Once we leave school, most of us know that it is not so much a matter of college degrees or good grades that count. In the real world outside of academics, something more than just grades is required.
I have heard it called many things; guts, chutzpah, balls, audacity, bravado, cunning, daring, tenacity, and brilliance. This factor, whatever it is labeled, ultimately decides one’s future much more than school grades do.
Inside each of us is one of these brave, brilliant, and daring characters. There is also the flip side of that character: people who could get down on their knees and beg if necessary. After a year in Vietnam as a Marine Corps pilot, I got to know both of those characters inside of me intimately. One is not better than the other.
Yet as a teacher, I recognized that it was excessive fear and self-doubt that were the greatest detractors of personal genius. It broke my heart to see students know the answers, yet lack the courage to act on the answer. Often in the real world, it’s not the smart who get ahead, but the bold.
In my personal experience, your financial genius requires both technical knowledge as well as courage. If fear is too strong, the genius is suppressed. In my classes, I strongly urge students to learn
to take risks, to be bold, and to let their genius convert that fear into power and brilliance. It works for some and just terrifies others. I have come to realize that for most people, when it comes to the subject of money, they would rather play it safe. I have had to field questions such as: “Why take risks?” “Why should I bother developing my financial IQ?” “Why should I become financially literate?” And I answer, “Just to have more options.”
So why bother developing your financial IQ? No one can answer that but you. Yet I can tell you why I myself do it. I do it because it
is the most exciting time to be alive. I’d rather be welcoming change than dreading change. I’d rather be excited about making millions than worrying about not getting a raise. This period we are in now is a most exciting time, unprecedented in our world’s history. Generations from now, people will look back at this period of time and remark at what an exciting era it must have been. It was the death of the old and birth of the new. It was full of turmoil, and it was exciting.
So why bother developing your financial IQ? Because if you do, you will prosper greatly. And if you don’t, this period of time will be a frightening one. It will be a time of watching some people move boldly forward while others cling to worn-out life preservers.