Why The Rich & Successful People Go Bankrupt

The last two weeks, I managed to make 6 clients with total Revenues coming up to a nice 6 figure sum.

My wife was absolutely happy.
She was overjoyed and thrilled.
I can tell you, her joy knew no bounds.

Well, you can’t blame her.
She is young Thai girl who is in her 20’s and who worked her entire life as a villager on the farm. The largest amount of money she held in her hand until the day we got married was hardly USD $15, that too when she had to and shop for vegetables for the family.

She never saw a US dollar in her until then.
She never had a bank account.
And she never heard of a profession where people could make money giving advice (like me).

So when she saw the 6 figure sum transferred to my bank account in one go — she was overjoyed!

Now the strange thing is, my wife has seen bigger amounts go into my bank account. And she wasn’t so ‘over-joyed’. But strangely, this time she was.

All of a sudden, she started making ambitious plans. She even started giving me advice on business & investments. For instance, she told me about….

  1. Starting the ground work for our new villa where we could at least clear the land
  2. Investing in multiple fixed accounts
  3. Buying gold since gold was a commodity that would never decrease in value
  4. Buying a new dress for her and for me to try some new upgrades
  5. Buying new clothes & toys for our (unborn) baby as we could go and look for sale offers in supermarket.

I kept quiet and listened to her talk about it day and night.

Her dreams were grand, her vision for the future was optimistic and she was on the 9th cloud.

And every single day she started to do something which she never did — ask me to invest the money into land, gold and whatever……In fact, she even asked me if I wanted to get her a Valentine Gift or if I felt like giving our baby (unborn) something special on Valentine’s (invest in the house).

I kept listening to whatever she had to say.
The funny thing is — my wife never celebrated valentines day.
Neither did she believe in such ‘farang’ (or thai’s slang for Foreigner) festivals.

But she kept insisting. And I gave her one simple answer.

Given how I had defined our relationship, the rules and the boundaries, my wife didn’t persist. But you could make out — she did want to ask me again and again. You know how it is — when your partner wants to put a point across, the direct and indirect ways of making point with subtle gestures.

She even resorted to counting coins and making a money box, telling me in a rather cute way that she was saving money for our house.

I kept silent until one day, this happened……

  1. I had to go to the hospital
  2. We had to go to the hospital again because my wife had some pain in her stomach (she is 4 months pregnant).
  3. The large scooter had a problem and we had to give for a major repair
  4. My iMac, Mac Book Pro & iPad repair costs finally arrived
  5. I had to pay the plumber for a leakage in the pipes
  6. As the plumber arrived, we realized we needed a carpenter for a repair in the house
  7. As we got the carpenter home, we realized we had an infestation problem of termites which were eating into my books (I have a massive library)
  8. My lawyer called up with regards to a problem (lawyer means money)
  9. Her Father requested us to help him with his Insurance payment
  10. The sick child me and my wife are sponsoring had her monthly medical check up.
  11. I had to enroll for yet another online course
  12. I had to purchase some upgrades for my online work
  13. I had to pay my website team for the new brand strategy change

All of a sudden, money started to go off from the account. And given that my wife operates our account — she literally saw money that we earned for the week become less and less — until we were in a minus figure (in comparison to what I had just earned).

And then my wife suddenly stopped telling me about her big plans.
She stopped telling me about the investments.
She even stopped asking me to buy stuff for the house.

As we were sitting down in the house in the evening after payment of yet another expense — I asked her what happened?

To which my wifey (who is a house wife) told me in her fragmented English “Money come big. Money come fast. Money go big. Money go fast. I happy before. Now I sad.”

I just laughed about it and then asked what had happened?

She told me that her friends (on Social Media) were showing off on all the jewelry their boyfriends were buying them or the expensive purchases they were making or the holidays they were going for or even the new house some of them had just purchased. And she was feeling bad that we didn’t have anything to show.

I found it rather amusing and funny to know even my wife, who is a simple village farmer — felt the need to compete with others — just to show off, just to earn a few compliments, just to feel ‘nice’, that too on a virtual platform.

It reminded me once again how much power the Social Media still has on our lives.

Imagine for a minute, if I had gotten influenced by my wife or felt the need to prove ‘my love for her’ by being romantic during the valentines or to do something overly romantic by going for a holiday or buying her a gift or doing something crazy — what would have happened then?

In a day and age where people take bank loans to buy a new car, fund a marriage (because it is apparently a “once-in-a-life-time” event) to invite 99% of the people who will never be relevant to your life, go for a vacation or do something overly romantic (overly romantic = overly priced) just to show off on Social Media, just to get people to compliment you, just to “feel good” — what will happen when the next day:

  • You don’t have that secure job?
  • You don’t have that optimistic forecast of money coming in?
  • You have some big expense or problem?

What will you do then?

You see money comes and money goes. When money comes in bunches and in large quantities, you shouldn’t get overly excited and optimistic. NEVER EVER EVER make ambitious plans based on future forecasts.

Remember the property boom where anyone and everyone was making tons of money via commissions? You could even be someone with the inability to write a word in English but you would make millions in commission. Everyone was ambitious, everyone was confident, everyone felt invincible about the future. In fact, the average person was talking about buying cars, toys, going for vacations & doing things which were way over their pay-grade. And then 2008 happened.

The reason why the Rich & Successful go bankrupt is because they do not want to accept the truth that the reason for their success & riches is only because they were the right person, at the right time, at the right place, selling the right product or service. Today if they were to do the same thing from zero — they wouldn’t even earn 10% of what they once did.

This is the reality for any visionary or success story — Be it Jack Ma, Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates. If you do not have all these factors aligned — you will be just like anyone else — working hard, very hard but with average results.

So as I sit typing out this article, I am just like you, looking forward to another week, where money comes pouring in to pay for my bills and keep me and my family afloat for yet another day.

However this time, I am pretty sure my wife will not have any new ambitious plans. And neither will she be too bothered about what she has to post on Facebook for likes & feel-good comments. Because she has had her first and most powerful lesson where money is concerned “Money come big. Money come fast. Money go big. Money go fast. I happy before. Now I sad.”

Loy Machedo

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