To Earn or Learn

Build a business they say. School doesn’t really matter.

As millennials, it seemed that owning a business is much prestigious than being, say–an expert scientist. We are highly encouraged to dive in the world of entrepreneurship.  At a simple glance, entrepreneurship is often related to a money-oriented process, rather than a purpose-driven and learning process. Professions are often grouped into entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs (which is often stigmatized as professionals in any fields that ends up working for an entrepreneur). This creates an illusion where earning is much more valued than learning.

This situation is transformed into a joke where a student in university dedicated to a certain study field will end up working for that one not too dedicated student that is predicted to become an entrepreneur . I have to admit that most system of education especially in universities,has become more obsolete and frigid as the world progressed; so it is often frowned upon for shaping fresh graduates that mostly are not fully ready to deal with real-life situations,especially on financial matters. This stimulates the spirit of entrepreneurship that emerged and become more popular.

Baca juga: Belgia, Eropa, dan Bhinneka Tunggal Ika

We will often find many guides on how to thrive in this new trend, that usually has the same format title as “How To Get Rich and Earn Billions of Rupiahs/Dollars So You Can Retire Soon”. This idea derives seminars, workshops, and trainings alike, often sugarcoated and widely promoted with backstories of entrepreneurs that doesn’t make it to higher education or does not excel academically, but earned billions anyways. This is sometimes misleading because it formed the mindset that learning and education doesn’t matter anymore, as long as our bank account balance is displayed with large numbers. To earn is more prioritized than learning.

Sure, who doesn’t want to live well with financial security? But as someone that realizes that life does not rotates solely on financial matters, I despise the idea of getting rich and living an empty, purposeless life. Ironically, I also have to agree that talking this quite philosophical matter is more comfortable in a cozy cafe with a quite pricey cup of coffee rather than doing it in cheap coffee stalls such as warkops.

Baca juga: Semua Hal itu ada Waktunya

If in the end  your bank account balance is what matters,so why are there still many fresh high school graduates struggling to enter top prestigious colleges? Clearly higher education usually offers more theoretical knowledge than the practical ones.

In my situation, I’m  passionate on the field that I am learning, computer science. But my drive to prioritize learning than earning clashed with my will to create a change for a better world through establishing business in technology, while also earning more and becoming financially independent.

Should I just be a mediocre in my study field and focus on the business side of tech? Which is more important then, earning or learning?

But then, I always believe that no one would trust a boat captain that never sailed before or have no knowledge about the ocean. Think of Larry Page and Sergey Brin that started to develop Google when they’re pursuing their PhD, or Elon Musk, founder of Tesla Motors and Space X, that started doing business after his PhD program. Although all of them dropped their PhD studies eventually, they all have a solid background on the field where they set their business from their previous academic experience.

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What do these people have in common? They set their priorities right and values both earning and learning. They know when to learn and when to earn. The result is a business with a solid purpose and holistic understanding about the field related. These people know the context of the field and could aim the solution accurately to solve the problem.

Blaming the very flawed education system for not emphasizing the important topics will not bring you anywhere.There’s always an intersection between the process of learning and earning. You can always be more curious and motivated to explore your study field, by trying projects that will benefit you financially and academically. Not too much to own a luxurious living, but hey, aren’t we too young to be too comfortable?

Don’t fall into the trap. Yes, you are young and passionate. But are you really sure that you are building your business driven mostly on solid purpose and full understanding on the field? As what from a previous article has stated, there’s always a time for everything. Don’t rush just for the sake of joining the entrepreneur club blindly.

Money and title can wait, but the opportunity to learn is not always there.

Baca juga: Menolak Sensor

Image header credit: gratisography.com