Saturday, October 11, 2014

If you're so smart, why ain't you rich?

Urban folk humor.
We know from "Who wants to be a millionaire?" that the best source of information when the contestant is stumped is "Ask the Audience". On this principle, someone has set up a web site called Quora where people ask questions, other people answer them, and the people who go to the site vote the answers up or down. Democracy at work.

Why are many people who are very smart not also rich? is a question recently asked and answered.

I attended good schools in both the United States and England and have seen many of my classmates succeed financially and many fail. The question is one I have thought about a lot. What distinguishes the economic successes from the economic failures?

The best answer up-voted so far is by Mark Simchock, who describes himself as "Chief Alchemist". Here are his first two and last two answers:
1. IQ isn't everything.2. Money isn't everything. ...
9. They [the less rich] know too much (i.e., fear of failure).10. They are successful (on their own terms), you're just not smart enough to recognize it (based on your criteria).
These seem to me to be good answers, from what I have seen.

I would add: The biggest successes have the right mix of enthusiasm and practicality - the enthusiasm to appreciate life and be curious about why things work and don't work, and the practicality to get their ideas into a form where they can earn some money from it.