Rich man, poor man


Several years ago when Paul McKenna was working on his book, “I Can Make You Rich,” he conducted interviews with some of the wealthiest people on the planet.

One of the curious patterns he noticed was that the people with the largest bank balances did not always wear the nicest clothes.  This echoed the finds of Thomas Stanley, who in the book “The Millionaire Next Door” recounts the story of the group of ad executives who paid extremely wealthy people to participate in a market research study.

The ad executives all showed up in their Armani suits and leased BMWs, only to be greeted by a procession of men and women dressed in jeans and showing up in pickup trucks and five year old Buicks and Fords.  He observed they often wore old, scuffed up shoes!

His conclusion was that some people dress and shop to keep up appearances while others dress and shop to please themselves.

Here of some of his observations:

Be rich, look poor – If you believe that people can’t be trusted or that your friends will resent your success, you may want to hide your wealth.

Look rich, be poor – If you think you’re only attractive to the extent that you spend money, you’ll spend more than you make, no matter how much or how little that is.

Be rich to look rich – Some people direct their passion for gaining power, acclaim or love into creating more money.  This can lead to a rich bank account but a poor sense of self worth.

His Conclusions – Whether you earn minimum wage or appear on the pages of Forbes, your wealth is authentic only when its an expressions of your true desires.  When we place more importance on others’ impression of us than we do on our own sense of well-being, comfort and style, we betray our self-trust and over time, decrease self esteem.


The point isn’t what you have but why you have it.  Each time you choose something you really want over something you want to be seen wearing, doing or having, your authentic wealth will begin to grow.

So I guess I’ll continue to wear my beat up sneakers because, darn it, they are the most comfortable shoes I own!

“I have enough money to last me the rest of my life, unless I buy something.”
― Jackie Mason

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *