Q: Richard Branson has said that for people to climb to the top, they have to set seemingly unachievable goals for themselves and rise above them. Is he right?
A: They all seem to do that. They set these huge goals; they want the yachts, they want the vacation homes. One guy told me he was going to take a $400 million company he and his partners were acquiring and sell it for $4 billion. He said they figured on paper they could sell it for $1 billion, but they wanted to sell it for $4 billion because they wanted to stretch themselves.
Guys like Branson set these outrageous goals and they achieve it, so they do it again. Before they make their first $1 million, they may not believe they can make it. But once they overcome that hurdle, it seems to get easier. They get that one big success, which everyone told them they couldn't do, and then they replicate it. They take these nonlinear leaps of success, where they go from $1 million to $10 million to $30 million, and the catalyst is their belief that it's possible. I don't think it's their competence, because a lot of people are competent, but they're confident in themselves.
At some point, they stopped listening to anyone but themselves. They learned to trust themselves so much because of their success.
Q: Why is it your belief that more self-made millionaires will emerge in the next five years than in any other time in history?
A: There all these new problems with the economic crash, all this uncertainty. Corporate America right now is sitting on $2.5 trillion in cash. The whole economy is only $15 trillion. All of this wealth is out there, but a lot of giant corporations are lost. They're dealing with all these new problems: the economic climate, they don't know where to put their money, there's too much government regulation, and they need people to help them figure it out. So there's room for new people to emerge to help solve those problems.
Q: What's the most important lesson the middle class should take away from the rich?
A: I would say that having money and making money and being wealthy is a positive thing -- there's nothing negative about it. They need to ignore all of these messages and this brainwashing that goes on, like people telling them the love of money is the root of all evil. I think the challenge for the average person is to have a positive outlook on being wealthy.
More from U.S. News & World Report:
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
"What's the most important lesson the middle class should take away from the rich?"
"I would say that having money and making money and being wealthy is a positive thing -- there's nothing negative about it. They need to ignore all of these messages and this brainwashing that goes on, like people telling them the love of money is the root of all evil. I think the challenge for the average person is to have a positive outlook on being wealthy."
Don't distance yourself from money. I would have never guessed this without that new secret that I now have. /sarcasm
My husband worked his way through college, graduate school and law school doing hot tar roofing and carrying drywall up the stairs in the hot Florida sun. He was born very poor. We did without until he could buy things with cash and never bought things on credit, except a home. Drove beater cars until they would fall apart. We still have a Toyota and a Subaru. Not exactly impressing folks are we? And we worked very hard, scrimping and saving and doing without to make investments.
It is no coincidence that when rich people lose their businesses, they usually rebound with an even more successful business. People that win the lottery usually burn through the money in just a few years.
I must say that the polls saying that people want to raise our taxes makes me feel like I want to leave the county. I saw a giving tree at the gym and was going to pick a family, then I thought about that poll and chose not to. Other countries would welcome us and the jobs that we would bring with us. When we leave, the middle class will be the rich with all of the taxes and the US will be a third world country.
Gee, the author doesn't understand why the general public doesn't like the rich?
How about because most religions say negative things about the rich (even ones that don't practice what they preach)?
How about our media barrage of TV shows, movies and news reports that slam the rich?
How about because the rich are usually business owners and bosses, whom workers blame for deficient working conditions and salaries (as well as the job market)?
How about because the rich flaunt their wealth by flashing their bling / fancy homes / fancy cars et. al. (even if they "don't intend to")?
How about because few rich are philanthropic, or do a poor job cleaning their reputations by exposing their generosity?
Yeah, we’re all guilty of assumptions. But when you see a few people who have the means to make life better for others – but they don’t – it’s hard to not dislike them.
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