Bill Gates is the richest man in the world today because he focuses on something which most people pay little attention to or even ignore in this part of the world, Nigeria in particular and Africa in general. That thing is the secret of high-flying and successful people all over the world. Have you ever wonder why a school drop-out has turned out to be so successful? Have you ever wonder why he dropped out of school? Or did he drop out of school because he could not cope? The answer of cause is NO! Bill Gates was actually a diligent and high-flying student. Why has Bill Gates achieved a phenomenal success despite the fact that he dropped out of school? The answer is very simple; he focuses on the most important thing, he focuses on knowledge and its application. His primary aim is acquisition of knowledge to solve problems and add value to people and not acquisition of certificates.
On the contrary, most educated people especially in Nigeria are struggling in life because their primary focus is on acquisition of academic titles and certificates. At the extreme of this category are people who are so much interested in the certificates and tiles that they are willing to buy it. But of what use is the titles and certificates which you have but cannot defend? Sometimes ago, I think in late 2002 or early 2003, several people paid to acquire NIM (Nigerian Institute of Management) certificate. Most of these people do not have basic knowledge of management but they have the certificate. I have met several people with BSc, MBA, ACA, etc whose performance on the job cannot even justify a BSc certificate. I was part of the panel that interviewed a PHD holder with years of working experience who applied for a job to become an SBO (Senior Banking Officer) in my office. Her performance during the interview was not impressive and eventually, she did not get the job. Let us even assume she did very well and got the job, why will a PHD holder apply for such a job if her knowledge is actually commensurate with her qualification? This is a job that can be handled by a BSC holder with 2-3 years banking experience. Normally, a real PHD holder should have enough knowledge and skills to solve at least one of several problems we have around today and consequently attract more than enough wealth to meet his or her needs.
The Negative Consequence of focusing on Titles and Certificates
Focusing on Titles and Certificates is one of the major causes of poverty and underdevelopment in Nigeria and other African countries. Our priority for titles and certificates has serious negative effect on our reading and learning habits. People have a very bad reading culture. Someone once said “if you want to hide something from a black man hide it in a book”. We have many people who have never read a single book or attend a seminar since they left school. When you fail to read and update your knowledge your thinking and creative capacity die. Your capacity to solve problems and create values die and consequently your ability to attract wealth becomes very weak. It becomes so weak that you cannot attract sufficient wealth to sustain your life. As a result, you have to run after wealth. Running after wealth signifies a life of struggle and frustration. That is the situation of most people in this country today. They have titles and certificates, but their problem solving capacity is little or nothing! Reading will help you to acquire knowledge that will sharpen your skills, increase your problem solving capacity and hence your capacity to attract wealth and win the battle against poverty. A country can only experience real economic development and growth when her citizens apply their knowledge to solve problem and create values. The values created will then attract wealth into the country from the other part of the world.
It’s Time to Shift Our Focus to Knowledge Acquisition and Application
Bill Gates, Larry Page, Sergey Brin and other successful school dropouts have a very clear understanding of the fact that you can have whatever you need as long as you can meet other peoples’ needs. This has nothing to do with your paper certificate or the number of academic titles you attached to your name. I hope someone is not misunderstanding me, I am not saying you should not acquire additional academic qualifications. However, your focus should not be on the piece of paper call certificate but on the knowledge and how you can apply it to solve problems in your business and on your job. Your capacity to solve problems is more important than the academic titles and certificates, because your capacity to solve problems determines your earning capacity. Cultivate good reading habit and attend seminars even when no certificate will be awarded. It is not the academic title and the certificate that matters, but your ability to acquire knowledge and apply it to solve problems and create values. It is VALUE that attracts wealth, academic titles and certificates don’t. Therefore, if you want to be wealthy create more values. Thank you for reading, have a great week!
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Read, Act, Overcome and Succeed!