What I learned is that hanging around great programmers will help me to think about technical issues more clearly, even if the programmer doesn’t utter a word. Being around his consciousness does wonders. Being around great musicians as a child helped me appreciate great music and understand it. But, as a businessman, I realize that I need to be around what I call “high-speed wealth accumulators” to soak in their magical energies.
I learned that hanging around the neighborhoods where these moguls live is an amazing experience. Imagine the feeling I had of looking over some rolling hills with mansions. I felt like I was in another world, far away from home, but I was only a few miles from my home in Los Angeles! The wealth that these people have is unbelievable, but that is only the tip of the iceberg.
There are areas with 2 million dollar homes. The inhabitants of these homes probably have equities of around 2 million per person. But, what about those who are in 8 million dollar homes? I believe that they have more like 40 million in equity on average, and move billions around at the tips of their fingertips. I came up with the poetic realization that this neighborhood was like a control panel for the world’s economy. Perhaps 5% of the wealthiest people on the planet lived within yelling distance of where I was driving. This was Wall Street’s bedroom in a sense. Of course, Wall Street is 3000 miles away in New York, but a lot of the people who control it, as well as those who control the movie industry and God knows how many other industries probably live in the Hills North of Los Angeles and Beverly Hills.
Part of the allure of this area is the fact that being around this type of wealth really stimulates my business. We make more sales when I spend time in fantastically wealthy areas. But, also to tune into the consiousness of the wealthy. These are those who dress like the wealthy, and those who really are wealthy — or better yet — who are high speed wealth accumulators. We need to understand the categories of humans who are found in wealthy areas. There are the workers, the shoppers, those passing through, those who want to dress like the wealthy even though they are not wealthy, those who are wealthy who are in low gear — not doing much with their life, and last — those who are reeling it in — those who are making things happen and making money hand over fist.
I saw many casual people having dinner with their families who dressed like very ordinary people — but, they were millionaires. I saw others who were very impatient drivers. There were many I met hiking who were just very casual relaxed people. I went to one of the most expensive hotels in the state, and saw businessmen of the highest caliber. Their demeanor was much different from the impatient drivers or the casual diners. These businessmen were wearing very elegant suits suited for a very high class banker or attorney. There was a sense of calmness. It is like seeing an animal in their natural habitat — they just fit in perfectly! There was no sense of entitlement, no pompousness, no greed, and no hurry. It was just these upper class men in fancy suits just having a Scotch on the rocks!
For me, I’m trying to learn the secret behind these gentlemen in the banker suits, and I’m not finding it. That is because these seasoned opulent types were born into money, and just find it to be very natural. It is natural to spend $500 a night on a hotel — that is what their family has always done. It is normal to spend $35 on a glass of Scotch, why wouldn’t you? They are not trying to be more than what they are — they just are. The secret to understanding the old-rich is that they just are — and that they just have been, and presumably will continue to be! They are important because they are they. Everyone knows they are important, so they don’t have to advertise how important they are. Their behavior is completely different from the new rich who are always trying to be something and be someone! These very wealthy types seem to not show any outward signs of having any skills in business.
The irony is that our suited friends are probably are on the boards of America’s Fortune 500 companies, and control the entire nation! Yet, when they talk to each other, it is about their last golf game, the weather, and other inconsequential topics. Although subtlety is not a business secret — they exude tremendous subtlety. The people who have all the answers appear to have no secrets at all — I guess that is the secret!