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”.
But 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- How early you start
- The amount of intellectual capital you get (analogous to the amount of money you save)
- 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.