If you have a job, you are working for the rich.
You might think of yourself as working for a big company, but behind every big company is a collection of shareholders. These are the people who profit off of your work, either through receiving dividends or through the price of their shares appreciating.
The problem with working at a big company is that you never interact with the owners. They are off somewhere, living their life as you toil away in order to fatten their pockets. You can’t learn anything from them because your employment gains you no exposure to them. You can’t sell them on yourself and the value you bring because you get evaluated by middle managers.
Of course, instead of working for the rich by default, you could choose to work for the rich intentionally. You could choose to interact with them in such as way that you can benefit from both their wealth, and their experience.
Let’s talk about a couple of ways to do that.
Offer Services That Rich People Pay a Premium For
One of this things that made The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko an instant classic was the surprising idea that most millionaires are actually quite frugal.
Of course, even the authors point out that millionaires aren’t frugal in every arena. When it comes to their health, money, and legal affairs, many of them are happy to pay top-dollar for professional services.
If you want a lucrative career, offer the services that the people with money to spend pay for.
Stanley and Danko point out that the number of wealthy people is increasing, and this means the potential client base is growing for anyone who seeks to serve the rich. Here’s how they put it:
There are significant business opportunities for those who target the affluent, the children of the affluent, and the widows and widowers of the affluent.The Millionaire Next Door (Kindle Edition) pg. 211
They also point out that the profitability of firms that offer professional services is typically higher than small businesses in general.
One area that stands out is that of estate planning. As many millionaires age, this facet of their legal affairs will start to become more and more important to them. When people plan on practicing law, this is not usually the specialty they have in mind. But there are clients who need help and have money to spend.
Of course, even if you aren’t a professional with an advanced degree, it’s possible to find a way to service the rich. You just have to be creative about it. Figure out the needs and wants of people with money to spend, then offer them a better solution than what’s currently available.
Look For Opportunities to Learn Directly From Your Employer
One big regret that I have was that I spent the better part of a year working for a wealthy family—and didn’t make the most of my time.
Working for the wealthy is a fantastic opportunity to learn how to build wealth and to ask any questions you may have.
I had worked for a father and son duo that owned a college textbook store, as well as several rental properties including an apartment complex with hundreds of units. I had a golden opportunity to ask questions about running a business and renting out property, but I didn’t take advantage of it.
That doesn’t mean that I didn’t learn anything. I got to see some examples of great creative problem solving in business.
Season Passes…For Parking: How to Create Value for Your Customer
One of this family’s “side hustles” was selling parking for football games across four vacant lots that they owned. The son would hire people like me for a cheap hourly rate to come sell parking to fans and to call the towing company to remove anyone who parked illegally on his property.
Lot’s of other people did this, and the business model was pretty clear: Start selling 4-6 hours before the game starts, charge more for the biggest games. But the guy I worked for thought of a new way to do business.
He realized that since lots of fans had season tickets to see the football team play, he could offer season tickets for his parking lot.
This would give his customers the predictability of knowing exactly where they would park each week. They would even have the same spot on his lot every time.
To sweeten the deal, he worked it out to give each car a little more space so that they could tailgate. He had to sacrifice a few spaces to do this, but he more than made up for it with the fact that the prices he could now charge a season ticket holder were 2-3x the price a typical spot would command over a full season.
He printed up fliers that outlined his program and had his number on them. Everyone that bought parking from us during that season got a flier. Next season, 3/4 of the lot was already pre-sold…for the whole season.
Wealthy people are always looking for creative ways where they can earn more by serving their customers better.
If you’re going to work for the rich, you want to actually work for the rich. You want the people with deep pockets to be the ones cutting you checks. You want the ability to observe what they do and learn from them.
Some amount of success is luck, but in general, people get wealthy because they act in ways conducive to building wealth. You want to learn from the people who have learned how to build wealth. You want to learn from the rich.