Got skills?

With all this talk about personal finance, let’s take a step back and talk about skills for a moment. You may be wondering, what at all do skills have to do with personal finance? The answer frankly is, a lot more than you think. In reality, we should not constantly be focusing on money at all, but rather should be constantly focusing on our skills and talents. As I write this, I’m listening to a song by Future and Drake, who are no more than people who focused on skills (rapping, producing, recording) for years, and have now made millions) Anyways…

Skills over money
Let’s take Steph Curry for example, one of today’s top players in the NBA. He makes million of dollars per year. I remember watching a video about his childhood, the video citing that he played basketball almost everyday with his dad, who also played professionally. Do you think he was focused on money during this time? I highly doubt it, perhaps his father was thinking a bit about his sons future financial position, but both of them were likely focused on improving to become exceptional at the sport of basketball. There was a focus on skill before money.

People that focus on money
What people that focus on money usually do is spend too much time worrying about saving money, when they should be focusing on building skills which in turn will increase their income. For instance, throughout your teens you really should not be focusing on money but instead should be focusing on building skillets that may eventually make you money. For instance if you’re 13 years old and you realize you are somewhat talented at baseball, it would make sense to invest heavily in that skill set. This would likely allow you the opportunity to play professionally or at least in college, either way this will open up opportunities for you to become more successful than you would have been otherwise.

Let’s not get me wrong here, money is important, and the root goal of chasing after your passions should include a goal of making a lot of money doing so, but money should only be the seconds focus. You will hear many wealthy people discuss this phenomenon. In fact, Warren Buffett has come out publicly stating that money is simply a scorecard to him, as he does not need anymore of it, by far. The fact is that money will usually be used as a competitive factor of value and worth. It shouldn’t be, and it’s not in all cases (love, friendship, family). In this cases money doesn’t matter, and it shouldn’t.

This may sound shallow or money hungry but it’s not. Take a sports example, professional soccer players are trading around teams on a annual basis, and some are sold for hundreds of millions of dollars. If Ronaldo is sold for $200mm and Messi is sold for $225mm, some may argue that Messi is a better player, or more valuable as a soccer player based on the price paid for those quick feet of his. This may not statistically be true, but the price is signaling so. So there is a value of skillet there.

As a rule of thumb you should focus on finding out what skills you have in your teenage years (or ASAP). Some of us will be great athletes, some will be gifted with an amazing voice, and some of us will develop the comfort zone to become actors, politicians, and CEOs. The truth is that anyone with enough opportunity can do anything they want, with enough time.

If you don’t believe me feel free to read the facts!

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