I love the TV show The Simpsons (at least I did for years, I feel it has run its course now) and one of my favorite characters is Montgomery Burns, the classic evil and greedy rich man. While such characterizations may make great TV cartoons, they don’t really express reality. The truth is very few greedy people every become wealthy. That doesn’t mean there are no greedy people who are wealthy. What it does mean is people operating on a greed based dynamic seldom create and more importantly maintain real wealth.
Greed isn’t something that one expresses or doesn’t express based on what they have. Greed is expressed in the desire to have what someone else has, not something like they have but an actual desire to gain at the expense of another person. Such people generally see others as greedy based on fallacious projections. They worry about what the restaurant paid for their steak instead of realizing the quality of the product on the plate. These people are the ones who “have a great idea but are afraid someone will steal it”. They are the ones that make 2 dollars selling a hard copy book vs. 12 dollars per unit selling and ebook because they fear people giving it away.
Let’s look at the last one just to see how reverse greed repels profit and wealth. Let’s say you sell a hard copy book for 12 dollars and your cost is 10 you make two dollars a book. Now let’s say you sell 5000 books in a year that way you just made 10,000 dollars. Now let’s say you sell 50% as many as an ebook because as you feared each buyer gave away one copy and they gave it to someone that was going to buy it in the first place. The reality is the odds of this are longer then winning the lottery but let’s go worst case and say it happens.
- Scenario One – 5,000 books x a 2 dollar profit = 10,000 dollars in profit
- Scenario Two – 2,500 books x 11 dollars in profit (1 dollar for the merchant fees) = 27,500 dollars in profit
So even if the worst case scenario occurred here the profit is 275% higher. You would think the “greedy person” would sniff out this profit but the reality is greed is inherently self damning and self limiting, tune in today for more.