Everyone needs to earn money to lead a happy life, getting their needs and wants fulfilled. Therefore, no one can live without money. They either earn or depend on someone who earns money. People are allowed to earn and gather wealth aplenty, as per their religion and the law in the country. However, the income level that people can reach is different from each other. One gathers a wealth sufficient for generations, while others can’t afford to even feed themselves.
We see the majority of people work hard from morning till evening to earn a penny, when another segment of society makes much money without working hard and lead a luxurious life. Finally, in this competition, what we can see is that every human being is positioned at one point on the line of getting rich. When people think, how to move forward, they must be concerned earning as who.
People in the world can be put into three categories, mainly based on as who they earn money. It is needless to say that the majority earns their bread and butter working as an employee somewhere. Others are business owners who employ educated and talented people and make profits. The rest is investors who rationally invest their money and get returns. Accordingly, there are no people who earn money legally and go beyond this division.
What decides how rich you are is where you are located in these categories. According to the place where people are positioned, their thoughts and attitudes on money are completely different. Even though they take the same currency on to the hand, they see it differently.
Wherever we see, we can see employees. It is easy for anyone to be an employee. Generally, be it a school or a university, the entire education system is made to create good employees who can really work hard and give their best to the organisation they work for. On the other hand, parents advise their children to learn well and do a good job, which is of course safe and secure. It can be clearly seen that how deep employee-mentality is rooted.
The bitter truth is that no matter how hard employees work, they are never satisfied with their salary. What influences people to be restricted as employees has to be discussed. The biggest weakness that holds them back is that they hesitate to take risk. People go from job to job, complaining about their low wages but never come forward to try out new things that create employment. As they think money-making is one of the most difficult in the world, they always represent the working class in society. Furthermore, they see only one side of the game, paving the way for more savings. Actually, savers are losers.
When it comes to the Sri Lankan culture, people are not ready to consider private sector jobs as jobs. Many employed in the private sector consider themselves unemployed. However, public sector employment offers very low wages and few opportunities. All they seek is job security. Finally, that prevents them from achieving financial independence.
The people who strategically blend land, labour and capital with their entrepreneurial skills operate businesses that give them a huge wealth in return. Just remember the famous entrepreneurs who built business empires in the country. Many of them have never gone to universities that have been a road to Damascus for employees to get qualifications for securing jobs. Nevertheless, this group of people is financially literate and how to make money.
These people are good at recruiting the best team of employees for their business and offering them responsibilities to act. They are risk-takers because they know high risk brings high returns. Their attitudes on money are different from the people who work as employees.
They are the backbone of the economy, being on the top of the money-making game. They that see cash with their minds, invest in businesses, which talented and highly educated employees, who see cash with their eyes, work hard for. Since money makes them rich, they don’t have to work hard for money.
Investors are not made by the education system, the duty of which is to make employees. They are ready to learn from their mistakes, being sensitive to everything related to their investments. Investors play with the risk, knowing that the lack of knowledge is the root of the risk. For example, if you don’t know swimming, you put your life at risk by jumping to the water.
To attain financial freedom, you have to change where you are located at and who you earn as. We hardly hear of anyone who became rich by working as an employee. Why do you miss learning of money, which is needed from birth to death? We, as Sri Lankans, lack financial literacy, even though we boast about higher literacy rate in the region.
It is true that you can’t leave your job and be an investor overnight. Start with baby steps, while working as an employee. Put a small amount of money at risk and learn a lot from it. Undoubtedly, that will help you achieve financial independence.
(Amila Muthukutti is an economist who has widely published covering the areas of economics and business management)