Thursday, August 20, 2009
Study hard, get good grades, get a good job.
Today is part 22 of a 30 day commitment. To read about how I am blogging to change my life please read here first.
I grew up a good portion of my life thinking that I was not that bright. I was good at physical things, but did terrible in school. Based on what my teachers told me, as a solid C/D student, I could expect to work in bicycle shops for the rest of my life. Not that I had a problem with that. I liked working with bikes and people. I never considered myself a corporate type and the thought of wearing a suit and tie every day was comical.
The one thing that I just assumed is that I would never make a lot of money. I had bought into the idea that the higher your education or degree the more money you make. That certainly seems true in the corporate world, but as I have discovered, it doesn't have to be that way in the world I live in. It seems as if we get a lot of advice growing up that doesn't have the data behind it to back it up.
So why do most of our parents tell us to study hard, get good grades so you can get a good job? I think that they want us to be safe. And that is what their parents told them too. Unfortunately it is not always the safe thing to do. It certainly is not the only path to becoming rich. Again, that's OK. It all depends on what you want and as I've said many times in this blog, money is not the only thing in this world. But if it is not the exclusive path, why are we constantly being told that's what we should do? I think that we repeat a lot of things that we get told without ever investigating if it is true.
In Thomas J. Stanley's "The Millionaire Mind" he does extensive research into the lives of approximately 700 millionaires as well as a control group. The results show a number of traits that are consistent among millionaires that are not what the stereotypes would have you believe.
Most of the millionaires had been told by some authority figure or by the results of a standardized test scores that were not:
- Intellectually gifted
- Of Law-School caliber
- Medical School material
- Qualified to pursue a MBA degree
- Smart enough to succeed
They also said that a major reason for their success was "Learning to fight for our goals because somebody labeled us as having "average or less ability".
When I worked for Dad I was constantly battling in my head about my lack of education vs. my gut instincts. I would have ideas that I knew were right, but when somebody with more education argued against it I would lose confidence. I wasn't afraid to try new things, but nobody wants to look stupid. Even worse, I didn't want to make any decisions that would hurt the business. I always had a little voice in the back of my head saying "maybe you don't understand as well as the guy who went to college".
Now that I've started my own business I've learned to trust my instincts better. I might not have as high of an IQ as a Harvard Graduate, but I have more "EQ" than most. EQ stands for Emotional Intelligence. It has to do with your ability to handle real world situations vs your ability to remember and recite information. I'm not saying that people with high IQ's aren't smart. It is just a different type of smart. The person with a high EQ has the ability to quickly judge a situation and act. They have the ability to quickly build rapport with other people. I think of it as a sort of social intelligence instead of a traditional education intelligence. Google IQ vs. EQ and you'll find a ton of information on the subject.
I think that it would have been wonderful to have an EQ test as well as the standard IQ test that I took as a kid. It might have been helpful to my teachers and my parents to know that while I didn't possess the best skills for studying I did posses some social skills that would have suited me well later in life. I think that I would have grown up with a little more confidence in my abilities. It would be great if the schools would recognize that some of the same kids that they are classifying as ADD and drugging are the same kids that have the ability to change the world. They are not dumb. They are not handicapped. They just learn different and have different skills than the "normal" kids. They might actually have a greater chance at becomming a millionare! If you didn't do well in school don't let it hurt your confidence to succeed. The facts prove that it doesn't.
Posted by Nathan Sanel at 3:25 PM