To create enduring wealth, you need to first learn before you can to earn. Funny how this adds up, because if you remove “L” from Learn, it turns to Earn.
Knowledge and wisdom is extremely important and it’s the distinctive factor between success and failure in any venture. Wisdom is a quality that comes from having knowledge and experience.
There is no quick fix formula for building wealth as most people who hit it big suddenly, squander it and end up becoming broke and worse off. More than seventy percent of big lottery winners end up bankrupt. Just imagine a 20 storey building that had to be constructed in one week, would you want to live in such a house? Can such a house withstand the weight of such a heavy structure and not collapse?
My personal experience in business without adequate knowledge was so disastrous that it almost destroyed me. I lost so much money not because the business wasn’t a good one but more because I didn’t understand how to extract value from the business. It took me three years before I could finally turn the table around in this particular venture. The losses would have been minimized if I had taken out time to understudy the business; or sought out a good mentor to guide me.
Wealth come from creating value, and to create value you have to understand a business, its key success factors in a business, its markets and customers. You have to gain “Tacit knowledge” or firm specific knowledge in that line or area of business.
Tacit knowledge is knowledge which is difficult to transfer from one person to the other by writing it down or verbalizing it. Tacit knowledge is acquired largely through association with other people and requires joint or shared activities to be imparted from one to another.
When an apprentice learns from a supervisor, there is a tacit knowledge transfer taking place.
The apprenticeship system adopted by the Igbos is largely responsible for their successes and exploits in the business world. The apprentice is taken under the wings of his master; and during his training period learn more from observations and experiences. The knowledge becomes rooted into the way he thinks.
This doesn’t make explicit knowledge,the type taught in classrooms or learnt from books any less significant. The important thing is the learning process before venturing into uncharted waters.
The downside or possible losses from refusing to learn could be devastating enough; that it may takes years to recover, if eventually you do. Learning (Explicit, Implicit and Tacit) is actually a process of preparing yourself with the skills, knowledge, wisdom and character that are required for success in that chosen field.
Learning doesn’t stop after you have built the business successfully. You have to keep learning better ways of adding value; or innovate to stay ahead of competition and ensure business continuity. This is what makes Google, Apple and a lot of great companies we admire different from the rest. They never stop to learn and improve on their value proposition.