Ever wonder by incompetent rich people get ahead in life above some of the most intelligent and level-headed people? You could have a high IQ, got better grades in school, and worked twice as hard, and yet the rich kid succeeds above and beyond anything you could ever do. This is not just in our imaginations. Children of the rich truly do succeed more often in life, regardless of their actual talent or level of competency.
There was even a study published in the American Sociological Review that proved that people from working-class backgrounds earn 17% less than their rich counterparts even if they have the same job. What makes rich kids so special they continue to succeed, even if they’re far from the smartest in their class?
25. They Radiate Confidence
According to the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, people from high socio-economic classes are more likely to be overconfident. They give off an aura that they are very good at their job even if they are actually terrible at it. Even though humans are intelligent creatures who should be able to tell the difference between an overconfident buffoon and a truly talented person, we still have this innate desire to look up to people who are confident.
Rich kids grow up feeling confident because their parents have taught them to feel great about themselves. Poor kids, on the other hand, are often made to feel less than perfect. They are trying to raise their confidence, rather than having an overabundance of it. Building confidence takes time for most people, but it is crucial if you want to succeed.
If you do poorly on the SATs or any graduate school entrance exam, it is possible to take it a second or third time until you get a better school. However, it costs $64 each time you take the test. In college, if someone fails a course, they can also pay to take it a second time if they are willing to pay thousands of dollars to do so. Whatever grade they receive on the second try will replace the first one. This can boost someone’s GPA and improve their chances of success later in life. However, not everyone can afford to keep trying over and over again. Many people can try only once or twice before the thousands of dollars in tuition no longer makes sense.
Even if the student manages to get good grades, their socio-economic status still works against them. According to The Balance, 70% of today’s High School graduates go to college. That seems like a huge number until you realize that 30% of them will drop out in their first year. And out of the remaining students, 51% of them have to drop out for financial reasons. A whopping 89% of kids who are the first in their family to go to college end up dropping out.
When you’re poor, there’s a very small margin for error in what you can attempt to do in life. If you try to start a business and fail, it could mean losing all the money you have to your name. But when you’re from a rich family, these mistakes have far less of an impact. In fact, your parents would most likely encourage you to take a risk by starting a business. Donald Trump is a great example of this. He has created over a dozen businesses that eventually failed, and yet he is still incredibly wealthy because he came from a long line of real estate moguls.
Compare that to someone who needs that money to pay for rent, food, and to support a family. If they take a risk and fail, they have to carry that guilt with them for the rest of their lives. This fear of failure holds people back from taking another risk in the future.
If someone got good grades in school, it’s most likely because they worked hard to attain their goal. They put in countless hours of studying in order to get straight A’s. But while they are willing to put in the time to do the work, they are not necessarily very smart with how they spend their time. Successful people know how to delegate tasks to others so that their own time is spent on the things that will help them earn the highest income possible. Some people might call this lazy, but it is actually very necessary for high levels of success.
In The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss, he talks about how you can achieve success by outsourcing tasks to other people. This becomes crucial to find other people who can accomplish tasks quicker and easier than you can if you are running a business. But this advice can also apply to your every-day-life. For example, let’s say you’re not very good at housework. That might mean losing an entire day’s worth of income. Or, you can choose to pay a housekeeper $50 to clean your house instead. This professional might be able to get it done in half the time. So, therefore, it’s not necessarily “lazy” to choose not to clean your own house. It’s simply knowing how to use your time wisely.
21. Sometimes, Their Parents Bribe the Right People
Not all rich parents are corrupt. But unfortunately, once one or two privileged people try to bribe their kid’s path to success, it makes us wonder if others have done the same. We learned recently from the high-profile case of Lori Laughlin and the college admissions scandal that rich parents are willing to make sure their children are willing to get into the best schools even if they don’t deserve it. Laughlin is far from the first parent to do this. Bribery has been a systemic part of higher education for a very long time.
In some cases, parents will also bribe a sports coach to make sure their kid is in the starting lineup. Or a director is bribed into allowing a student to become the lead in the school musical. Unfortunately, we do not always know about some of these dealings behind the scenes. Teachers would never admit that they can be bought.
When you’re trying to get into college, SAT scores are a huge part of the admissions process. You would assume that only smart kids can get the highest SAT scores. You would be wrong. Rich kids are able to bribe someone into taking the SATs for them. They can get a nearly perfect score just by paying a few hundred dollars and acquiring a fake ID. There’s also a scandal where parents will bribe doctors to get a note so that their children have some sort of medical excuse that qualifies them for more time on the SATs.
In some cases, the administrators are fully aware of fake IDs and allow it to happen anyway. In November of 2019, an SAT administrator named Igor Dvorskiy admitted to accepting over $200,000 in bribes for allowing students to cheat on the exam. This has gotten a lot of national attention but is far from being a new phenomenon.
According to Nicole Jones Young, a researcher in workplace behavior, the most successful people are often the loudest. Their ideas are heard by leadership, and they are seen as being assertive and confident. If they grow up in a privileged background, they feel entitled to speak first, and therefore, they dominate the time in a meeting with their own opinions. During an interview with Marketwatch, Young said, “This behavior may make it difficult for those of lower social classes to successfully interject and navigate the higher ranks within an organization.”
People who grow up in a minority, especially women, are taught to “be seen and not heard.” If you have been raised this way, it can take a lot of effort to push past it. Sometimes, the loudest person in the room drowns out everyone else’s opinion, and there is nothing anyone can do about it. They could be completely incorrect with what they are saying but are still grabbing the attention of other people. If you find yourself in this situation, you need to figure out a way to make your opinion heard just as much as the loudest voice.
In the United Kingdom, you can tell how rich someone is by the sound of their voice. They call it a “plummy accent.” These people sound well-educated, and therefore, seem a lot more trustworthy and competent compared to people from other parts of the UK. Having a rich-sounding accent matters so much that some people train themselves to speak in a way that makes them seem rich.
In the United States, we don’t have the same stigma. There could be a multi-millionaire who sounds exactly like someone who is part of the middle class. However, there is no denying that when we hear someone speaking with a “ghetto” accent, we know that they came from a lower socioeconomic status. Anyone who speaks with slang or has a habit of cursing is less likely to get a higher position in life compared to someone who is composed.
According to NPR, less than 16% of schools in the United States teach students about financial literacy. This means that the majority of the kids in our nation do not know about how to deal with debt, credit scores, savings, qualifying for a mortgage, or investing for their future. These are lessons that people have to learn from their parents, or through trial-and-error in their own adult lives. It’s no wonder we have a nation full of people who are in a tremendous amount of debt with student loans and credit cards.
Out of that remaining 16% of kids who were taught about finance at an early age, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they belong to the upper class. These kids go to private schools, and they have parents who tskr the time to educate them at home. Each generation of their family will continue to educate their kids on the importance of financial literacy. If you want to break the cycle in your own family, do some research online and educate yourself in personal finance.
More often than not, scoring a really great job has less to do with intelligence and talent and more to do with family connections. So it only makes sense that if you were born into a family of successful people, they would have more connections to offer you from a very early age. For example, if you are born into a family of average folks, your options for working your first job might be to go to McDonald’s or a local grocery store. If you want to branch out into a different field of work, you would have to figure out a way to gain that experience in college.
If you are the child of someone who is successful with a lot of connections, your options might be more along the lines of scoring an internship with a major corporation. Once you have established this kind of job on your resume, it becomes a lot easier to climb the ladder of success. Children of entrepreneurs might also have more encouragement to start businesses of their own.
There’s no denying that some places in the world have a greater geographic advantage than others. For example, if you were born in New York City, you have the world at your fingertips. You can find a job in nearly any field, even the more difficult and rare profession to find work anywhere else. For example, if you want to be a prima ballerina, you will want to move to a major city that actually has a ballet. However, if you were born in the middle of rural Kentucky, then you may only have very few options where you can work.
Rich people often live in areas that have access to work opportunities. Or, they know that it may be necessary for them to move if they want to succeed. For a young person, moving just may be too expensive for them to do on their own without their parent’s help. You could be the smartest person on the planet, but if you were living in the middle of nowhere, no one is going to pay you for your intelligence.
In certain professional circles, the college you attend is everything. Certain law firms will only hire people who went to Harvard Law, and it becomes this insular boy’s club where very few people succeed. An Ivy degree can help you get jobs at certain firms and ensure that you are getting a high-salary position.
But very few people are able to go to expensive schools. Ivy League Universities cost around $50,000 per semester. Applicants also have to meet with alumni in order to get a letter of recommendation. Even among the rich, it’s still difficult for their children to be accepted to the best schools. While some offer academic scholarships to qualified students, they are highly competitive.
One of the more important elements to succeeding in life is to network with the right people. Sometimes, all it takes to make your next big break is to meet the right person who will help you get an interview. However, you will rarely meet the right person in your industry in college. The vast majority of professors are full-time educators and not actually active participants in their fields of study. So unless you are planning on becoming a professor too, it does not help much to network with educators.
People who grow up with abundance also know how to pick the right mentors. They are not desperate for help or guidance, because they know how to identify finding someone who is the right fit. Meanwhile, an intelligent, hard-working person from a lower socioeconomic background might be focusing harder on their current career rather than networking.
Even the dumbest rich kids have the ability to be cultured. They can be very refined and talk about topics other rich people are interested in. Someone else who has a genius IQ may have the ability to talk about calculus all day long, but that doesn’t necessarily help them mingle. No matter what socioeconomic background you come from, try to make sure you can carry on a cultured conversation.
Many executive-level positions require you to deal with people from other countries. This means that you need to be cultured and potentially speak a second language. Rich people have the ability to travel around the world from the time they are young. They also might be exposed to different movies, news, and other information that people from poor backgrounds are simply not aware of.
Sometimes, someone who is very intelligent is focused on academics rather than real-life application information. For example, maybe they love studying history. In class, they might be able to get a 100 on every test, while the rich kid is failing the course. That’s great for the smart kid, but how can you turn that history knowledge into a million dollars? At the end of the day, knowledge of random trivia is only good for grades and not much else.
Instead of reading a textbook, a kid who has been raised by rich parents might focus on learning only the essential information that is going to make a lot of money. This may not make them the best student, but they are probably the most prepared to succeed in real life. A great example of this is Graham Stephan. He never went to college and did not have the best grades in school. But as soon as he turned 18, he went straight into getting his real estate license and investing in rental properties. In just a few years, he was already a millionaire. He succeeded by dedicating all of his time and energy into learning the information that actually mattered instead of wasting time memorizing useless facts and figures.
Anyone who has grown up without a lot of money knows what it feels like to wish they woke up rich one day. It’s why people in the lower classes play the lottery. Everyone loves the idea of finding the magical solution to becoming rich overnight. This is also why so many people are tricked into multi-level pyramid schemes.
People who grow up rich understand that money does not appear overnight. They have people in their lives to look up to who have already laid out their own path to success. If their parents are financially educated, they can teach their kids the dangers of get-rich-quick schemes.
There’s a saying that you are the summation of the people around you. So if you are surrounded by people who are in the working class, in debt, and struggling with money, then you are more likely to be poor as well. Rich kids are already born into a situation where they have successful people around them. This already puts them at an advantage no matter what their IQ is.
We are not trying to suggest that you ditch your family and friends in favor of trying to get ahead in your career. But if you are poor and want to get out of the rat race, try to find people who are already successful. Surround yourself with people who are passionate, hard-working, and wealthy. It may take a while to find those people, but it’s more than worth it in the end.
Sometimes all it takes to be successful is having the free time to do the work that you truly want to be doing. For example, if you want to become a writer, you need to have the free time to work on your writing. This involves sending out samples to people, working for free, and getting yourself out there without knowing if your work will pay off in the end. This is a luxury that not many people have. Some people can spend their free time as a college student to pursue these interests, but as we mentioned earlier, many people drop out in favor of working. By then, it’s too late.
If you are struggling with money and working multiple jobs, you may simply not have the time to pursue anything different. Most people in the working class are waking up early to go to jobs they hate. By the time they get home, they are so exhausted, all they want to do is drink beer and watch TV. If they have a spouse and children, all of their free time needs to go into being a good parent or partner. They simply do not have the energy to start a new business or make a career change.
Many times, people succeed because they were able to go after something they felt passionate about. They are concerned with “big picture” topics, instead of worrying about how they are going to pay their rent or where their next meal is going to come from. Anyone who has the ability to follow their passion in life truly comes from a privileged background.
Passion is often what leads us to success. Everyone has a destiny or a purpose they must fulfill in order to be completely satisfied with their life. But not everyone has the time to do so. If you are one of these people, try to figure out a way to do both. For example, maybe you choose to take a job that pays less but has more flexible hours. If you use that extra time to follow your dreams, it could be the gateway to success.
Poor people are often worried about their next paycheck and how they are going to pay rent. They might aspire to have a job that pays more, but they are not necessarily worrying about what the world thinks of them. They expect to be forgotten because the world has taught them they are not worthy to be remembered.
Someone who was raised in a successful family is far more likely to expect to make an impact on the world. They might be more worried about their legacy rather than their net worth. This might come in the form of fame, or they might simply want to leave behind property and assets to their next generation. By living their life with the mindset that they need to leave something behind in the future, they are far less likely to spend it all today.
You don’t have to be smart to have kids. In fact, a lot of stupid people end up passing down their genes. According to one study by PLOS One, people who have children at a younger age are often from a lower socioeconomic background. Basically, the richer you are, the older you are when you start having children. This is most likely because wealthy people are more focused on succeeding in their career before they feel ready to settle down and have a family.
People can have children at any age and still be successful. However, if you are a young parent, it becomes significantly more difficult to take risks. Instead of only being focused on your own career and higher education, you are worried about the needs of your family. There are some people who have kids at a young age and still manage to succeed, like filmmaker Casey Neistat. But stories like his become famous because they’re such a rare anomaly.
There has always been the stigma of the un-athletic “nerds.” Some people love to gloat that they are not an athlete, especially if they are academic minded. However, you can be very smart, but you might be sitting at a desk all day typing at a computer. If you do not have a healthy body, it all means nothing. This could lead to an early grave if you end up with diabetes or cardiovascular problems.
Successful people often love and respect themselves very much. And it’s not just their accomplishments. They also love their bodies, too. According to Entrepreneur, most successful people take time to exercise every single day. They are filling themselves with feel-good endorphins, energy, and will most likely live longer than their couch-potato counterparts.
First impressions are everything. When you go into a job interview, the potential employer is going to judge how you look and speak. You only get one chance unless they call you back for a second interview. If you are looking to go on an interview for a high-level position, you might get nervous. This can truly hurt your chances of getting hired.
People who are born in high socioeconomic backgrounds will feel confident going into an interview. They are not desperate for the job, but rather, are inquisitive about if they actually want to work for the company or not. Successful people are concerned about finding a job that aligns with their career goals.
Anyone who has grown up in poverty knows a lot about humility. They have gone through so much that many of them would never dare to demand the best of the best. It becomes commonplace to go to thrift stores, buy a used car, or settle for second-best. In fact, if they begin to treat themselves to the finer things in life, they might get some pushback from their friends and family about trying to break out of the cycle of poverty.
But for anyone who was raised rich, they already have higher expectations of what they expect out of life. When you truly love yourself, you begin to demand the best. Once you truly respect yourself, other people will begin to give you that respect, too. This is why celebrities have people literally rolling out the red carpet for them. If you want people to give you this kind of respect, start by respecting yourself.
Last and certainly not least is the age-old saying, “you need money to make money.” This is true on a number of levels. Without money, it is impossible to do anything that will get you ahead in life. You need money to pay for tuition, fund a business, or to trade in stocks. Even if you borrow money, you need to be in good financial standing if you want to have a good credit score.
Unfortunately, someone could be one of the smartest people in the world. But if they were born into a situation where they are at a socioeconomic disadvantage, they may never get the money they need to succeed in the long run.