Before I even begin telling you who “rags to riches” stories are destroying you, here are few facts.
Jeff Bezos was born rich. So was Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Elon Musk and Warren Buffet.
None of them are rags to riches stories.
Jeff Bezos’ grandfather was one of the largest landowners in Texas. And most of them attended pricey Ivy-League universities such as Princeton, Harvard and Columbia at the undergrad level where scholarships are scarce.
When Jeff Bezos started Amazon, his parents invested several X hundred thousand dollars into the startup. And that was in 1990s money.
Father of Bill gates was already a millionaire as he was an attorney and in a time when laying on your hands on a computer was a distant dream, Bill Gates and his friend were in a posh school where only rich kids studied and they had many computers in their lab. When he dropped out, he already had the seed money from his father to start his company.
Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk often sell their immigrant stories but they already have rich parents who gave them seed money to start their own business. While Zuckerberg got a handsome check from his father to start his business when he dropped out, Musk was not so lucky and got less money. They do however spend it nicely.
Warren Buffet’s father was a wealthy stockbroker and investment advisor himself who was elected to Congress four times. He got all the help from his father to start his own career.
I have numerous examples like that –
Shahrukh Khan’s mother was a magistrate and she had a three-story house in Delhi. He had his own car when buying a car was not something which any middle class would think of. He would play Video games in his home in 80s when kids at that time in India hadn’t heard that such a thing even existed. He had ten thousand rupees in his pocket when he reached Mumbai which was a big amount on the early 90’s and stayed in a five-star hotel, Sun and Sand, which costs more than 13K a room for one day, today.
Amitabh Bachchan was from a nice well to do family. His father was a national poet who was very popular and had great family connections with the first family of India at that time, Nehru Family. He studied at one of the most expensive schools of India at Nainital, Sherwood and later did a well-paid job at Merchant Navy in Kolkata. He had travelled extensively and after his marriage, when he was not a big actor, he had planned his honeymoon at London which is quite unaffordable for any struggler even today.
Mahatma Gandhi went to South Africa to get his law degree at a time when going abroad was an expensive idea. He not only went there, but he also had a successful licenced practice there before he came to India and practised poverty.
But then a question arises — why lie about their past?
It is because people love Rags to riches story.
They like to believe in their idols and they like to believe in self-made men.
It all comes back to one thing — you have to dramatize even your life to sell it.
No one likes to hear that someone was rich and he got richer. That for people is not an achievement.
Donald Trump who is a billionaire once told a story how he had no money once and he made a comeback to being a rich again.
He knew that people would admire that story of his and those who didn’t know much, in fact, did. He had to shed his billionaire’s son background to get some admiration for his immense wealth.
Steve Jobs also had a famous story that how he became bankrupt after his ambitious company, NeXT didn’t work which he started after being thrown out of Apple, he had to struggle his way to the top.
Steve Jobs inherited millions of dollars from Apple when he was thrown out, not to mention the royalties he got from them. How do you think he produced a mega-budget animated film called Toy Story which starred Tom Hanks after an expensive failure of NeXT.
Successful men like people to believe that whatever they have done was all because of them alone and they had to struggle a lot to reach where they are.
Here is the problem with these stories.
People actually believe them to be true and want to imbibe them.
Rags to riches stories give them a believability that they can do it too.
It gives them a false indication that it can be their story.
They keep convincing themselves that if they can do it, why can’t them.
They also start believing in the myth that without a painful struggle they will never get anything worthy in life.
They start believing that anything worthwhile can only happen to them when they will go through extreme pain.
They start believing that being a poor person is a virtue and being a rich man is a vice.
They start believing that anyone who was born with silver spoon in his mouth is evil.
Have you ever realized that how much rich people talk about money being not an answer to everything in life, how they hate having so much wealth, how being successful is not the solution to life’s problem and yet they keep doing what they are doing instead of donating all their wealth and living like a poor.
It is because they say it to make people like them.
Abhorrence to money and wealth is still seen by most people as a sign of nobility and great moral standards.
Well, it is not true.
That is why poor people remain poor while rich people keep getting richer day by day.
People spend their entire lives struggling and not ever becoming a millionaire and then they blame luck for it.
Let me break another myth for you –
Luck has nothing to do anything with it.
My advice –
Don’t believe in Rags to riches story, while some may be true, most are just created by men to glorify themselves in front of people.
It is not necessary that you have to struggle or face a tremendous amount of pain to get successful and rich. You just have to work hard focussed in one single direction.
Biographies are the one-sided glorified version of a man who really wants people to admire him for the kind of man that he was after he is gone. Don’t believe every word of it.
While it is good to get motivated by listening to successful people, as usually they are nice speakers, it is not necessary to walk on the same path to get successful.