Friday, May 27, 2005

Friday Mythbustin': Knowledge Costs Too Much Money

Myth: Knowledge is expensive.

Fact: Knowledge is not only cheap, but it's worth it at any price.

Whenever I talk to somebody who's paying hundreds of dollars in interest and in debt up to their eyeballs, and they complain about the bind they're in I'll usually suggest something. A book, maybe, or a class down at the city rec center.

Their answer is inevitably the same: "Oh, I can't afford that!"

I don't usually press the issue. But think about it--how can they afford not to? It's not reading the book or not going to the class that's costing them the money.

Besides, they could get the same book for free down at their local library. They could find all the same information on the internet for free. They could invite a financially competent friend over for dinner in exchange for getting advice and tips. There are a million ways they could learn the things they needed to know to get out of their fix.

Why don't they? I'm sure there are as many reasons as there are people. In my case, it was procrastination, pure and simple. I knew what I needed to do, but I knew that making the turnaround would be painful. I was taking what felt, at the time, like the easy route, hoping that in a couple of years when I was making more money or things had settled down it wouldn't be quite so painful to do it. It's the American dream, right? That things can be better tomorrow than they are today?

Well, it finally dawned on me that things can get better any time I want them to--if I'm willing to make the effort. While the year may be half over, and my debt's only a quarter of the way gone, that's still better than what probably would have happened if I hadn't started this--the hole would be even deeper, and when I finally got around to making the turnaround, it would have taken even longer.

Knowledge is knowledge, and they'll package it up whatever way you want it, and put whatever pricetag on it you're willing to pay.

I noticed this a while back when I started getting into books by guys like Robert Kiyosaki and Tony Robbins. They'll put together a package for every price range. Want to pay $20? Here's a book. Want to pay $100? Here's a CD set. Want to pay $1,000? Here's a seminar. Want to pay $10,000? Here's a seminar on a private island. The knowledge is the same; they're just packaging it to what you can afford and what you think you need to pay to get worthwhile information.

It doesn't take money, but what it does take is time. And while I realize most of us don't feel we have enough of that (I know I sure don't) it's still the same deal as with the money--the longer you wait, the less of it you'll have. You're never going to have more time than you have today.

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