Are You the Average American?

Posted by on August 19, 2013

Looking Ahead to the Future, Behind to the Past, Inward at Ourselves, and Outward at the World.

“Rich people and poor people are exactly the same, except in one respect -rich people think rich.” Herb Kay

You may have gathered from the recent MMMemos that my mind of late has been orbiting the question, “How will you measure success?” I suppose this is because, in just a few weeks, my firm will be hosting the first-ever, 3 day Wizard Academy at our facilities in Austin and “the success question” is one that each student must answer prior to the beginning of classes. Since more than a few will include a financial component in their definition of success, I’ve been looking into the matter somewhat.

A recent survey by Roper Starch Worldwide tells us that the average American believes they would need at least $25,000 a year “to get by,” and that an annual income of $102,000 “would fulfill all dreams.” When the same questions were posed to those with incomes in the top 1% of the nation, the heavy hitters reported that it would take $80,000 a year “to get by,” and $500,000 to fulfill all dreams. Upon reading this, your first response is likely to think, “The more a person has, the more they think they need,” but author Herb Kay sees it a little differently. He says that rich people are rich precisely BECAUSE they think it takes $80,000 a year to get by.

Is the average American average because he thinks average thoughts and does average things as a result? Are you average? And if so, do you enjoy it?

Please understand that I’m not trying to be flip or arrogant or condescending in any way. My cold, clear questions spring from the deep belief that every person is uniquely gifted and few joys in life are as great as discovering and exercising one’s gift. The world is full of “average” people only because we have attempted to agree, as a group, on how success should be measured and having thus conspired, we spend our lives following one another in a tedious circle instead of following our hearts.

The average American gets average results and is paid average money for them, but no person is average who has discovered and developed their gift.

What is your gift?

Roy H. Williams

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On the nightstand: How To Get Filthy, Stinking Rich and Still Have Time for Great Sex. Author Herb Kay is obviously filthy, stinking rich… otherwise, he wouldn’t have the nerve to blurt out the things he does. After reading his just-released book, I was not surprised when Herb told me that his favorite chapter from The Wizard of Ads was Nine Secret Words; “The risk of insult is the price of clarity.” Although the book has nothing to do with sex, it’s still a shocker. (“Great Sex” is a metaphor for all the things you’d like to do, but don’t have the time, says Herb.) Reading the book, it’s easy to imagine yourself as a little kid sitting on the knee of a multimillionaire, favorite uncle as he shares with you all the priceless insights that he gained during his years of hard knocks. I know of no other book to which I can compare this one… straight advice on money, marriage, business and success from a guy who did absolutely everything wrong before he finally figured it all out. I liked Herb’s book a lot and I think you will, too. I predict a bestseller. You can find it at

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