Danielle over at Go Banking Rates had the great idea of pinging several bloggers and asking them to write about wealth and education. The funniest part is that; while I see the link between education and wealth, I don’t see it between school and wealth! So if you are born to poor parents, who is going to teach you to be rich? (beside famous Ramit Sethi of course 😉 ). But seriously, why doesn’t school teach our kids how to become rich? More importantly, why does school teach our kids to be poor instead?
School teaches children to be poor? Really? YUP! How? Here’s how:
#1 School teaches about absolute rules
As Moses did with the 10 commandments, school is approaching our kids with their absolute set of rules. They teach you that rules can’t be broken. Worse, they teach you that rules cannot be bent or overlooked either.
I’m not telling you that you need to be illegal to become rich. In fact, I think the complete opposite. I think that laws are made to be followed and that you should not mess with the legal aspect of your work or business. However, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have the right to outsmart people and use rules to your advantage, after all; if you want to win the game you have to know the rules.
Corporations have been created this way. It is much easier to create wealth through a corporation than by making money with a normal job with bi-weekly paychecks. How come? Because corporations spend money before paying taxes while you pay taxes first and have only the rest deal with after ;-).
Our society is nothing more than a bundle of perceived actions that are socially acceptable. At a very young age, we have been drilled about those ideas of what society expects from us; to become a good worker that pay his taxes. In the meantime, if you want to become rich, nobody at school is telling you what to do. You will only learn to become a good student that follow the rules who will ultimately become another “good employee”.
Who told you that you have to work 5 days a week to get a job? Who told you that you can’t have 2 income sources without burning out sooner or later? Who told you that you need to become a manager to make money? School did.
I actually work 4 days a week and earn a 6 figure income. I run an online company on the side and I have more free time than I have ever had (especially compared to the moment where I was being a good employee working 5 days a week and doing my MBA to become a manager ;-). And finally, I make more than my manager by working 25 hours a week less… All that because I didn’t listen to what they told me at school.
“shut up and follow”, that is probably the best advice to give to you kid if you want him to be loved by his teacher and to get good grades. However, you will, then again, reinforce the idea that following everybody will make him a good individual in our society.
We obviously prefer people that don’t make noise and that don’t challenge our perceptions of life. However, those are the ones who really see how the system works and how they can take advantage of it.
There is little to no place for creativity and challenging ideas in school while they are probably the 2 most important activities that will generate ways to make more money faster and easier. Don’t work harder, work smarter. If someone tells you that something requires 1 hour to do, it is probably because there is a way to take half of this time to do it!
If you let yourself follow all the other lemmings buying plasma tvs, going south for vacation each year, buying a huge house and driving a brand new car, you will also be part of the same group who is struggling to pay off their debt. Definitely, following everybody off the cliff into the hole of debt won’t do any good.
What school should teach your kids
Instead of trying to manufacture a series of good workers, school should put the emphasis on creating individuals:
– Capable of making their own decisions and opinions without having to see what the others will do.
– Capable of finding other solutions than the “one right way” of doing something.
– That use their common sense when someone tells them “this is the rule” and to try to find another way to do it.
In the end, I definitely think that school is a good place to learn basic stuff about languages and math, to know that it is freezing at the North Pole and that the right place to be on vacation is in the Caribbean. But I don’t think that school is fit yet to teach our kids how to become wealthy and financially independent individuals. What do you think?
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