I am blessed with a significant amount of success. I use the word blessed, but much of the positives in my life have come about through sheer force of will and immense effort rather than luck. As such, I resent people thinking that because I have found success, I should feel obliged to share it with them.
I’m not talking about people in need. That is different. I’m speaking about people who are contracted to do specific services, or approach me for business, but think because I live in a big house, or because the business I’m contracting with them will make significant returns for me (with significant investment on my part), that they can – in a way – steal from me. A quoted price on the telephone always turns out double once the person arrives at our home. A friend in the business admits he does the same – when he sees a big house, he creates a big price. Price the job, not the person. If you would do work for $20/hour for the guy down the street, then do the same for me. Don’t think that because I look like I have money, that I am easily duped. I have managed my resources wisely to bring me to where I am, and won’t cut slack for those who think I should give them extra because I appear to ‘have money to spare.’
A contractor completing a huge business installation for us keeps throwing out the future revenue figures when justifying his having overbilled us by tens of thousands above the agreed contractual amount. So, does my making money in the future really have to finance his vacation now? Because I built something which will make money for years, he thinks he should get a cut beyond the original installation price? You want a cut in something, then invest the money yourself and take the risk too.
If this were a one time event, I would not think so much of it. But repeatedly and consistently people feel entitled to share in our successes without having put in the time, effort, and yes, money. Because I have a lovely piece of property for sale which someone really, really loves, they think I should discount the price in half to let them live there because they want it so badly. Honestly… thinking I want to hand them tens of thousands of dollars because they want to make their dreams come true but their dreams are bigger than their actual circumstances? Because I breed dogs which are in demand, I should give them away to anyone who really, really loves them but can’t afford one. Honestly…thinking I want to hand over a dog to someone who cannot afford to purchase it just because they love the breed…love doesn’t pay the vet bills. Because I live in a nice house I should be willing to pay twice as much for plumbers, electricians, and other contractors. Because I invested hundreds of thousands in a business which will makes millions over time, I should be willing to cut the contractor some slack when he cannot provide proof for overcharges and has not finished the work but wants his final payment anyway.
I am always willing to share with those in need and help those with legitimate claims. The fire department and community agency both given health equipment donations from our business. The families who’ve been given bulldogs to help them heal after horrible events. The charities supported with our time and resources. Even students and their families are helped out when in trouble, from my own personal resources. But, I cannot abide by the sense of entitlement so many people have, where they think that if you’ve had success, you deserve to be penalized for that success by paying through the nose. I have worked hard for what I have. They could have it too, if they put the time, effort, ingenuity, and guts into it. This is North America, the land of opportunity. Just because you live here does not mean you automatically qualify for success, though.
I guess this makes me one of the 55%, even though I do not reside in the USA…