Why are we working to make other people rich? Is it because we are trained to in school? Or is it because big business makes an offer we can’t refuse? I think that at an early age we are taught to be a good employee rather than live life in a business state of mind.
At an early age we are taught to be employees. We are taught to work together to help us socialize with others in our work. We are taught to follow directions to help us be better employees, receive successful jobs, and succeed in the jobs we do get. I know that following directions and socializing with others are important in developing as a person, but we also need to be taught a better business state of mind. By this, I mean we should learn how to develop ideas to become our own boss.
We are taught at early ages to make good grades. Why is this? I believe it is because we are taught that good grades insure better jobs, which is to an extent true. Bill Gates, Lawrence Ellison, and Paul Allen, the top three on Forbes’ richest people list, had ideas, developed them, and became successful. In Rich Dad, Poor Dad, the author states that wealthy people stay wealthy by teaching kids a business state of mind; whereas, middle class people tend to teach their kids to be an employee (Kiyosaki 58). There are middle class people who become rich, but I think it’s because they got out of the employee state of mind. An example is Tom Reynolds; he has a five-year-old business and fewer than 50 employees, but is approaching six million dollars in sales. I think he was goal-driven to become rich and this ambition got him from middle class to millionaire status (Silverstein T8)
When I used to work at Best Buy I would think of people like Tom Reynolds who progressed out of the middle-class. While I was getting paid six dollars and fifty cents an hour, like most regular employees, Richard Schultz, the founder of Best Buy, was making hundreds of millions of dollars a year. This wasn’t making a lot of sense to me. Why did everyone else work while he got to relax and become rich? It’s because he had an idea and developed it. Some people are born workers. I know we need workers to make a society, but work wasn’t and isn’t for me. My friend and I had an idea of advertising on the Internet. With a few learn-how-to books and some time, we had created our own business. I think that like Tom Reynolds we were goal driven to become successful. I think that without dreams and ambitions one cannot succeed. Without dreams and ambitions what does one have to look forward to? I may not be making millions of dollars, but I have all the time I need, and I still make money.
Most people are happy with their life as an employee, and that is wonderful. Without them, we wouldn’t have fast food and other needed services. There are also a lot of people unhappy with their salary, but they work it out. If they had been taught a better business state of mind, I think they could have found ways to be happier with their lives. When I interviewed a friend of mine who is an employee that wants to find a better job, I asked him six questions. What kind of job would you rather have, if not current employer, and why don’t you have it; what types of tasks do you do daily; in ten years would you still want to be where you are today; compare and contrast the labor you do for your boss and the hours worked each week; as a child do you think you were taught to be an employee or a business person; and do you think that people being unhappy with their jobs is a problem in America? He tells me that he would rather be in business for himself making his money work for him or work as a laser technician. He did go to school to study to be a laser technician, but money for college and longing for family and friends turned out to be issues. Now, he repairs equipment such as copiers, printers, and computers for schools, hospitals, and other corporations, which are usually general maintenance. He does not plan on being in the same occupation in the future. He wants to find a way to make his money work for him by either starting his own business or making investments. He and his boss work the same hours, but he does fieldwork, whereas his boss makes sure employees complete their jobs properly, which is easier work. Even though the work is easier, the boss gets paid double what a service technician makes. He told me that his father ran a small business that helped him with an understanding of being a better businessperson, but in school he feels he was taught to be an employee. He thinks that most Americans average over three job changes are because they are unhappily employed (Boatman, Personal Interview). I also think if more people were taught a better business state of mind, they would be in jobs they wanted rather than jobs they need to survive- thus having friendlier service and more smiles.
If we teach our children a business state of mind they will be more apt to become successful. In Secrets of a Successful Entrepreneur the author Gene Daily tells of the eleven rules of success: “1.) Work smarter not harder. 2.) Strive for accuracy first, then build momentum. 3.) Build a good reputation on the quality of your products and services. 4.) Find a niche and become an expert in your field. 5.) Always better your best and strive to improve your products and services. 6.) Be creative by adapting and applying innovative techniques in your field. 7.) Be market driven not product driven by reacting with your customers needs. 8.) Plan for success; know where you’re going and how you’re going to get there. 9.) Capitalize on change by using a springboard to improve your products, procedures, and reputation. 10.) Think before you act. 11.) Always promise a lot and deliver even more” (Dailey 12). Of course, we will need to teach our children the basics, but should emphasize these eleven steps to success. I think another great way to show our children an entrepreneurship is lemonade stands. As a child I had a Kool-Aid stand, I remember I was so happy when I made five dollars and bought two G.I. Joe figurines. Ideas like these are an excellent way to show our children that we can do anything if we put our minds to it and business can be fun. We need to get down to the basics again with our children because it is difficult for the human brain to be taught one thing and believe it for so long and then try to learn and believe in the complete opposite. If we teach to fresh young minds the children wouldn’t have to try to re-learn business ideas. We have to remember that the children of today are tomorrow’s business tycoons.
Boatman II, Mark. Personal Interview. 29 Sept. 2000.
Dailey, Gene. Secrets of a Successful Entrepreneur. Pleasanton: K & A Publishing, 1993.
Kiyosaki, Robert T. Rich Dad, Poor Dad. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1998.
Silverstein, Stuart. “Right at Home in Virtual Office.” New York Daily News 6 July 1997: Technology:8.