No such thing as a self-made millionaire
Tupac Shakur quoted in his rather aggressive 'diss' single “Hit Em Up” in 1996 that “I’m a self-made millionaire”.
Whilst the East vs West rap culture in the 90s was all about women, guns and power (or maybe it was just people writing poems saying horrible things about other people who were also writing poems saying other horrible things back - jury’s still out there), some of those guys also made a whole load of cash from their exploits. That said, there is one thing that has stuck around today in both music and business, and that is the notion of being a “self-made millionaire”.
I’m gonna generalise today and suggest that this attitude applies mostly to the successful businessmen amongst us. This is simply because I am yet to meet a female millionaire who thinks she is ‘self-made’ in quite the same way. Sorry gents but we’ve got more work to do!
How can anyone, anywhere, at anytime, have the audacity to think that they have made it themselves and that their fortunes are down to their own sheer genius and hard work alone? I’ve never heard such nonsense in all my life.
Financial success, in my experience, starts ONLY with other people who have helped you along the way. It starts with your parents, or whoever may have nurtured you from a young age. Whoever is responsible for the lessons and experiences you had growing up, good or bad, is also largely responsible for getting you to where ever you might be today.
Likewise, any teachers you had through school, college or University. Any colleagues you have worked with that have helped you, provided you with some wisdom that's served you well, or just had your back when you’re not feeling it. Also the ones that offered no help whatsoever and might have been a negative force, you still learn from those guys. Sometimes more so.
Then you have your friends, if you’ve known them all your life or if they’re people you’ve just met more recently, through chance or a mutual introduction. Each one of these interactions and friendships will have played its part in your life and contributed to the person you are now.
Then you have your staff, that first employee on whom you took a punt and who then, in turn, took a gamble by leaving their secure job to come and be everything from your COO to the toilet cleaner. The team you have working for you now, every person who has helped you to be the best version of yourself. Your personal assistant who has gone above and beyond the call of duty to keep your schedule how you want it, thus giving you so much more time to concentrate on what you need to. The staff that have come and gone, the staff that you never liked, the ones that didn’t like you… they have all played their part in the journey and helped in moulding you into who you are.
The self help gurus, the authors, the podcast hosts, the previous winners, the previous losers, the executive coaches, the business coaches, the life coach, your personal trainer, your therapist, your financial planner (wink)... the list goes on.
Finally, you have your family. Your ex-wife who left you because you spent too much time on the start up, the new wife who has supported you on the journey of high flying CEO, your kids who you don’t see enough of but who ultimately make this all worth it and so you fight for them every day. Your siblings who goad you and don’t take any of your achievements seriously, because you’re just their little brother and so on.
And then there is you. I’m not suggesting that it’s not all about you because some people can start with the soundest foundations, be given all the very best help and support throughout their entire lives and yet still achieve naff all. So don’t get me wrong, you have to be the architect, builder and maintenance man of your own life and success, and you deserve enormous credit for that but still there really ain’t no such thing as a self-made millionaire.
Not that I’d have said that to Tupac’s face, mind.
Alfie Mullan, June 2019
Want to hold a conversation that will quite literally change your life? Well drop me an email and we can get this new life on the road.