One of my favorite writers is Robert Kiyosaki — he wrote Rich Dad, Poor Dad and famously created the Cashflow Quadrant (look up both if you don’t know). One thing he stresses about school is that school cannot be the end-all if you plan on doing something that is big and unique.
School teaches us to do what we’re told to do. Thin about it : we sit there is class and listen to the teacher recite facts. We wrote them down and read the books, memorize the facts and spot them back out on the gets and quizzes to prove we’ve “learned”. Do this well enough and you pass to the next grade when they teach you more stuff to remember. Don’t listen, don’t follow directions, don’t remember those facts well enough, and you’re a failure at school. You have to do it again until you do it properly.
Building a brand or business or a company requires skills that teachers don’t teach in schools (at least in America). Brands and businesses are, by definition, unique — that’s what make them stand out and prosper. So building a brand with traditional thinking and methods and information simply wouldn’t work — who would care? We already know that. You need something new, unconventional, unique.
Can traditional knowledge produce a successful human? Of course. I know of plenty of them. They were all good at school. They’re all good at following directions. They’re all good at doing what they’re told. These aren’t knocks on those people — just what it is.
I was average at school.
I had the capacity to be great at school — I proved this in the sporadic semesters of high school and college where I applied myself and earned exemplary marks. But the shit was boring to me. I knew by the time I entered college that my post-grad life would be anything but traditional. I wanted to do new things that hadn’t been done. And do them in anew way with new ideas and new rules. And do them so uniquely that no one could successfully copy me. I don’t like being told what to do. I don’t like following directions – mainly because they mainly exist to keep people safe from change (which scares the hell out of people) and disruption of routine. I don’t like not being in charge, especially when I’m smarter than the boss.
I knew back then that, no matter what it cost me, I was going to do things my own way (stubbornness is a requirement for not following rules). Though I’m still working — with a lot more work ahead of me — I think I’ve accomplished that.