I started to benefit from thinking as an entrepreneur when I started college. I decided that I was NOT going to go to college to eventually get a "good job". Studying, for me, was to learn and figure out a much greater issue in my world which was, "how can I have a wonderful life?"
I was deeply concerned about making the best of my one-time experience living on this beautiful planet. I was never motivated by the idea that I was going to get educated solely to make HR think of me worth enough to hire me.
Several of my peers in college would share with me that they thought I was wasting my time taking courses in political philosophy, sociology, and art classes. Their logic was that if one was not planning to work and be employed in those particular areas of study, then one should not be taking those courses.
It was a surprise how many limiting choices a person can make if personal decisions are made solely on becoming employable.
My early entrepreneur mindset was that I was investing in my future. Thus for me, getting college loans was a wonderful choice. I couldn't believe that I could get college loans for several years even though I didn't even have a job! I kept asking for more loans so that I could get a Masters and work on my doctorate degree program. I kept hearing that an education was an investment that would pay off. The advice I received was absolutely correct!
What I understood was that as an adult, I now had the option of spending or investing. Money that I used and the amount borrowed for college was going to eventually provide a major return to be though of as profit. Had I spent that same amount of money instead of going to college and to buy a car and go partying then I was not going to provide any returns nor financial profits.
Friends, acquaintances and even my father kept asking me what kind of work I was planning on getting after college graduation. My answer was usually, "I don't really think much about it and I did not worry about it very much". What I would share if time permitted was that I figured that I lived in the US and I could choose between being a professional employee or an employer. My goal was to be the latter.
What motivated me to concentrate on becoming an entrepreneur was a little math problem I once worked out in my college economic class. I took a piece of paper and calculated how long a person would work over their lifetime. How many hours per year and how much one can earn. Thus I got the answer and I did not like the outcome.
If one starts working at 18 and works to be 65, a person will work for 47 years. Persons normally work 40 hours a week for 50 weeks (vacation time not counted). Thus one will work approximately 94,000 hours over the 47 years of your life! If one earns an average of $20.00 an hour then one will earn a total of $1,880,000. Lets not forget taxes so about 40% of that will be going to pay taxes. Grand total left over (net) to spend over 47 years is $ 940,000. A person with a college degree should be able to use their college degree and knowledge of investments to eventually earn double that amount in less time. I found out that there are entrepreneurials who can earn this amount in a year.
After doing and finishing this straightforward simple math equation I came to realize I had a major dilemma on my hands. Do I study to get a good job or learn to enjoy my years studying and analyze how to become an entrepreneur?
We realize that not everyone who enters the world of private business is going to be financially successful. It's true that many go broke trying to run a business. In many ways I wish I could just say, yesterday there are good jobs out there and getting one is okay. Honestly, I can't do that. Good jobs, if there were any in the good old days or now, they are quickly disappearing within our current economy. More and more companies are outsourcing their jobs and filling in with part-timers. Persons with multiple college degrees are finding themselves competing with college graduates of other nations. It's a matter that jobs are moved to other nations because they have an educated workforce that is also prepared to do the work.
Our schools are doing a major disservice to the students to make them believe that an education will help them obtain a job and in turn that the job will then take care of their future financial needs. This idea is outdated and counterproductive.
Lets teach our future generations to understand the many skills they posses, to learn how to market their abilities and most importantly, to understand the options to succeed in a highly competitive economic and employment environment where long-term jobs are becoming more scarce.
Lets show our children how to increase their abilities of financial independence and how to have more control over their financial futures.
We cannot afford to have our youth believe in the dysfunctional myth that an employer will take over the role of the parents and will take care of their financial well being.
Now I am now off to go buy a cup of lemonade from the the 3 fourth grade kids selling it in their makeshift stand down the street from where I live.