I was just over on Linkedin where some business/wealth magazine had posted an article with the above title. Their five characteristics were the ones that you would expect… communication, blah blah blah blah….
In my life I have met my fair share of rich people. I don’t mean wealthy and I do mean rich – in excess of $10 million minimum. They did all share a set of characteristics but it wasn’t the ones I just read about. The first characteristic was to be honest greed. They coveted money and they would do almost anything to get it and absolutely anything to keep it once they had it. One man I know whose child played on a ice hockey team with my son would routinely call me up and ask if I would be renting a car for the weekend tournament in Denver or wherever it was? I always said Yes and yes again when he asked if he and his son could share it with us. After about 4 of these trips I began to realize what he really meant was would you give me a free weekend when it comes to a rental car please chump? He was worth many millions of USD this man and he was a devout christian but it never once entered his head to pay half the car rental with me….. Another very wealthy person I know has no friends. None. You see he is paranoid that anyone he meets is after his money and he feels that no one can be trusted… poor guy.
I think another trait of very wealthy people is utter selfishness. They don’t give money to charity unless their tax accountant tells them it will help and they display characteristics like those above. They out for one person and only one person and that is themselves. They would sell their grandmother and rent out their wives to make more money. Ego is usually another characteristic. They are rich, they did it from nothing. They are the special gifted and talented one. Everything they touch turns to gold and they have that Midas touch. My fourth characteristic would be tirelessness. When it comes to getting more money they work ceaselessly and tirelessly to do so and they expect others to work with the same work ethic to make them money too – employees are worked and worked hard. Finally, the other characteristic is a good tax accountant. Someone who can make sure they don’t pay any taxes on all that dosh or, if they do, its not very much.
I can’t think of a single rich person I have ever met that didn’t display these traits frankly. Even the heiress I met when a student as she was a lecturer at a college and involved in a similar field wore the same dress day in day out, drove an old beat up car, spent nothing but was constantly seeking her next dime….
I’m not anti rich people by the way. I’d love to have 5-6 million myself so I could relax and take some time for myself. I just do think that the way we try to emulate their super characteristics is ridiculous. Usually these so called characteristics are a myth and the real reason they got rich is because they used people, stole ideas and got lucky. Bill Gates didn’t think of windows, Richard Branson screwed his best friend over crying as he did so…. I do really think these people sell their soul for material wealth and power. They don’t write a contract with the Devil (usually anyway) but they do lose sight of their inner treasures and are deceived by material things. They sell themselves down the river….
Let’s stop trying to emulate these people. Putin is such a person – he is worth billions all stolen from the people that elected? him. Berlusconi, the just ousted Ukraine President, Gaddafi and on and on…. Richard Branson, Bill Gates and so on aren’t people to emulate but people to feel sorry for and to avoid like the plague quite honestly.
Just my view….