“Pigs get slaughtered”
A lot of people fantasize about becoming a billionaire. They see Wall Street titans, bankers, successful entrepreneurs and think they could be there too. A lot of wealth starts with a dream, but dreaming of wealth gets you about as far as the dream lasts.
One thing I have noticed about the wealthy in the US is this. They aren’t the only ones that became wealthy because of their endeavor. It sort of ties into the entrepreneurial theme of “give before you get“. But it’s more than that.
Successful people make other people around them more successful. Great quarterbacks in football, Michael Jordan in basketball. Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Henry Ford, Julius Rosenwald and other big money players all made thousands of people wealthy too. Many they didn’t even know and the contribution they made was unnoticed by them. But, the more successful other people are because of their effort, the more successful they become.
If you are designing a business, or starting an endeavor, consider a little bit about who is going to benefit from your effort. Are you creating value for others outside of your focused business? If you are, how do you know or measure that value so its meaningful to you?
When I was actively trading, my wealth creation was singularly focused. It was all about me. While being a local and liquidity provider made markets more efficient-it wasn’t as if I was creating lots of wealth for other people. I was a cog in an engine that couldn’t scale.
One could make a lot of money in trading-it’s part of the allure. But trading is not team building. It’s an island. If the guy next to you goes down, it doesn’t affect you. Might actually be better for you because there might be more volume for you to trade.
Entrepreneurship is very different. It’s about creating value for your firm, but also creating value for others outside your firm. The more value you create, the more it comes back to you. Creating value transfers into stickiness. Economics profs call this the “network effect”. The bigger the network, and the more value you create for others because of your effort, the more it will reflect back into your firm.
How is your business creating value for others?