I have been laid off twice in the past two years. This is only after the completion of two degrees that I have spent the majority of my life working towards. The completion of a college education and the American dream. Then, completion of a higher accomplishment, an MBA.
So, why am I not destined for success? It might have something to do with the training I received only being half of the education that I needed. I learned how to earn money in an institution. I DID NOT learn how to spend it or how to create opportunities for myself. But, wouldn’t the latter be the more important education? So, after graduating with my MBA I marginally began learning how to spend it by joining a Crown Financial Course at my church, and studying Dave Ramsey, Warren Buffett, and Peter Lynch to prick their minds about money management and investment principles that prove sound and most concrete in its philosophy and less focused on chance. Upon the completion of my studies, my real test came. I was laid off, the first time.
After a month of struggle to figure out what it was I was actually working for or pursuing, I was able to refocus long enough to receive a job at a manufacturing company.
At this point, I began focusing on building a money retainer and learning that you CAN buy what you want as long as you limit other expenses. This is where my economics course took effect. Diminishing marginal returns. Study this if you haven’t already, this is one of the greatest concepts that I learned in my institutionalized education. Albeit, I learned it in completing my MBA rather than in middle school or highschool. Also, I didn’t learn how to apply it to me personally which would have been equally helpful. Wouldn’t this be better to learn in highschool before a student goes off to college and ends up leaving the school with over $30,000 in debt only to find out they have to spend the next 20 years paying it off leaving them in bondage to “the system”? See Prov. 22:7 which basically teaches us that the borrow is slave to the lender. Goodbye freedom of choice and opportunity, hello struggle to find 8 to 5 job with benefits and retirement plan. The American dream.
Anyway, over the course of the next year I began learning how to spend money. Answers to questions like: what is an asset/liability? What is really adding value to me as a person and what offers me no rate of return? And, praise God for this lesson. I was laid off again, approximately a year after my first layoff.
This time, I at least am prepared enough to make this layoff a valuable learning experience rather than a hurried attempt to land another secure paycheck. But, now comes the second lesson that institutionalized education did not teach me: how to create my own opportunities. Time to relearn how to think and be more intuitive. This is after a degree in design/creativity. Is that not odd to anyone?
And, 26 years, 2 degrees, and 2 layoffs later, I am convinced this is the greatest thing that could have happened to me. I am truly learning what it means to live in its fullest with all of its challenges and expectations and to rely on a God who is bigger than myself. I thank God that I am learning at 25 with a clean slate rather than after working 25 years in an institutionalized business like those at 50 who are now finding themselves out of a secure job that they assumed they would work and retire from at 60.
Thankfully, I have hope in education of real value. Add that to a faith in a God that knows every detail before it happens, has my best interest in mind, and is worthy of my worship, and then you have a real strategy for success.