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I have had the privilege of traveling around the world and meeting with wonderful people.
I’ve been able to catch a glimpse into their life — into their economy, so to speak. I have been in countries like Peru, Guatemala and other developing countries, and in a lot of ways they are struggling. There’s great wealth and then there is great poverty — a big separation in their economy.
Of course I’ve also been in the United States as well as in Europe. I have been on four continents (five now, 2015) and it’s been so fascinating to see what’s available, what’s working for people, and what isn’t working, when it comes to earning money — in places like Germany where, right now, the economy is really strong, and places like Alaska, where they have their own unique economy. What I have realized is that there are essentially three main ways — three economies — to make a life and a living.
The Three Economies
A few years ago I was sitting down with a friend that had recently graduated from law school. The guy was smart, he did well in school, but when he graduated there was no work. So he had to get a job at a bank and was barely scraping by, just trying to make ends meet for his wife and children, even with an advanced degree.
I thought, what’s going on here? And it’s not the first time. I have seen that story over and over and over and heard of it many times before, and maybe you have too. People with degrees and even advanced degrees are having a hard time just trying to get by paying the bills.
This experience gives us a glimpse into one of the three economies — our three ways to make a living and a life.
Economy One are those of you who get some basic training and maybe a little formal education or very little self-education, and end up with jobs that are usually earning about $50,000 a year or less.
Then there’s Economy Two that goes on to college or advanced degrees or even higher training and they get a real skill set or the certifications, the diplomas whatever it is they need to become professionals. They can make anywhere between $50,000 and $150,000 on average (there are also many in that category that have just blown past it and make a ton more).
Most people think that this economy is the route that promises the most security and earning capacity.
I often ask people, youth especially, what are you going to do in the next few years? “I’m going to college,” they say.
“Why are you going to college?” I’ll ask them, and they give me a look like I’ve got a nail sticking out of my forehead.
“I’m going to college so I can get a good job”. And most people think that that’s the reason you go to college — job or career training — and that doing so will secure your future. (But as illustrated in the story above about my friend in law school, that’s not always the case, and it’s becoming a too common experience).
The Third Economy
A few people have started to wake up about where real security lies — what some have called it Third Economy, or in other words entrepreneurship.
It’s such an exciting and great time to be alive. Everything has changed and continues to change. We’ve moved into the Age of Connection, the Age of Information, and literally, the vast amount of Internet usage has changed the world economy and has made learning and working and earning available from anywhere in the world.
Now, I personally have worked from several different countries, doing my work online. And as we’ve been out it has been so wonderful to meet individuals and couples and families who are living or traveling all over the world working through the Internet, earning an excellent income or sufficient for their needs, many of them entrepreneurs or freelance contractors, many of them self-taught.
This is what I want to emphasize today; there has never been more of an opportunity for entrepreneurship or even intrapreneurship. It’s never been easier to create your own opportunity, to see a need and fulfil a need, and do an excellent job.
Please don’t misunderstand me here, I am all about education, I think it is critically important. We have to get an education, and in fact, I believe there’s never a graduation from education. But have you ever considered that there are other ways to get an education besides just going to university or college? And that going to college or university does not guarantee you job success or security?
If college is something you want to do, great, do it and learn all you can, become your very best, and do whatever you choose to do in an exceptional way. But as far as earning goes and creating a living and a life, entrepreneurship — the Third Economy — is one of the best ways, and they are by far the highest paid demographic.
What Will You Do?
And so, now you have the chance to decide. You can go out and create businesses and create jobs, see a need in the market and fulfil that need and bring real value to the marketplace and get paid accordingly. It’s the greatest way to go. It offers the most security. I just want you to think about it for your own life. It’s what we like to call lifestyle design.
Are you living the kind of life you want to live? Are you earning the kind of income you want to earn? If not, what are you going to do differently? How are you going to change? If you are raising children, if you are a youth yourself looking forward into the future, which one of those paths will you choose?
If you are raising children, which path would you like your children to follow? Which one would bring the best outcome, with the most potential and the greatest security?
We we want security, but really the only real security is not in our resources it’s in our resourcefulness, it’s within ourselves. Our earning capacity is our best resource and security, so as you think about that learn to think about it differently, see it differently, since the world is changing.