Yes, thinking hard about what one wants is key. I did this when I considered grad school.

I thought about getting an MBA, but realized that would be good for me if I wanted a job at a Fortune 500 company. I didn’t want that. I wanted to do my own thing.

So, I cashed out $40,000 from my retirement account, and gave myself a year to work on whatever I wanted. I figured at the end of that year I’d have a business—or at least an attempt at starting a business. I cost me a fraction of what an MBA would cost, and I believe I learned more that was relevant to what I wanted to get from my “education.”

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Author, ‘Mind Management, Not Time Management’ Former design & productivity advisor to Timeful (Google acq’d).

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