One of my favorite movie lines comes from the move Fiddler on the Roof. Perchick, a revolutionary who wants to overthrow the Russian Tsar meets Tevya, a poor milkman. Perchik tells Tevya that money is the world’s curse. Tevya reacts perfectly by saying, “may the Lord smite me with it! And may I never recover!” But the fact is that there are problems that only rich people have.
And Alexander Wept for There Were No More Worlds to Conquer
Hey, what do you know? That fru-fru MA I got in the Humanities is good for something after all. It reminded me of this famous line – that Alexander the Great surveyed his empire and wept, for there were no more worlds to conquer.
The fact is that part of the fun of being rich is actually getting there, building a business from the ground and struggling to make it succeed. Once it has succeeded beyond your wildest dreams and you’ve become wealthy and have everything you ever wanted, what then? It’s not like you can start over and experience the rush of your first million or closing that first big sale.
It may sound like a problem we’d all like to have but the fact is that finally ‘making it’ can kinda suck because you feel just like Alexander – you have no more worlds to conquer.
Rich People Toys Are Expensive
So, you think that G5 would be a nice thing to own and you’ve got some cash socked away to buy one? Bully for you. Now just remember that you don’t just have to plunk down around $20 million for your G5. You also have to pay an experienced pilot and copilot to fly the dam* thing. Not to mention that you have to pay hangar fees and fuel costs along with maintenance. Suddenly first class doesn’t look so bad, huh?
This is true of pretty much everything – you want to own a nice yacht? Expect to pay for much more than just the yacht. You also need to pay for a crew and docking fees and fuel. And of course your friends who come on board will expect to be served caviar and champagne by a bunch of girls in bikinis because, well, just because.
Heck, I don’t own a yacht or a jet but I do know what it’s like to have rich people problems. I love to travel and I go away probably every 4-6 months. My next trip is this summer to Vienna. I just booked the flight at a great price. But it’s not just the flight. It’s the hotel. It’s the meals out. It’s the dog kennel for my dog. By the time all is said and done, that bargain flight I got doesn’t feel like such a bargain anymore.
Speaking of Vacations
Another problem rich people have is that ordinary people vacations can seem well…ordinary. After all, if you’re super rich, you might stay in a fancier hotel in Vienna but you’re seeing the same sites and enjoying the same restaurants as someone like me, who is only moderately rich. No, the super-rich cannot possibly descend to do what the masses do.
Instead, the super-rich must amuse themselves by doing the things us mere mortals will likely never do. Like climbing Mount Everest. Now I’m not saying that climbing Mount Everest isn’t fun. For a certain group of people who enjoy risking their lives to climb a mountain that is. But seriously – it’s cold and you can die and when you get to the top, you’re one of thousands who have done it. Big deal.
You’ll Get More than Just a Knowing Look from Your Friends
Got money? You also got paparazzi. These people live for gossip and capturing you in a less than glamorous position. They will hound you night and day and heaven help you if you decided to hang out with a prostitute who fudged about her age.
Have I Got a Business Idea for You
Finally, the thing that rich people of all stripes, even those who are merely comfortable such as myself (no, I don’t have Donald Trump’s billions. Then again, I don’t think I’m nearly as obnoxious as he is either) is that someone always thinks that you want to invest. Usually in a stupid idea. Usually in a stupid idea where the person asking expects you to do all the work and take all the risk, but split 50/50 because, hey it was my idea.
Look, being rich can be great. I don’t deny that. It does solve a whole lot of problems. But don’t think that being rich is going to be the answer to all your prayers. Because it won’t be. Once you’re rich, you’ll still have problems. Just different ones from those you have now.