity. I was nothing short of depressed, and there were many days where I wished I simply didn’t have to wake up in the morning.

Ever since I joined Praxis, I’ve felt like I have been living a different life. Not only am I free from the cage of state-mandated education, but I know that every action I’m taking is for the purpose of creating a better version of myself. My Praxis advisers have been instrumental to my success in the program so far, and I would like to thank them for all of their guidance. I do not know where I would be without this program.

I only wish that I could talk to my younger self and tell him that there is another way!”

If you want to apprentice with a startup, get coaching and rigorous personal development, and learn by doing, let’s talk about Praxis.  Whether you’re coming out of highschool like Charles, in college and wilting, or have a degree but aren’t happy with your career prospects, we can help.

How to Avoid ‘The Valley of the Shadow of Debt’

Talking with my colleague Zak Slayback, we were trying to visualize the typical process young people follow to get from high school to a career.  Many are unhappy with it, many come out no closer to a career or fulfilling life – often farther away, and burdened by debt.  They just don’t know what else to do.  They see only one option.

I call it The Valley of the Shadow of Debt.  You see people clamber down because everyone else is and they can’t figure any other way to get to the opportunity on the other side.

But after 4, 5, 6 or more years down there (some never return) you see some come out with a huge burden of debt and a cliff to scale on the other side.  They have no climbing experience or training.  They struggle climbing over each other, tossing resumes up towards opportunities, hoping for a lifeline.

This shouldn’t be the only way.

The Valley of the Shadow of Debt

That’s why we built Praxis.  To bridge the gap from where you are to a world of opportunities in dynamic businesses and startups.  To set you on the path of choosing what you want to do and be, rather than following the crowd down into the valley.

Praxis provides another way.  A direct line to real experience with real work and self-reflection and self-directed learning and coaching and so much more.  Why wait?

The best part?  After your bootcamp and paid apprenticeship, you get a full-time job at an awesome company, guaranteed.

Don’t get stuck in College Chasm.  Let us connect you to the rest of your life.

Praxis Bridge

In Less Than One Year Get a Startup Job at $40k – No Degree Required

Learn more at Praxis!

The idea that you should spend four years and six figures in classrooms, shielded from the real world of opportunity, and cross your fingers and hope it gets you some kind of job is absurd.It’s time for a new era in education and career.  If you’re good you can prove it in the market without going into debt or dying of boredom.

That’s why we created Praxis, and that’s why we’re making it better every day.

Over at the Praxis blog is a description of current opportunities with business partners in Austin, Atlanta, Charleston, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Raleigh, and San Francisco where we’re placing participants.  If you get in, you not only get paid to apprentice there, you get a job at $40k+ when you graduate.

From the post:

“Participants accepted into the Praxis program get an intense bootcamp where they gain the skills needed to succeed in their careers.  After the bootcamp they begin a paid apprenticeship with one of our business partners.  These aren’t dull corporate internships.  These are dynamic startups and small businesses where participants get a chance to create real value and do real work.  Entrepreneurship is the most valuable skill in the emerging economy, and there’s no better classroom than alongside entrepreneurs in the real world to learn it.

While apprenticing, participants get weekly coaching, access to a rich resource library, tailored modules to improve hard and soft skills, a world-class network, and a portfolio to showcase their work.

Upon completion of the program, graduates get hired full time with their business partner at a minimum of $40k/year.

That means in less than a year and at zero cost you begin your career.  No debt.  No wasted time.  No blasting out resumes to jobs you’d hate.  No fretting over GPA’s for four years just hoping it results in a job.  You join an amazing team doing meaningful work immediately.

Here are some of our current business partner opportunities, and we’re adding all the time…”

Check out the post to see what kind of companies we’re placing participants with.

A great career won’t come from classrooms or generic resume blasts.  It will come from you taking charge and going out and building the mix of experience, knowledge, network, skills, and confidence that can only come from working with dynamic people in real companies.

Applications are now open.

 

Experience Beats Bullet-Points (and Three Opportunities to Gain It)

“I’ll go get an advanced degree because it might open up the possibility of working in X industry that I might end up enjoying.”

I understood the sentiment, but I had to laugh.  I asked my friend why he couldn’t save himself two years and untold thousands and instead go ask a business in X industry if he could come in and work at intern wages for a period of months while he studied his butt off on the side to gain the necessary knowledge?  This approach has so many advantages it’s not even funny.  In less than a year he would know for sure whether he even wanted to work there.  He’d accumulate no debt.  He’d only learn the things relevant to success in that business.  He’d already have an in if he was good and ended up liking it.

Ask any entrepreneur or business owner or customer or client.  They’ll agree, “Show me, don’t tell me!”  But we’re all obsessed with things that tell people about our abilities and attributes.  We’re stuck on getting a list of reasons someone should give us a job.  It’s the same mindset that was beaten into us in an education system based on getting permission for everything, even using the bathroom.

“You can’t do that unless you have the proper qualifications!”

I call it the bullet-point mindest.

It’s the idea that the most valuable thing you can attain for your life and career is a bullet-point list of external accolades, certifications, and validations from others.  It’s the resume, the degree, the honor roll, and on and on.  It’s also mostly bullshit.

External validation is only valuable when something more tangible is lacking.  The person with little in the way of confidence, evidence of value creation, network, or experience will gain the most from formal accolades.  The person who’s done a lot, seen a lot, built many relationships, and created a lot of value will have something that far exceeds the value of a static list of traits on a resume.

Rubber meets the road and a huge set of opportunities

It will come as no surprise that this is exactly why we created Praxis.  We want to help top young people get started right now instead of waiting until they’ve accumulated a list of officially verified accomplishments.

It’s amazing how hungry startups and growing businesses are for the kind of talent willing to take action and build their dreams instead of making lists and planning for them under institutional authorization.

Here are three of the opportunities we have right now to work for a year with entrepreneurs in the real world and discover what makes you come alive, gain confidence, experience, skills, knowledge, and a network.  No gold stars or grades can touch the value of this kind of lived experience.

Opportunity 1: Work with an entrepreneur building a company that empowers entrepreneurs across the country.

Ceterus is awesome.  They’re growing.  They need someone with drive, communication skills, sales interest, and an ability to navigate a wide variety of diverse tasks and activities every day.  It’s in lovely Charleston, SC.

Opportunity 2: Develop an international brand with a chef entrepreneur.

Smart people know to make it you have to see yourself as your own brand.  This chef was not content to produce culinary creations in the confines of a restaurant.  She’s built a business that inspired and educates others on the fine art of quality cooking.  She needs someone to help build and manage her brand online and in person.  It’s in awesome Austin, TX and includes international travel to Latin America.

Opportunity 3: Learn marketing from a growing consumer tech company.

ADS Security is at that perfect stage.  Large enough to offer high-quality business experience and small enough to have an actively engaged CEO that you’ll get a chance to meet and shadow.  They need sharp young people with marketing interest and writing and social media savvy.  If you want to know how marketing departments function and add value to one right now, this is for you.  It’s in stylish Nashville, TN.

Not just anyone…

These companies came to Praxis for a reason.  They don’t just want clock-in, clock-out run of the mill credential chasers.  They want eager, entrepreneurial young mold-breakers.

If that’s you, apply now.  If it’s someone you know, tell them about it.  They’ll thank you.

Apply to Praxis now for these opportunities.

Investors, Gamblers, and Rules

Yesterday I was talking with my brother Levi who runs a highly successful financial services company about different types of investors.  As sometimes happens, a 2×2 matrix began to emerge.

This not only describes different investor types but also different types of gamblers.  If you know anyone really into either gambling or investing (this goes for both stock investors and VC’s) you’ve probably picked up some variation of these four basic types.

The types are about the way rules and systems are viewed.  I’ve spoken with a great many investors who live by them.  They tell me their sound rules built on solid theory and insight are the only thing that keeps them disciplined and keeps emotion in check to sustain long run returns.

Others say that if rules worked everyone could be rich.  It’s only by breaking rules and being unbound by rigid formulas that you can win big.

I suspect that both of these are true and the key might be to discover your own personality, risk tolerance, and unique intelligence or insight that you do (or do not) bring to the table.  Some people need rules.  Some people would be hampered by them.

Here’s a rough attempt to show some archetypes in the investor world that might illustrate the four categories:

Archetypes

If you don’t recognize some names or you’re not sure what is meant by them, here’s a chart that describes the characteristics of each:

Description

If you recognize these categories, which are best to work with?  Say you are seeking funding for some project or startup.  Some investors have very tight criteria for who they’ll work with.  It can be good and it can be bad, depending upon what you want and what the criteria are.  Many people imagine that the best case would be an investor with no rules, who they could win over on gut instinct and then have a smooth, easy process of getting funding and using it.  This may be true, but it could also mean a) you get no valuable insight from the investor or, b) you get weird, unpredictable phases of meddling and odd requests for pivots.

This chart gives a little description of what working with each category might be like:

Working with

I don’t pretend to have a lot of experience working with investors or gamblers, but I’ve been around enough to see these types pretty clearly.  I’m probably missing some big things and offending some people, and my descriptions may not be reflective of your experience.  This is the result of one short conversation, not a lot of study.

If you strongly disagree or see something I’m missing, hit me up with your take!