I think we can all agree 2020 has been a difficult year. For me, for sure. Earlier in the year, I fell on ice and broke my arm; which, as a writer, created its own set of problems. Monday, I fell at home and broke my leg. There is an ugly trend here. That is why this week’s blog is late. Below is what I had ready to go, but was unable to send on Tuesday. There will be a week or two of disruptions in the blogs due to my physical limitations; but no longer than that, and I will be back. Thanks, everyone for being a reader.
One of the reasons for this post is that I can use my favorite image of Einstein. Not sure why, but it always makes me smile. Some scientists (I think they were scientists) have done some research into the connection of IQ and being rich. If you have much experience, in the business world, you already know there is no connection between being smart and making money.
For many years my main occupation was assisting business owners sell their businesses. These were mostly medium sized businesses sold to large national buyers. In almost all cases, the owners of these businesses became very wealthy after selling their companies. At least 99% of those owners were by no means geniuses; and most were not even very bright.
“How much is a child’s future success determined by innate intelligence? Economist James Heckman says it’s not what people think. He likes to ask educated non-scientists—especially politicians and policy makers—how much of the difference between people’s incomes can be tied to IQ. Most guess around 25 percent, even 50 percent, he says. But the data suggest a much smaller influence: about 1 or 2 percent.” Bloomberg article
Yep, just as we suspected (all of us smart people), being smart does not make you rich. So how do those dummies make all that money? My experience suggests the three most obvious factors. Inheritance. Yes, a rich dad/mom or granddad/grandma is a big benefit. Luck. Of course, having a rich parent is luck, but also falling into the right business at the right time is often just luck. The other is perseverance.
Persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. “his perseverance with the technique illustrates his single-mindedness” Synonyms: persistence, tenacity, determination, resolve, resolution, resoluteness, staying power, purposefulness, firmness of purpose.
Now that makes sense. Some of those rich guys I knew who sold their businesses owned propane companies and most of them had worked many, many years to build their business. Almost all had stories about periods where they wondered if they would be able to make it. (Most of those stories were exaggerated; but it was a rough and hard business).
Perseverance rather than smarts leads to riches. I’m sure we all have someone in our past who gave us the sage advice; to get ahead you have to work hard. We knew that working hard was digging ditches and nobody ever got “ahead” digging ditches. Well, maybe they do? Of course, it’s not really “hard” work it is sticking to whatever you’re doing. Doing you best. Persevering.
I relate this to writing books. When I’m writing and producing a book on a regular schedule, I experience success. But writing, and writing, and writing is hard. At a minimum it takes me months to write a book and has taken years. Perseverance gets tired and wants to take a nap. In my previous careers, I was known for my tenacity. I never gave up on a deal. To make something happen I just had to work harder. I still have that desire, but creative work is something a little different. I could work hard to two weeks and maybe finish that book; but it might be terrible. Maybe this is a clue to why creative people are often not rich. You can’t work twice as hard to produce something creative; it has to be at the right moment based on the right thought or some nutty vision. It really isn’t digging ditches.
Box Set Update
As I promised last week the free days for the Series Starter Box Set is this weekend October 17th and 18th on Amazon. Know anyone you think might enjoy being introduced to these books? This would be a great way to provide them a nudge. Free is always good. These are three award winning and highly rated mystery books all in one package. Since you’re a reader of the blog you know that the books contain some language some people find objectionable; so if your elderly aunt is offended by certain words this might not be an appreciated recommendation; but that foul mouthed uncle might really appreciate it.