Success money prosperity: poverty is not sexy!

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Text comes from: Die 95/5-Formel: Warum viele wenig und wenige alles haben (2020) from Simon Hofer, published by Münchener Verlagsgruppe (MVG), Reprints by friendly permission of the publisher.
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The imbalance between rich and poor is great worldwide. But how do you manage to break out of the hamster wheel and live a prosperous life?

Best of HR –®

Here writes for you:


Simon Hofer is an entrepreneur, keynote speaker and top coach.


From the author:


Being poor is not sexy

In Western culture, 95 percent of people have trouble paying their bills at the end of the month. You cannot put money aside or invest it. They spend their vacation - if they can go on vacation at all - where there is the cheapest offer, and the "new car" is at best an old used car from the flag dealer.

They are always plagued with the same fears and worries. They also don't like to go to the mailbox because there are usually bills and reminders. After a 40-year career, 95 percent of people do not have enough to make a decent living from it and are now afraid of retirement and also of finally falling, not only financially but also socially, because being poor is not sexy. But what particularly distinguishes these people is that they are simply unhappy in their lives.

What do the 5 percent do better?

5 percent of people not only pay their bills on time, if they want to, they put money aside, earn money with investments and benefit from tax savings options. You own real estate, regularly buy new vehicles and travel to the dream destinations of the world. Most of them enjoy their work, they are good at what they do and they are happy. It seems like everything will be easy for them. Some retire early and then devote even more time to their hobbies and interests.

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What distinguishes these people from the other 95 percent? Were you just lucky? Did you enjoy expensive training? Do these people have an above-average IQ? Or were they just in the right place at the right time? In the end, are the genes that you inherited responsible for your happiness?

Take a trip to yourself

If you deal with successful people, you will quickly find out: Happiness, education, origin and intelligence played a subordinate role for success! Successful people differ significantly from the unsuccessful only in one point.

I would like to take you on a journey to yourself, because all of our actions, everything we do and think as human beings are wonderfully connected. You should use the latest findings from brain and gene research, because research has now clearly shown that the genes do not control us, but we control the genes. This new and exciting science is called epigenetics. These largely unknown research results will fundamentally change our way of thinking and acting in the coming years.

Know the right formula

But how do you manage to leave the 95 percent group and join the 5 percent group? For this, it is extremely important not only to know the 95/5 formula, but to understand that we encounter it again and again in all important areas of our lives. Only those who know and understand them can position themselves optimally in life and find happiness.

In my coaching sessions, I always use examples and stories that have happened to me or to people I know personally. Regarding the statements in the field of brain and genetic research, I have had to accept in the course of my life that there are different opinions even among the best scientists. But that didn't stop me from staying open and trying new things.

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Why 95 percent of people don't think and 5 percent are successful

Some things didn't work for me, others worked surprisingly well, to an extent that I would never have dreamed of, even though I suddenly had to read that a scientist was of the opinion that, from his point of view, exactly this method could not work at all . That sums up the whole story. Nobody knows what exactly works for you. Often we don't even know what works for us because we haven't tried. That is why I wish from you: Be open to new things and give them a fair chance to enrich your life.

There are not many trends that are very similar worldwide and that have been running smoothly for many years. The imbalance between rich and poor is one of these few global trends. We know from recent studies that around 5 percent of people in Europe have no money worries. They own real estate and other capital investments, and their income and assets increase steadily. These people travel the world, buy premium and luxury items and are usually happy and satisfied. Within this 5 percent there is still a group of approx. 0,3 percent that owns more than 50 million euros. This is the group of the super rich, whose fortunes reach into the billions.

The curse of comparison

But what about the big rest, the other 95 percent? What is left for them? The thoughts of these people mostly revolve around unpaid bills, problems in marriage, family, partnership and the job, or even about the job search. They have these worries, even though the vast majority of these people work hard, some even have two jobs, but it's just not enough to get on in life. Once the hamster wheel turns, it is very difficult to get out.

In addition, these people constantly compare themselves to those who have more than them, and that makes them even more frustrated and sad. It is a trend that we are currently looking at worldwide. I call it the 95/5 formula. Interestingly, we find this trend or formula not only in economically stable countries in Europe, but also in countries that have only developed economically in the last few decades.

No short-term trend

The greater the economic progress in such countries, the more the 95/5 formula crystallizes. One could conclude that we are dealing with a new trend that has emerged in the past 30 to 50 years, but the impression is deceptive. If you go further back in time, you will come across this trend of one-sided distribution of wealth between poor and rich people over and over again.

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Already in the Bronze Age, around 4000 years ago, in the early agricultural culture of Europe, two camps of people formed, one with a lot and the other with very little. It is assumed that at the beginning of the Bronze Age around 10 to 15 percent of people controlled the resources and thus belonged to the privileged or wealthy. In the next 2000 years, when agriculture lost its importance and it was more profitable to occupy trade routes and to charge taxes for them, the 95/5 formula crystallized more and more.

The structural division is repeated

Even with the development of modern humans, our behaviors have hardly changed. Today in the 21st century we find the same structures of division between rich and poor as we did thousands of years ago. My research showed that the journalist and writer Napoleon Hill (1883-1970) already published a relationship between in his 1928 work The Law of Success, which later became the world-famous title Think and Grow Rich Poor and rich, speaking from 98 percent to 2 percent.

His thoughts on it spiegelOn the one hand, they contradicted the opinions of his mentor, the then giant of the steel industry Andrew Carnegie (1835–1918), who was probably one of the richest men in the world in his day. On the other hand, his statements also corresponded to the world views of personalities such as Henry Ford or Thomas Edison. So this division is not new, on the contrary.

Imbalance has manifested through generations

As a result, many people have started to simply accept this imbalance across generations, true to the motto: It has always been this way and will always remain so. But, as is so often the case, it is worth taking a step back and taking a second look at things, in this case the division of wealth between the poor and the rich.

It is striking that the group of the rich 5 percent changes again and again in its composition. Only about 1 percent of wealthy families manage to stay in this circle for several generations or centuries. These are mostly the super rich. But even within this group it can happen that one or the other family dynasty becomes impoverished for generations despite once immeasurable wealth.

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New and old players

This danger arises especially if one day the ego trumps the size of wealth. So there is a lot of movement in the 5 percent circle of the rich. Particularly when the "new times" had dawned, there were often great upheavals in the composition of this group. When agriculture lost its importance back then, many rich people did not make the leap.

With the advent of the industrial age, many new faces appeared in the 5 percent circle, even among the super rich. The same thing happened again with the advent of the information age in the 80s. New players have entered this circle and others have left it. So all of this shows that there is always room in the circle of the rich, for everyone who understands the rules of the game. We live in a world today where all information is available!

Information is openly available

Even secret state information finds its way to the public on an unprecedented scale. Edward Snowden or Wikileaks are just two prominent examples from many. But there is also other enormously valuable information. The digital age has given us the Internet, among other things. There is probably no relevant information that we cannot find there. The problem is rather to find the relevant among all the irrelevant ones. Ever since the term “fake news” has wandered around the world, everyone has known how difficult it can be.

One of the repeatedly used arguments from the group of 95 percent, according to which the rich have access to information, the poor do not, no longer counts. It can be argued that the rich still have a head start because they know what information is relevant and where and how to find it, but in the end we have equal opportunities in this regard today.

Wealth is not a matter of luck

It is further argued that the rich are more fortunate, have enjoyed better training, have been gifted by nature with a high IQ or, quite simply, have already been born rich. The list of popular reasons why some have everything and others have nothing is long and has been the same for many years. I have also used these reasons for myself as an argument and justification to others. It had taken many years before I finally discovered that there is only one relevant difference between rich and poor, happiness and unhappiness.

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If you deal with the rich, you quickly find that it is not luck, not expensive training or an above-average IQ that make the difference. For some rich and successful people I've met, the IQ is even more in the lower range. You may also know one or two people who have asked themselves shaking their heads: how the hell did he get this far?

The secret of success

I have spent many years unraveling the secret of why so few have everything and so many have nothing. Why is everything so easy for the successful? What secrets do those I don't know know? I tried many paths, often made a wrong turn and only came back on the right path after a long, difficult detour. But I didn't give up and kept looking until the obvious was in front of me and I rubbed my eyes in wonder and asked myself: Can it be that easy?

If you now think that never giving up is the secret, let me say two things. Sometimes you have to give up, plain and simple, to be able to follow a different path if you are on the wrong path. And as for the secret: there is no secret to happiness, success, wealth and fulfillment. It is more of a key, a key that we all have but are still not on the radar. We use it a thousand times a day and still have no idea how it works. Or can you explain how our thinking works?

A question of thinking

Yes, exactly, the way of thinking is the big difference that separates the poor and rich, that ensures that some have so much and others have so little. We have about 60 thoughts every day and are not even aware of it. A single thought can take our life in a completely different direction. I will show you this on the basis of personal experiences.

The day I started thinking about thinking changed my life from the ground up. I have got to know a new world, one in which everything is possible and dreams suddenly become realistic and tangible goals and happiness, success and fulfillment suddenly appear possible. A world in which you suddenly have 60 potential opportunities every day to do and achieve what you want. It was a fascinating moment.

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