What does it take to be rich especially when you are born poor and have no close role models within your family of social circle for wild runaway success?
Worst still, when you are an orphan like Larry Ellison, or Steve jobs, or abandoned by the biological father like Jeff Bezos?
First, it takes hunger, a never ending hunger. This is the common trait in all super rich people, they are not satisfied with what they have, and this comes from something deep within. It is a puzzle that fascinated me for a long time now.
I have been analyzing the super rich and super successful for many years, especially those that came from nothing.
A common theme I see is a need for significance. Recently I met someone who had a billion dollar exit. When I asked: what are you looking for in life? “I want to be celebrated, respected, recognized” was the answer.
We often chase success and money without actually realizing that often it is an abandoned child, an ignored child, working hard to achieve significance, to be noticed that they exist, they matter.
What I see is an insecure child crying out the loudest possible for significance, wanting that imaginary parent to feel bad for being not present, for not giving enough attention or abandoning.
Is it possible that the most wanted terrorist who was the seventh of 50 children and Steve jobs – both wanted to put a ding in the world – in different ways of course – were chasing the same thing in different ways but were fueled by the same need?
Chasing significance can at times be dangerous and often it does not lead to fulfillment, because, if you peel the layers and see inside, it is a deep need to prove that you are different and in some ways superior to other human beings, that is not the best frame to get a lot of deep fulfilling human connections.
Success without fulfillment is the ultimate failure.