Back in the 9th grade, I remember goofing off quite a bit with my buddies. We skipped class, stayed out late, and essentially did a lot of stuff that was detrimental to our grades. Despite working with plenty of Spanish speaking colleagues during my part-time job at McDonald’s, I still only got a “C” in Spanish because I didn’t care. All I wanted to do was have fun, eat all the apple pies I could and get paid my big $3.35 an hour!
My parents were clearly perturbed by my lack of effort (hey, isn’t working at McDonald’s from 6am-1pm on Saturday’s pretty good?) and spoke to me one evening and asked, “How are you ever going to be a great business man if you can’t even get an “A” in math? Do you think award-winning scientists get “Cs” in high school chemistry? Do you think Andre Agassi doesn’t practice hard every single day?” Crap, I think they are right. Shoot, if I ever have surgery, the physician better not have slacked off in surgery class!
A MANSION PARTY INSPIRES
My parents’ questions stuck with me because ever since I was 12, I wanted to be a “businessman.” I remember getting picked up in a sweet Mercedes 300 SEL by one of my father’s friends to take us to their mansion party. The car was jet black with matching black tinted windows. Inside, there was a couple bottles of coconut juice, and the seats were covered in some kind of fur. The whole experience with the infinity pool, fancy car with driver, all you can eat lobster, and servants made me want to do what they did, whatever that was!
After the pep talk, I began caring about my grades through college. I didn’t want a silly thing like poor grades to get in the way of my dreams. You might still have your head in the sand thinking that grades don’t matter, but I can assure you, it’s better to have great grades and more opportunities, than mediocre grades and have less opportunities.
Don’t listen to people who say that grades don’t matter. They probably screwed themselves in school and are just trying to justify their poor results. If you can’t get ahead on your own, another way is to try and bring everybody else down.
THE QUESTION TO ASK ALL PEOPLE
It’s pretty rational not to study, because studying sucks. Most people are probably “C” or “B” students given the law of natural distribution. Hence, do “C” or even “B” students deserve “A” lifestyles? If you were a mediocre student, who went to a mediocre school, who works at a mediocre job, why do you think you deserve more than a mediocre lifestyle? You don’t, because there are hundreds of thousands of “A” students who are striving for that “A” lifestyle and you don’t have much chance.
The Solution To Save America From Financial Disaster
To get people out of debt, we need to make people realize they are unworthy of the stuff they buy, even though they see their neighbors live it up. Maybe your neighbors all got straight “As” at some prestigious university and are all doctors, lawyers, bankers, or successful entrepreneurs? We can’t compare ourselves to others, because we don’t know for sure what others make.
It’s so much easier to just say that the Jones are all living extravagant lifestyles due to debt. It’s the easy way to justify why we can’t afford what others can afford. Well guess what? There is much more wealth out there than you think with firemen, policemen, and dockworkers making $100-$250,000 a year, and government employees at the Department of Transportation averaging $180,000! Heck, 29 year old first year MBAs from the Top 10 schools all make on average $120-$140,000 a year.
Let’s Make Big Government Even Bigger!
Given we have such an omnipresent government, and most people want big government or else the Democrats wouldn’t be in power, perhaps we should make it mandatory for everybody to have their grades and universities revealed before they are allowed to purchase anything above a certain amount. For example, only people with 3.5 or higher GPAs are allowed to buy Armani clothes and Mercedes Benzos. 3.0 GPA folks, sorry, only Gap and Hondas for you!
The government can also pass legislation that limits your line of credit depending on what grades you got. If you were a C or lower student, you aren’t allowed to get a credit card to blow your finances up. If you get a B student, you get a credit card with a limit of $1,000, which increases by a certain percentage each year you maintain a 700+ credit score. If you are an A student, you can get a higher level of credit and have easier hurdles.
The government can regulate spending by those who need the most regulating assuming there is a correlation between grades and commonsense of course. Commonsense would dictate that you study hard and get good grades to give yourself the best possible chance of finding employment and achieving financial independence. Just imagine if we had this big brother program for potential home buyers 10 years ago. We’d limit the number of people who had no business buying homes, and our economic downturn probably never would have happened!
The people love big government and massive spending. Hence, having government control our spending based on how well we did in school is a very rational thing to do. In reality, all we can do is be cognizant of our own achievements and spend accordingly. If we can knock some reality into the average person, then maybe, just maybe people will spend in-line with their incomes.
Let all the go-getters who are passionate about everything they do soak in all the success. Let those who never complain and work when others are playing make all the money. The rest of us can just kick back, whine about why life isn’t fair and tell ourselves why we deserve better.
START AN ONLINE BUSINESS
Let’s say your grades aren’t that great, your alma mater isn’t very impressive, but you’re just as good as anybody else out there. Why not start an online business where it’s almost entirely about meritocracy? Screw the man!
It’s been over six years since I started Financial Samurai and I’m actually earning a good passive and active income stream online now. The top 1% of all posts on Financial Samurai generates 31% of all traffic. In other words, after putting in the hours to write some very meaty content over the years, 10 posts consistently generate a monthly recurring income stream that’s completely passive.
I never thought I’d be able to quit my job in 2012 just three years after starting Financial Samurai. But by starting one financial crisis day in 2009, Financial Samurai actually makes more than my entire passive income total of ~$175,000 that took 15 years to build. If you enjoy writing, creating, connecting with people online, and enjoying more freedom, see how you can set up a WordPress blog in 15 minutes with Bluehost.
You never know where the journey might take you! I spent four weeks traveling to Cambodia, Taiwan, Korea, Vietnam, and Malaysia while working on my business in 2015 and plan to work overseas again in 2016. The freedom and reward for creating something on your own truly is priceless.
Updated for 2016 and beyond.