University and Modern Slavery or Entrepreneurship and Personal Freedom
I am flabbergasted by how many people don’t realize that they are subjected to modern slavery and that their lives aren’t really theirs.
Just the other day before my meeting with a business acquaintance of mine, he and I were having the ‘small talk’ when he told me that as of lately he’s been preoccupied with and stressed about his son’s future. As it turns out, he and his wife haven not been able to enroll their only son in one of the most prestigious universities in their country – the Ivy League equivalent – because of tough competition and limited seats availability.
He went on to tell me that particular university would have cost them north of $350K which he and his wife have been saving for over the past 20 years. Unfortunately, they will now have to send their son to some other university, I guess far less prestigious and a lot cheaper.
While I feel for them, part of me is baffled by the whole thing. Being a straight shooter, I told him my inner thoughts and feelings about the whole ‘saving up for university’ thing, many of my business acquaintances do on a regular basis. I said to him, isn’t it crazy that you and your wife have been saving up for your son’s university for the past 20 long years so that he can graduate and get a job? A job?!
A job, which straight out of university with no professional experience would pay him at best, $50K per year (pre-tax) and I am being super generous and optimistic here.
A job which would enslave their son from 9 to 5, five days a week if not longer hours, depending on the corporate culture of the business organization that he joins.
A job which would most likely be completely meaningless in the bigger scheme of things and wouldn’t be contributing to the mankind but shareholders and senior executives.
A job, which would possibly pay off in 7+ years which is a terrible investment if you ask any business and finance savvy professional.
But what’s the alternative?
What could have they done differently?
The answer is nothing – they couldn’t have done anything different because they simply didn’t know any better and here’s why…
From the early childhood and all throughout our life, all of us are being programmed to become obedient followers of the sinister manmade system which in all honesty is nearly infallible – kudos to the masterminds behind it.
The system is designed in such a way to strip us all off creativity, imagination, rebelliousness and everything else that makes us different from our fellow man/woman. In addition, along the way it makes us obedient citizens who blindly follow the followers of the followers who came before them, without ever questioning anything or even thinking could this be done any differently?
We all have been taught there’s a ‘normal’ or expected progression through life, which goes something like this…
As a toddler you go to the nursery and or preschool. At age six or seven, you start elementary school, followed by high school and of course, university for after all, without it you’ll be ‘nobody’ and won’t be able to find a ‘well paying job’. So university is a must do, even if that means you take on ‘student loan’ which little do you know at a time, you end up paying off for many grueling years after you graduate the university but I won’t get into it here.
Once you get a job – which you usually start at the bottom with entry level pay – you then work your butt off for years and take shit from many belligerent, ignorant, incompetent and egotistic bosses you’ll report into over those years, so that you can eventually climb the corporate ladder and gradually increase your pay and stature along the way.
Midway through it, if not sooner, you fall in love and get married which in turn creates another need, previously nonexistent and that’s a house buying which in essence means, you end up taking on a huge mortgage >=$250K, depending on where you live and what size house you’ll be buying.
Shortly after that, you’ll need an additional vehicle which equals a car loan and finally come the children at which point you’re pretty much overcommitted, in debt, short on time and can barely keep your head above the water. At this point you probably realize that you’re trapped in the rat race with no way out….in most cases you’d probably be right, for only a few manage to ever get out of the rat race.
Well, you must have guessed it by now, the alternative would be starting your own business for which you ought to have the mindset and entrepreneurial DNA which is why not everyone is cutout for it.
Going back to my business acquaintance and his son. If he was of entrepreneurial DNA and have instilled the same in his son from an early age, the money ($350K) he and his wife have saved could have been used to start a business or maybe two and quadruple their investment in half the time they would otherwise need to breakeven via university and ‘modern slavery’ approach, way too familiar to all of us.
In the end, the choice is yours…you get to choose between modern slavery or personal freedom.
Let me know your thoughts via comments below or get in touch via Twitter.
Author: Dzenan Skulj, a Co-Founder and CEO at Parttimerz. He’s a serial entrepreneur and student of life. Utterly passionate about and strong proponent of entrepreneurship, startups, freelancing and self-development, which he regularly blogs about on his personal blog dzenanskulj.com. Dzenan also actively mentors entrepreneurs on their entrepreneurial journey.