Vocation, Vocation, Vocation

Discussion in 'Psychology' started by sempai, Oct 9, 2002.

  1. sempai


    Here's something I found that I thought some of you might enjoy:


    According to Webster’s dictionary, the term ace denotes one who excels at something. It is also a title given to combat pilots who have at least five in-air victories. World War II produced more fighter-pilot aces than any other conflict, with 1,285 pilots earning the title during this period (“The Last Ace,” Wall Street Journal, January 29, 1999, p. W11). How did they accomplish this feat? Most did it the traditional way, in dogfights. Many were eventually shot down themselves. But at least two did it quite differently. Their unique method and rationale for its use have significance for people who want to become economically productive. Like the two aces, the majority of millionaires surveyed became economic successes because they learned to focus their energies and other resources in ways that maximized their output. But what drove them to this focused approach?

    Both of the pilots who “did it differently” were more than aces (see Raymond F. Toliver and Trevor J. Constable, The Blond Knight of Germany [Blue Ridge Summit, PA: Aero Books, 1970]). One, Major Erich Hartmann, is known in military literature as the Ace of Aces. He had 352 confirmed in-air victories. The other pilot who had the same unique strategy was Sergeant “Paule” Rossmann, Hartmann’s mentor. He himself had more than 80 victories.

    It was Rossmann who invented the approach that ultimately led to Hartmann’s extraordinary success. Early in his career, Rossmann suffered an injury to his arm that never healed, and he was unable to dogfight. In a typical dogfight, victory goes to those with superior physical strength. Rossmann knew he could never survive this kind of battle, so he developed a compensating technique. Substituting a much more calculating method for the macho dogfighting strategy, he carefully planned each and every attack. He spent much more time analyzing various targets of opportunity than actually firing bullets at his quarry. He attacked only when he was in the best possible position to win. Then he would focus all his resources at the ideal target – the one that would give him the maximum return on his investment. Hartmann credits Rossmann’s approach, the “see and decide prior to firing” method, with his own success. It also explains how Hartmann survived 1,425 combat missions, yet he was never even wounded.

    What does all this have to do with becoming an economic success in America? Most millionaires understand that they have certain limitations, and they developed an understanding of their strengths and limitations before they even finished school. Like Rossmann, they realized that they had some type of “injured arm,” some type of limitation. So they developed their own unique strategy for becoming economically productive.

    Most millionaires, for example, are not intellectually gifted in an analytical sense. They did not receive all As in school, nor were they in the 1400-and-above SAT club. That’s why they decided not to compete in macho dogfight environments where superior analytical intelligence is a requirement to succeed.

    These same people usually did not score high enough on the standardized test that are requirements for law school, medical school, or graduate school. Many millionaires did not have a high enough grade point average to be hired by major corporations. But they still wanted to become economically successful, so many chose to be self-employed. They hired themselves when other employers would not.

    Many millionaires who designated themselves as “other than intellectually gifted” are, in fact, gifted in other ways. They have an abundance of common sense, and they have what some call creativity. How else can we explain their ability to discover economic opportunities that most so-called geniuses were unable to see?

    After studying millionaires for more than twenty years, I have concluded that if you make one major decision correctly, you can be economically productive. If you are creative enough to select the ideal vocation, you can win, win big-time. The really brilliant millionaires are those who selected a vocation that they love – one that has few competitors but generates high profits.

    Thomas J. Stanley, Ph.D., The Millionaire Mind, pp19-21 (Andrews McMeel Publishing, Kansas City, 2000).
  2. trdrmac


    That was a great post. Was the book as good as the Millionaire Next Door?
  3. sempai


    Yes. It was written by the same guy. The Millionaire Mind has lots of surveys and statistics about the habits and lifestyles of the wealthy. It's a great book.
  4. The Millionaire Mind is one of my all time favorites. I definitely recommend it.
  5. trdrmac


    Thanks, I will check that out the next time I hit Borders. It has been hard to find original content lately, guess a bear will do that to books on the market.
  6. The Millionaire Next Door, Suzie Orman (buy and hold mutual funds to retire wealthy), Abbey Cohen and the Beardstown Ladies all represented the success plan for the 20 year bull market which just ENDED.

    For the next 20, we are going to have to figure something else out.
  7. Interesting theory. I think there is another explanation for many of them--leverage. My guess is most millionaires made their dough in real estate using borrowed money. Takes some cojones and many go bust but plenty of others score. Another difference is the enormously enhanced compensation packages corporations now routinely give out to their top and close to the top people. In decades past this was not the case. You did not get really rich being below CEO level at any company. At least in the past few years you could. Typically, these jobs do require top credentials and the people in them are very bright.
  8. trdrmac


    For the next 20, we are going to have to figure something else out. [/B][/QUOTE]


    It is sort of funny how you can almost tell when a trend will end by the number of books on the subject. I was reading a semi-biography of a guy who was around after the 29 crash. One of his quotes that struck me was that Bond Salesmen were considered respectable, where stock brokers were not. Funny how Bill Gross gets a lot of press, but you hardly ever see Equity fund managers on tv these days. And Pimco TRF just passed Vanguard Index 500 in total assets. Guess some people never learn.

    This was sort of interesting from Millionaire Next Door.

    Ave age of a millionaire is 57, 1 in 5 are retired.

    Self employed make up 20% of the population but account for 2/3 of the millionaires

    Average income is 247K

    Average savings was 20% of income each year. I used to do this until I realized that it was better to just buy a fast car since it depreciates at a slower rate than my IRA. lol
  9. sempai



    I haven't read the other books you mentioned, but from what I recall, The Millionaire Next Door states that the majority of self-made people create their wealth by starting and growing their own businesses, or by specializing in something they can do well.

    They're then frugal with their earnings by living comfortably within their means, and investing the remainder wisely.
  10. i believe that a big part of it is a belief that you are right - you see something and it makes sense to you and you do it. not following the herd - maybe a little different...

    i never wanted to work in an office - my mom worked a union job most of her life, then the office closed and she bounced around for while at different companys. she was scottish and worked very hard and was loyal... took her 23 years to pay off a $19,000 house, but she was proud she paid it off early. BTW, she had at least 3 mortgages when she bought it.

    she always told me not to do like she did. to take chances, to do it myself, to be the boss and not the employee.... i try to instill in my children that being wrong is part of the process, but they need to figure things out for themselves. i never had a real job until i was 28. due to our dire financial situation most of my childhood, i did tend to be fearful of losing everything, which can be quite limiting... i have been working on that for years with a shrink! those old demons are hard to push down!

    my work/business life is kinda winding down and im planning to switch over to trading full-time, and ill probably relocate when my "little ones" are off to college in a few years. i plan to operate my business for a while as a safety net.... cant let go of the rope completely - combination of fear and actually good sense as i have been practicing my profession/business for years and years.

    i knew i had made a "generational" leap the first time i made more in a month than my mom paid for the 2Br/1Bth house that she, my sister and i grew up in. my dad deserted us when i was 5 and my sister was just an infant. man, that might have been the first time i really felt like: hey mom, i did it!

    i believe cheap people are sick, and limit their own happiness and horizons according to how much money they can save. misers are sick, i dont care how much dough they have. even so, i have never had the desire to own an expensive car and i dont spend alot of dough on depreciating assets, but we going skiing for a month or so each winter, are planning to buy scalped tix for the world series, etc. i invest in real estate and let tenants pay the properties off... it is perfectly simple to me - it always has been? so by following my own path of hard work, avoiding debt and depreciating assets, and investing, i am quite comfortable at 47 yo. this is even after a divorce and my biggest investment in offshore real estate blew-up! really blew-up!!!!! another trait for people looking to succeed - perseverance!
    #10     Oct 16, 2002