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Knowledge Is the Key to Success

Successful people know how to get things done. They rely on their knowledge received through experience and education. The most successful have extended their horizons by expanding their education even after they are working for a living. They were studious when they were young, reading everything they saw, and they continue to educate themselves as they grow older. The education that gives them knowledge is the key to success.

I know a number of young millionaires that did not inherit their money. In fact they became rich because they did not have enough money to achieve their goals. Three of them were having a difficult time paying for a college education. While in college they learned to earn money on the Internet. None so far have gone on to obtain an advanced degree, at least not during working hours. They are running their businesses, making more money. One earned over $500,000.00 while in college.

The thing I see about these fellows is that they never stop learning and they never stop sharing their knowledge with others. They do take time off their work but even then they are working at least mentally. They are like that little rabbit that goes, goes, goes.

Somebody said, “It is not what you know but who you know.” This is important because people we know give us knowledge that we need to succeed. My rich friends associate with very successful people. They form a vast pool of knowledge that leaves the rest of us in the dust financially.

It could be, “It is not what you know but who your parents are.”

Rich parents have rich kids. Poor kids have nothing material to speak of. Rich kids are usually well-educated, grounded in the family business, and are often very boring because of their structured lives. Poor kids are always striving. If they strive first for education, they will achieve some of what they need to succeed in life.

I had an older friend when I was little who had a mind for business. Where he got this I do not know for sure but I suspect his father who was in business for himself. His two brothers were the same way. Such aptitude was rare in our neighborhood.

I would walk the highway with my friend, Paul, and we would pick up bottles tossed from cars. With a sack of bottle we would return to the neighborhood grocery and sell them for the deposit. But we were not finished. We went to the junk yard and bought bottles from the dirty old lady that the neighborhood kids knew was really a witch. We haggled and bought and took our loaded wagon, gingerly going over the railroad tracks by the hobo jungle as to not tip our precious load. We then sold the bottles to the grocer for a profit of one cent on each bottle. We repeated the junk yard trips until the grocer said, “No More Bottles!”

To celebrate our success we bought what we needed for a stew, some hot dogs and buns to eat while the stew was brewing, and marshmallows. We went to my backyard, build a big fire, got out the stew pot and started cooking. We were entrepreneurs.

Paul had knowledge that created profits. I don’t remember him ever going to college. I don’t think he needed to go to learn. He became a millionaire by buying, restoring, and renting properties but he got into a scam that killed him financially. He always was a gambler. But he was a hard worker and regained some of what he had lost. The knowledge that was missing was dangerous.

There are always risks in business. At an engineering meeting in Florida a speaker talked about risk, about what was a risk to one company was not a risk for a second company who revitalized their factories and put the first company out of business. Knowledge helps us to evaluate our situations more precisely. The first company had to stay ahead of their competition to stay in the market. They had to spend the money for only a slight improvement in efficiency.

Knowledge can be dangerous. When I lived in the world of industry our marketing department saw a niche, a special market, in the dinnerware industry. They held all kinds of focus groups to see if the product was what people were looking for. All the ladies that looked at the product liked it. Well they must have had the wrong groups of ladies. We created a product for a non-existing market.

We were trying to help the young executives who were mobile, on the move, building their careers. Surely they would want a lower-cost more utilitarian product than fine china, a product they could use everyday and for formal occasions. But they didn’t buy the product. They bought fine china. They didn’t need the transition step.

As a side note, the product was outsourced to Japan. A Japanese company came out almost immediately with a lower-priced but similar product. We had to dump are stuff on the TV shopping networks. We had knowledge. We just had the wrong knowledge.

The Japanese, through there grapevine, had the knowledge they needed to clobber us.

Fly Old Glory!