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Why educated people do not get rich

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My friend who is a highly gifted surgeon once shared a most interesting tale with me. One of his lab technicians was retiring after many years of government service, and invited him to a party at her home in one of the peri-urban areas near the city.

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He was most amazed when he got there to find that this very ordinary-looking lady lived in a beautiful three-bedroomed house whose construction she had supervised.

He was even more impressed when he toured her small adjoining farm with greenhouses and several healthy exotic cows. The icing on the cake was meeting her three children, who were all students in prestigious local universities.

As my friend considered his considerable education loans and high monthly expenditure, he realised that this lady, who had never earned anything close to his current salary, was far wealthier than he could imagine himself being!

It's a paradox that the people working in the most prestigious and well-paid careers tend to be the ones with the highest expenditure and the most debt. This reality is often hidden because they dress better, live in posher neighbourhoods, have more expensive gadgets and drive nicer cars. But the reality is that true financial freedom is not a factor of how big your salary is, but how long you would survive if you lost that salary today. And on that count, highly educated people tend to fare badly!

The more educated you are, the more likely you are to suffer from 'paralysis of analysis'. You analyse different opportunities to death, finding all sorts of reasons why they won't work. Meanwhile, your less educated contemporaries who know less about why things should fail often just jump in and make a try of it, and end up successful as a result!

Highly educated people also tend to suffer from what has been referred to as 'the curse of the gifted'. They can achieve proficiency at many things, so they end up drowning in opportunities. They don't know which of the many available paths to take! Less educated people don't have that luxury and tend to stick to one thing and through perseverance actually become good at it.

And of course educated people also tend to be pickier! There are some tasks and opportunities they see as beneath them. 'What, me do something to earn a mere Sh2,000? That's a waste of my time!' What they fail to realise as they wait for the 'big deal' is that the discipline to make and grow hundreds of shillings is the foundation for the discipline required to make and grow millions of shillings. The less educated of course don't suffer from such hang-ups and will do whatever it takes to get the job done!

So are you one of the educated? Perhaps its time to 'just do it'. As the good book says, 'Work brings profit, but mere talk leads to poverty!'

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The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Evewoman.co.ke

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