So as some of you know, I recently built a big house. And by big I mean ridiculously, offensively big.
Naturally, the class warfare people have come out of the woodwork in certain circles to complain.
Do I need such a large house? Nope.
Because I wanted it. It was one of the personal objectives I had set out for back when I started my business.
But doesn’t such an extravagant display of wealth merely demonstrate how unfair our system is? Sure, I may have worked very hard for 20 years to achieve this level of financial success but so have plenty of other people. I work with people who have worked their tails off over the years. Why me and not them?
One word: Risk.
A guy starts a business. He needs seed capital so he gets a $100,000 loan on his house. He hires a guy and pays him $50,000 a year. At the end of the year, his business has failed and he has to sell his house and move to an apartment. The guy still got his $50k but the owner is out of a house.
9 out of 10 times, that, or something like that, is what happens.
Over the 20 years I’ve run a business, I’ve made a lot of calculated risks. Usually they pay off. Sometimes they don’t. When the OS/2 market tanked in the mid 90s I nearly lost everything. It was a scary time. It was a very close call. I could have ended up with 7 years of crazy amounts of work with nothing to show for it. I would have lost my house and had no retirement. My wife, young son, and I would have had nothing.
Most businesses fail. But such failings are so common that we don’t tend to notice them as much as we do the guy who gets the big house.