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Do You Know Too Much?

When George told his dad that he was going to get his Master’s degree, his dad said, “Be careful, son … you don’t want to get so educated that no one can use you!”

Is your knowledge a blessing or a curse?

The curse of knowledge
It seems that as our knowledge and experience increase, our creativity and innovation decrease. When you become an expert in a field, you risk losing the innovation that probably got you there. That’s the curse of knowledge!

That leads to some strange things … for example, why do you have to go to “start” to shut off your computer? Techies understand that. However, to the average person, it doesn’t make sense at all.

Group think often results when experts collaborate. As long as you only involve people just like yourself, you end up with things like going to “start” to finish.

The sign of the curse
Have you tried reading a book written by an expert in a field new to you? Or gone to a web site that’s outside your area of expertise? What did you see? Perhaps it was like reading a foreign language. It was jargon – the sign of the curse.

Maybe you’ve sat in a room of people, all speaking jargon. At some point, you asked a question! Gasp! Do you remember the looks? You don’t know it all! Gasp (again)!

If you find that your speech is full of jargon, you may know too much!

New discoveries
Something interesting happens as novices ask questions. The experts are forced to explain their subject simply – from the perspective of a newbie. In the process, the experts often discover new ways to look at the same old problems.

So why do so many people only hang out with people just like them? Because it’s comfortable. It’s good for your ego to feel like you’re part of such a prestigious group. Your input is valued when you’re in your area of expertise talking with other experts.

A good problem within limits
We’re certainly not suggesting that you don’t want to be an expert in your chosen field. In fact, the opposite is true – seek first to be an expert!

Then you can have the problem we’re talking about here – it’s a good one to have! But recognize that your creativity and innovative tendencies are often limited when you’re an expert.

So how can you remain creative when you’re an expert?

  • Make some new friends, outside of your field.

Or reconnect with some old friends, outside of your inner circle of experts like you. People you don’t converse with much anymore because you’re too busy! Mingle with people who have a variety of experiences. You’ll learn things from them that that will help you be more innovative again.

  • Get a hobby, especially a creative one.

We wrote an article recently, 98 Does Your Hobby Work For You] It highlights a study of Nobel laureates. That’s a pretty innovative group, wouldn’t you say? The researchers found that about one percent of all scientists claimed some leisure pursuit. They were surprised to learn that over fifty percent of the Nobel Prize winners had a serious hobby! So get out of your “lab” and get your creative juices flowing again.

Sometimes, it pays to listen to novices

Cynthia Barton Rabe wrote a book called The Innovation Killer: How What We Know Limits What We Can Imagine… And What Smart Companies Are Doing About It. She tells the story about an executive who was with Ralston Purina when they bought out Eveready. Eveready had successfully marketed flashlights for years, but now the business was very mature.

This was the mid-1980s. Eveready sold their flashlights through hardware stores and lumber yards. They offered two colors – red and metal. The transferred executive suggested new colors – pink, light blue, and light green. These colors would appeal to women, she argued. Gasp! The experts only looked at her with dismay.

She suggested that the flashlights be distributed through grocery stores! Gasp! Fortunately, she sold the decision-makers on her idea. The result – bigg sales! You’re the expert.

Keep in mind that sometimes that’s a curse. Be open to new ideas, even from novices!

Our bigg quote today comes from William Shakespeare.

“We know what we are, but know not what we may be.”

If you know at all, you’ll know that you don’t know it all.

Next time, we’ll discuss climbing the stairway to … success. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file | podcast:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/biggsuccess/00045-011108.mp3

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Does It Pay To Be Smart?

We ran across an interesting study about what your IQ says about how rich you’ll be. The study was conducted by Jay Zagorsky, an economist at Ohio State University, and published in the journal, Intelligence.

Zagorsky measured the income and wealth of people who were 40 to 47 years old. He sorted the data by IQ level.

Does it pay to be smart? Yes … and no.

Yes, it pays to be smart.
Zagorsky’s study confirmed what previous studies had shown. People with higher IQs tend to have higher incomes. We wonder if it’s a function of IQ or if educational attainment plays in – since it’s also been proven that higher levels of education tend to result in higher incomes.

Regardless, people with above-average IQs tend to earn more.

No, it doesn’t pay to be smart.
Zagorsky found that people with lower IQs are just as wealthy, perhaps even more so, than people with high IQs! Zagorsky defines wealth as assets minus liabilities. How much you own compared to how much you owe.

Few people with below-average IQs had high income. However, a relatively large number of them had a high net worth.

It turns out that people with higher IQs were MORE likely to have trouble paying bills, have maxed out credit cards, and have declared bankruptcy, than people with lower IQs.

Why aren’t smart people rich?
Zagorsky offers several theories for why being smart doesn’t necessarily lead to being rich. It’s possible that smart people are more confident in their ability to earn more money, so they spend more money. Perhaps they feel they can take more risk, because they can make more money if they need it.

We wonder if it’s not because of the age group. People with IQs below the norm probably started working earlier, on average, than people with high IQs, who were earning advanced degrees. So people with lower IQs have had more years in the workforce. Will people with high IQs catch up with them over time?

Smart or not, we’re only human!
What this study really confirms is a timeless principle – the real secret to accumulating more wealth is to spend less than what you make. How profound!

We’re all human – some smarter than others. However, we’re all subject to that human trait that makes us spend as much as we make. Make more … spend more.

Do you remember the secret to begin accumulating wealth, as told in 111 The Richest Man in Babylon?]

A part of all you earn should be yours to keep.

If you don’t spend it, you’ll always have it. And more – because your money will make money for you if you invest it right.

For whatever reason, people with below-average IQs seem to do a better job of that than people with above-average IQs. At least according to this study.

What do you think? Why do people with lower IQs have more wealth? What tips do you have for managing money? Let us know.

Our bigg quote today is by Benjamin Franklin.

“A penny saved is a penny earned.”

It’s smart to save money, because being smart with your money is money in the bank.

Next time, we’re going to talk about your own personal SWOT analysis – analyzing strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities. It’s a follow up to Visualize The Life You Want and Live Your Dream Life With Purpose.

If your goal is to save more money, learn how to achieve that goal with our Bigg Goal-Setters Workbook. It’s free when you subscribe to our free weekly newsletter. We bet you’re smart enough to recognize that for the deal it is!

Until next time, here’s to your bigg success!