Why is the world in such awful shape – or is it simply our media which insists on bringing us consistently bad news?
Why do politicians and advertisers think we are so stupid to fall for their obvious tricks?
How are a minority few really “making it big” but being over-represented as the norm?
It seems to be explained by a 95 to 5 split replacing the 80/20 rule.
You’ve probably heard of Earl Nightingale’s Strangest Secret. In this Gold recording, he brings up an interesting social breakdown of top performers and the rest of humanity.
His statistics laid out the results of 100 people starting out at age 25 being studied 40 years later:
1 ended up rich,
4 ended up financially independent,
5 were still working,
and 54 were broke.
Of course, this was first recorded in 1956, and no source was ever named.
I chased this down and found a reference to a 1990 Social Security Administration study (SSA Publication No. 13-11871) and they concluded that 96% of Americans do not reach financial independence by age 65.
Why this strange income gap? What conditions are making it necessary for people to have some sort of government bailout to continue living in retirement?
It’s All About Conformity
Nightingale traced this back to conformity. Throughout our lives, we are trained to “follow the follower.” We are not taught to be entrepreneurs. We are not taught in the fine art of creative thinking. We are not even taught how to make and pursue our own goals.
Rather, our colleges and schools teach us that “you have to go along to get along” and other conformist ideals. We are carefully taught to get a job and let the company plan for your retirement, even if its only a 401-K.
Of course, if you track the richest 20 people in America, you can quickly see that they either didn’t finish college, never went, or attended a non-Ivy League school. Only 1 of these 20 actually started from a rich family and finished an Ivy League education. The rest were from decidedly middle-class origins at best.
Yet, they are individually worth billions.
The rest of American humanity limps along with no real reason to exert the extra effort to “get rich,” as there are so many safeguards and “safety nets” in place that it appears it’s impossible to outwardly fail at anything during your working years.. The surprise is that you are out on your own once you hit retirement. Savings or not, 401K or not. Social Security or not.
Of course in our day and age, the punch lines waiting for you are many: Social Security is mostly or all eaten up by Medicade payments. If you are laid off close to retirement, most people find it harder to get another job at that age – and so there are calculated figures of close to 100 million unemployed in this country even though our government says we are back down to the 5% range. While the number of businesses being started by the retirement-age crowd is higher than ever, these are being started by “old dogs” who are learning the new skill of entrepreneur on their own dime.
Why has this 90-95% group sat back and waited instead of learning entrepreneurship in their spare time during those earlier 40 years?
The Revenge of the Bucket Crabs
You could call this the revenge of the bucket crabs. The old parable and scientifically-proved fact, is that while a single crab in an open bucket will climb its way out, two or more crabs will keep each other in. And so our modern hyper-sensitive, politically-correct culture. Most of the success stories that we look up to brought themselves up from poverty and in prejudiced times to high states of accomplishment and wealth.
In today’s world, all you need is a community organizer to discover any number of wealthy, guilt-ridden patrons and government grants that can support any number of otherwise unemployed minority protesters to popularize your cause in the media. Several people have become well known for their ability to protest in front of major corporations in return for perennial grant funding. Yes, you know who these are.
Why aren’t these same people reforming education so that young people of any color or orientation are trained in building businesses, even as a solopreneur? Because they take the easy road out. Short cuts abound in this culture as the majority support the hyper-critical bucket-crab culture.
What Our Economy Is Built On – Crabs
The interesting bottom line is in discovering that the bulk of our consumer-based economy is built on the backs of these same bucket crabs. They buy all the electronic gismo’s, the phones, the clothes, the cars, and get the sub-prime and regular loans for their over-sized houses in neighborhoods they can’t afford.
People are trained to live pay-check to pay-check and to pay off college loans and credit card loans right up to the point they can’t anymore – which is usually when they are retired willingly or unwillingly.
These are the bucket-crab majority, who make our fast-food restaurant chains and pharmaceutical supply companies rich. These are why there are infomercials and e-mail spam. These are the people who keep watching our advertisement-interrupted television programs as much as 6-8 hours daily.
Why? Because everyone else is doing it. Because their favorite celebrity told them to. Because their politician promised them.
And what do they have to show for it when retired or lose their job? Nothing. They then become fodder for the protest organizers who pay them and feed them if they’ll just march here or there. They have to move in with their children. They wind up in a government-paid retirement home.
And they have no one to blame but themselves.
No One to Blame But Ourselves
Look around you. Look at what you read and watch and listen to. How much of this is helpful to you in starting and operating your own business? How much of this helps you earn a passive income source to help you live out any lack of a regular job? Most of the social media and magazine articles are either entertainment, hyper-critical, or simply distractive.
Don’t look to the evening news for inspirational or motivational material. By actual count of a national news program, they’ve been arriving in homes for 30 minutes 7 days each week for decades. Out of those 210 minutes, only 5 were dedicated to uplifting material – at 5 minutes before the hour on Friday. (You probably know this network.) That’s not even 5% of their programming time. And fully a third of that time slot was used for what? Advertising, mostly for pharmaceuticals.
And what about their other programming? It’s all bucket-crab material. Lots of “reality” type shows. Or you see politicians or celebrities in unusual scenes that would never happen in real life. Or slanted “investigative reporting.” All interrupted every 12 minutes or less by yet another pitch.
The Trick to Surviving and Prospering
There’s a trick to surviving. It’s called be the 5% and profit off the 95%. That’s not cold or calloused or negative. It’s a fact. You can’t get people to buy your product unless it’s very high quality, very valuable, and very available. Otherwise, you have to constantly bring out new products and spend most of your budget on advertising.
The 95% are trained to go along, get along, and do and buy what they are told. The 5% train themselves to find out what people want and then provide it with better value and distribution than anyone around them. This is how Sam Walton of Wal-Mart became the richest person on earth in his time. This is how Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, Michael Dell, and Warren Buffett make their billions.
It’s no secret.
It’s a decision they made early on.
You can, too.
It’s never too late to quit being an ordinary crab and start becoming exceptional.