“Depth” vs Breadth

Depth – Daily writing prompt

It’s interesting how many people, in my generation at least, were given the same advice growing up:

“Get good grades, go to college, and get a good (high paying and/or prestigious) job.”

So we go to school, get into college, graduate, maybe get our Masters or PhD, or go to law school or medical school, then go into our chosen fields.

So why does all this schooling give us higher paying jobs?

“Specialization.” Or we can refer to it as “depth” of knowledge. The deeper your knowledge, the more valuable you are to a company, and the more money you will make. At least, that’s the general idea/principle. And it makes sense.

Then I read Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Poor Dad. It blew my mind.

I’m oversimplifying, but one of the main points of why people are poor is because they’re too focused on becoming specialized. Sure, the principle of value is sound, but then those skills and your academic knowledge doesn’t translate to much outside of what you do. Most people are specialized in their trade (law, medicine, engineering, etc), but they don’t know about something so important as money and personal finance.

He recalls his biological/”poor” dad as being very smart. He was a university professor and very specialized.

His “rich” dad, on the other hand, taught him to focus on breadth, learning all the aspects of a business from accounting, sales, marketing, etc.

This gave him a broad overview of how things worked as a whole, how the parts fit together, and how to evaluate a company. This breadth of knowledge worked for his rich dad, who ran and owned multiple successful companies.

He taught Robert that his breadth of knowledge allowed him to HIRE the depth/specialized people to work for him. This is how he created his wealth.

Of course there are merits to specialization. Consultants make money off of their specialized knowledge and can charge high fees. But as a business owner or CEO, I’d say a breadth of knowledge is just as, if not more important.

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