Should I Let My Son Drop Out of High School?

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In today's video, I'm grappling with a tough, personal decision: Should I let my son drop out of high school? It's a question that many parents face, and it's not easy. Join me as I explore the pros and cons, the impact on his future, and how to make the best choice for your child's unique path.

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Over the past 20 years, Russell has built a following of over a million entrepreneurs, sold hundreds of thousands of copies of his books (making him a New York Times Bestselling Author), popularized the concept of sales funnels, and co-founded the software company called ClickFunnels that helps tens of thousands of entrepreneurs quickly get their message out to the marketplace.

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Support Team

  • @shirleyhorvat9864 says:

    Plan together , what are his gifts ? That’s where he needs to put his time energy. Yes he will do great things in life just like his dad.🙏💞

  • @adclasswebsolution8683 says:

    Although the usefulness of learning in primary school is still useful, high school seems at odds with personal development. High school is the beginning of choosing a path in a society that seems to be changing. I have always been against the system and only now, after 40 years, I see that my attitude and choices, misunderstood by those dependent on the system, helped me become what I have become. I am about to build something massive and reflecting on everything, I would not have been able to do this, following the trend of society. Ask him what kind of man he wants to become and building from there, he can make the necessary choices that will help him become that man.

  • @shelleytorrez2140 says:

    Omg! I am struggling with this too. My son is a junior and is going to finish this year but wants to get a GED so he doesn’t have to attend his senior year.
    He has struggled throughout school and won’t have all the units he needs and will have to take extra schooling.
    He has been learning business and how to develop his own business. He has been doing this for a little over a year. His goal is to make money before his senior year starts, $5,000 a month, and keep going up from there, so I would be ok with him not attending his senior year.
    I have seen so much growth in him. He has a very well developed morning routine and time manages the rest of his day getting school work done, as well as his business building courses and has had a profitable car detailing business.
    My view about school has changed from raising my older children, I realize they are programming children to stay in a system of just working a 9 to 5 job (just over broke) so they don’t agree with me about letting him take a GED and get started at building a business.
    So if I were you I would be ok with him not finishing school 😊

    • @adclasswebsolution8683 says:

      Looks like you did great. Take care not to omit happiness and to develop all the important aspects of life as intensely as he develops the business.

  • @enriquegonzalezortegariver4181 says:

    These are my two cents; I think the current model of education is broken, a society doesn´t run solely on doctors or accountants or lawyers it needs technitians like plumbers, electritians, cooks, farmers so trade schools are very important but don´t get the merit they should get. With Internet your kid can self educate himself, he can get a well rounded education and be an amazing professional in whatever he wants to do and serve. So the first step would be to know what kind of things he´s passionate and then pick whatever course he wants to learn on the plethora of educational platforms there are on the Internet

  • @flamefish4598 says:

    I am in a similar situation, I am currently learning in high school and have watched marketing-related content for a while now, and what I recommended (and do…) was to tell my parents what I wanted and prove myself, If I could gain money as I am in Highschool doing all the tasks I will surely be able to do it better as I am out. therefore my recommendation as a student is to give him a challenge or something he needs to achieve, it could be a goal money, or anything and only then let him quit, so he will actually experience the thing/job he wants and be able to make his decision better

  • @mantinimotors says:

    As someone who went through school, always feeling like I was just going through the motions, waiting to move from one grade to the next, I’ve learned so much more outside of the educational system then I did within it.

    I am motivate by personal development and so I have challenged myself to understand new concepts and to learn new skillsets that actually impact my life.

    Just the single act of learning new skills, I now have the confidence to run into the darkness of the unknown. This is only because I believe the greatest skillsets anyone could have is bing resourceful and able to problem solve.

    Once you know how to do that, you can accomplish almost anything as long as you put in the work.

    Although I do not have kids and do not know the answer, I can relate to how your son is feeling and I personally wished I started earlier. Luckily for most of us, life is long enough to try and fail, try and fail, and keep trying until you succeed. Because if you’re not constantly pushing yourselves, then what’s the point.

    Thanks for a great video Russell, I appreciate your honesty and willingness to share.

  • @kathybee-hampton9297 says:

    I believe (and I am a grandmother now) that it is a parents’ duty to find out your child’s gift. My son liked math and never cared for art/writing…he worked part-time with my husband who manufactures superchargers…During this time he was able to comprehend and apply his math skills. He still had to take the college prep courses and he went to first JR. College then transferred over to a University. However he was trying to please dad (who did not want him to get bogged down running Hampton Blowers/Superchargers) so he tried his hand at taking classes to become a physician. He hated this career…but he also didn’t like disappointing dad. However he switched his career to tech and currently works at a high tech company…He also is taking courses (the company is paying for) to get his doctorate.

    Our daughter loves music, singing, writing…Our gift to her was to provide her the tools she needed to excel. She didn’t like high school but has maintained friendships with people she went to school with to this day. And she is a professional singer, has a successful career in the music industry and was able to branch-out into her own entrepreneur business.
    My three grands are 8 & 9 yr olds…whom I’m discovering what they enjoy (their gifts) by exposing them to various options through playing games, movies (followed by conversing about the movie), and listening to them when they talk to friends or each other.

    I report my observations to my kids…
    My 9 year old grandson loves producing movies…And I help him with this at my home when they have sleep-overs.

    I remember when I was in High School, my senior year, I did not get a lead role in our annual musical (something I had hoped for and auditioned for for 4 years). It was 1972 and I was the only person of color who auditioned; the musical was “Guys and Dolls”; and the teacher did not want to “cross the color-line”…even though she told me each year that my senior year I would get a lead part…So she added a “Cuban Girl Part”for me. I felt hurt, upset, degraded…All four years I was her top vocalist even taking home the coveted Blue Ribbon Award in a State competition.
    I wanted to quit! My mother, who had a much difficult life than I ever dreamed of…advised “If you quit…no one will have ever known that you even tried out or received a lesser part.”
    I did not quit…I felt miserable during the production…but by my participating (and doing my best) even though it was difficult…I accomplished something greater.

    Fast forward I wrote two musicals that did not require color…looks…ethnicity…social standing…the musicals and based this on talent.
    I say don’t quit…This lesson, struggle, what seems like a hardship now, will serve as a lesson later for someone else. Dig deep and discover the tools you have and need to hang in there!

  • @LeCheminduMillionPodcast says:

    It’s crazy Russel ! I am in the exact same situation.
    I am 16, my book of the week is literally DOTCOM SECRETS and man I don’t see the point of school anymore.

    I am learning the things that really matters to me at Home, going to a BJJ after school, and I am starting my business also after School.

    So why I am passing 8 hours per day listening to French literature or whatever…

  • @sarahmapes_bonebuildersystem says:

    College is still a great place to meet an eternal companion… I think going for awhile even if you aren’t planning to graduate is important because of having the opportunity to meet the right person at the right time. Your son doesn’t need to graduate to go to college though… The Pathway program doesn’t require a high school degree. I homeschooled my kids and have sent 3 of them through Pathways and they have all moved onto college from there. You have a safety net for your family financially that does not make school the safety net that many other people need. I really don’t think it is necessary for your son to finish high school, but going to school for at least awhile to have the opporutnity to meet the right person could be really good…

  • @Russ_Ellsworth says:

    Hi Russell, you know I love you brother.
    My basic thoughts are these… none of us need degrees and certificates to succeed. It is more about the value we bring to the world. And to multiply that value by a high multiple, partner with others that have complimentary skills. Much like combining you and Todd. It is the right combination of skills.
    I have a master’s degree in finance from Harvard. About a year into the program, I ran the “ROI” on the HIGH PRICE of that education, and what it would change in my income. What was so funny about doing that, is I realized the ROI would be doubled if I acquired the same skills through a State school. And an amazing ROI if I went to BYU.
    On top of that I wanted to quit at least once a month. I was also working full-time, a husband, father of 5, and volunteering 4-5 hours a week. Then I thought about the people I was surrounded with. I was surrounded by high achievers! I was at the “Harvard Mastermind”. When I was in your 2CCX group, it is a lot like being with my Harvard peers. Same for other Masterminds I have paid to be a part of. But I would add, there are many doors that close to people when they don’t have degrees. When I hire team members, all their degree tells me is that they know how to achieve long-term goals. I don’t hire short-term thinkers/doers.
    I have no actual opinion about what your son does. All I can tell you is my own experience with my kids. With one of them, we let them quit a team sport they were not enjoying. To sum it up, that same child wants to quit almost everything when they no longer enjoy it. We teach them the importance of learning to deal with challenges, disappointments, stinking at something, and being hurt… I’m not saying that quitting one time was the fork in the road. But I do think it reinforced a belief that quitting is the answer to handling difficulties.
    “Starting life” 6 months earlier may feel like a win right away, but won’t make much of a difference to how his life turns out. He will have the same parents and setting to take his next steps in life. In the eternal scheme of things, it is more about WHO we want to become. And there are many paths that end up with the same result.

  • @fattestedtravel says:

    If he were a junior I could see it, but with 3 months I think finishing is culturally helpful and mentally he’ll know he could finish something he hated and pushed himself over the finish line.

  • @michaelmastrangelo3226 says:

    Not everyone fits in a box. School is very systematized, both public, and even private to a point. We have done both, including homeschool. Before making the decision I would ask him to go inward a bit and think about what he wants. Who does he want to be? How does he want to impact? Then there is the act of quitting itself. Are we as parents making it ok for our children to quit if/when it gets tough? Are we raising strong men? Can he make some positive impact or change in his current situation? There is a lot to consider, and every situation is different. Happy to chat more. Best of luck.

  • @brighamrhodes8370 says:

    I’m 17 and starting a business right now. I’ve been homeschooled/self educated for all of high school. Overall I wouldn’t change it for anything but I had to be deliberate about getting out of the house. There’s more social contact than you might think, you just have to work for it a little more. It’s been amazing to read and follow the best instead of hearing it through a middle man. I’ve been trying to start a small window washing business to pick up some experience and it’s been life changing. College is still a an option even if you don’t have a high school diploma. I have cousins who graduated from BYU without a high school diploma, GED or ACT.

  • @about2flip says:

    Listening to you. I think you already answered your question Russell. You struggled in school and you turned out GREAT!!! Your son is listening to his intuition. Intuition already knows and he wants to follow it. With you being his guide, he will turn out to be GREAT like his dad.

  • @vectorfrog84 says:

    If he were my kid, I’d say “You can drop out once you pass the GED”. Then I’d drop a GED test prep book on his desk and tell him to take a practice exam. Once he took the test, then he’d know his chances of passing the GED. He can then make an informed decision of what he’d prefer, buckle down and study for the GED, or hang tight for 3 months and get a traditional diploma. While I completely agree that much of what we learn in school is worthless, one thing that is immensely valuable is learning that we have to do things that we don’t want to do in order to get where we want to be.

  • @celinelaprofdelimmo1600 says:

    Hi Russell ! The whole CF community is behind you and your family. You did the right thing. We love you, we support you

  • @alexanderleeevans says:

    Crazy how so many people finally see that school is useless. Honestly, I’ve been in this situation for YEARS. I’m 16 and I would honestly push it through. I don’t think he should go to college but he is so close to finishing I would just have him finish high school and if he wants he doesn’t even have to walk on graduation day. Just get through it finish it and quickly go into what you desire, it’s the hard truth but I have had the same feeling and realized you just have to push through high school.

  • @erikholmes6488 says:

    My wife is one of 5 kids, the 4 other siblings all dropped out of high school. Eventually they decided to do a GED on their own, this idea came from the reality of not having any education. What we have learned with our own kids is this lesson, the desire needs to come from with in, as parents we can give our advice but until they internalize it doesn’t have impact.

    So far it has worked out, they discovered their own sports, not what we wanted, the eldest at 24 finished his masters degree that he wanted, in an are he loved and paid for it with his money and managed no debt. The youngest is finding his own path, first hating university and want to quit, to finding an area he loves and now wanting to get his masters degree.

  • @johnchambers3312 says:

    I wanted to be done with school after high school. My parents are entrepreneurial and I pretty much had my path figured out by then… But they recommended college and I went for a computer science and engineering degree because I did a coding class and I really liked it.

    Those two degrees were some of the hardest years of my life, I had to keep pushing my “real life” back each semester and I struggled with finances throughout it… But I also got married, and the things I learned in those two degrees have given me a confidence in myself and my ability that I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere else. And it’s not just learning how to learn… With computer science and engineering, you have to learn about physics, electricity, and a host of other courses as well. Things that you will never get around to learning if you weren’t in school!

    One day near the end of my studies, I paused for a second and realized that I had actually learned about the entire spectrum of what a computer program was… From the electrons inside the atom, to circuits, to logic gates, to binary, to operating systems, to coding languages, to user interfaces, to networking, etc… I actually had a decent understanding of the entire gambit of this increasingly technology-based world. It gave me a greater belief in God, it gave me a greater understanding of how He designs the world, how the tech world works (it’s not that complicated actually), it gave me confidence, and it has helped me solve problems in lots of areas of my life.

    I say STAY IN SCHOOL… Especially if he has the chance to have his finances covered during school. Oh yeah, and all those dreams I had when I finished high school are still here and they’re still fully possible for me to realize, some of them even more so.

  • @CarCountHackers says:

    I dropped out after high school and have never looked back (50 years later 😉 My reasoning was to start a business (and I did with the support and backing of my father and family) and figured if it didn’t work out – I would go back to school – just a year or two older than the rest of the class – not returning to grade 12 as a 42 year old. Funny thing was… after starting a business and growing that business, I went back to school part time and evenings… to learn specific things. School isn’t the be all and end all. Best of luck Russell! Thanks for all of your content, books and everything else!

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