How to get really rich

Yeah, hard work. Sure everyone says if you work hard enough you can get rich. I’m not so sure. I think working hard is helpful but that by itself it is far from enough. I think there are three other things that are helpful – Wealth, luck and brains.

By wealth I mean more than the average amount of financial resources.  At one time a million dollars would have been enough. Today maybe a bit more. One is not “really rich” with a million or two in assets but it is a good place to start.

Luck is pretty self explanatory. Everyone has some amount of luck but some people just seem to have more than their share. Brains the same. Some people are below average, some average, and some smarter than average.

If you have one of those things you have a reasonable chance of getting really rich with a lot of hard work. If you have two of them you have a very good chance. If you have all three your future is as secure as you are willing to work at it.

Bill Gates is an example of someone with all three. Donald Trump has at least two. Wealth for sure – his father was fairly well off. I’m not sure if the rest is luck or brains. If he had both his wealth would have had less up and down. How do you take casinos into Chapter 11 if you have both brains and luck?

Sam Walton? Brains for sure. A little luck? Perhaps. And he did work pretty hard at everything.

I know that some would argue that with brains and hard work you can make your own luck and overcome not starting with money. I don’t dispute that but I think it makes things harder. Luck alone might not seem like enough but if you add hard work and your luck brings you the right partners anything is possible. A little wealth goes a long way if you work hard at it and make it work hard for you.

I think you need at least one of those three items though. How many of them determines how hard you have to work to overcome not having the others.

But poor, unlucky, dumb people are not going to get rich no matter how hard they work. Anyone have any examples to prove me wrong?

One Response to “How to get really rich”

  1. Matt says:

    I was thinking about the “luck” aspect recently, actually. I think you can be really smart and work really hard building something really great, but at the end of the day, luck is still a big factor in whether it catches on or not.

    Mark Zuckerburg could have built Facebook and had no one really care initially, leaving it as a Harvard-only site with a few thousand users. The iPod could have failed to catch on, leaving Apple a tiny little company. Bill Gates definitely has brains and definitely worked hard, but his OS totally could have failed to gain traction early on, leaving Microsoft a tiny little company making an obscure OS.

    There are lots of startups and dot-bombs in the past that did really awesome stuff. It could certainly be argued that smarts were lacking in some cases, but I think there were a lot of companies that had the smarts and hard work needed, but not the luck to make it big.

    I’m trying to think of examples of dumb people not working hard and accidentally hitting it big. I’m sure there are some, but the examples aren’t coming to mind as readily.

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