It’s Impossible to “Get Rich Quick”

get rich quick scam

You’ve seen them advertised, you had friends participate in them and maybe even you’ve been sucked in yourself: Get Rich Quick Schemes. If you buy this book about how to invest in real estate, you’ll be rich! If you join this multi-level marketing program you can quit your day job and have more than enough money! Sound too good to be true? It’s because it is. No matter what new thing you hear about or new venture you try, it is impossible to “get rich quick.”

Some may argue with me that people can fall into a very large sum of money in a short amount of time and I’ll address that further down, but even in these cases, people don’t get rich quick. Here are a few of my thoughts on this subject.

“Rich” is relative: This isn’t the whole basis of my point, but it is a large part. What does “rich” really mean? The poorest person in America is probably considered rich to someone living in a 3rd world nation with no roof over their head and no clean water. For fun, I actually looked up the definition of the word “rich.” It is defined as “having wealth or great possessions; abundantly supplied with resources, means, or funds; wealthy.” Let’s just say for the sake of discussion that we are talking about being rich as having more than enough money to meet your needs and many of your desires. We can also call it financially secure or set. There is no such number we can put on this, but I think most would agree that being rich would mean not worrying about how much money you have or worrying about affording things.

If you could “get rich quick” there would be a lot more “rich” people: It takes work and discipline to build wealth and take care of your money and this is something most people aren’t willing to do. If it were easy, then a lot more people would do it. It’s the same thing with weight loss pills. If they really worked and helped you lose weight without diet and exercise, then why are so many people in America still overweight? It’s because it’s all empty promises and they don’t work. Why is it that people making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year can be the deepest in debt? I’ve seen and read about people like this who are hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, yet they make 10 times the amount I make for a salary. It just shows you that it’s not about having the money — it’s about what you do with it.

A wealth windfall: Ok, so what if you win the lottery, or inherit a bunch of money, or become a celebrity, or start a business that makes a ton of money off the bat? If that happens then you would get rich quick, right? Wrong. If you all of a sudden fall into a large sum of money you still have to take care of that money or else you will spend it all and it will be gone before you know it. In order to be the kind of person who is wise with their money and disciplined to not blow it all immediately, you have to have a certain amount of character that takes time to build. So if you come into a large sum of money and actually keep it and make it work for you, you’re still not rich quick because you’ve spent many years building the character to handle that large sum of money.

People who all of a sudden become celebrities seem to have it good. One day no one knows who they are and the next they are getting paid millions of dollars for their first CD or movie or whatever they are famous for. But they didn’t develop that talent overnight. Most stars work hard and train for years before their noticed and become celebrities. Their success may seem to come overnight, but it’s just the manifestation of all their hard work they’ve been doing for years. And what if you start a business that booms seemingly overnight and makes tons of money? Again, you have to have the character to take care of that money in case your business sees dry times in the future. Remember when all the house flippers and real estate tycoons were making mass money? Business isn’t so great at this point. They may have gotten rich quick, but they could very well be poor now.

So if you ever find yourself wishing you could make a lot of money in a little time, remember that it doesn’t happen fast and that it takes work. Even if money were to come easy, it takes work to handle that money. There’s no escaping that fact. If you haven’t fallen into a large sum of money recently, then keep building your character and your ability to handle the money you do have and if perhaps someday you do end up with a large sum of money, you will be able to keep it and handle it well.

Image courtesy of Scott Wallace

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13 Responses to It’s Impossible to “Get Rich Quick”

  1. AJC @ 7million7years says:

    Great post … 100% right. Those who make money the quickest (eg winning the lottery) lose it just as quickly, because they haven’t learnt the ‘rules of money’ on the way up.

    Even though I made $7 mill. in 7 years … there was a lot of trial-and-error in the years leading up to that.

    You can learn from blogs like this one (and mine), but you should aim to get rich QUICKER … not quick!

  2. Rayven says:

    Here! Here! A great post! Wish everyone in America would read it. Would save a lot of people a lot of heartache (and money).

  3. Miranda says:

    The part about managing money is crucial. The fact that we have lots of people in this country making $80,000 to $150,000 a year (and I’m talking outside of high-priced coastal areas) and still living paycheck to paycheck attests to the abysmal money management skills we have as a whole.

  4. Will says:

    It might sound counter intuitive but it’s definitely true that getting (and staying) rich is not about the money. I blogged about this in an article titled “The size of your bank account doesn’t matter” and talked the mindset you have to be in to build and keep wealth.

    AS AJC said, you should aim to get rich quicker, not quick :)

  5. Todd says:

    slow and steady, its a marathon, not a sprint.

  6. I agree that getting rich help to get richer. Since poeple get with poeple of similar standing, then rich person meet other rich person and usually get better change to get more money. business is made with other business, artist with artist. In fact it’s networking. If your sloppy with money it is a big chance many poeple around your are also sloppy with their money.
    many also fall in the inflatable neibourgh(you know the : he gets 10 I will get 12). the first step is to get in control of your finance and then build. for many poeple if they get 10 millions now since they are unable to manage finance it’s likely that they will end working in 5 to 10 years to get money again!
    I want to add that most get money fast soup is in fact: they want your money fast for themself! making maney takes time and lots of work as you have said.

  7. Mia says:

    There is something about this piece of writing that reeks of superficial, naive propaganda. Sure, many of the points made here are perfectly valid. Reagrdless of the amount of money you make, you must remain responsible, have a certain amount of character and manage the money well – or else you’ll bust it all like an idiot. HOWEVER: this will never change the fact that many people DO get rich quick; that many are so overpaid for so little actual painstaking effort that it is an insult to humanity; that many celebrities and the like DID NOT necessarily work “oh, so hard” before becoming rich but instead they had a certain characteristic (some call it “talent” though I see very little of that with today’s so called “artists”)… that just caught on with the superficial masses and then struck it big by doing monkey work on a stage; that some people simply inherit or know they will inherit when parents pass and therefore are never too worried about retirement, this or that, so they do little or none in the way of earning their own living. I have at least 6 or 7 examples like this in my life and I certainly cannot “console” myself with the naive belief that these people who have it so easy due to parents will just squander everything when time comes. That is simply not true. They know what to do to manage their pots reasonably well and in the meantime, they make no efforts when it comes to earning something on their own. I have become firmly convinced that the vast majority of people who trully DO work hard and do work that is crucial for the well-being of human society actually do it for little or very little money comparatively speaking. The idea that the rich have all gotten there by painstaking hard work and effort, responsible investing, frugality and delayed gratification is the biggest bunch of bunk that humanity has been fed on since times immemorial. Very few maybe – and even for those it takes the right struck of luck.

    That being said, I am not denying that IT IS possible to stay financially OK even on a mainstream, modest salary IF: you learn to always be frugal, to save and invest the little that you have, to only want those “best things in life that are free”, and to come to terms with your fate, which is that you will ALWAYS have to work/sell your time for little. Anything beyind this is bunk. I am certainly not starving and never will, I have always been responsible with money and will probably always be OK. But I do not fool myself into believing that the hard work I have always done will ever place me in a spot where I will be perfectly relaxed financially, where I can afford anything, where I can send my kids to the best schools without flinching – unlike many people I know who DO all these things without having put in 1% of the effort or the frugality and sense of responsibility I have put in my life. Does this mean I am bitter? I don’t know. Maybe yes, maybe not. Probably not because I AM grateful for still being healthy, for being financially afloat compared to others who are not even this, etc. However, I will never be the customer who buys into the propaganda of “if only you worked hard, saved a lot and were responsible with your money, you too would become rich”. I know that this is a cheap lie meant to deter the bitterness and/or anger of those who do work hard and will never get even remotely close to all the speculators, cheaters, predators, heirs/heiresses or plain lucky people (incuding lottery winners or the Britney Spears types) who put in little meaningful work/effort but bust the resources of this Planet instead (including HUMAN RESOURCES) with the greatest sense of entitelment one could ever imagine. Such propaganda is meant to always maintain this sense of entitlement.

  8. barker says:

    @ Mia

    I have to disagree with your example. There are so many people that want to be actors that it’s one of the most cut throat businesses around and takes way more effort than most people can even imagine.

    You fall into the stereotype of seeing only the end result and don’t know what those people did to get where they are. There are exceptions, but most worked their butts off to get where they are.

  9. lmlh says:

    I’ve given up on getting rich quick. For now, I’m focusing on just going broke slow!

  10. Anonymous says:

    To Mia-

    “Does that make me bitter?”

    Sounds like it to me!

  11. Mia says:

    To anonymous: Yes, and I am proud of it because I still feel like a human as opposed to a brainwashed animal. There are moments in history clearly showing how ugly things can get when too many people are forced to become bitter due to blatant injustices. Americans have been brainwashed into believing that just because someone ends up with a lot of money or right on top, that means they somehow “earned” it one way or another. Satan too “earned” his power, didn’t IT? The lack of ethics, the theft, the debaucheries and just plain intrinsic immorality that lie behind the stories of how such people often get rich, are always overlooked in the American psyche. When hard and honest workers/small earners retain a certain amnount of “bitterness” and outrage about this whole thing – this makes for a healthier, well functioning society. It is a “checks and balance” system. Let’s just lie to ourselves instead that all those fat cats worked so hard and deserved oh “so everything they have” – so that we, little idiots, feel better about ourselves and not have to do anything about it. Please stop shoving your ideologies down the throat of every other individual on this Earth. Not every culture sees life the way Americans have been indoctrinated to see it.

  12. Sadi says:

    Reading all of your comments, I am inclined to agree with both the author and with Mia and barker. Getting rich via savings and hard work is somewhat possible, but I do say somewhat. If you are on a meagre income to start with or are an artist/musician trying to make it on your own steam, with many of your own funds, then… the author of this article needs a reality check. Barker is correct when he/she states that workers in the creative industries strive for many years and work hard to get attention and/or payment for anything they do. Hollywood can go toss itself, I’m not talking about multi-millionaire or billionaire celebrities here, as Mia was trying to make note of, and by the way, I tend to agree with Mia that those who are making that much money for really “fun” jobs like Hollywood film acting are really the salt that rubs in most hard-working talented people’s wounds. I happen to think there are many incredible bands and musicians these days who just aren’t getting their fair share of payment for what they do, but again, these folks I’m talking about are hard-working, real and talented people who sacrifice much of their own time and money to deliver such beautiful music to folks with little or no return for what they do. Am I bitter for having a different view here, or am I realistic in that no matter how many folks in this world become rich through sheer talent and hard work, there is a system in place in which banks and politicos and multinational companies rule the day? There is a propaganda machine in place for and about the super-rich that will always have it’s supporters and foolish believers, when in fact, folks like Mia have their heads in the right place – reality. Not all of us love Britney Spears or even buy her music, yet she is one of the richest folks in music…. luck and talent? Hell no! Multinational Company forking out for millions of dollars worth of publicity/Britney propaganda and paying to make her into what they want? Absolutely.
    Perhaps Mia is a little bitter, but I believe her response is more of a reality check. Mia was right about something else too… there are many folks who inherit or are born into money. If you live a life of luxury and access to anything you want, it’s not actually that hard to live with that mindset. People born into money are not always smart enough to manage it either and there are always super-rich families around who spend millions of dollars on irresponsible family members so they can continue to live privileged lives. People with big money like that do scout possible suitors and partners for their rich children by networking with their other rich friends. It is not bitterness that makes me agree with Mia. It’s common sense. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want more money and to live more comfortably than I do now. But I am not stupid enough to assume that my savings account is going to make me rich. Giving advice like that to people who earn a very meagre yearly income is cruel and foolhardy and yes, very much smacks of super-rich propaganda.

  13. tanghem elvis says:

    i want to have money at all cost and all means just tell me what to do?

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