Wealth Is an Equal Opportunity Game

Today’s popular belief is that CEOs make outrageously high salaries. But that’s a narrow view. Let’s look at the facts.

It’s true that the best CEOs among us are making far more money today than they did 50 years ago. It’s a global market now, and opportunities are much larger for everyone today. A CEO of one the largest 350 U.S. companies was expected to be in his/her role by 2020. Paid on average $24.2 milioN, inclusive of all options that were redeemable in the same year.

However, the best actors, musicians, and athletes earned more — much more. A top 10 actor’s average annual salary was $29 Million, while a top musician of 10 earned $230M and an athlete with 50+ years of experience received $280M. Few people make it to the top as actors, musicians, athletes, entrepreneurs or businesspeople. It is not possible to reach the top without sacrificing your career. The opportunity exists for all. 

If your parents have a history of success, it is a plus. In sports, Brett Hull was Bobby Hull’s son, Stephen Curry is Dell Curry’s son, and Payton and Eli Manning were Archie Manning’s boys. The same thing happens to actors. Dakota Johnson’s parents were Don Johnson and Melanie Griffiths, Emilio Estevez and Charlie Sheen’s father is Martin Sheen, Angelina Jolie’s father is Jon Voight are both are Oscar winners. Music can be run as a family venture. Jakob Dylan followed his father’s footsteps, as did Carnie and Wendy Wilson, and Julian and Sean Lennon.

“Riches are not an end of life but an instrument of life.” – Henry Ward Beecher

This is a clear example of a pattern. What we’re exposed to growing up can influence possibilities and opportunities for us as adults. Two of my uncle’s children were doctors, as are his two children. Some of their children are also physicians. Many children follow in their parents’ footsteps, but it’s the exception, not the rule.  

Most CEOs, entrepreneurs, actors, musicians and athletes who made it to the top didn’t come from a privileged family. Even if you come from a wealthy family, it can still be an obstacle to your next generation. The chances of being diagnosed as addicted to drugs or alcohol in 26-year olds with middle-class parents are twice-to-three-fold higher than those who live in the United States.   

Anyone can become a millionaire and even a billionaire. My native Canada has two-thirds millionaires who are self-made. Almost half were first-generation Canadians or immigrants. According to Forbes70% of America’s 400 richest people made their fortunes from nothing in their lives. They created lots of wealth for their family and friends.    

It’s also true for other people who have worked hard to parlay their talent to the top of their profession. In 2021, Sean Combs will be worth $885 Million. He was born in Harlem and first made money by selling newspapers to purchase sneakers. LeBron James lived in Akron with his four-generation family. Now he’s worth $500 million. J.K. Rowling was a billionaire and raised a daughter with public assistance, while simultaneously writing Harry Potter in 1994. 

These CEOs, celebrities, actors and musicians are generating wealth. You are — and you’re getting value in return. Every time you make a call on your iPhone, search for a place to eat on Google, post a picture of your dog on Instagram, watch the Super Bowl, or listen to a hit song on Spotify you’re enjoying the work of talented and hardworking people. In 2021, the average YouTuber income was $30 million.   

It isn’t a crime to earn money in exchange for value. It’s everywhere in society, and what the wealthy earn helps the pie to grow, not shrink. In the average case, we were much poorer than our fellow citizens in the past. Comparing the current economic success of each region with its past, one can see that they are both more prosperous than in their history.  

Everyone has the chance to improve at their job. For a few, they’ll go all the way to becoming the best among us. We should celebrate the work and effort they put into their success, and celebrate, as well, how far we’ve come across all classes. 

Addicted 2 Success published the post Wealth Is an Equal Opportunity Game.

Wealth is an Equal Opportunity Game originally appeared on Addicted 2 Success.

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