Not desperate enough to be rich


I am not desperate enough to get rich. And I don’t mean to say that this desired state should arrive right about at the moment I withdraw the last small change from my inner pocket. No, this desperation should arrive on a plate filled to the brim with actions one could take, items one could purchase, and improvements one could only manifest with some real hard currency.

There can be no doubt that this is the time to be rich. If you’re not a terrorist, you can enjoy almost unrestricted travel anywhere in the world. The well-to-do man or woman can also embark on endless shopping sprees, accumulating a range of consumer products to indulge their every fancy. They can naturally also attract members of the opposite gender, or whatever gender they prefer.

It’s fair to say I don’t follow fashion, and I’m no devoted addict of consumerism. But in case sudden wealth befell me, I would purchase myself some shirts and maybe a new pair of trousers (my best pair is adorned with multi-coloured splashes of paint). I would also buy myself a new computer, and a new bicycle. And then I would fly to Japan, economy class, despite the fact that I’d be able to afford a place in a more elevated hierarchy. Going on a vacation like that would also mean that I will indeed have reached a degree of freedom of movement hitherto only imagined in afternoon naps. I could also fly home for a week to stock up on decent toilet paper, Steers garlic sauce, and some magazines where I don’t need to consult two English-Chinese dictionaries just to understand the title.

This is not only the time to be rich, it is also the time to become rich. Technology previously beyond the reach of common people is, in a lot of cases at least, now as easily obtainable as a new shirt, and not necessarily more expensive. It has become a mantra that I dutifully recite to all within earshot that it is now more unnecessary than ever to submit your labour to the highest bidder, and to submit your freedom of dress, speech, thought and movement to corporate authorisation. Information on specific methods, skills and tricks are widely available to the corporate serf who is planning an entrepreneurial breakout, or the odd rebel who has so far been untouched by the fascist claws of corporate institutions.

To seek out and find this information is one thing, though. The virgin entrepreneur also needs to re-educate themselves. They would need to carefully analyse, reconsider and change where necessary their ways of thinking about things. They need to understand that doing “free creative work under one’s own control” requires self-discipline, ambition, and confidence in one’s own abilities and talents – and an honest appreciation of one’s weaknesses. It requires of the would-be successful entrepreneur to work long, hard hours – almost like in a corporate job, but hopefully at home, in clothes ten times more comfortable than a suit, with music of their choice filling airwaves previously ravaged by the screams and whines of corporate authority figures.

All of these useful little titbits are not what I intended to state in this particular piece. I merely wanted to create a platform to express my opinion that I am not yet desperate enough to be rich. I am adequately aware of weaknesses and strengths I could have as an entrepreneur. I am also very stoic – in case that comes in handy (I eat cereal even when I have canned tuna in my food box), and the fact that I’m reluctant to socialise with people doesn’t mean I can’t call it self-discipline.

What I need though, is the desire that burns inside a man returning to city life after years in the desert, knowing that he can have anything and everything he’s been missing if he could just lay his hands on some local currency. That – is what I need.