The world we live in today is vastly different from what we were prepared for through our journey from childhood to adulthood. Our parents encouraged us to work hard at primary and secondary levels of school, to achieve the opportunity at a tertiary level education which would inevitably lead to a secure job, where you work 40 hours a week for 40 years, retire and be merry. That notion is now quite far from reality to most of us in the working world today and for our children to come after us. The reality is, there’s no guarantee that a university education will result in a job offer and even when the offer does come, the notion of job security no longer exists. Lay-offs, pay cuts, business closures have been rampant in most societies over the past 5 years and as some individuals keep saying “Everything has gone up other than their salaries”. And so you aren’t lost in translation, that basically means, standard of living has risen rapidly without that pattern being followed by our regular salaries. So with these occurrences, our upbringing shattered by reality, how does one survive?
The answer is simple. In this day, to survive financially, one must, without question, have multiple skills. Brian Tracy the Chairman and CEO of Brian Tracy International, a company specializing in the training and development of individuals and organizations said “Invest three percent of your income in yourself (self-development) in order to guarantee your future.” In simpler terms, the man who spends every day developing himself, will never be broke.
In a conversation with my peers, I pointed out that many of the individuals who weren’t as successful academically as we were; seem to be doing better than us in terms of earnings. From observation, I gather those individuals who realized academia was not their strength decided and in some cases were forced to strengthen themselves in other areas; and what resulted was well rounded young men and women who can put their hands to the plough in many areas. So along with their base salary at their 40 hours a week job, their additional skills have allowed them to have additional earning power. From part-time deejays to cosmetologist, technicians to musicians, they all have the means to earn extra. Those of us who followed what seemed to be the blueprint of success of going through school with honourable grades, have found ourselves in jobs that pay us just enough to get from one pay cheque to the other and just enough to for us not to quit; while we work hard enough not to get fired, and for many of us, it may not even be a job that we like!
So what, can it hurt to invest in yourself a bit, can it hurt to join a class, develop that skill of speaking, hair styling, baking? Think about how much wealth you would be missing out on by not developing that second, third and fourth skill!
This is not the time to solely rely of what was once considered the blueprint to success but to understand fully that success is the maximum utilization of the ability that you have. Robert Kiyosaki, who is best known as the author of “Rich Dad Poor Dad”, famously encouraged anyone who currently has job but looking to start a small business, to start the new business while you are still employed which allows you to make years of mistakes until you get it right. Zig Ziglar an American author, salesman and motivational speaker says “you don’t have to be great to get started, but to be great you have to get started”
Make 2015 the year you promise to develop yourself, if you haven’t begun that already. Look around and there are many examples of the skillful individuals who are easing themselves out of the rat race; simply put, people will pay you for services they can’t perform themselves!
REMEMBER THIS:- WE ARE ALL SELF-MADE BUT ONLY THE WEALTHY WILL ADMIT IT.
Romelle Greenidge is a University of the West Indies graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Management. He entered the insurance industry right after completing university and has been there for the past 5 years. He is now at Sagicor as an advisor and is the process of pursuing his advisor designations.