After receiving yet another political email propagating the myth that wealthy people are hard working and poor people are lazy...I felt the need to poke a few holes in this myth.
Is there really anybody out there who believes this fallacy? Open your eyes and look around. Hard work can definitely be an element of building wealth, but do you really believe that hard work is the key element? I recently read an article about a farmer who worked hard his whole life and never acquired wealth. Then he sold his farm when property values were high and became a millionaire. So was it his hard work or the investment in the property that created his wealth?
I have many friends who own very successful businesses, and not one of them ever brags about how their business success can be attributed to hard work, sacrifice, long hours, eating Ramen noodles, and living in a small one bedroom apartment for several years while they built their business. Most of these friends are very humble people who attribute their business success to being in the right place at the right time and having a little luck. There was obviously hard work involved as well, but these people are bright business owners and would never assume that their hard work was any more difficult then the single mom working two jobs to get by. Most of the people I know who have acquired wealth are mostly just grateful. Grateful that they had the opportunity and also grateful that they were able to capitalize on that opportunity. They don't think they are any better than someone else or harder working.
So can we please just put this myth to rest. There is nothing wrong with hard work, but there is also no formula that equates hard work with wealth.
If you would like to read more on the topic, I found a wonderful blog called "Gone Mild". This person is a terrific writer and does an excellent job debunking the hard work = wealth myth.