Our ability to excel in life lies on whether we can constantly re-invent ourselves to continue playing the game. To achieve this, we need to keep learning new skills and knowledge in this new economy in order to position ourselves for success. Obviously to a certain extent, most of us yearn for career success but how many of us are willing to learn and earn? There is no secret winning formula as everyone has a different life path. But then again, successful wealth builders almost certainly share some common traits.
Receptive to new ideas
Even though you may be very experienced or have deep expertise in your job, you should always stay curious and be receptive to new ideas. In my job journey, I have come across many colleagues who are afraid of experimenting different approaches to resolve issues because they only believe in tried-and-tested methods. Because of their rigid mindsets, work productivity were often affected.
A few years ago when Singapore exempted Goods and Services Tax (GST) for investment-grade bullion, I asked a few fellow investment bloggers their main reasons for not buying gold and silver in Singapore. Most of them shared that they don’t believe in diversifying their wealth in gold and prefer to focus on Singapore shares. Their lack of understanding of precious metals could be the reason for the resistance to new ideas on wealth building. It is difficult to imagine that they would be successful in their wealth building journey down the road because it only takes a major stock market correction to wipe out their portfolios’ value.
Know what you don’t know
One of the reasons why the rich always become richer is because they know what they don’t know. Thus, they either delegate it to professionals to focus on their strengths or improve their knowledge through learning. They are risk-takers and understand that it is not possible to win 100% of the time. Take Jack Ma for example. He is the CEO of Alibaba Group, one of the largest e-commerce businesses in China. He is actually an English teacher and don’t know anything about software coding and yet he managed to build an online empire.
Similarly in our job journey, we need to know what we don’t know and make it a point to upgrade ourselves. Many of us expect management to identify relevant courses for us to attend. This is a wrong mentality because the matter of fact is that it is our duty to stay relevant in our job and pick up skills so as to add value to the organization.
The worst thing that can happen to any wealth builders is not knowing what you don’t know. When this happens, the risk of suffering massive losses will be extremely high. A few years ago, many Singaporeans fell prey to gold buy-back scams by companies such as Genneva Gold and Gold Guarantee. They lost millions of dollars because of the lack of understanding of the gold market. They thought that they were buying real gold when in fact they were walking into traps.
Learn, unlearn and re-learn
Sometimes, past performance does not guarantee future success. You may realize that using similar methods or tactics may not yield the same success going forward. As such, in our career, we may have to lean, unlearn and re-learn to avoid the fate of being labelled as obsoleted. This is a painful process because in a way, we are actually in-validating our previous knowledge and it is in our DNA to resist changes, even though it can be for the better. However, in order to stay ahead of the game, this is inevitable.
When it comes to spending monies on sharpening investment knowledge, I know the perennial thinking is that you can do it alone and that there are a lot of free resources in the internet, so there is no need to sign up for exclusive memberships. But just think about it, cheap things don’t come good and good things don’t come cheap. There is no free lunch in this world and nobody owes you a living.
Sometimes, in order to get ahead of the competition, you have to spend a little premium to get that edge above the rest. So start educating yourself in the art of making money and master the analysis skill on reading the game. Enjoy the ride and have fun.
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SG Wealth Builder