ATTENDING formal schools is not a natural activity for human beings; it is artificial, it has just been in existence for only about 250 years or so. It came about as a result of increased human development and social change. Before the Industrial Revolution (1760-1850) in England, most people lived and often worked as a family, doing everything by hand in small villages, working either in agriculture or as skilled craftsmen and women. Children began working as soon as they could manage a task and they usually learned a craft from their parents or became apprentices to tradesmen. The Industrial Revolution generated important new requirements for formal schools. First, specifically after the introduction of scientific management methods in industry, the workers had to be able to read and write documents that defined work processes and standards. Second, the rather miserable living conditions of the early factory workers, adults and children pushed some factory owners to set up formal schools to improve living conditions and survival rates of their workers and productivity in their factories. Third, the effective combination of human workers with machinery required clocks, punctuality and tight coordination. Fourth, the splitting of productive activities into specialised tasks required hierarchical control and obedience. Factories needed workers to build goods. Being a good worker meant following directions, showing up to work, do what your boss tells you, and keeping your mouth shut. In addition to producing employees, formal schools also performed integrating and socialising functions. When formal schools came to our country, they were regarded as a great liberator of young people from manual occupations to office occupations. The advice of teachers and parents has been and still is, ‘Study hard and get good grades and you will find a safe and secure high-paying job with great benefits.’ The assumption has been that the job would take care of you until retirement. Then after retirement, the employer would take care of you through a pension until death. For many employees and retirees, the reality has been a different story of financial struggle. Studying hard and getting good grades does not guarantee one’s personal success. Thomas Stanley, in his recent book ‘The Millionaire Mind’ states that his research found no correlation between good school grades and money. Many people have found to their disappointment and surprise that a job is just a short-term solution to a long-term problem. Most employees work hard for money all their lives and need government or family support when they are no longer able to work. There is no job security. Employers just pay enough so that workers do not quit and employees work hard enough not to be fired. Robert Kiyosaki explains that ‘The main reason people struggle financially is because they have spent years in school but learned nothing about money. The result is that people learn to work for money but never learn to have money work for them’. Schools teach people how to become employees and professionals but not entrepreneurs and this is why many employees and retirees struggle financially. Without financial literacy and the knowledge of how money works, many young people are not prepared to face the world that awaits them, a world in which spending is more emphasised than saving and investing. They learn nothing about money, work hard during their productive lives and most of them have little or nothing saved for retirement. If one wants to have a financially secure future, one cannot play by the Industrial Revolution old rules. It is just too risky. There is a significant difference between controlling your own destiny and giving up the control to someone else. Young people should strive to be good employees while also striving to own their own business to take care of them financially. Robert Kiyosaki further observes that, ‘One of the reasons the rich get richer, the poor get poorer, and the middle class struggles in debt is because the subject of money is taught at home, not in school. Most of us learn about money from our parents. ‘So what can a poor parent tell their child about money? They simply say “Stay in school and study hard”. ‘The child may graduate with excellent grades but with a poor person’s financial programming and mind-set. It was learned while the child was young. Money is not taught in schools. Schools focus on scholastic and professional skills, but not on financial skills. ‘This explains how smart bankers, doctors and accountants who earned excellent grades in school may still struggle financially all of their lives. The main cause of poverty or financial struggle is fear and ignorance, not the economy or the government or the rich. ‘It is self-inflicted fear and ignorance that keeps people trapped. Once we leave school, most of us know that it is not as much a matter of college degrees or good grades that count. ‘In the real world outside of academics, something more than just grades is required. I have heard it called “guts”, “chutzpah”, “audacity”, “bravado”, “cunning”, “daring”, “tenacity” and “brilliance”. This factor – whatever it is labelled, ultimately decides one’s future much more than school grades’. In 1897, Italian Economist Vilfredo Pareto came up with the Principle of Least Effort or the 80/20 Rule that states that 80 per cent of our success comes from 20 per cent of our effort. However, when it comes to money, it appears that it is the 90/10 Rule that applies. It states that 10 per cent of the people have 90 per cent of the money. The most interesting question to ask and answer is, ‘What does the 10 per cent of the people do to have 90 per cent of the money’? While the poor and employees work for money, money works for the rich through their investments. The rich do not work for money. The rich people build their assets first and then the income generated from their assets buy their luxuries. The poor and employees tend to buy luxuries first to look rich. A true luxury should be a reward for investing in and developing a real asset. The rich, with companies, earn, spend and pay taxes last. Employees who work for companies earn, pay taxes then spend. In other words, employees earn and get taxed and they try to live on what is left. A corporation or company earns, spends everything it can and is taxed on anything that is left. For instance, if you own a company, vacations are board meetings in Livingstone, Siavonga or at Chaminuka Lodge and car payments, insurance, repairs and some hotel meals are company expenses! You need to know that ever since the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215, as an opposition to the excessive use of royal power, the rich have been making the rules and most English-speaking countries’ laws are based on English common law. By signing the Magna Carta, King John yielded part of his power to the rich barons of England. It goes by saying that the one with gold makes the rules. The process of making a lot of money is a mental process more than a physical process. You can start without any money at all but with only your hope; a dream of attracting great wealth to you; dedication; a strong drive to be on your own and make things happen; and a mental belief and conviction of enough money. Since money is only an idea, if your idea is that there is enough money, then that is what your reality will be and if your idea is that there is not enough money, then that too is what your reality will be. Your mind transforms into physical reality your predominant or priority thought that is mixed with your belief and conviction. Whatever your reality is about money inside of you is the reality of money outside of you. You cannot change your outside reality until you first change your inside reality about money. Then have a financial plan for when you do not have enough money and for when you will have too much money otherwise when you will have too much money you will easily lose it and go back to what you are used to, a world of not enough money. It happens many times to Lottery winners and recipients of inheritance. Acquire a vocabulary of a rich person. A retiree who likes to say that ‘When I retire my income will go down’ is planning to be poor! That is a self-fulfilling prophecy. It is usually not what we say out loud that determines our lives. It is what we whisper to ourselves that has the most power. Find a formula that will make you rich and follow it. You will need vision, courage, creativity, ability to withstand criticism and ability to delay gratification. Alicko Tangote started 39 years ago in 1978 selling household goods until he began producing some of them. Just look where he is today, the richest person in Africa! Getting rich is automatic if you have a plan and stick to it. Create assets without buying them. For instance, inventors invent something, artists paint something valuable, authors write bestselling books that pay them royalties for years and musicians create global hits. All you have to do is just to be creative and you can be rich for life. Look at former students, some of whom even dropped out of school, such as the creators of Facebook, computers, Internet search engines, who went on to become rich without ever going through a formal job. Their power was only the ability to take ideas from their own minds and turn them into assets. Ideas do no need to be new, they just need to be better. The single most powerful asset we all have is our own mind; if it is trained well it can create enormous wealth and if not it can also create intergenerational poverty that lasts lifetimes. Henry Ford, the founder of the Ford Motor Company in the USA once said, ‘Thinking is the hardest work there is. That is why so few people engage in it.’ Your mind will show you ways of making money more than any job can ever pay you. Mind your own business and learn how to have money work for you. The author is a motivational mentor and consultant in positive mind-set change. Email: positivemindpower1511 @yahoo.com/Facebook: lawrencemukuka.