When I was a much younger man and my first child was ready to start school, her mother and I decided to send her to a unique private school (notice I did not say exclusive). New Hope Academy’s founder, Paige Pitts, was a big proponent of lifelong learning and teaching kids that when school is over learning is not. At 33 years old, I had never heard of this concept.
However, this is exactly what Robert Kiyosaki is talking about in a Rich Dad Poor Dad chapter called, “Work to Learn — Don’t Work for Money.” Here he points out some flaws in our current educational system. School is often still geared toward preparing students to get a job. Even in college, the degree or program is focused on preparing the student for a career in a specific field.
All of this is quite logicial, of course, but an unfortunate biproduct is that it conditions students to think that learning has a beginning, an end, and is necessary only for a specific purpose. Nothing could be further from the truth.
I graduated high school, then graduated Auburn University with a business degree and sat for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam while working for an accounting firm, a job for which I had been specially trained. CPA’s are also required to get Continuing Professional Education (CPE) ever year. I LOVED IT. I especially loved in-person, conference style CPE because I had the chance meet colleagues and talk with instructors.
Within just a few years, the entrepreneurial call was heavy on me. As I started to plan my first venture, I began to realize how inadequate my education had been for anything other than my specific job role in the firm. I began to buy books and seek out professionals in fields where I lacked knowledge. I enjoyed that process just as much as I enjoyed CPE every year.
Not until years later did I put two and two together: I actually loved learning.
While I cannot say I have completely embraced the lifelong learning encouraged by Kiyosaki, I have met with many new challenges eagerly because of the need to learn something new. Even now, I am learning how to record professional videos for marketing purposes.
Without a willingness to learn, even if there is not promise of immediate profit from this new skill, you will be at a disadvantage when it comes to building wealth. What do you love? What do you want to know more about? What are you afraid of? Seek out that knowledge. Learning is never over, even when you’ve finished school.
As Kiyosaki says, “Work to Learn — Don’t Work for Money.”
Rich Dad Poor Dad is an easy read. Pick up a copy! I will be reviewing the book in more detail in the coming weeks, and I look forward to reading your comments. And as always, for more reading recommendations, or to discuss other entrepreneurial tips and tools, contact Harvard Grace Corporation at firstname.lastname@example.org.