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To think that hard work alone does not make you wealthy

(189 Posts)
ooohbetty Fri 03-Nov-17 12:38:05

I like watching Rich House Poor House and it has got me thinking, a lot of people work hard, hold down jobs, juggle childcare or caring for other relatives, some work long hours and can get help with child care, others don't have childcare but work hard when they can around school hours etc.
Both sets of families in the programme so far seemed to work hard and do their best but are still on the opposite ends of being rich and poor. So if someone says I'm here today with all this wealth because I work hard I think well from where I'm watching the other family seem to be working hard too, I do wonder, if a lot of folk work hard, surely the extra wealth has to come down to the actually vocations they have and possible other sets of circumstances that they have had presented to themselves at the right time in their lives where they can take these opportunities up.
There must be other factors to getting wealthy or am I being daft?

Sunshineandshopping Fri 03-Nov-17 12:39:46

Of course there are other factors! Circumstances, luck, intelligence, health, education, networks etc

WiseDad Fri 03-Nov-17 12:40:52

Capital. Accumulation of capital from which returns are generated which themselves become capital. This requires savings early in life.

Houses have been the way many have accumulated capital. The focus on income misses the point if one family are only children whose parents owned even a remotely acceptable house.

Also choice of career and whether you have people working for you rather than you working for someone else. Mostly capital though.

wasonthelist Fri 03-Nov-17 12:41:02

YANBU there is a massive amount of bollocks talked about hard work

ParadiseCity Fri 03-Nov-17 12:41:44

I think ethics are a massive part too. Most really well paid jobs are profiting from other peoples misfortunes as far as I can tell.

phoenix1973 Fri 03-Nov-17 12:42:40

Agree. Would be fab if it did.
There must be thousands of hard working but low paid workers watching that programme and buying into that shit or feeling woefully inadequate.

TranquilityofSolitude Fri 03-Nov-17 12:43:01

Privilege is a big part of it. It's often privilege that exposes people to the best opportunities and networks.

Also (and to some extent this is also privilege) the ability to take risks. Being able to step out and run your own business, for example, depends on the harshness of the repercussions if it fails, which are much less for those with parents or partners who can bail them out.

Oysterbabe Fri 03-Nov-17 12:43:32

FluttershysCutieMark Fri 03-Nov-17 12:43:52

Of course vocation dictates pay and wealth. Sorry OP I understand what you mean but you are not on to anything new.

I know cleaners who work very hard, just as I know MD's of companies who have staff that do pretty much everything and admit that it isn't too bad for them.

Sadly society doesn't reward people for hard work, there's a job for everyone but generally you are paid for your skills not your work ethic.

Blankscreen Fri 03-Nov-17 12:46:15

Yes -you absolutely need to work hard but you need some luck along the way too.

For.example.i know people who have started at companies and their boss has left a year Iater and they've stepped up and got the job therefore putting them.deveral rungs up from where they were. Obviously they've worked hard to have even been considered but right place and right time often has a huge factor to play.

SilverSpot Fri 03-Nov-17 12:47:30

Hard work, luck, good advice early on, ethics, health, intelligence, etc etc etc

GertrudeBelle Fri 03-Nov-17 12:48:42

I think there's a real correlation between how hard you work at school and university, and wealth.

Lots of kids/young adults are lazy during their education but unfortunately it's the absolutely key time to fix your earning potential. I appreciate that there are good reasons why some struggle at school, but nonetheless for many there's a window of opportunity when they can choose to knuckle down and set themselves up, or have a good time instead.

Trying to earn a lot by working hard when you've no qualifications is near impossible.

DunkMeInTomatoSoup Fri 03-Nov-17 12:49:13

The ability to risk take. Most of us would weigh up pros and cons before gambling all our money on speculation or investing in ventures. Eg two examples: Alan Sugar, Al Fayed, all came fom absolute poverty, they invested (one in car ariels the other in tins oc coke on a wheel barrow) and worked back breaking hours to sell those items to make the money to reinvest.

Your cleaner, to use your example, would only become wealthy if they speculated and set up a cleaning firm.

AndhowcouldIeverrefuse Fri 03-Nov-17 12:49:57

God yanbu. Personally I think that in the UK old money is the main factor - whether your family have money ie cash and capital, or not.

The state education system could be the big social equaliser, churning out young people who are equally employable regardless of their background - but sadly it isn't.

MorrisZapp Fri 03-Nov-17 12:50:20

This old chestnut. Most adults do work hard, particularly those who also have family commitments or demanding jobs.

For me to say 'I work hard' means literally that. What it doesn't mean is 'I work hard and you don't'.

As for lower paid work, it can be extremely hard, exhausting and stressful, but in very broad terms lower paid work will not involve higher responsibilities ie there will be a line manager who takes any flak if you cock up.

I've found that the only people who are allowed to celebrate their success by saying they worked hard on MN are those who started off at a disadvantage. Nobody minds them doing well and being pleased about it.

But the same job done by anyone else is just luck and privilege.

DunkMeInTomatoSoup Fri 03-Nov-17 12:51:20

I think there's a real correlation between how hard you work at school and university, and wealth.

Charlie Mullins, left school at 15 with no qualifications. Hes a multi multi millionaire now. He had drive, ambition and work ethic. (no wealth or education or university)

MorrisZapp Fri 03-Nov-17 13:00:07

Loads of entrepreneurs came from nothing, but they got to where they are by incredibly hard work.

Cleaners work very hard, but it's a job that requires no training. If done wrong, the worst outcome is a slightly disgruntled client.

Many high paying careers require years of study and experience, and if they are done wrong the worst outcome could massively impact people's lives.

Trampire Fri 03-Nov-17 13:00:07

I would agree with PP with the ability to take risk.

My inlaws and Parent come from similar backgrounds. Inlaws complain about their 'lot' all the time. They've worked in factories, my MIL fave up work the moment she married. Never learned to drive etc. BIL has a talent for gardening but won't take a 'risk' in starting his own business. So Liam's about his vadlyboaid job instead.

My parents however took more risks in life - DF entered the RAF at 15 and had another stab at education. He lived away from a broken home. He was posted abroad lots of times yes, but also took chances at working abroad (separated from us) to take a risk. He worked hard to make that risk work.
My DM opened her own business with no huge experience and no capital. She took a short business course, wrote a business plan and took it the bank for a small loan. She worked 7 days a week for decades and make a success of it until she retired.

DH and I are both self employed freelance in a creative industry and have been for over 25 years. We gave no job security, no holiday, no work pensions, no pay scale. We take risks all the time. Sometimes things go up and down but the main thing is we work our bollocks off. We hardly go out. I work most weekends and evenings. We earn well through it.

I think hard work alone cannot get you there unless you have a talent for enterprise. Education is a key factor, as in family support. However risk is key for me, with the drive to see it through.

Want2bSupermum Fri 03-Nov-17 13:00:18

This old chestnut. I have worked hard at school and in my career. I've had more set backs than steps forward. I've kept going never giving up. I've never had one job and I've never worked less than 40 hours a week.

DH and I are financially comfortable because we both run our own company (2 businesses) and both work FT in jobs as employees. We do this with 3DC, two with ASD no family close by to help us. Hard work really helps you get ahead but you have to work hard on your education, learning about choices and in your job.

Trampire Fri 03-Nov-17 13:00:53

So sorry about shit typing. In a hurry on phone!

Oly5 Fri 03-Nov-17 13:02:56


Creampastry Fri 03-Nov-17 13:07:44

If you pis around at school and don’t bother then chances are you won’t be earning big bucks.

formerbabe Fri 03-Nov-17 13:10:41

Hard work is a complete fallacy.


Thegiantofillinois Fri 03-Nov-17 13:10:58

The trouble with wanting to educate everyone equally, is when you know damn well how education can change lives (it changed yours), but the kids in front of you don't give a shit cos:"my dad/uncle/mum left school with no qualifications and they're doing all right". Yes, maybe 20years ago when Airbus took you on with Es and Ds, but not now.

DunkMeInTomatoSoup Fri 03-Nov-17 13:16:55

Thegiantofillinois Labouring trades really don’t care about qualifications, they work on a can do bethic. Obviously 'danger' trades like plumbing and electrics which are regulated, requires a CORGI registration etc but good brickies, scaffolders and roofers turn over £250 a day. Plus, if you are running your own firm, with contracts, there are millions to be made. Usually by people who have been very poorly educated and have dreadful standards of literacy and numeracy. It doesnt mean they are thick, quite the reverse, but they are also motivated.

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