How to Become a Millionaire of Knowledge

We are now living in the Knowledge Worker Age. It’s an age where the saying “knowledge is power” is truer than ever. Those who have knowledge rule, and those who want to rule (or even just survive) have no other choice but to have knowledge. So it’s necessary for all of us to work on becoming “millionaires of knowledge”.

streamingBut how do we become a “millionaire of knowledge”?

I imagine that each of us has a “knowledge account”. What you should do then is growing your account to “millions”. Just like you should invest in your financial account to become a millionaire, you should also invest in your “knowledge account” to become a “millionaire of knowledge”.

Here are four essential steps you should do to become a millionaire of knowledge:

  1. Start early
    In investing, it is advised that you should start early to grow your account. The earlier you start the better. Due to the power of compound interest, there is a big difference between starting early and later.
    I believe the power of “compound interest” works just as powerful on your knowledge account. As I wrote in How to Develop Your Ideas Exponentially, the more ideas you have the more ideas you will generate. Similarly, the more you have in your knowledge account, the more new value you will generate.
    If you haven’t started yet, don’t worry, just start now.
  2. Be greedy to acquire the intellectual capital
    This is one of the lessons in 37 Lessons to Help You Live a Life that Matters. The intellectual capital you get from learning is the “money” you earn that can later be saved to your knowledge account.
    The amount of intellectual capital you get is determined by your hunger. The more hungry you are, the more “money” you will earn to save to your knowledge account. No wonder Steve Jobs said, “Stay hungry, stay foolish”. Being intellectually hungry is a must if you are to become a millionaire of knowledge.
  3. Apply what you learn diligently
    Acquiring intellectual capital will grow your knowledge account, but to really see the power of “compound interest” you need to apply what you learn. The application of what you learn is the “interest” you gain for your knowledge account. The more you put what you learn into practice, the higher the “interest rate” will be. Consequently, the faster your account will grow.
    Remember, an account with zero interest rate will never see the power of compound interest. In fact, the value of the account will decrease due to the inflation.
  4. Be consistent
    To see your knowledge account grows exponentially, you need to “save” and “earn the interest” consistently for long time. So you need to consistently acquire new intellectual capital and apply them. As a rule of thumb, it takes about 10 years of effortful study to have an expert mind. This, of course, requires discipline which in turn comes from motivation.

As you can see, there are three factors that determine how big your knowledge account will be:

  1. How early you start
  2. The amount of intellectual capital you get (analogous to the amount of money you save)
  3. The degree of application of your knowledge (analogous to the interest rate you earn)

So if you start relatively late, don’t worry. You can still match even exceed those who start earlier by getting more of the other two factors: acquiring more intellectual capital by being more hungry, or putting your knowledge into practice more diligently. The best, of course, is to start now.


  1. Nicley put! Reminded me of a quote by Mills-“It is better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a pig satisfied.”

  2. You state, “So if you start relatively late, don’t worry. You can still match even exceed those who start earlier…” I’m counting on that especially with all the different ways to use the internet and trying to catch up to many who have been here longer and I have. Thanks, I enjoyed my visit!

  3. Harveen:
    Nice quote, Harveen! I didn’t know the quote before so I ended up reading about John Stuart Mill.

    “You can still match even exceed those who start earlier…”
    I believe this is truer than ever in the Internet age. The Internet is a vast repository of knowledge in which hunger is the most important determinant of how much you can get. It should be relatively easy for you to surpass those who embraced the Internet earlier but not as hungry as you.

  4. Knowledge is Power? I have my doubts about that one, especially in this day and age that a lot more people than ever before have easy access to an incredible amount of knowledge.

    ‘And to keep it in ‘Financial Terms’….,’

    I wonder if there actually might be an ‘Inflation’ because of this.

    Also I do have doubts about how much ‘Power’ a ‘Librarian’ might have?

  5. Hi Donald! Great post…!

    “As a rule of thumb, it takes about 10 years of effortful study to have an expert mind. This, of course, requires discipline which in turn comes from motivation.”

    So many come onto the net, with an “I want it now” perception, only to find now is “relative.”

    I’ve been doing my thing online for over 10 years and while I might be considered by this yardstick to be “an expert,” I still know there is so much more to learn. You just never stop growing. Never giving up on the pursuit of more knowledge is where the fun (and profits) lie 🙂

    Thanks again for a great post!

  6. You’re welcome Donald. I enjoy reading what you have to say-keep it coming!

  7. HP:
    The knowledge in “knowledge is power” actually refers to “structured knowledge” in my post How to Have an Expert Mind (which in turn is based on an article in Scientific American). This kind of knowledge is “applicable knowledge” possessed by the experts, which is different from “raw knowledge” people can easily access.

    Regarding “inflation”, yes, I think the concept of inflation is also applicable to knowledge. It implies that the value of what we have learned will decrease over time because of the creation of new knowledge. We should keep updating our knowledge to minimize the effect of inflation.

    The fact that you said “there is so much more to learn” actually shows how much you have growth. It resembles the saying “the more we know, the more we know that we don’t know”.

    Thanks for the encouragement 🙂

  8. Pfffffffff, long article in the Scientific American I ‘Scanned’ it.

    First of all, If I don’t learn to much I will be ‘ahead of the crowd’ atleast not having to ‘unlearn’ things. (since it’s value might depend on a timescale :))

    Also there seem to be other things involved here, knowledge also seems to be related to ‘consioussness’, rather than only ‘Learning ability’. With scanning the article I thought that I also ‘picked up’ something about not only ‘analysing’ but also using the ‘Expert Smarts’ to ‘automatically’ pick the meaningfull patterns (Chunks) worth analysing. Pfffffff…, Interesting stuff, thanks for telling about this article.

    For what ‘Applicable Knowledge’ is concerned If you like to know about How to actually really ‘Make a Million’ (Moneywise) on my blog I recently posted an interesting (YouTube) Video about a guy telling about his plan to make a Million while going to blog about how he is going to do it, He will blog about his experience to Make a Million all with the help of a Mentor who is also in the video.

    All the Best,

  9. HP:
    Yes, the article is pretty long, but I think it’s worth the time. The main point there is “effortful study” for long period of time. In this post I use the investment analogy to describe that concept. Thanks for sharing your experiences!

  10. […] Donald Latumahia has uniquely compared investing financially to the investment in knowledge in ‘How to Become a Millionaire of Knowledge.’ This is a great little read because it rings true. Applied knowledge really is power in today’s world and God knows there is no shortage of knowledge out there waiting for us. With correct knowledge you can Master any area of your life, from your body to your finances to your relationships. So as Donald says, build up your ‘Knowledge Bank Account‘ and start today! […]

  11. Guys,

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  12. Knowledge is power but absolute knowledge is absolute power.

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