5 BS Myths About Building Wealth Everyone Thinks Are True

Public attitudes towards the wealthy these days are…unflattering. So it should come as no surprise that all manner of myths have arisen around the act of building wealth and the characteristics of those who become wealthy. Don’t be fooled, though. Were most of these myths true, rich people would be rarer than unicorns (which totally exist, according to North Korea)

5 BS Myths About Building Wealth

wealth building myths

Photo Credit: Melody Sinclair

Myth #1: It takes money to make money

Bollocks. It takes capital to make money. Capital comes in many forms. It can be financial capital in the traditional sense, yes, but it can also be human capital. Ever heard the term “sweat equity?” It’s just another word for converting human capital to financial capital. This is why bootstrapping a business can be so lucrative.

Myth #2:  You’ll never get rich working for someone else

This one is particularly stupid. Corporate CEOs earning 7 figure salaries most certainly do get rich working for someone else. The secret to getting rich working for someone else is really no secret at all: you’ve got to earn an above-average (or better yet, an obscene) amount of money and invest the surplus wisely. This is my own wealth-building strategy and it works pretty well provided you’re a disciplined saver.

Myth #3: Only greedy people get wealthy

Some rich people also happen to be greedy, but most greedy people never build significant wealthy and most wealthy people aren’t particularly greedy. There doesn’t seem to be much of a correlation between the two, in fact. Whenever a rich person does something that ends up making them even richer, poor people assume it’s because they are greedy when in fact there are literally a bazillion other reasons why a rich person might continue pursuing profit-making ventures. Believe it or not, most of them actually enjoy conducting business in the same way you enjoy vacationing on the beach. It doesn’t make them greedy. Live and let live.

Myth #4: Wealthy people only got that way by exploiting the poor

How do you know? Is there a law of the universe that causes this to be so? This one seems like nothing more than sour grapes. I know plenty of rich people who have never exploited anybody, not even in the kinda-sorta-indirect-way-by-accidentally-taking-advantage-of-their-privilege kinda way.

Myth #5: I wasn’t born rich/smart/white enough to build wealth

While rich straight white male privilege is definitely real (anyone who denies it must be blind) and possessing any of the aforementioned traits (taken together or in isolation) makes building wealth ever-so-slightly easier, you don’t have to be born rich, white, straight, or male to build wealth. Poor female minorities get rich all the time. Though you will probably have a more difficult path than your straight white male counterpart born with a silver spoon in his hand, there’s nothing actually preventing you from attaining wealth — you’ll just have a few more obstacles in your way. Since there are already a ton of obstacles to building sustainable wealth no matter where you start (Donald Trump aside), adding a few more probably isn’t going to make or break you. Take it as a personal challenge, put on your big person pants, and get to work. There are exceptions to every rule but for the most part, your starting point in life doesn’t control your outcomes, they only influence how you approach the problem.

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