Keys to Success: Lessons from Multi-Generations of Successful People
Do you want to learn the keys to success from families that maintained generations of successful people.
When you think of success, you usually think of the likes of Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and Mark Cuban. Indeed, those guys are very successful and there is a lot of focus on the their keys to success in online and in books. The lessons of those rich and famous are important, but sometimes they are not transferable because we are specifically measuring their success by their fame and wealth.
Instead we can learn more about how to be successful by learning from those who were able to cultivate success in their families for generations.
I am going to make two important points before I share the keys to success
- Success is not measured only by your fame
- Success can be taught
How do we study success today
Today there is a lot of focus on learning from the success of the famous. Everyone seems to want to learn how Mark Zuckberg hit gold with Facebook or how Kylie Jenner became a fashion icon. As I mentioned before those people have traits of successful people, but they still get lucky.
What is Success
Our study of success is always about fame. Even we study successful scientists and authors, we have to touch on their fame as a measure of their success. Think about successful people you in history and science Aristotle, Tesla, Newton, Einstein, Nicolo Machiavelli, Shakespeare and many others.
In today’s world, we focus on famous rich people. In a way, this makes sense, since popular culture is a major part of modern society. Even in niche fields, we tend to focus on the famous rich people in those fields (niche pop culture).
By themselves, money or fame could be a success criteria for some people. But neither is the only way to be successful. Everyone can define their success differently. Success can include other things like having a lot of friends, or starting your own company or helping people in your community.
Success is personal and has a unique definition for each person. What we want to focus on is teaching the keys to success.
Success Can be Taught
Our society today widely accept that keys to success can be taught (Gladwell popularized The Story of Success to some extent). That’s usually the reasonable explanation for why self-help books are popular and people spend great lengths studying the ways of the successful ones (apparently these book will make you successful).
The distinction that I want to make is that those who repeatedly are successful should teach success. We usually focus on those who repeatedly succeed ( A good case study is how many people follow the PayPal Mafia for their continued trends of success).
But we can learn success better from those who are actually able to teach it to their children, grandchildren and their grand-grandchildren instead of learning it from the failures of Ray Dalio, Bill Gates or Warren Buffet.
The Keys to Success of generations of Successful People
The Old Money Case study
We are going to use wealth as a measure of success, specifically families who maintained wealth in their family of generations. They are usually called Old Money. Again wealth is not the only measure of success but it’s one of the best case studies.
If we can learn anything from the fictioanl Bluth family, being rich doesn’t mean your children will be rich.
According to the Williams Group wealth consultancy, 70% of rich families lose their wealth by the second generation and 90% by the third generation. This is troubling. This means that many rich people fail to understand what made them successful and pass that on.
There is a few people who understand what made them rich and successful and they continue to teach that to their children.
Rich parents of generational rich-families share many of the lessons below with their children. Remember these are the people who are able to keep up their wealth for years. They are still lucky by they do things to increase their changes of success.
Money Left Over generation (Source: Williams Group wealth consultancy)
Keys to success: keys to live life, not make money
The keys to successbelow is that they are about how to live life, how to be a good person overall. They are simple rules, that those people follow and helps them be successful people.
In contrast to the traditional mindset of doing things differently to accomplish results, these successful people keep doing the same things over and ovet to reach their goals.
They embrace less is more
This is very useful advice if you want to run your own business or be successful in any field. You need to be mindful about your resources and think about how to spend them to get the most gain.
They focus on quality over quantity
Old money are known for wearing the same old clothes, passed down from generation with great pride. They invest in quality shoes and wear them for 20 years. Most of us don’t do that. We waste our money buying new clothes every season. We don’t really invest in quality.
This means investing in quality education, housing and relationships. You will find many rich people who drive old F-150s (actually most popular car for millionaires). Next time you think about spending something, think about its utility. Try to put your efforts, time and money into quality things that will pay off for years to come.
They create long-term roadmaps
The most successful families have well throughout plans and rules. They have missions statement and bylaws for their families (you don’t get any money until you are 30 except for college, etc). They also have long term vision and think about the future.
Professional American athletes are notorious for going bankrupt soon after they retire or lose their contracts. That’s because they think of the short term and not the long term.
This means thinking about how your decisions today affect you in the future. This is where concept of compound interest becomes important. It means starting learning something a year earlier, you exponentially become better.
Invest in yourself early. It will pay-off and it will pay-off a lot.
They are modest & humble
Successful rich legacy people know that they don’t know everything. They know that there is so much unknown. They are modest and humble about what they don’t know. Even geniuses know that the unknown is vast.
They know they are privileged. Therefore they are modest. Money doesn’t define them but their values and beliefs do. Therefore, they work hard to enlist modesty and humbleness in their children.
Being humble is a key to success because it allows you to reflect and be conscious of your role. It allows you to stay humble and open.
They are open-minded
Knowing that you don’t know much is humbling but it takes open-mindedness to accept new ideas and see life in a different way. Ray Dalio preaches this in his book. He learned through tough experience that open-mindness is a key to success.
Successful rich people teach their kids to be open-minded. They teach them to think about new ideas, new ways to evolve and how others think. Being open-minded is hard but it is one of the most important things to success. They know that they can be wrong.
It is surprising that many old money people are always described as successful but only recently do we come to realize that it is a true trait of a successful person. Ray Dalio spent years to discover that trait.
They are educated and well-rounded
Those people care about education so much and spend a lot of money and effort to educate their children. They specifically also diversify their education into sciences, arts and sports.
Successful people must invest heavily in their education. There start early and spend a lot of time trying to improve and get better. Specifically studying the classic history of those successful who ame before us is important. It’s free life experience in a way.
They appreciate luck and are thankful
Many old money appreciate their luck: they understand it and they value it. Money and affluence came to them on a silver spoon and they don’t forget that. They appreciate it and are humble about it.
They are thankful. Many rich people like to send thank you cards after each invitation and after each dinner. It is not because they are trying to show-off. Instead, it’s because they know they are truly lucky and they want to share their appreciation for others.
They spend time with their family, friends and community
Old money seem to have strong values in family and friends. They keep their family and friends close and only have a few quality friends.
Also a lot of old money believe it is their duty to serve their community. It is their most important goal in their life. They spend money and time volunteering and helping out their local community and charities.
They work really hard
Contrary to what you might believe, those people work really hard. They work 12 hour days and spend sundays with the family. They know that they must work to improve themselves and to become successful. Hardwork is necessarly to progress and improve in life.
Old money don’t wait for money from trust funds, but they always go on their own to work and bring their own money. Hard work is what builds character. Contributing to society is important and necessary.
Are those people real? They are not the rich people I know?
They are probably not the rich people you know. People use the term ‘Old Money’ usually to study those people who are able to keep their money for generations. I don’t like the term per-se but in reality old money are people who can keep their money for generations. The cultural divide between old money vs new money is mainly due to tradition that will keep the money in the family for years to come.
In a way the thinking of those with old money helps them become successful as their family grows.
The above keys to success apply really well if you want to be a well-rounded successful person.
Old money is about values, priorities and habits. surprisingly all those things translate to success.
I would love to hear your thoughts about this below. In future articles, I will add more insights into each of the keys to success individually.