Special Note to the Class of 2018

12 years is a LONG time to sit in a classroom. I remember seeing my old school recently and it looks like a prison from the outside to this day. I was forced to go to classes I didn’t want to be in like History, Geography, Algebra, and English grammar (whatever that was about) and I was forced to read books I had zero interest in.

Shop class was ok. Typing class was good because Ms. Garner was hot. But overall, public school was NOT a great learning experience for me.

For all you 2018 graduates, you’ve finished your 12-year prison sentence, and I’ve got good news and bad news for you.

The bad news is…

Without purpose, the world is your prison. Don’t think that just because you don’t have to go to school any longer that you’re free. You will end up replacing one prison you hate (public school) for another prison you hate (9 to 5 job).

In fact, the entire middle class is in prison, trapped by old ideas that are no longer relevant for 2018.

If you’re stuck in a 10th grade English grammar class having to read about phrasal verbs, you’re not free, but neither are you free when your job or income depends on the economy. In both cases, if you lack the ability to stay motivated, you are not free!

At school you dream about NOT having to go to school anymore, but a normal guy, working a normal job, taking normal levels of actions, will not be a millionaire, but rather a middle-class inmate NOT being able to go where he wants to go when he wants to go. Life can be similar to school, right?


Congrats to the class of 2018—you’ve finished your prison sentence! Now you enter the real world, and let’s face it: $8 bucks, $12 an hour, what does it matter? Even at $15 an hour, you need to be looking for more money because there is no money leftover at that wage. $15 an hour is $28,000 a year. You cannot raise a family on that.

I understand how tough it is. I worked at McDonald’s and I didn’t deliver — I wasn’t worth the $7 an hour they paid me. I didn’t deliver because I was not committed. I didn’t deliver, I wasn’t great, so they threw me away and fired me and replaced me with somebody else who would work for seven bucks. Is that fair? That’s business.

You have got to get great or nobody will ever pay you real money.

There is no money in being average. There is no pay-off. Even people that start good businesses often fail because the world is brutal. You have to get great and committed. Life isn’t fair and neither is business. Don’t complain if you can’t find a job after graduation. Go and do something about it!

The good news is…

Your education hasn’t stopped—it should be just beginning. Never stop learning and educating yourself. I read every day, study, skill up and work to stay ahead of the market.

Today’s marketplace is changing at the speed of light and you need to be nimble in order to be successful. Speed is power. Get great—and get fast. Patience is not a virtue.

Your high school diploma means nothing in the marketplace—you need to bring value to the world. Don’t stay with your parents—go and get a job. I’m not talking about passively sending out 100 resumes. Rather than the spray and pray approach, get a laser focus target and shoot for it.

Decide that you are going to get a job where you want and eliminate other options. Treat unemployment like the plague. Your job now is to go out and get a job. Nothing is beneath you right now—you’re JUST graduating. Find out who knows the players in the company you are shooting for and get yourself in front of the decision makers of that company. Companies are interested in revenue, so plan how you can bring them that.

Do what others refuse to do. 

Walk the extra mile and never fly under the radar. Don’t lower your targets because your goals seem too big. Seek freedom, not comfort.

Have an “I-have-to-get-it-done-now” mentality. Let others sleep like they’re rich while you’re up like you’re broke—because you are. Be committed to success as your duty, obligation, and responsibility. Have the mantra of, “If it’s going to be, it’s up to me.”

Do that, and you will enjoy your life much more than you enjoyed school. I’m doing a LIVE training on Money and Finance this Saturday, May 5th. It’s Cinco De Mayo so let’s PARTY and get your money right!



Grant Cardone is a New York Times bestselling author, the #1 sales trainer in the world, and an internationally renowned speaker on leadership, real estate investing, entrepreneurship, social media, and finance. His 5 privately held companies have annual revenues exceeding $100 million. Forbes named Mr. Cardone #1 of the “25 Marketing Influencers to Watch in 2017”. Grant’s straight-shooting viewpoints on the economy, the middle class, and business have made him a valuable resource for media seeking commentary and insights on real topics that matter. He regularly appears on Fox News, Fox Business, CNBC, and MSNBC, and writes for Forbes, Success Magazine, Business Insider, Entrepreneur.com, and the Huffington Post. He urges his followers and clients to make success their duty, responsibility, and obligation. He currently resides in South Florida with his wife and two daughters.

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