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Not a nice guy

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Think the wealthy are all smart, friendly, spendthrift, spoiled and privileged? You might be surprised by the real forces behind their success.

Here's secret #5:

"You don't get rich by being nice."


John D. Rockefeller threatened rivals with bankruptcy if they didn't sell out to his company, Standard Oil. Bill Gates was ruthless in building Microsoft into the world's largest software company (remember Netscape?).

Indeed, many millionaires privately admit they're "bastards in business," Prince says. "They aren't nice guys."

Of course, the wealthy don't exactly look in the mirror and see Gordon Gekko either. Most millionaires share the values of their moderate-income parents, says Lewis Schiff, a private wealth consultant and Prince's co-author: "Spending time with family really matters to them."

Just 12% say that what they want most to be remembered for is their legacy in business, according to the AmEx-Harrison study.

Millionaires are also seemingly undaunted by failure. Crane, for example, now runs a successful company that screens tenants for landlords. But his first business venture, a real-estate partnership, went bankrupt, costing him $20,000 -- more than his house was worth at the time. "It was the most depressing time in my life, but it was the best lesson I ever learned," he says.

Source: Smart Money

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