It started with a late night television show. I saw one of those hour long 'commercials' by some guy named Anthony Robbins. His colourful and polished presentation was selling books, videos and weekend courses all with the positive, well good message that you could change your life and achieve your wildest dreams. He was giving away just enough hints about the content of his message that you could say to yourself: "That might just work!"
One of those hints turned out to be of immediate interest to me. I was booked to spend the next week with a group of real movers and shakers. Very powerful, very wealthy people. I would be there to cover the event, to write it up for the organization's magazine. But I wondered just how easy it would be to blend in with such people. What had I in common with a wealthy elite? Robbins gave me an idea. He said that one should closely observe those who were rich, successful and powerful, and then model one's life on them, to achieve the same wealth, success and power. An interesting idea, and I had a full week to put it into practice.
The night before I left I got together with a buddy and I told him what I would be doing. As I mentioned the modeling idea, I also said that I wondered how I would fit in. He had two words for me: "You won't." Why is that, I asked? He laughingly told me a story from where he worked. He worked the midnight shift at a local plant. Often the crew would take their breaks and their lunch outside and he had spotted something by doing that. In one direction, they could see several apartment buildings, very often with one light burning per floor. The crew would wonder why these people were up at such a late hour. In the other direction was a luxury condominium building. A very expensive and deluxe place
to live. Never did a light show after midnight.
So I was told if I wanted to model my life on the rich, I would have to abandon my night owl lifestyle! The week of the conference went well. It was held at a deluxe hotel and the very air seemed to have the smell of money. I met the rich. The powerful. Those who were big names in business, society and government. The week long meeting was a mix of reports on all the good and great things that had been achieved and a list of future projects to do other good works.
My assumption had been that the wealthy would be easy to spot. After all, they would dress well, would they not? I guess they did. The problem was that everyone dresses well. The girl who served me coffee every morning might be poolside at midnight, wearing a little black dress, and looking like a million bucks. Even I had only packed clothes that looked new and stylish.
After you cover these sorts of things for awhile, you get the feeling that you could write them up without even attending. You need the topics and you have to get the names right. The rest, however, is fluff.
You make it glow with positive words and everybody is happy. Especially those whose names get mentioned. So, I had lots of free time. And an unlimited tab. After a tiny bit of work, getting those topics and names, I was free to observe the wealthy. I'm good at that. What was it that the rich had, that I could model, and achieve the same result?
By the end of the week, to my dismay, I had only discovered one attribute that stood out in the rich. Other than that, they seemed the same as everybody else.
They came in all shapes and sizes. Some seemed happy, some seemed sad. Some were energetic, some were lazy. There seemed only one common denominator to those powerful people and that was something that I could not copy!
It was the women, and not the men, that had that distinctive thing. All of them, married or single, rich themselves or simply married to money, had that same similarity. So, if you are female, I'll pass it on, no charge.
All the women wore dresses, almost all of the time.