A friend of mine sent me a video clip of a millionaire who was donating large amounts of money back to communities to help them receive free college education.
My friend thought it was a touching story and a great example of what one person can do to help others and give back.
Here’s the problem though, with this video clip of the Shameful Millionaire.
He talked about how he’d built 6 different companies, made a fortune, and retired at 40.
He then went on to say that he’d won this lottery, and that lottery, and the other lottery which all conspired together to create his success.
He talked nothing of the risk he took, the long hours I’m sure he put in, the things he sacrificed and the service he provided to the marketplace with his companies.
According to the shameful millionaire, all his success was based on various aspects of luck – such as being born in the right place, having access to the right educational opportunities, so on and so forth.
He then said that he felt SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO guilty for having made a fortune.
He was FILLED with guilt because he had all this success and wealth, and others didn’t.
He was ashamed, and this – in part – was fueling his philanthropic efforts.
The Real Shame
While I do admire what this guy is doing to give back, I’m ashamed of the message he’s sending while doing it.
Where we’re born, the family we’re raised in, the resources we start out with in life or have access to as we grow – of course, can all play a role in helping us achieve success.
But they are FAR from the ONLY things that can help us achieve success.
I should know, as I started out in a single parent home, literally being raised (in part) on welfare.
According to this shameful millionaire, I started out on the LOSING end of the lottery and my only chance for a step up in life, would be for someone to come along and give me a free college education.
I reject this philosophy completely because the moment I accept that line of thinking, is the same moment I give my greatest power away.
I make my success dependent on factors outside of my control and that’s the quickest way to lose in life and business.
Forget the fact that some of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world don’t even have a college degree (and will tell you they’re useless in the real world).
I happen to have one and I can tell you that my college degree set me back more than it moved me forward.
So maybe this millionaire should feel some shame, but not for the reasons he talked about.
He should be ashamed of sending a message of disempowerment out into the world.
He should be ashamed of associating wealth and success with luck alone, while ignoring all of the other factors that go into it.
He should be ashamed of not taking credit for the role he played in creating his fortune.
He should be ashamed for teaching people that being successful and having success is something you should feel guilty about.
There are many ways to wealth, some shameful and some honorable.
Some completely self serving and others expansive and life enhancing for all involved.
These are distinctions that need to be considered, and when they’re not – a very partial, biased and false message can be received by people who desperately need the truth, so they can use it to set themselves free.
If you give a man’s belly a fish with your hand, but then destroy his mind’s ability to fish with your words, you may have fed him for a meal and starved him for a lifetime.
These are the real lessons, from the shameful millionaire.