Ever notice how there is the way everyone does something which seems to work more or less for some or even most of them, and then there is a radically different way that some people do it that either works fabulously for them or they die alone and broke?
Long sentence I know, but I think the gist of the phenomenon comes through. I’ll assign some percentages temporarily but I reserve the right to tweak them in a minute.
Lets say 80% of the people believe that the path to a career is to go to college, get a job, work it for 30 years, then retire and have time a place freedom to relax for 5 to 10 years before becoming too old to enjoy it all. (Given the current college loan debt forgiveness THING that’s going on I almost didn’t use this example but…it’s just the best example.)
So there has always been a group of people who just looked at that option and said, “that’s not for me.” Maybe they went to trade school and then still worked 30 years, etc., etc. but they skipped the a key ingredient and substituted another.
So when we look at the numbers, and now with the fullness of time, we can look at these two approaches and see that group A didn’t get the results they thought they were going to. Group B is pretty happy in general. There could be a lot of reasons for this, including the fact that the size of group A was too big and group B was too small. Another explanation is that colleges graduated people with degrees there was no worldly demand for. But regardless of the reason it’s pretty obvious that it didn’t work. (And NO, department of education the fault doesn’t sit in the lap of for profit colleges, State Colleges are just as guilty.)
The real question is, how do you avoid following the crowd and destroying your financial life for decades?
Actually it’s even bigger than that because career is just one place you face the decision to follow the crowd or go off-road. It might be, do I buy a PC or an Apple product? In a sense, no one lays awake at night wondering if they should have bought a different tech product, but even in this little area of life, if you started your computer journey on one platform you likely stuck with it unless something happened to change force you in a different direction. Then when cell phones became a thing it likely impacted your phone buying decision, and later it impacted your streaming decisions and so on.
To make things a tiny bit more nuanced…
There are more options than group A and group B! Group C is made up of unicorns who reinvent the wheel before they settle for what anyone else is doing. These are the entrepreneurs, the people who build their own PC and write their own code. In a world of Dog and Cat pet owners they buy a parrot. When 80% of folks live in a city or a suburb, they own a ranch or a farm. They bought the first electric cars and now they’re trying to decide between an old propane bus or a prototype hydrogen fuel cell car.
The point is, these people get more satisfaction from not doing what everyone does. These are the real 20% crowd because group A and group B together add to 80%. That’s the perception, except the truth is their is a group D.
Yes, some folks don’t find any of it working for them. They’ve auditioned everything they can think of and in at least one or more areas they are failing to achieve their goals and feeling miserable about it. Group D doesn’t care whether you use Money or Happiness to keep score they’re failing at both.
Because there are several areas to consider and degrees of success in each area, the truth is group D is the biggest group. Most people feel like they’re failing to thrive in one or more areas that they truly care about. Also most people when you get to know them, believe that they can’t find success doing what everyone says will lead to it.
They want breakthrough in that area, and they don’t want to sacrifice ground they’ve taken in any area that is working.
Okay, I can’t put a single answer to this big of a problem into a single answer that fits all. But I can point you to where the path begins. You need to know yourself. You need to know what’s important to you. You need to know how you define success, not just what hurts right now. You need to be familiar with what you bring to the table. How do people perceive you? How do you perceive you? Where did those ideas come from?
This is only one of five things you need to figure out your personal success map, and when you have them you may need to add some skills and tools, or change some mindsets, but seriously start at the beginning. You can book a zoom call with me at this link and lets chat about this. Free no obligation.