How I Learned That My College Degree Didn’t Entitle Me To Money

Our world pays for results. Lesson learned.

I excitedly walked up to the stage to get my diploma.

“Bravo! Bravo!” My family stood up cheering while cameras were capturing the moment.

I felt important. I was proud of myself.

This moment wasn’t much different than this picture below. I felt like this brand new Tesla freshly off the assembly line.

Image Source

Let me explain the analogy above.

Assembling a car requires hundreds of parts all compiled together. Each piece on its own is worth very little, but when joined, the finished product has a very different value.

That’s how I perceived my education; years of learning assembled for this very moment. Receiving my degree was like walking out of the assembly line!

“Congratulations! You are a complete product! Time to celebrate!”

Photo by Vasily Koloda on Unsplash

Many of us will never forget that extraordinary moment in our lives.

So, what’s my point?

My educational “assembly line” took so long that my expectations built up over time. That day I felt like a top-of-the-line fully equipped Tesla Model S ready to go!

I felt entitled to be worth a hefty price!

Somehow, I had come to the conclusion that by walking out of my college with my degree in hand made me valuable and attractive.

So here I was, proud and arrogant thinking, “Hey world! I’m an Engineer — if you want some of my knowledge it’s going to COST you!”

LOL! Ouch! It’s okay if you laugh at me… somehow I assumed that my time had more value because of my degree, so whatever time I spent working, I deserved to get paid.

My father noticed my foolish thinking and decided to give me a lesson.

He invited me to work at his office.

A couple of weeks into my new job, I remember how excited I felt ready to receive my first paycheck.

Late that Friday evening I walked to my dad’s office and said, “Pay me, Dad!”

“Son, you’re NOT entitled to a payment this week.”

“Why? What’s wrong?”

“I pay for results. You didn’t deliver.” my father said confidently.

“But, I’m an engineer, Dad! Pay me as an engineer! I’ve been working hard on this project! I invested plenty of hours into this. Pay for my hours of work!” I demanded.

“Sorry, that’s not how it works here. No results, no pay!”

“You are very unfair! I quit!” I said as I slammed the door behind me.


It took time, but eventually, I understood the lesson he was teaching me.

Going home that weekend with zero money on my pocket helped me understand that in this world I’m NOT entitled to something just because of my credentials or for sitting at the office all day long.

My father helped me understand that if I don’t deliver results to others, my fancy college degree hanging on the wall will look nice, but it won’t pay my bills.

Our world pays for results.

Today, as an entrepreneur, I understand that the world doesn’t care how hard I work, all that matters is how much value I DELIVER to my customers.

It’s in giving that makes me deserve something in exchange.

I do NOT deserve what I want. I only deserve what I do.

Welcome life. 
Goodbye entitlement.


Originally published at www.quora.com.

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