If you don’t want to read it, you can watch this video.
My last two jobs taught me some valuable lessons. I learned something about ownership. I was exposed for the second time to rich people. For the sake of this conversation, we’re going to define rich people as folks who do not have to work for their money. Their money works for them. That can be somebody worth $1.5 million or $2.5 million because they have the power to allow their money to work for them.
There are a lot of different levels of rich. When people use the term rich they are often talking about the mega wealthy. What I have learned about people when they get to that position is that two things happen. They remain a sane sensible person or they become Caligula.
I’ll give you a recent example of that. With Resaleogy, I met someone when I was getting my car serviced. She was a rich person. She behaved like a rich person. She and her husband have real estate and they make a great deal of money. I met this lady at her compound, and I call it that because there is a call box then you go about half a mile of the driveway. I was supposed to sell some stuff for her. She had some motorcycles and other stuff for me. There were some service people around.
When they saw she was selling some motorcycles, they all came over. One guy offered her some money immediately. I knew at that point I was not going to be able to sell those. She was nice and she never said it. She and her husband went on a two-week vacation to Europe and I never heard from her again. Recently she contacted me. She still had one thing she couldn’t sell. She asked me if I was still interested in selling that, knowing she had already sold the juicy stuff that was part of the original deal herself.
A lot of rich people become desensitized and totally self-absorbed. There are ways you can become a billionaire and not sell your soul but the avenues are few and far between. Typically, when you get to that level, if you’re not taking people out, they are trying to take you out. But you can get to $10, $20, $50, $80 million and not lose yourself. That amount of money can fund several generations of living well.
I learned this from my last job. You have people that will tell you that all you have to do is work hard to become rich. They say you need to go to school and become successful. If you see my video, The Degree Myth, I talk about how the recession exposed that lie. It worked for a long time, but it never really worked. It was part of a system that served a handful of people.
I want you to think about this. You have Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Dell, Henry Ford, Vanderbilt (the old one) who all became very wealthy and did not go to school. Think about that.
This is the power construct. Get the money. Get the power. Then get the education. How most people do it is they get the education, and they try to get the money and they try to get the power. It doesn’t work most of the time.
You get the money first by creating your own economy. Then you get the power. Then you get the education.
I got referred to this job by a friend. I went in and there were two partners. One partner was the average American at that point. He is now rich. The senior partner who had controlling interest in the company was from the rich class. His father started that company thirty years earlier. He inherited a 30-year-old corporation with a Paydex. tax forms, credit and bank accounts. If you know anything about corporations, a 30-year-old company like that is extremely powerful. You could buy a house with a corporation like that. Most young corporations can’t do that because they don’t have the history or the credit profile. There are so many things he can do with that asset that his father created for him.
The guy from the rich class almost never came to the office. He used the other partner who was the former working-class guy to do all the grunt work. But he did contribute in a big way.
This was his power. Since he was from the rich class, he could get deals other people could not get. They were his friends and neighbors. No ordinary person could get to them. The working-class guy saw this and recognized the value. His kids will grow up rich with these contacts.
Once I realized what was really going on, in 1998, I completely changed my mindset. I am a capitalist but not a mercenary capitalist. Mercenary capitalists will obliterate anything that gets in the way of profits. I’m not that kind of guy. I did a contract with myself and I know how far I will go. I can go far without losing my soul. Many people aren’t that introspective.
Let’s get back to my last job. I knew from day one what I was dealing with. It put me in a very powerful position. I was under no romanticized notion of where I was. I knew I was dealing with a rich person who was used to getting his way and commanding people around and extorting people for personal gain.
I sat back and I studied him. One day we had a manufacturer’s rep come by and we all went to lunch. It was real interesting. At the time, the rich person had a very rare BMW. One morning when I walked by his car, I saw a Wachovia receipt on the dashboard. It was the first time I had ever seen an ATM receipt with seven figures on it. He had pulled out $500 cash and there were seven figures just sitting there. In his neighborhood, that was a common occurrence. There was no reason to hide it.
So, we were all headed towards his BMW, but he didn’t want me to ride in it. We all ended up in the manufacturer rep’s car.
At one point, I tried to negotiate for a better draw because I was bringing some contacts to the table. I had a few deals cooking I could transfer over. Once again, the rich person went for maximum exploitation. I had a $1000 draw. I took it because I had some money in the bank and the hustler mindset was in full effect. I spent 20 hours a week working on their business and the other 60 hours a week I was working on mine.
I used their resources and connections. That’s how I got access to the Apparel Mart. Since I had a business card with the company name on it, I got in. This is what I’m talking about when I say not to be emotional when dealing with your problems and running away from them.
There was a time before I developed my Hustler’s Mindset when I would have walked away from a $1000 draw, thinking I could do better. I knew the guy was rich and had connections. I also knew he didn’t like me. I picked up on it instantly. He didn’t like me, but I learned so much from him. I got access. I was sitting at the table.
The internet does not level the playing field, it is a new playing field. That is why Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and the Zuckerbergs were able to come from average or slightly better than average homes and become billionaires. It’s because it is a new playing field that the old, established rich got caught sleeping on.
Because the internet is a new playing field you can win in this new economy.
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