We've all heard studies that show those with higher education, on average, earn more money. Does this mean we can assume that getting an education guarantees our success? Does this only apply to a college degree?
Every so often, this is something I hear from certain people who believe I should finish my college degree after dropping out while going through a divorce more than a decade ago. I had one friend that couldn't find a decent job for 3 years after getting his MBA. He ended up working along side people that had no college education.
Ironically, these educated people that desire the best for me (and maybe you too) are also the same people that get frustrated after getting laid off and don't know why.
In my situation, I learned that the education I received AFTER college ended up being more valuable for producing greater results. The reason I went into business is because I wanted to have the freedom and control to determine my own compensation. I also knew that if I wanted to be paid more, I needed to have a better education than whatever came out of an overpriced college textbook.
Can you relate to this?
Ultimately, I believe education is a key to financial freedom, inasmuch as it is applied to serving others. Remember, the key to wealth is providing a product or service that serves others' needs or wants.
Losing sight of this is why there are so many educated people struggling to find quality employment right now.
Therefore, merely getting ANOTHER degree is not the ticket to freedom.
Don't look at education as a piece of paper to hang on your wall and put on your resume. Instead, look at what value you can provide another person. How will you stand out?
And no, having 5,000 degrees only helps you stand out as being crazy!
Ask yourself, "What education or training can I get right now that will allow me to serve more people?"
For many of you that are entrepreneurs just like me, college may or may not have the answer. You might need to learn how to market yourself better, deepen your level of knowledge in your profession, or properly manage money in your business and personal life (hint, hint).
For example, I had a friend who told me he wanted an MBA because of some of the finance classes required. I pointed out that if all he wanted was the finance classes, and not have to worry about slaving over a discertation or taking other classes he had no interest in, he could just take a course on that subject by someone with real-world experience.
That would require less time, money, and stress so he could produce results much faster. Makes sense, doesn't it?
Important point - Colleges do a great job training you to be an employee or a specialist. If you don't want to be an employee, you will likely need to seek education elsewhere.
Entrepreneurs are better at being generalists, not just specialists. You have to know a little about every area of your business, whether it be marketing, accounting, product development, finance, operations, legal, etc, so you can sucessfully know how to speak to your contractors/employees about what's happening inside your business.
If you feel you are weak in one of these areas, it could be what's stopping you from taking your business to that next level.
Ironically, Steve Jobs (former owner of Apple) mentioned that he didn't necessarily drop out of college, he "dropped in." Instead of taking his required classes, he took classes that intrigued him or he felt inspired to take. For instance, he took a calligraphy class. He learned about fonts, spacing, and other stuff that most of us have never heard of.
Little did he know at the time that over a decade later, he would affect all of our lives when we use fonts on our computers!
To sum this up - Get the training necessary for whatever profession you do that will provide significant value for others, and then your compensation can increase. When should you stop learning? NEVER!
Albert Einstein said it this way:
"Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school."