The Opportunity for Wealth: Why are There so Many Poor?

By | April 29, 2007

One thing that I pride myself on is being able to connect with people of all backgrounds and levels of wealth. And in talking with people of different wealth levels, I notice something very different about the wealthy and the non-wealthy:

  1. The wealthy have knowledge that assists them create wealth. The non-wealthy either have little knowledge or specialized knowledge that helps them work for someone else making someone else rich. The poor don’t even know much of the knowledge even exists.
  2. The wealthy understand how money and wealth works. The non-wealthy have little understanding of how wealth is created and how money works, or they misunderstand how it works.
  3. The wealthy look for opportunities. The non-wealthy avoid problems1. And opportunities are often disguised as problems.
  4. The wealthy know they can generate large sums of money. The middle class knows they can generate money, but not necessarily large amounts of money. The poor often don’t see that making large amounts of money legally is possible for them2.
  5. The wealthy are more confident in themselves. The poor typically are not, at least as far as their finances go. Some poor are very smart, but being brought up in such a negative environment, they often don’t believe in themselves.
  6. The wealthy look at cash flow & profitability. The non-wealthy look at affordability.
  7. The wealthy know the difference between an asset and a liability. The non-wealthy often think that certain liabilities are assets (i.e. they think their home is an asset, but it doesn’t really become an asset until it’s paid for in full; until then it’s a liability that is reducing their cash flow).
  8. The non-wealthy often have a mistaken notion that you have to screw people to be wealthy. Only some wealthy screw people, and the ones who do screw people may have money, but not wealth in all areas of their life (i.e. friends, love, etc.). Some wealthy are super generous and give out of their heart, and those people are wealthy in all areas of life, not just in money.
  9. The wealthy have chosen to be successful & wealthy. The non-wealthy usually have not. In fact, the non-wealthy usually don’t even realize that it is a choice.

I think the last point is probably the most important one. After seeing that becoming wealthy3 is actually possible, the next step is choice. A person must chose to become successful and wealthy. Once they do, and they commit to that choice and stick with it, they will become wealthy, even if it takes a little time.

Someone successful I know rightly pointed out that there is no excuse for someone not to be successful. There are opportunities and resources everywhere.

But she forgot to take into account4 the fact that some people are in such negative environments and are isolated to a point where they don’t believe in themselves and don’t even know the basics of creating wealth or that it is even possible for them. And there often is a lack of hope as well.

I say this not as an excuse for them, but rather as an issue that needs to be addressed. Why do these people not know what is available? Why do they have so little confidence in themselves?

I am often shocked that some people don’t even have the basic knowledge of being successful and creating a life they want.

I have talked to many people from the ghetto and I often see one of two things: either lack of motivation & work ethic or lack of education & self-esteem. The people with lack of motivation and work ethic probably can’t be helped much. They have chosen (whether they realize it or not) their life, and they get to live it. The second group I see are often taken advantage of by the first group. The ones who want to leech, will try to keep down the ones who want to get out, because they know if the ones who want to get out wake up and see what is really going on, the leeches will be dropped like a hot potato.

The negative ones do everything they can to prevent someone in their group from becoming positive & successful.

I think if we figure out how to address this issue in such a way that more people realize they have a choice, a lot of society’s problems with be handled. There isn’t much you can do for people who chose not to be successful. Like they say, you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make them drink. But what is very obvious to me is that not everyone even knows there is water they can drink.

Perhaps that is something that needs to be addressed.


Scott M. Stolz

Entrepreneur, Educator, Author.
Helping people embrace life's opportunities.™