Smart people are a lucky lot. Besides scoring good grades in school, their brains are like libraries. They possess numerous ideas that have the potential to transform not just their pockets but the society at large. But these sharp minds seem to have special challenges when it comes to life, investments and business.
Majority of them make good employees…but beyond that, there’s nothing much they do worth writing home about. Past trends have shown that those we consider(ered) as being weak in class end up pulling a gamechanger in life by acing their way through business and investments.
It is no wonder the controversial phrase of “C students end up employing A students to work for them” has become so popular of late.
How come these “machopis” perform terribly when it comes to investment and life goals? Well, if you are one of them I am sure you will agree that, at one time or another, you have come face to face with the following enemies of progress.
(1)Paralysis of analysis
They over-analyze situations to a point that they end up not taking any decision or action at all. They “decide not to decide”. So for example they look at agri-business from a bird’s eye-view and see that despite it offering immense potential, the country is heavily reliant on rain-fed agriculture.
Given the prevailing drought, they shelve that idea. They then look at the business of importing goods from China and re-selling them locally and conclude that it’s bad for the economy because it alters the balance of trade. They keep chewing on facts and theories until the cows come home. They don’t invest in anything their entire lives.
They go down the grave with cabinets full of pending ideas.
(2)They get Good jobs
Smart people are loved by government organizations and blue-chip companies in equal proportions. So as the rest of the population struggles to put food on the table, smart people enjoy free niceties like house allowance, sitting allowance, medical allowance et cetera.
Banks also love these people, meaning they easily get loan funding against a pay-check. It’s such a comfortable lifestyle when you’re smart! So they take a back-seat, grab some popcorns and cruise through life.
Thanks to this level of comfort, they settle for below-average life, hardly making any meaningful investments in their heydays. They only come to regretit once they grow too old and have to retire back in the village.
(3)They think they know pretty much everything
Smart believe there’s nothing new you can teach them. They have acquired several degrees from elite learning institution and you have none at all! Who are you to advice them? So they go ahead and try to navigate through the murky waters of entrepreneurship using their well-calibrated knowledge drawn from theoretical case studies.
As they do that, they lose touch with reality only to come down tumbling. It is this inherent belief that “I am too educated to sit in a chama with school drop-outs” or “My status don’t allow me to do dirty jobs” that prevents them from making any headway in life.
No one has monopoly of knowledge. Even a clueless grandfather in the village can teach you a thing or two about success.
(4)They are Quite Complicated
Smart people have a flair for the unusual, complicated or different stuff. They don’t like to follow the KISS principle (Keep It Simple and Stupid), which is an important ingredient for succeeding in business. You will find them in workshops trying to re-invent the wheel; something that was done several decades ago.
You can’t blame them. Our education system is a fraud by itself. It teaches us to memorize complex things instead of promoting intelligence. So these smart fellows, having gone through the system, come out thinking that life is all about complicating things.
But investments and entrepreneurship are not about complication. It’s about simplification of things. Look at Whatsapp, a simple innovation that makes life better.
Look at Huduma centres, a simple re-organization of activities that transformed service delivery. The world out here is not looking for complicated solutions, but rather simplified models – a truth these smart people don’t seem to grasp.
(5)They are afraid of failing or getting bad grades in life
Of course, they spend most of their time in school getting As and can’t stomach the idea of getting Es in life. In other words, they fear failure. Yet failure is a must-have in entrepreneurial life.
In the process of trying to maintain a clean record sheet, smart people end up playing safe. They would rather stick to a bad job that guarantees them job security than get out there and embarrass themselves in failure.
They would rather keep their money in the bank, than invest it and fail. Our schools have taught them that failure is BAD and success if GOOD. Students who failed in class were punished while those who got As were celebrated.
But that’s not the way things are supposed to be in life. Failure is not that bad after all. Failures are part of life. If you don’t fail, you don’t learn. If you don’t learn you’ll never change.
If you are reading this, chances are that you are a smart person. You have a computer; and you know how to use it. You have internet; and you know how to activate and de-activate it.
You have gone through school; and have some certificates. You probably have a job; and a consistent pay-check every month. Could it be that your progress in life is being hindered by your smartness? Well, that’s for you to find out.
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