Sunday, November 16, 2008

What Education Didn't Teach Us -- Trusting Others

Our educational system has taught us to rely on ourselves and our own work ethic. 12 – 20 years of constantly being told to study harder and not depend on others is a significant chunk of time to hear a very one sided message.

When were we ever taught that trusting others was a means to success? Of course we’ve all had experiences in group work that tried to teach us that value. Most came away from those experiences with a negative view of co-operation.

In a book titled, “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”, Robert Kiyosaki explores this idea and looks at it through a very simple grid.

Employed _________________Business

Self-Employed ________________Investments

Our educational system, almost exclusively, taught us to study hard to fit into the Employed quadrant. Even a graduate with an MBA making $200,000 a year is on the employed side. The Self-employed quadrant can include a mechanic who owns his own garage to a doctor who owns his own practice.

It was a rare course in high school that taught us anything from the right side and that would only have been offered as an elective. Who learned about the advantage of tax write offs in high school?

Most people live on the left side and some have become successful. The financial mantra on this side has generally been security. The overwhelming fixation in these two grids is that it all depends on you: your work ethic and your abilities. That's great till you or a family member gets sick or your employer closes down.

Due to the heavy emphasis on personal abilities in these quadrants, the idea of trusting others for financial gain has been all but lost. Not only has it been lost but some extreme views would even suggest that it is morally corrupt to benefit from another person’s work. Thus some have concluded, that all business owners are corrupt users of others.

There is a significant emotional investment that has gone into people living on the left side. Ignorance tends to fear what it does not understand. Therefore, even looking over at the right quadrants is a fearful experience for many.

I’ve been working at developing a business in Network Marketing. I have been surprised by the number of people who have failed in this type of business. It seems they were not able to transfer a very simple idea of trusting others in order to succeed.

Why is that? They were trained to live on the emotional side of the left quadrants. They don’t really believe that one can succeed by simply transferring a simple plan to a few others who in turn will transfer that idea to a few others.

The Network Business model is unique in that it allows people from the left quadrants to easily move into their own business. The weakness in the Network model is that most people have been trained away from thinking in terms of being successful through others.

Even business owners have a difficult time understanding networking. There means of making money was to get people trained in the left quadrants to work for a paycheque. They never wanted to develop people to be successful like themselves.

The CEO of my company, Wayne Badavinus, has a very successful history in working in the business world. He says this, “Even though I was very successful in taking companies from $200 million dollars per year to $1.2 billion per year over a 5 year time span, I never made one person in those companies rich. However, I did do a good job of making somebody on Wall Street richer.”

Wayne was very proud of his ability to transfer his ideas throughout his companies, so much so that the janitor in his company understood his purpose in cleaning a washroom had a significant impact on customer service. But the janitor in Wayne’s company could never become a successful business owner with full financial freedom. Wayne is a quick learner and has discovered a new passion to see others succeed beyond their wildest imagination.

In a day when people are realizing that job security is a thing of the past, education is no guarantee of a better job and investments can be lost overnight, I’m excited about being in a business that can help others get past inadequate teaching about financial success and allowing them the independence of owning a successful business.

The challenge is getting people free to trust a few others for their personal success. That seems like a worthwhile investment of my time.

1 comment:

Jamie A. Grant said...

I think this is a very interesting point. We are what we were made to be. It seems like a big deal that more people these days are choosing short-term college over 4-year university diplomas. But really, it's in pursuit of the same goal of secure employment - and I've long know that this is mythical.

There's no longer such thing as a company being loyal to the employees, nor vice-versa. And yet, we still run our careers as if this was true...