How often have you heard entrepreneurs and bestselling authors talk about the importance of financial freedom and why it should be taught in schools? There are a number of these leaders who have over the years criticized the educational systems and I will admit that there are things I can criticize about the way the educational systems is setup. Even though the idea of schools teaching financial freedom sounds great, to me it is not the most important thing. I once agreed with these people but now I’m in total disagreement with them. I have learned a lot about authors and leaders or entrepreneurs who often speak publicly at workshops, seminars, conferences and the some with YouTube channels, podcasts and published books. I have observed that they usually say things which makes sense to us but are not practical. You will read books that will motivate you and make you fired up but very soon you’d have forgotten about it and the lessons taught. The same happens with conferences, you are motivated at the conference and soon you find yourself not having done much about the information received. This is because the information provided to us is put together to make sense and in a way that we can connect and relate to the story. But there isn’t much practicality or action steps provided. Perhaps only when you pay for one on one coaching and mentorship you can then get the real value encoded in all those inspiring words you’ve heard. In South Africa you’ll often hear people talk about how we are first generation entrepreneurs and how that affect our ability to grow companies. But what is the real message in this statement, how do I take it and use it to help grow my business?
The same goes with teaching financial freedom at schools, it make sense and we can relate to the idea but will it solve many problem? Is it really what we need at schools? My answer is NO. I believe that learning about financial freedom should be an individual choice and not something we force on to learners. Financial freedom is a goal we all have in common whether aware of it or not, but not always what matters to all of us. Although dreamers and visionaries can appreciate the financial rewards that comes with their achievements; money is often not the major goal nor what matters the most to them. Would Albert Einstein, Sir Isaac Newton, Thomas Alva Edison and Nelson Mandela trade their legacy for money? I doubt not. But it also doesn’t mean they did not appreciate the finance and the freedom that came with those achievements. Why do the reach or rather successful entrepreneurs criticize the poor and the middle class for not aspiring for more wealth? Should financial freedom lessons be compulsory to schools and colleges?
I propose rather schools focus on the Personal Development of learners and not financial freedom. Personal development plays a huge part of any success, whether in business, sport, politics, religion and any other area of life, personal development is the key to success. If we learned discipline, the power of habits, dealing with fear, having confidence, setting goals and following through, this world will be a better place. I often ask myself; how come people talk about financial freedom at schools but they never talk about the benefits of meditation for learners who are studying for exams? Is meditation reserved for anyone but people going to schools and colleges? In South Africa we’ve often heard about artist, sportsmen and celebrities who die broke. They once had money and died with nothing. Why does this happen? I believe this is caused by lack of discipline; and if personal development was compulsory in schools, the lessons learned would play a big role in this people’s live and their financial freedom lifestyle. Recently I realized that apart from the strategies and lessons learned in books, podcast and articles, my success is determined by myself development rather than the strategies I have. I remember thinking, Tony Robins talks about ultimate power and awakening the giant within, how is this supposed to help me grow my business? But I realized that it is not the vehicle that gets to the destination, it is the driver.
If you read about what separates the elite from the rest of the world, it all comes down to personal development. They are conscious and wise and often look within than without. This is one of the reason why many people I know who have read Rich Dad Poor Dad and found it powerful and inspiring still failed to save one tenth of their income. The key to success is within us. If being rich is not only about money, then self-development must take more priority over financial freedom.