8-bit image of a dedicated rich kid focused on strategic investments, displaying hard work and determination.

What I learned from ambitious rich kids

My observations and takeways from growing up knowing lazy rich kids vs meeting ambitious rich kids.

tldr: Money is fuel

Until I moved to London, I had only encountered lazy rich kids. To them, money was a tool for fun, a way to cut corners, and ultimately, the greatest deterrent to achieving anything.

But, when I moved to London, I met a new kind of rich kid – the ambitious rich kid. They see money differently. To them access to money is unfettered access to rocket fuel. Everyday, they try to min-max the leverage their money can offer them. Whether it’s accelerating boring tasks, gaining entry into influential circles, enhancing their education, or simply enabling them to accomplish more, they explore every leverage-able possibility.

Encountering an ambitious rich kid and witnessing their approach to money presents a stark contrast to their lazy counterparts. To me, lazy rich kids have always viewed money as a bouyant – a means to get on even footing with their peers. Once achieving parity, the value of money seemed to diminish for them. But, to ambitious rich kids it’s not a buoyant, it’s a propellant. And propellants are only useful if they fuel other things. Ambitious rich kids have this urgency about the money they don’t leverage because it hurts to just have all that propellant sitting idle.

My key takeway from observing these kids, is that their mindset is a self-fulfilling prophecy for success. They work hard, invest money to increase leverage, take on more risk, and increase their surface area for creating value and hitting a home-run. Because they have so many at-bats money-wise, this feedback loop continues such that they get even richer.

I think this mindset works wonders even if you don’t have the money to leverage every opportunity or can’t afford to fail. Because it ports just as easily to time instead of money. Every ounce of time should be put towards extending your leverage and taking more risks with that time. Then with the next unit of time reinvested you should see the surface area for creating value expand similar to a monetary investment. For me this manifested in self-taught programming, mastering my personal finances, and failed start-ups. Since then the opportunities and areas for value creation (and capture), especially due to programming, have boomed!

Meeting these kids is incredibly refreshing. It’s nice to know that there are people who have tons of resources at their disposal and they don’t squander that opportunity. Even though they’ve had tons of traps laid out in front of them since birth, and their environment has been so conducive to them falling into them, it’s amazing to see young people prevail and trudge along with clear intrinsic motivation. It’s honestly a great cliché to break and something I’m sure all rich parents wish it for their kids.

I think it’s interesting that people assume they have nothing to learn from rich kids. To me it’s a weak dismissal, mostly born out of jealousy and an inferiority complex. Who wouldn’t want their kids to not worry about money? Couldn’t that produce an interesting person? I think the right rich kids are a wealth of unique experiences and are an overly dismissed resource for learning and understanding.