Well-Educated vs. Well-Schooled

A few years before I was born, humankind achieved a remarkable feat.

We landed a human being on the moon.

The lunar module spacecraft used for the lunar landing mission had a mere 4 kilobytes of memory and weighed 70 lb (32 kg).

Today, I have an iPhone in my pocket that has 268,435,456 kilobytes of memory — that's 67 million times more storage than the lunar module computer.

When I was six years old, the prevailing wisdom was that consumers would never buy a computer for use in their own home.

It was believed that computers would never be smaller than an entire floor of an office building.

I now carry a computer in my pocket that’s more powerful than almost every computer in the world at the time of my birth.

The amount of change I’ve personally witnessed in my lifetime is remarkable.

...and there is no end in sight.

To be a high-functioning member of this fast-changing world, you must be and remain well-educated.

When the world changes at the rate of X, and your skills change at a rate of LESS than X, you’re in trouble.

At a minimum, you must keep pace to avoid being left behind. At a maximum, you want to change your skills faster than our world itself changes.

While education is the key, there’s a common misconception about education that I want to caution you against.

It’s the idea that being well-schooled = being well-educated.

The two are not the same thing.

I have two degrees from Stanford. (= Well-Schooled)

However, I use less than 5% of what I learned at Stanford on a monthly basis. (My school-obtained knowledge has become less relevant over time, and more obsolete.)

Even though I’m now at the peak of my career (so far), I spend one to three hours reading or learning every business day. (= Well-Educated)


Because while I’m at the peak of my career to date, I want to be at a new peak next year, the year after, and the decade after that.

(I work hard to improve my skills at a rate that exceeds the rate of change of our global economy.)

I’ve spent a lot of money on Stanford tuition. (= Well-Schooled)

Since graduating, I’ve spent ten times that amount on learning new things — seminars, books, video lectures, instructors, classes, and more. (= Well-Educated)

Here’s my point.

School is not enough.

School starts to become obsolete the day after you graduate.

To succeed in today’s marketplaces, you have to be more skilled or more knowledgeable than your competitors.

To be more specific, you need to acquire advanced skills and knowledge in order to produce results that exceed your peers'.

Your degree and university often matter for your first one or two jobs after graduating.

After that, your track record of what results you can deliver to others matters a whole lot more.

Being well-schooled can help launch a career, but to sustain one over the long run, you must be and remain well-educated.

This is one of the main ideas I continually emphasize to those I mentor.

One way I help those in my mentorship group become and remain well-educated is by teaching them the career skills I’ve learned (and continue to learn) in my own career.

I’ve been keeping up this pace of learning for over two decades.

One secret to acquiring advanced skills is to learn from others.

I learn from my mentors, and the people I mentor learn from me.

Speaking of mentors, just twice a year, I open up my Inner Circle mentorship program to new members for just a few hours.

I’ll be doing so in a few weeks after the start of the new year.

If you’d like to learn more about joining my mentorship program, and to be notified when the enrollment period opens, just complete the form below.

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