I’m Derek Magill. I’m a 24 year old living in
Michigan San Diego Austin Charleston Nowhere Michigan Nowhere Austin.
I move around a lot. Part of that is for my work as Director of Marketing at Praxis, a startup that’s built an alternative to college (and much much more), and part of that is because I find it difficult to settle anywhere long.
I dropped out (or got kicked out, depending on who you ask) of college during my second at the University of Michigan. During that brief and unfortunate time in college, I studied Classics — think Thucydides, Polybius, Cicero, and Marcus Aurelius — dabbled in French Enlightenment and 19th century Russian Literature, and got deeply involved in the Objectivist and Libertarian philosophy and movements. I even sued my school.
I went to Rome and studied Latin for a month, then almost died hiking the Matterhorn in Switzerland during a “find myself” journey (these are stupid and shallow).
I quickly realized a few things during this whole time in school:
- I was learning a lot more outside of class.
- My classmates weren’t in my classes because they shared my interests — they were there for course credits
- A successful career, the humanities do not make.
I dropped out without much of a plan and took a job as a campaign manager for a US congressional race, which I recognize is a weird job for a dropout to get. I quit that within a month because a happy life, politics does not make.
It’s then that I started selling guns. Really. I built an eBay store for gun parts that turned into a $30,000 per month business, managing shipping, inventory, customer service, product listings, et. all. I also helped build a 2 million dollar Amazon store and got a package seized by the Department of Homeland Security. Oops.
I then started doing photography because I thought it would help me meet people, managing social media accounts and ads, building websites, and doing just about anything else I could do to make an income. This became a business in itself which I ran profitably for a year or so.
I got to work with some incredible businesses and clients around the country and learned a ton about business and marketing, and more importantly, about what I wanted to spend the next part of my life doing.
I moved to Austin to take a job at a startup but had an opportunity to jump ship to do contract work for Praxis. I also started a standing desk business but the margins were too low for it to be viable. I’m now the Director of Marketing at Praxis and occasionally take some marketing clients that overlap with my work there.
I spent the last two years traveling full time, mostly to give talks about dropping out of college and career building, but also for fun. Destinations include…. Canada, Iceland, Brazil, Czech Republic, Japan, Ecuador, Germany, France, Belgium, Poland, Greece, Bosnia, Serbia, Austria, Ukraine, and a bunch of US cities. In total I flew over 275,000 miles (ugh) in that time. I always fly Delta.
Official Conference Bio and Media:
Here’s a more official bio and headshot. Please feel free to use at will!
Derek Magill is a marketer, business strategist and career expert. After dropping out of college during his sophomore year, Derek started a marketing company that went on to generate million of dollars in business for clients.
He is currently the Director of Marketing at Praxis and has consulted with companies such as Voice & Exit,The Objective Standard, the Foundation for Economic Education,Glockstore,Colliers International,Daily Caller, and Undertech.
He has been a guest lecturer at the Foundation for Economic Education and The Institute for Humane Studies and has spoken at dozens of conferences and universities internationally. Derek is the author of the upcoming essay collection “Create Your Career” and a top writer for Quora in the College Dropouts section with over 1 million views.
In 2014, Derek was the lead plaintiff in the Young Americans for Liberty v. University of Michigan free speech discrimination lawsuit. The lawsuit was settled out of court.
I’ve been the Director of Marketing at Praxis for the past two and a half years. To that end, I handle web design, public speaking, copywriting, content marketing, sales, a good deal of product development, and a whole lot more. Praxis is a 12 month startup apprenticeship program for young people who want to learn in the real world and build a career now instead of attending college.
Interviews and Coverage:
- An Interview with Derek Magill
- Tune in, Tune Out, or Drop Out — The Michigan Daily
- The UM Dropout Whose Startup Wants to Get You Your Dream Job Without a College Degree
- Can College Hold You Back? | Interview on the Tom Woods Show
- Objectivist Discussion: College Alternatives w/Derek Magill
- How a Self Taught Marketer Can Generate Millions
- Za Radiosarajevo.ba / Derek Magill: Kako sam zaradio svoj prvi milion
- The Isaac Morehouse Podcast: Discussion w/Derek Magill
- Get Your Dream Job without a Degree: Interview on the College Dropout Podcast
- How to Get Any Job You Want: Derek Magill on the Luminous Mind Podcast
- Dropping Out for Fun and Profit: A Fireside Chat with Derek Magill and TK Coleman
- Skip college, build a career, and educate yourself – A conversation with Derek Magill
- Parenting, Education, and Modern Renaissance People: Derek Magill on the Luminous Mind Podcast
- Exit School: Startup Societies Blog
- Is College Worth the Cost? Interview on the “On the Homefront” radio show
- This Apprenticeship Bootcamp Trains Students for Soft Skills in Technical Companies — And You Get Paid to Do It
- Conservative group settles lawsuit against the University of Michigan over funding
- Student group settles reimbursement lawsuit with the university — Michigan Daily
- University meets demands of black students who threaten “physical action.”
- Derek Magill on Praxis as an Alternative University Experience — The Undercurrent
Over 2000 people have joined my email newsletter which you can join below:
Why did you drop out of college?
It was no longer valuable to me personally, intellectually, socially, or professionally.
Are you Greek?
For the past few years my Facebook profile has said that I’m from Greece. Somehow I never thought this would be taken “seriously,” but it has. No, I’m not Greek. At least I don’t think so. I considered myself Greek in the way Percy Bysshe Shelley meant it or Alexander the Great — spiritually, intellectually Greek.
Are you a libertarian?
Something like that. I’m an Objectivist, which has some overlap and that’s why you’ll see me regularly at libertarian events. I like to say that I’m a “radical for capitalism.”
I drink 5 cups per day, which means I get 10 tablespoons of Grass Fed Butter and 10 tablespoons of MCT oil, as well as 3 tablespoons of raw chocolate powder. If that sounds like a heart attack waiting to happen, well, we’ll see. Until then, read this.