I had an email from a subscriber last week which said in part “Stu, I really want to make a million quid. I’m bright and energetic. How hard can it be?”
This got me thinking… and maybe you won’t like what I’m about to say…
You see, truth to tell, it’s bloody hard to make a million. You’ve probably always suspected this, but I wonder if you’ve ever asked yourself why?
Having made several millions myself I feel qualified to tell you the reasons.
Firstly, a million is an ‘out of the ordinary’ amount of money. It lies at the outer edge the normal distribution of dosh owned by people. And so BY DEFINITION, it is going to be ‘hard’.
It’s like being a top sportsman or woman, a prima ballerina, a top concert pianist, a first class mathematician and so on. Because these thing are ‘outliers’, you know, sight unseen, that they are going to be tough. No ordinary roofus doofus can pick up a tennis racquet and say “Wimbledon Champion? How hard can that be? I’ll give it crack.”
Secondly, the entire society you inhabit is almost designed to PREVENT you from achieving this goal, rather than aiding you. This falls into three parts:
1. The government part I. In case you hadn’t noticed, you live under draconian rule of force where those with power and influence seek to dominate and control those lower down the ladder.
Nothing new here, of course. Twas ever thus.
We live under a ruthless, authoritarian and violent regime which requires hundreds of billions of pounds of our money and uses threats backed up with violence to steal it from us. I’m talking ‘taxation’ of course—the vicious system of state confiscation of well over half of everything you will ever produce in your life. Resist and you will be jailed and your property looted anyway.
Great system! The sheep LOVE it by the way and want more of it, not less. Their only complaint is that people (by ‘people’ they mean people other than themselves) are not being taxed hard enough. And horror of horrors, some seem to be escaping the shake-down.
Now I don’t want to bang-on too much about this as I have stood on my soap box for many years about his subject and been met with totally blank stares.
People bleat about taxation being a ‘social contract’. But what sort of contract would you sign in which you had no powers, where the other person can change the terms at will (but you cannot) and where you cannot get out of the contract under any circumstances? And, of course, you have no choice but to sign. There isn’t a ‘no thanks’ box on your tax form.
Back to the subject of this missive, the effect is that you now have to make TWO million because the government will confiscate one.
2. The government part II. To become a wealthy man or woman you’ll need to start a business.
If you didn’t know better and you blundered into our system from the outside, you could be forgiven for thinking that the primary objective of government was to prevent entrepreneurs from starting and succeeding at business. You would gape open-mouthed at the tens of thousands of laws (literally) set up to make life difficult/impossible for a fledgling company. You would reel in disbelief at employment laws, health and safety, the long list of ‘forbidden’ businesses, the draconian local taxation and regulations and the army of officials who have the right to enter your premises, arrest you, interview you under caution etc. etc. (Aside: How the F*** did we get to the state where your local council can enter your premises and interview you under caution, or set up their own network of spy cameras to monitor us?)
If you KNEW, you would never start a business. Most people starting businesses are mercifully ignorant of the array of government weapons set up to prevent them from succeeding.
3. The envious and mostly socialist media. Rarely will you see a wealthy person hailed as a hero or heroine. Mostly they will be smeared as ‘fat cats’, ‘tax cheats’ and so on. The overall media portrayal of wealthy people is little short of scandalous (my all time favourite example being the film ‘Titanic’.) Meanwhile they promote and encourage the mindless or accidental accumulation of wealth through the lottery, endless game shows, instant fame shows like X-Factor and so on. Result? In a survey of secondary school children precisely ZERO people wanted to be a creative industrialist or similar (in other words, make their money by the sweat of their brow, daring and ingenuity). What was the highest aspiration of many of the youngsters? Tinsel fame – to win X-Factor or Britain’s Got Talent. Again, I won’t bang-on as you get the picture.
Finally, one of the biggest hurdles to you making a million is competition. Putting this very simply, if there was a relatively easy way to make a mill, people would be all over it like a rash. So there aren’t any easy ways. But it’s worse than that. Because a mill is a lot of dosh, if there are any HARD ways of making it, people are all over it like a rash as well.
Bottom line? It’s bloody hard to do. Not impossible by the way. I’m living proof of that.
I know a lot of millionaires (when I say ‘a lot’ I mean about 10) and not one of them made an easy or quick million. Most of them (myself included) worked flat-out for 30-40 years to become a success. And yes, of course, there is the odd exception who made huge amount relatively easily, but they are rare.
Okay, what’s the take home? Well, I don’t want you to underestimate the challenge if you decide to go for it. That’s the first thing.
The second is this. Particularly if you haven’t made any serious money yet, I want you to scale back your aspirations to (say) £30k-£50k. See how you get on making that, because this amount is definitely achievable. Often the ‘make a million’ thing can be an excuse for not getting started. The task is too big so you give up. If you manage to make £50k – do it again. That’s £100k. Now we’re starting to get somewhere.
Never forget you are trying to do something unusual, rare, even extraordinary. Not one person in 10,000 manages the trick you are trying to pull off.
So treat it with respect and above all MAKE A START!!