I have had the privilege of meeting a few successful millionaires in my life time. However, the meeting I had with them wasn’t the typical ‘Hi, how are you?’, the customary shake hand and the picture being uploaded on Social Media to show the world how lucky I was to meet up with them.
When I did meet these millionaires, I would keep it private and real. I would treat them like I would treat any other professional and engage with them as I would engage with just about anyone else. I am not sure if it was my tattooed personality or that I was a online media personality but I am pretty sure it was the fact that I treated them ‘normal’ and as ‘equals’ that we got along.
And from that point onwards, I would always make sure every meeting was fruitful, value based & purposeful. I would never meet up with them just to focus on what I wanted, to pitch in an idea or to ask for a favor. I would meet up with them when I had something of value for them and when I could help their business or their brand grow — through some contact or common connection. And the reason I did this was finally to achieve my agenda — to spend a few moments, minutes or hours to learn & understand the secret to ‘how did they reach where they reached in life.’
Personally, I knew for a fact that to the outside world, they would give humble statements like ‘Hard-work’ and ‘Dedication’ and ‘Never-Give-Up attitude’. I wasn’t interested in all that BS. I was interested in the real deal. The things they would never tell anyone. And though I knew that it would take time and most probably they would never open up about it — I knew, if I persisted and worked on being likable, eventually they would open up to me.
It took time but eventually I succeeded. And here are the top 7 Ugly Secrets Successful people never tell you.
- BEING RICH & SUCCESSFUL IS NOT ALL THAT SQUEAKY CLEAN
To succeed, you must be willing to do anything and everything it takes to be at the top. And this involves telling lies, falsifying statements, manipulating others, using other people, ensuring your competition doesn’t exist, bribing other people, breaking the law and even engaging in illegal activities. The most common among all of them was the fact that each and everyone of them used the loopholes in the system to achieve success. The second most common was to do whatever it took to achieve success.
- ITS A DARK & UGLY WORLD ADVERTISED AS A HOLIDAY
The second ugly confession most of them shared was that success wasn’t as glamorous and worthwhile as most people made it out to be. Most of the time it has tremendous drawbacks, problems, issues and challenges. Now the strange part about this confession was that they never shared this with me when they were doing well or when they were perfectly health (financially or physically). They shared this confession when they were having their down moments. The lifestyle was hard. There were far too many sacrifices to be made. And some even secretly stated that they wished they had never gotten into this race the 1st place. Because once you enter into this world — it becomes part of your life forever.
- A GLORIFIED ADDICTION WITH A PRICE TAG
Most of the successful rich men & women who spoke to me confessed about the success, the money, the lifestyle and the competitive peer pressure being more or less like an addiction. A very serious addiction at that. And it was one that lead them down a path of no return. Its like if they achieved their 1st million, then they had to achieve the 2nd Million. If they were Number 1 for this year, they wanted to be Number 1 the next year. If they won an award this time, they wanted to win an award the second time around. And on top of this was always competing with the peers and the neighbors to do better and achieve even more. It was an endless competitive cycle that made them so blind — in many cases, it resulted in a person’s death or them destroying their life completely
- YOU ARE ALONE. I MEAN — LITERALLY
You know the saying “Its always lonely at the top”. Well this is very much a reality. Most rich and successful people are very aware of the fact that you do not have real friend. Everyone is in it because they want a part of the action and slice of the pie. And they are even more aware of the fact that everyone wants a favor, a loan or help. In fact, what makes this position of power & success really unattractive is the lengths to which people will go either to fake their loyalty to you or go out of the way to destroy you. Its like having 2 camps — one who wants to use you. And the other that wants to destroy you. The enemies are too many, the hidden snakes are even more. And the most dangerous bit is not knowing when the one you trusted the most will take the opportunity to destroy you. When you reach a certain level in your career — it is you being on the edge 24/7 and never letting your guard down.
- BIG RISKS = BIG REWARDS = ONE BIG MISTAKES & ITS ALL OVER
If the rewards are big, the punishment is equally the same. Lets assume you had a great year. You expanded your business. You roped in new employees. You took on new projects. You invested in a bigger marketing budget. You took on new risks. You decided to go in guns blazing. Its all amazing right. But then, if anything fails — the risk, the payment, the customer or even if there was a legal issue — the money lost in an instant can negate the gains you have made for years and years.
- NO ONE TALKS ABOUT THE DIRTY STUFF
People generally talk about the success, the good times and the happy moments. But almost no one talks about the deep, dark and dangerous bits about being Rich & Famous. Everything from the pressure, the stress, the alcohol, the drugs, the broken relationships & the fact that they can never lead a balance life does takes it toll on people.
- THERE IS NO ALTERNATIVE
Here is something that people never consider — there is no plan B. There are few who either have an exceptionally successful business that keeps growing and growing and growing. And then there are those who not only succeed in one business venture — they tend to have a hot hand where it comes to say 3 other ventures. However, these kinds of individuals — the Jeff Bezos or the Ambani’s of our world are one in 7 billion. For the majority — the 99.99% — their entire lives are dependent on this one business venture or success. And if this fails — its finished. They do not have any other option. Do you know how critical & on the edge it puts you when you realize this fact? And most of them find it hard to replicate this success in another other venture.
When you start taking all these factors into consideration — the glamor, the glitz and the grandeur that comes with being Rich and Successful may not be as attractive as you would assume it to be. However, this doesn’t stop the billions on our planet to buy every book, listen to every podcast and subscribe to every course there is both online and offline where success, money and greatness is concerned.
SO WHAT’S NEXT?
A few days ago I saw the video being shared on Social Media — the one about Jack Ma in 1999, during the early stages when he pitched the idea to 17 investors.
This video was not only shared on youtube but facebook and in all the groups I was a part in. And almost everyone was like “wow, what a visionary” or overly positive statements like “this is what I told my colleagues the other day.”
However, I kept silent.
Because this was the exact same video my friend had showed me 2 years when he was launching his e-commerce business with a $150,000,000 seed capital investment which he planned to balloon up to $500,000,000. And I was very positive about him because he was not only educated from some of the top universities in the world, he truly had a global Resume & an impressive track record in the corporate world.
So what happened to his e-commerce business?
He lost everything and went bankrupt. And it wasn’t just him. Many friends whom I was in touch with since the last 5 years — either lost their investment or lost their business of 30 years due to the drastic changes in the market place.
However, no one was talking about them. And they didn’t talk about it to anyone either. They kept quiet about it and let it be brushed under the carpet. After all — who wants to advertise their failures and be open to mockery? People only promote and talk about their achievements & their greatness.
So do you still want to be successful?
Do you still want to be rich?
Does the millions and billions still fascinate you to work harder, to push yourself further and do what no one else has done before? Or would you rather rethink your life and its values?
I leave it for you to decide.