That ridiculous myth is popularized in motivational speeches and in sales training classes. It is SO not true.
Rich People Part One
There is this dude, an ex-boss of mine; Let’s call him Mister Arrgh. Time wasâ€¦after we had stopped working togetherâ€¦I used to call him on the phone once in a while to keep in touch. â€œOh, Michelle, stop dissembling. Truth be told, you used to call him on the phone once in a while to see if he could help you get work.â€ (That was my evil twin admonishing me to tell the truth.) Yes, yes, that’s true: I used to call him to see if he could help me get work.
I figured that he would be inclined to help me since I was a key member of a project which earned Mister Arrgh one hundred million dollars. Yep. A hundred mill. (I got about twenty thou out of it.) After the project was launched, I lost my job and Mister Arrgh retired to be a rich dude. So, I figured I’d call and ask if some of his other rich friends could use an employee or contractor such as myself.
During one of these phone calls, Mister Arrgh kindly counseled me,
â€œWhy don’t you do like me and take a few years off instead of looking for work right away?â€
â€œUm, excuse me, Mister Hundred Millionaireâ€¦â€
Never mind, he didn’t get it. Cat food going up from $0.69 to $1.69 did not affect him the same way it affected me.
Years later, I read that Mister Arrgh was no longer a Hundred Millionaire: through his investments, he had become a Billionaire.
Transition to present day
Sonny Reebop Beebop Gotchamunny Rite Heer, one of my current clients, is starting an entertainment company. He learned that I knew Mister Arrgh.
â€œWill you call Arrgh and ask him to invest in the Sonny Reebop Beebop Gotchamunny Rite Heer Super Cool Entertainment Company?â€
â€œWell, Sonny, ever since Arrgh graduated to being a Billionaire, I am afraid to call him.â€
Sonny Reebop Beebop Gotchamunny Rite Heer says to me,
â€œRich people are just like poor people; only they have money.â€
That’s his thesis. Then Sonny grins like he said something smart.
Sonny is my client. I laugh at his little attempt at lightheartedness. Okay, I’ll email Mister Arrgh.
- No answer
- Email again
- No answer
- Leave a message on his mobile phone.
Five minutes later, I get a call from Squeaky Secretary.
â€œOh, we ~never~ use this phone number any more; I just accidentally picked up your message; please erase this phone number from your rolodex.â€
Ya, ya, sure. I now know that Arrgh has also graduated from simply being patronizing to me to no-longer-taking-my-calls. Sure, rich people are just like you and me, except they don’t return calls from their used-to-be-friends.