Sir Richard Branson, multi-billionaire owner of the Virgin brand of companies, once received a loan from his aunt. When she gave him the loan, she told him that money is meant to make things happen, which is what he did. Not everyone has that advantage.
A Place to Play
In the early 1970s Richard Branson was looking to purchase a recording studio. He had located a place and needed £30,000 to purchase it. He had a loan commitment from the bank for £20,000, and had £2,500. He was £7,500 short.
Fortunately for Richard, his Aunt Joyce spotted him the rest. It was a decent sized sum at the time, so this was quite a supportive gesture. Adjusted for inflation, that’s over £100,000 or over $150,000. What a great aunt!
At the time she said something to him that really resonates with successful people: money is there to make things happen. How true!
A Rare Starting Position
Unfortunately, that way to make things happen isn’t there for everyone. On the positive side, we often hear the stories of people who have made something of themselves without anything. They had no money, yet they found a way to make things happen anyway.
These stories stand out for a reason: they are rare. Most people that become wildly successful had a benefactor or the ability to attend a high quality school or even the ability to afford the tools needed to help train skills or begin a business.
Richard Branson had his aunt. Apple’s Steve Jobs was able to secure $20,000 (nearly $90,000 adjusted for inflation) in goods to start Apple computer. Google’s Larry Page had access to a variety of computers “lying around” in his parents home when he was young.
The Kindness Equalizer
Not everyone will have this kind of head start in their life. As we started talking about in this series, not everyone has the same circumstances. Not everyone will be able to afford a great school, the tools to learn, or the finances to buy expensive equipment to start a business.
Instead, they will be doing everything they can just to catch up to those that are ahead. The best way we can help people like that is to show some kindness, understanding, and encouragement. When people are giving it their all, inspire them and cheer them on.
And when they are not giving everything they have, take the time to find out why. We all want to be successful. What’s stopping them?
Filling the Gap
We all need means to be successful. Richard Branson did. Sometimes people just need encouragement and strength in other areas – confidence, support, good relationships – to have the steam to find new avenues of financial capital.
Find a way to pay into someone else by accepting them as all they could be and helping them to see that vision. You may find that might fill the gap where means is no longer an issue.