Estimated reading time: 8 mins
We all remember when we were kids – how our parents would stress on the importance of being a straight-A student and how it leads to being successful in life. Well, it turns out that they were wrong – at least to some extent. While it is common for successful people to be highly academically qualified, it isn’t a necessity. The ticket to success isn’t always a university degree.
So you’re blessed with brain cells and high intelligence – but those dumb kids are doing so much better. Is this nature kicking you in the face? It might feel like it. Why do people who we might consider less capable creating so much wealth? Let us try to find the answer to this rather puzzling question.
What do I mean by ‘dumb’?
OK – it is not the most PC term I could use, but it got your attention. When I say dumb, I don’t mean to cause offence. Really, what I mean is that genuine, honest comparative feeling we have towards somebody else when we just know that (looking sideways at the person beside you…) I am way more intelligent than you. We are not encouraged to think in those kind of terms, at least openly, but you know as well as I do that we all think it. #justsaying
And here’s the thing – no matter who we are – there will be at least one person who looks at us and thinks the same. We are all ‘dumb’ to somebody out there.
Business Success Has Very Little To Do with Your Intelligence
There you go – I said it! In fact, if anything, high intelligence can actually be a hindrance as it may make you worry too much or make it too complicated for the business to actually kickoff. So what helps in business success? Confidence is definitely a much-needed trait here. Allow me to put this in perspective – ‘dumb’ people will almost always seem very sure about their ideas, while on the other hand, you intelligent people will never stop doubting yourself.
Confidence and Simplicity Are Key
To get things moving in any business, you need to be confident. This is an essential trait because:
- At the beginning of your business, you will barely have any customers, but you will need to have a certain level of confidence to be able to push on.
- While you might know a dozen things wrong with your product or service, you just need to have a certain level of ignorant confidence to be able to project a refined and well-polished sales message to all of your customers.
- It is possible for your customers to have many options and so that is why it is important to have the confidence to be able to convince them to buy your products and/or services.
- You will also need confidence to be able to get the best staff to work for you and maybe even get some investors to put in their money behind your idea.
All of this can be achieved with confidence and not intelligence. If anything, being ‘dumb’ will help you keep a stronger focus on the tasks, without questioning how effective your offerings really are. Confidence is a sure fire way to sell your offerings and if you ask me, sales is one of the biggest determinants of how successful your business really is. Showing confidence in your products will help you hustle and get the business you need.
How does Confidence and Intelligence Relate?
Okay so now that you know how important being confident really is to earning big, let us look at the relationship it has with intelligence. A general thought among people is that smarter people usually have more confidence, just because they have more knowledge and skills. However, the reality is quite different from that! In fact, studies suggest that most of the people who have average or below average IQ levels are much more confident in their abilities than people who you might consider as smart. This is primarily because such people lack the knowledge, ability and awareness to judge their own performance and how it compares to others. In addition, since intelligent people are more aware of their surroundings, they have a tendency of under-estimating their own offerings, leading to them being less confident. As you get to know more of what you do not know, your confidence levels drop. Just like the famous quote by Aristotle goes: “The more you know, the more you know you don’t know.” On the other hand, if your knowledge is rather limited then you are in a stronger position to plough ahead, feeling like you have a sound understanding of the entire situation.
How Can You Learn From ‘Dumb’ People?
If confidence is the key then it is important for you to take strong actions while at the same time accepting the fact that you might not be doing the right thing. Do not hold yourself excessively accountable for the circumstances and show support for the direction that you have taken. It is important to simply quit overthinking your actions and ideas and let things flow. Holding yourself too much accountable will always leave you disappointed, making you lose trust in your own abilities, even when you are destined for success. Below are some things that you can follow to catch up with less capable yet successful people (as weird as it may sound!):
- Have a clear strategy in place and dive right in it. Stop questioning yourself too much and avoid micromanaging your own tasks. It is critical that you stop second-guessing what was meant by a customer’s reactions and/or what your competition might be scheming to do. Just stay focused, barrel ahead and sell your product to the people with full gusto.
- It will do you no good to worry too much about not having a detailed business plan or a refined sales funnel, dedicated HR systems, brand guidelines, digital marketing and communications approach or a combination of all of these. Understand that you cannot resolve all issues overnight and there will always be things that fixed later. What you need to be focused on is how you can take your sales to the next level.
- Prepare a sales pitch that you actually have full belief in – something that you are sure of being good enough to help your customers and yourself. You should try to find higher purpose for being successful in your business – try to talk to your customers to get an idea of what your purpose really need to be. Worry less about appearing ‘clever’. Instead, be engaging, honest and friendly.
- Create an actionable, realistic business plan to keep your focus on working to achieving your goals. It doesn’t need to be a complex plan, or to be too It needs to be believable. The simpler, the better.
- Do not waste too much time on learning things that will not help you with your project. This is where intellectual people get derailed – they take on too much complexity, shun straightforward objectives and they let too many distractions come in their way. Learning new things might be appealing to you if you are a smart fellow, just because you enjoy learning new skills. However, it might be distracting you from your main objectives, slowly making it difficult for you to keep a focus on the key tasks. You might be eager to go to an upcoming workshop or a webinar, but try to avoid them unless you want to use these events to better network with individuals and businesses that you think can benefit your business. You will need to exhibit this level of selfishness with how you spend your time.
Stop feeling jealous of people who don’t match your IQ but achieve great things. Understand that it has nothing to do with intelligence. Moreover, while confidence and self-belief is a key to being successful, some people are plain lucky. A lucky individual might not be super-bright AND lacking in confidence and still be able to click the right things at the right time. We all have our destiny and we need to trust it more than looking elsewhere for answers. What we can very well do is have belief in our abilities and feel happy for others, no matter how ‘dumb’ or ‘unworthy’ that person might be in your eyes.
By the way, I am not suggesting that you shouldn’t use your intelligence. What I mean is that when it comes to learning new things, you need to play smartly, not seek complication. If a skill can help you sell more of your products and/or services, do that instantly. If it is not going to directly affect your business then try to postpone it for a later stage. It is good that you like to learn things but be sure that the knowledge-seeking nature of yours is not getting in the way of you achieving your goals.
So there you have it – my take on why ‘dumb’ people make lots of money. For me, being successful starts with the kind of state of mind that you have. Do you know of anyone not so smart who has made it big? Share your stories in the comments sections. I also urge you to not look down on others as you might be living in denial while the person you petty might be having the key soft skills to beat you practically.
I encourage you to check out our other similar blog posts like Why Businesses Have To Spend Money To Make Money and How Your Business Can Make Money from Online Marketplaces