Knowledge and power
It is hard to say how many times we heard this proverb ‘Knowledge is power’ during our lifetime. It is also hard to identify when this phrase was first used and who did it. Some say it was Sir Francis Bacon in the late 1500s although it seems there is no known occurrence of these precise words in his writings. Others credited its first use to Iman Ali, who lived from 600 to 661, around one thousand years before Bacon.
Regardless when or who initially used these words, it is pretty much well accepted that having more information can potentially bring more power. Potentially because having the information as such and not using it will not prove any value nor bring much power. The best thing about having knowledge is that unlike fancy cars, houses, money or stocks, knowledge becomes part of who you are. Your car can break down, the stocks you own can lose value, and you can even lose your properties! No matter what happens in your life, knowledge is something that nobody can ever take away from you. Coming from a family of educators, I truly believe that. You need to make good use of the knowledge you have otherwise this won’t bring you any success nor happiness. The minute you learn a new idea or a new concept, that transforms you and the way you see the world, and this new approach is yours forever. And the more you learn, the more insights you can build on top of the things you already knew.
A few months ago, the term of my mortgage was about to end and it was time to renew it. Else – it was time to renegotiate it. Here is a nice situation where knowledge is power. The first thing that I did was research. As I don’t work in this market, I had to educate myself on what is out there, I’d need to know all the valid options for me, before actually going to negotiate. One can say … well, it’s just me against a giant mortgage lender … which is true. A just me will do a better job when well informed and ready for action. And in this case, this involves a combination of factors – knowledge about how mortgages work, understanding the current market and rates and, at the right moment, good negotiating skills. You may also want to use the services of a mortgage broker. Most importantly, make sure you know what kinds of conditions will come with your mortgage as the rate, prepayment restrictions, the penalties that may occur if you want (or need) to break the mortgage early, renewal time, etc… Remember: you don’t want to approach this kind of negotiation like a lamb.
Another fine example is when one is starting a new business or about to acquire one. It is shocking to see the number of entrepreneurs who are about to take this important step, investing a lot of money and have not applied any of the knowledge available to them. These eager entrepreneurs do not have any marketing nor sales plans, have never thought to put together a budget nor a strategic plan and are clueless about how to run a business. Many believe that they can get grants from the government – maybe they can — or that everybody else will be as fascinated by their products or services as they are. They believe the product or service will sell itself. What is so ironic is that most of this knowledge is readily and easily available and free on the internet. It is a matter to know where to go to find it. Once again, using the services of a business broker is a wise idea as it can save you time and capital as well as avoid some headaches and troubles.
For many people, buying a used car is scary. No one wants to be stuck with a problem, having to pay for costly repairs the day after they drive the car off the auto shop. This is my case since I don’t know much about mechanics, engines and hoses and belts. When I was younger, I remember asking one of my brothers to come check the car I was about to buy for me. He was coming in the role of a ‘car inspector’, identifying problems or potential problems that were invisible to my blind naïve eyes. He saved me some money and when you are a student, you don’t have much to spare. If you don’t have a brother or a car-savvy friend, you can always bring a mechanical inspector – somebody that has the knowledge and uses it — who will charge a fee for the services; but this can prove money well spent. By the way, if the seller objects to a mechanical inspection, chances are that there is something very wrong with the vehicle and your dream car was more likely to be a nightmare one.
When you are going to make a decision about something, I strongly suggest that you know better about that matter, to get informed on that situation. The quality of the decision you are going to make is in a way related to the quantity and quality of information you have about that topic. And here comes in place another very relevant aspect, which is the quality of the information. With the advent of the internet, one can find information, gather knowledge about literally any subject. This is fantastic and extremely dangerous at the same time. When you are surfing the net searching for relevant information on something, make sure the source of that piece of info is trustworthy, reliable and updated. You don’t want just to be informed about something; you want to be well informed about that. Besides, having too much details on a subject can be confusing and lead to bad decisions. What you need is a good balance of how much knowledge you have and its quality. And, of course, use the knowledge you acquired. After all, applied knowledge is power and it is one of the pillars of happiness and success.
This article is for general, indicative purpose only and should not be considered investment advice. Florida Connexion is not liable for any financial loss, damage, expense or costs arising from your investment decisions based on this article.
At Florida Connexion our multidisciplinary business brokers can assist you in identifying the right business for you and the right buyer for your business.