Sitting with a bunch of friends at the university cafeteria, enjoying a great cup of coffee, you think what a great life.
You say to yourself, if my present is so good, my future is definitely bright.
You need to wake up in reality and realise the situation. The world around is changing. It is more rapid than the change of curriculum at your education institutions.
I believe that all of us, (you, I, your friends and family, society, in general), are probably not guiding you in the right direction.
The prime reason is that you have been told the same stories over and over again of “How Great your life” is going to be once you graduate. That’s the yardstick we compare things with, so consider all of us wrong.
Sorry to say, but we all are living in a Fool’s Paradise.
If you want to proceed in this life, you need to make some changes which would rather be a little tough.
Vishen Lakhiani coined a beautiful term by the name of ‘Brules’. These are the rules that society emphasis on teaching but in reality, things are a little different.
Read this article and If you also believe in what I am going to say in this article then that’s great, follow it in your life. But if you don’t agree with this then feel free to go ahead and have your mundane life.
After all its a world of doers.
Now, since you are about to get graduated, you need to think what society has been telling you so far is true or false.
1. All Students Get a Job
Imagine this, I am going to the market to buy a mobile phone, the shopkeeper tells me that this phone can do thousands of things, the only thing I won’t be able to do with this is to make phone calls.
Since my urge of buying a new mobile phone was to make phone calls, so the phone is pretty useless to me. If I cannot make any phone call from it, then what’s the point of buying it! It’s just a simple question.
Today, most education institutions, particularly, universities are preparing students that they will get the job immediately when they graduate.
If the universities & these education institutions claim that after completion of any degree program, you are going to get the job, then nothing like it. But are all the graduate being employed? That’s a big question.
The current unemployment rate in Pakistan is 5.7 %. With this, rising unemployment rate do you think there are enough jobs for you to get one? This unemployment rate is the highest in South Asia, more than our neighbouring countries.
My question is very simple! If I am not going to buy a mobile phone which cannot make phone calls, should I admit in a university that claims that every graduate is going to get a job and eventually he/ she doesn’t.
The paradigm of employment system is broken. And until someone stands up and fixes the system, you need to think of some contingency plans.
2. You don’t have competition
You are living in a world where you are competing for jobs with people from different countries. This includes the IT jobs, engineering jobs, medical jobs, and back-office jobs. The competition is sworn and it is hot on.
Let me crunch some numbers with you. Pakistani universities are producing half a million graduates a year. Amazing! That’s 500,000 graduates joining the job market each year. Does the current economic scenario produces 500,000 new jobs over a year? If it doesn’t, and you have to compete not only locally but internationally too, then you need to explore other options.
Today the E-Commerce industry and the online business sector have massive business opportunities, that you just cannot ignore. There are hundreds of success stories, where people are creating a name for themselves and huge brand following just by creating e-commerce businesses.
All I want from you is to start wearing your thinking hats and keep questioning everything. There is going to be a lot to learn and it is something that can give you a safe passage and show that you do something great in your life.
3. Thinking about money is a bad omen
Greed is bad. Something that society has taught us for a long time. I personally believe in that a 100%.
Of course, Greed is bad. It should not be the way you define your life with. However, the concept of money management is totally different than greed.
I have seen families over the past many years struggling just because they were poor in money management. To me, being poor is not bad, but it is worse to be poor at money management.
Be it a person doing a job at any organisation, or be it a housewife, making the monthly budget for the kitchen, or planning some savings from your salaries, I strongly believe, we Pakistanis are great in an uncountable number of things. But we are extremely bad in money management.
When I say money management, it includes, what to spend, where to spend, what to buy, how much to buy, and the overall approach to managing finances. We just can’t do it. Now the society is also telling you not to think about the money.
My question is why not? Many of the students opt for a field of study just because there is more money in it. When families decide where to live based on the money they have. When you buy mobile phones based on the price tag. When your annual holidays are decided upon your bank account. When you entertain guests based on your affordability. When you even plan your weddings dependant on your financial conditions. Don’t tell me please that money doesn’t matter. To me, not thinking about money is a grave concern.
Tell the society not to tell this BS to you.
4. Tasks Matter, Life skills Don’t
Now, just look at the double standard of our society. From your early days in school time till the time you graduate, our teachers, education institutions, our parents, and even our loved ones, keep on rewarding the top position holders in academics.
But when you graduate and you apply for a job, most organisations want to hire people who are street smart, and not academic genius.
What a dichotomy?
You were never taught these life skills when you were studying for your degree. No one was interested in life skills. It was all about grades, the marks you score, but immediately things became upside down.
So, take my advice. Gain Life skills. Do not depend upon your universities and schools that they will teach you this. Pick up your game and stop relying on what your degrees are teaching you.
See, the point is simple. If the degree program was the only route to success, then you wouldn’t have seen examples where drop out students started companies like Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Uber, Dell, Oracle, and what not.
5. Praise the Perfect
Let me ask you a question here and I’d like you to respond honestly.
How many times do you think you were appreciated in your school, college, or even university for trying something new?
How many times you got reprimanded, scolded or punished for doing something, you were not told to do?
I am pretty sure that the second question is what you have experienced more.
In an environment, where society appreciates the winners, the top position holders, one’s with good grades, how come will there ever be a culture of innovations, creativity & inventions?
Some of you who know me are aware that I have been a top position holder throughout my academic life. I have been a gold medalist in my academics, but honestly, if you ask me what were my grades in any subject, I just don’t remember.
It’s not that I am not proud of this, I surely am, but somehow I just don’t recall the days I was awarded with the medals. I only recall the days when I, along with my gang had been doing all sorts of fun. Now I just miss my gang.
In no capacity, I am being mischievous is good or you should bunk your classes. Rather, I am just saying that life is all about experiences. Each experience in your life teaches you something new. If the society on a whole keeps appreciating the winners and stops holding the hands of the ones left behind, then imagine what sort of a society are we creating eventually?
6. Who Needs Entrepreneurship Skills
It’s a beautiful African proverb, which means that you have an angel and a demon within you. The one who takes over your personality is the one you feed.
If the institutions teach you to be great employees, how would the entrepreneurial culture develop?
Imagine if Mark Zuckerberg would have said no to learning, or if Bill Gates would have refused to learn to be successful as an entrepreneur, what would have happened.
It is of pivotal importance for the colleges to give you the entrepreneurial skills. If they don’t then you please don’t stop yourself. Grab every opportunity that you can to improve yourself.
7. Be the best, only best are happy.
In my keynote speeches, I regularly say this to the students that grades do not matter.
I have been regularly asked this at various forums that I am a double masters, a Manchester Business School graduate, a Chartered Marketer, then how can I be so against the university education.
I have answered this before and let me say this here too. I am not against the university education. I am just against the curriculum that’s being taught.
Till the time the curriculum is fixed, you would have to up your game and keep learning.
You must have heard this many a times by your teachers that if you score the grades, you going to be successful in your practical life.
This is just BS.
Success is not an indicator that is determined with your grades.
Happiness and contentment are the blessings. They are determined through experiences, and not with grades.
I have many students who had extremely bad grades at school, they were among the worst performers in college. But now they are some of the happiest people around. They are happy how their life turned altogether once they started their entrepreneurial journey.
8. Social Media is for LIKES only
I have taught thousands of students to date. Majority of them are running their successful online businesses, e-Commerce companies, and social media agencies.
People say that social media is a waste of time. It’s a platform where you only get likes.
That’s is just not true. It really depends on how you use the system. If you are an entrepreneur, you need to learn how you can effectively use this platform and start your business. It doesn’t require a university degree, higher grades, or a reference letter from your institution.
Start learning something new today and explore this platform. It’s a seed that you can grow beautiful things out of it.
Be my guest and explore it.
9. You Don’t Need to learn Marketing
Medical colleges will teach medicine, the engineering will teach you how to engineer, likewise, you can also become a lawyer, but the question is still out there. How are you going to get clients?
I believe every professional, and all people in every walk of life need to learn marketing.
If you are in any profession, and at the end of the day, you want to earn money out of it, then you need to learn how to market your products or services.
Marketing is such a diverse and unique field that there is so much to learn every day. I know things get a little complicated when we start talking about online marketing. But you can learn this field if you have the passion to do something great.
The opportunities are endless, although I have explained some of them in my article.
10. Work for others to be happy.
You must have heard this joke where an employee wishes his boss on his new car, and the boss thanks him and says “If you work hard, be punctual, take responsibilities in your life, and outperform everyone at work, then next year, I will buy a car even better than this”.
Do you want to work for others and make them successful or do you want to start your own online business without investment and be your own boss? This is for you to decide.
You can be happy working for others and also be happy working for yourself.
I love this quote. Money can’t buy you happiness, but it’s comfortable to cry in a Mercedes than on a bicycle.
11. Freelancing is BS
Freelancing for others is a great way of business. You can set it up at the comfort of your home and start working for others and charge them a decent per hour charge.
I believe that going forward, freelancing would not be an advisable option, but it’s a great way to start at least.
Education institutions are not teaching you how to start your freelancing work.
Explore it for yourself and learn what this can do for you. This is an option where you do not need any investment and you can start working on your own, right off the bat.
Don’t listen to what people will perceive. There are always haters who discourage.
Thousands of success stories are out there of people who have been successful in freelancing. They have penned down their story. It’s your time to write your own.
12. You Need money to start the business.
Stop letting society tell you that you need money to start the business. There are countless examples where people have started their businesses literally without any capital investment.
I don’t have to look further. I have always started businesses in my life without investment.
You need to understand one thing. This one thing that the society will never tell you.
“Money is not a seed, it’s a byproduct”.
There used to be a time in the 60s when money was important. It was a scarce commodity. Only few had it. But now the times have changed. There is an ample amount of money supply available everywhere.
Banks are ready to give you loans, your friends and family have lots to invest, and there are venture funds ready to support your new ideas, there are a great number of assets lying in every household. The opportunities are endless.
Here, I am not suggesting to take out a loan. I am making a very simple point here that you don’t need money to start a business. You don’t need to worry about money to run the business. The only thing you should be worried about is when you are going to start.
13. You Learned Everything In College
This is something that I don’t blame the colleges for. Rather, this is something that you yourself should be held responsible.
This is when the society tells you that “Your learning days are over once you graduate”.
Stop letting the society teach you this.
You’re learning opportunities are endless and education never stops.
The more you learn about anything, the more you progress in your life.
14. Once you Graduate, Life is smooth
I believe that this problem occurred when parents were out of responses. There was a time when they used to say that high school is the most difficult part. Once you are done with this than college is going to be easy.
When you were a college student, they asked you to focus on college education, as you had to join a professional degree program later.
Afterwards, when you got an admission in a university, then this statement changed a little. Then the whole society started telling you that your livelihood is dependent on your university education.
Please remember. Your life is not smooth. It can never be. The real crux is to keep learning, keep gaining skills and keep progressing.
15. Only Learn What’s In The Syllabus
This is a myth and misnomer that you only need to learn what’s in the syllabus.
Don’t just take my word for it. Try it yourself. Do yourself a favour and ask some seniors around you. These could be your parents, your teachers, and any senior you know. Ask them that the syllabus they have studied in their lives, how much of that is practical to date.
You will get the same responses that I am talking about.
Learn what universities are not teaching you about money. Start learning online business strategies and always have a backup option.
16. Your ideas are shit
Every great business in this world comes out of a simple idea. Ideas are great. Ideas are inevitable. Ideas are unique. Ideas push the human race forward.
Stop letting people tell you that your ideas are not good enough.
Remember, it’s not about the ideas. It’s all about the execution.
Execute on your ideas. The world needs to have better-executed ideas not just ideas themselves.
Leslie Brown rightly says that the most creative place in the world is a graveyard. There are thousands of ideas in the graveyard which never saw the light of the day. Don’t be a dead soul.
Don’t let yourself be in it. Execute on your ideas.
17. Don’t Start a Business
Society is full of people who have started their businesses at some point in their lives and failed. People keep advising you not to start your own. They advise you to take the safest path and keep working for others.
If someone in your circle of friends and family was not successful in their business endeavours, then it doesn’t mean that you will fail as well.
Just give a deaf ear to it and plan your online business strategically.
As the quote goes “when you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail”.
Learn the best strategies first before you prepare your plan of execution. Only by learning, you will gain the experience of what to do and what to avoid in your online business.
So, take a step forward and start learning today.
I am a staunch believer in education and I believe that the education is the root of success for millions of people who are poverty stricken.
But, somehow, I believe that this word ‘education’ should be replaced with ‘learning’. It’s not the degrees that matter. It’s what you know that matters. It’s not about which education institution you have attended, it’s what you got out of it that matters.
If there could be only one thing I can give you in this article then it would be you ask you to question everything around you. Don’t take any of the society’s so called rules as it is. Ask questions then find the answers. Keep learning, gain your momentum and keep lighting your bulb.
Best of luck!