Many people have a limited and somewhat archaic view of what is meant by the term education, yet today even the most prestigious colleges and universities are recognizing experiential learning as a metric to gain access to advanced courses like masters degrees and PhD programs.
This is testament to the diverse sources of education available to us, as even a decade ago, such institutions would consider academic grades to be the only currency to gain entry into higher education. Today, however, education has transformed to encompass a plethora of platforms from online learning to ‘on the job’ vocational training.
The real value of an education is found in its ability to help people create more value to the marketplace; be that as an entrepreneur or employee. Essentially, there is no intrinsic value in having a higher education qualification - there are plenty of people with degrees working in call centers. The value comes from its ability to catalyze your personal growth, knowledge base and understanding of industry.
See, many people go to college or university thinking that it will lead them on a path to financial security, and even financial independence, but the reality is that a higher education qualification does not automatically lead to higher earnings.
The only way to make more money is to create more value and whilst formal education can contribute to that - it’s not the be all and end all. If you’re looking to enhance your earning ability you’ll want to bear in mind the following principles.
PRINCIPLE 1: PEOPLE EARN IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE VALUE THEY PROVIDE
People are compensated based on the value they create for a third party - whether that party is a person or organization in the form of a client or customer, or an employer - the universal fact remains… that people get paid according to the value they provide.
The value of an activity such as defending someone’s innocence as a solicitor is a higher value activity than an activity such as cleaning.
That isn’t to infer less value on the person behind the job; it’s simply to say that a lawyer charging $350 per hour to defend against a serious allegation is creating more value to the person receiving that service than a cleaner being paid $10 per hour as the value they are creating is significantly less.
That said, if we look at specialist cleaner’s such as those employed to clean up murder scenes - they get paid a huge amount because the value they create is much higher. In many ways, if you aren’t particularly well qualified or educated the shortest and most efficient way to earn more money is to do a job that nobody else wants to do. The value, in this, is that you are one of the willing few - meaning your value rises based on the economics of supply and demand.
Put simply, if you want to earn more, you need to create more value in terms of the end result you are providing; as the more value you provide the more you will earn.
PRINCIPLE 2: LEARN MORE IN ORDER TO CREATE MORE VALUE
There are two ways to learn; first is through experience and the second is through education. Nowadays, formal education is much easier to access with many courses (both vocational and academic) available online.
As stated above, it should be noted that learning is not limited to academic education. Indeed, if you were to learn how to invest in property or simply find information that others don’t have access to such as inside knowledge about a new property launch in Kuala lumpur, can make you a lot of money because you know something other people don’t.
In many ways, that is how education pays - you are learning about things that other people don’t understand. It should be noted, however, that intelligent people don’t get paid more simply because they are more intelligent; it’s because they apply that intelligence in order to create more value. Again, that’s what earning money comes down to - it’s all about creating more value.
It’s important to consider the fact there are plenty of highly educated people working in minimum wage jobs, and oftentimes, you can find highly educated white collar workers attending weekend seminars on topics such as property investing, amazon trading, and digital marketing - in an attempt to escape the rat race where they are often learning from people that dropped out of college to pursue a more ‘real world’ results based career.
In simple terms, if you want to earn more then you need to create more value in terms of the end result you are providing; and one of the best ways to provide more value is to get more education - but this should be education that is focused on providing a particular outcome; as an example, it makes sense to study dentistry if you want to be a dentist but there’s a long standing joke about young people that study a broad subject such as sociology, psychology or drama to end up in a career nothing about their chosen subject.
Essentially, you want to have a laser like focus when it comes to choosing which education to undertake as it is ultimately an investment - both in time and money.
PRINCIPLE 3: LEARN FROM DO-ERS
The great thing about TED talks is that they are led by people who are doing what they are talking about; real world experts that are on the front line experiencing what they’re professing to have superior knowledge about. They aren’t lecturing from a lectern in their ivory tower, they are out there in the real world, getting results.
That’s what you want. You want to learn from people who are do-ers, those putting themselves out there, and getting real world results. There’s something fundamentally disconcerting about professors teaching entrepreneurship who have never even set up a company. Make sure you learn from credible experts that can offer applied advice and insight informed from experience rather than a textbook.
This is where mentorship can pay dividends.
PRINCIPLE 4: DEFINE YOUR OWN PATH
The psychological principle of conformity is what keeps most of us following the beaten track - yet usually it’s only when you venture off piste that you stumble upon a life beyond your wildest dreams. The conventional life is for the masses, and that’s okay if that’s what you want - but if you’re interested in living an epic life, you’ll want to carve your own path.
In terms of wealth creation, it’s essential to adopt an entrepreneurial mindset rather than that of an employee. Employees tend to be stuck on a never ending treadmill where they are trading their time for money, which is an inherently limited way to create wealth. Entrepreneurs on the other hand are busy building assets they can then leverage multiple times to produce income that isn’t dependent on the same ‘per hour’ trade employees are shackled to.
There are many ways you can enhance your entrepreneurial skills, as there are plenty of courses available online, many of which are free or very low cost… yet many would argue entrepreneurship isn’t something that can be learned from a book or course - it has to be learned by doing.
Again, we come back to this notion of creating value as entrepreneur’s essentially focus their lives on creating value for others through providing a product or service that solves a specific problem people face; therefore creating significant value in terms of scratching an emotional itch or solving a practical problem.