The easiest (and cheapest) way to become the best in your field

Have you ever wondered why graduation ceremony is sometimes called Commencement?

Maybe it’s the way the education system is, but a lot of us stop learning once we leave school. We believe education is something that is done to us. We were forced to go to school from kindergarten to university.

We go to school so ‘education’ can be done to us. And once we graduate, whew!

I’m an adult now. I don’t have to go back to school if I don’t want to.

How I see it

Well, it’s not really our fault. It’s the way the system is designed.

This is how I see education:

It’s like this really huge water dispenser sitting in front of each class. Let’s call it Gora.

At the beginning of the term/semester, Gora is filled with water. Students start each class with an empty cup. With every class, you line-up and take turns collecting drops of water from Gora.

During exams, you return whatever water you have left in your cup back to Gora. You leave school with an empty cup while Gorais back full.

Gora is the teacher. You are the student.

Are you a CEO or an employee?

True education starts when we graduate from school. That is why it is called a commencement ceremony – to celebrate the day you REALLY start learning.

Schools do not teach us how to use our ‘education’ to make money. They do not teach us how to be entrepreneurs in the real world. Rather, they prepare us for employment.

Our parents want us to get good jobs and settle down. That, to them, is the definition of success. And it is not their fault. They were told the same thing by their parents.

That might have worked for them but the reality has changed. Employment is no longer the answer. It is simply not enough. It keeps you down and answering to someone. You help the employer make money while they pay you less than 1% of what they make. They give you small promotions to keep you happy.

The only way to become free from this mentality is to learn how to be the best in your field and develop that ‘CEO mentality’.

It is very easy to claim the title but very challenging to actually be one. Running a business is not for everyone that is why most people opt to become employees instead of employers.

Entrepreneurship is HARD! Some days you just want to quit but those are the days a true CEO will push further and say, ” ̶l̶a̶i̶-̶l̶a̶i̶ nope, not today.”

Do you really want to answer to someone all your life?

The gift of self-education

You don’t have to be the best to succeed. You just need to be at least 10% better than the rest of your competitors. And the cheapest and easiest way to become better is by reading and learning on your own. 

Self-education is the best gift you can give future you.

If you can read about 120 books on your field, I guarantee you will be among the top 20% professionals of your industry.

Let’s break it down so you see how achievable this is:

  • 120 books = 12 books/year
  • 12 books/year = 1 book/month
  • 1 book/month = 75 pages/week (using the average book size of 300 pages)
  • 75 pages/week = 10 pages/day
  • 10 pages/day = 30 mins/day

This means if you can spend at least 30 minutes every day to read a book (or blog, research, article) about your business or profession and do this for 10 years you will become an industry professional.

Are you really too busy to carve out at least 30 minutes every day? Be honest with yourself.

This principle is so effective you can apply it to other aspects of your life like fitness and wellness.

The top 10%

Now imagine if you were to double your efforts and read for one hour instead. You will join the top 10%. You will be competing on a totally different level where the players are few because the majority of people do not put in that extra effort to be the best.

Do you know what being among the 10% implies? You can demand whatever salary you want if you choose to be an employee. You can choose to become a consultant while still keeping your job if you so wish to.

Companies will practically be begging you to come work for them.

If you’re an entrepreneur, it means you can charge whatever you want for your services and people WILL pay. You will command recognition in your industry and have people looking up to you.

10 years is not that far away. Think back 10 years ago. Where were you? What were you doing?

Blackberry Bold was launched in 2008. That was 11 years ago!!! Chai!

Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?

Make a conscious decision TODAY to commit yourself to learn EVERY day.

This is your commencement post.

PS: If you’d like to learn more about self-development, join the mailing list and never miss an update.

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