Hustler's MBA: a "modern curriculum" for four years of self-directed learning

"The Hustler's MBA" is a modest proposal for a four-year alternative to university for recent high-school grads. Its proponent and originator, Tynan, suggests that four years spent learning to play poker, travelling, reading books for pleasure, writing daily, learning to program, socializing, eating well, chasing your curiosity, and starting a business is a "modern curriculum" that will provide you with useful skills, an inflation-proof income source, and "produce people better prepared for real life than college."

Apart from playing poker and eating well, that more or less describes the four years I spent after high-school (once I'd dropped out of several universities, that is), and it did serve me very well indeed.

2. Travel a lot. For the first year, learn a foreign language that interests you. Start with three months of Pimsleur tapes, then get a local tutor. That should cost about $1000 for the first year, and will yield results FAR greater than a class in school. After the first year your self-education will be paid for by poker, so start traveling for three months every year. That should cost around $8k at the most, probably more like $5-6k. When traveling, education comes to you in the form of perspective. You understand other cultures and other people, and will get to practice your foreign language in its native setting. I would also combine travel with watching documentaries about the history of that place. I learned a lot about Rome after visiting, and now I'm kicking myself for not educating myself first.

3. Read every single day for at least an hour. Books get lumped in with other reading like magazines and blogs, but they're actually far more valuable. The amount of value an author compresses into a book is often astounding. There are books I've paid $10 for that have completely changed my life. If you read for 1-2 hours on average, you'll read around a hundred books per year. I do this now and find it to be one of the most valuable uses of my time. Read at least 50% non-fiction, but fiction is good, too. In school you would probably read 12 books a year at most.

The Hustler's MBA