In 2011, Occupy Wall Street was a thing. It brought “we are the 99%” into the modern vernacular. Since then, there has been a popular perception in the west that if you’re not making millions of dollars, you’re part of the 99% which all the rich bankers and fat cats are part of the 1%.
The reality, however, is that the people who claim to be part of the 99%, are actually part of the 1%.
According to Global Rich List, if you make $32,000 a year or more in the United States, you make more money than 99% of the world. That’s over $15 an hour. A receptionist or mover can earn that much with a little less than a high school diploma.
If you’re reading this, you’re likely already part of that 1%. You’re likely richer than most of the world if you’re reading this in the United States or another first-world country.
However, I don’t want to drill any further on this. This article is not meant to be political. It’s not even about making money, necessarily. But, as a result of joining the 1%, it can have a direct and in-direct positive impact on your wealth and income. But we’ll get to that later.
The real 1% you should be striving to join is the 1% I want to talk about in this article, and that is the core of this blog. The 1% I want to talk about produces more than they consume.
This 1% of the population not only puts more into the world than they take out, they’re usually happier, more successful, more fulfilled, richer in time and money, healthier, and contribute more positively to society.
People like Elon Musk are indeed part of the 1% but not because of their wealth. It’s because they put out more into the world than they take. Whether it’s with their business, art, or knowledge.
To start, we want to do the things that only the 1% of the population does and do the things that the 99% won’t do. A general rule of thumb is to do the opposite of pop-society but I will get more specific than this.
Let’s dive deeper into the things the 1% do versus the 99%.
Accountability and problems
The easiest example of this is as I’ve shown earlier. A majority of people blame their problems on other things and people.
They will rally in the streets and on lawns, showing and shouting their frustration. They complain about a rigged game (and rightfully so) even though they don’t play the game.
A small minority of people take ownership of their problems and look to change the things that they can actually change. They look to be the change they want to see in the world. They focus on changing themselves first, before trying to change others or the unchangeable.
The 99% spend time finding people to blame for their problems and finding people to fix their problems. The 1% spend time focusing on parts of the problem they can control and work to solve the problem.
This is a big one. This goes far beyond consumerism, but I’ll get to that, too.
Most of the world, especially in the west, consumes so much more than they create, produce, and put into the world. Food, information, media, entertainment, knowledge, products, and services are consumed in droves by the masses. Yet, so little of the population creates all these things.
99% of the population is consumed with consuming.
99% of the world listens to more music than it creates.
99% of the world reads more than it writes.
99% of the world buys more than it sells.
Instead of taking, produce. Create.
This also applies to productivity. The 1% have tremendous output. It’s the reason they’re happier, healthier, and richer in time and money. The 1% do the things that improve their relationships and make them happy. They do the work in the gym and kitchen that makes them healthier. The do the work that builds their business or project that earns them money and buys them time.
The 99% spend their money on products, services and experiences. Again, playing into consumerism. The 1% spend their money on things that buy them more time. Whether that’s outsourcing parts of their life, or putting their money into an investment that allows them to work less, the 1% understand that money is simply a tool to live more freely and on their own terms.
Consumerism (owning things, paying for experiences) ends up owning you. Bad debt and things that take up space and make you unhappier overall.
Another thing the 99% do is value money over their time. It’s one of the weirdest conventional things we see.
The 99% will wait hours in line to save a few bucks.
The 99% will wait hours to be seated at a restaurant to try some over-hyped food.
The 99% will watch commercials or ads instead of paying to have them removed.
The 99% use their time to save money from outsourcing chores and work.
The 99% trades their time for money and over values earned income. The 1% values residual, portfolio, and passive income. The 1% understand time is a finite resource that you can never get back. Money is an infinite resource that you can always create more of.
The reason 24-hour news cycles exist is because there’s a demand for it. The 99% loves the “news”. Whether it’s celebrity gossip, war, tragedy, or sensationalism, it’s gobbled-up.
Not only that, the amount of time people spend on these news sites, or Reddit, or social media is disproportional to the time they could be spending on much more productive and healthier tasks.
The 1% consume very little information, if any at all, unless it pertains to their success, happiness, and/or fulfillment. I don’t check any social media news feeds and block all of that with Chrome extensions. The only reason the 1% might own a social media account is to grow their business.
A low information diet is the best approach to this.
“Good” information, such as education and self-improvement/business books can be abused, too. The 99% use education and information as a form of procrastination.
Instead of starting their workout routine today, they instead spend several days finding the “perfect” routine before losing motivation and never seeing the inside of a gym.
Instead of working on your business or project, you spend days reading articles and books without ever applying what you learn.
Join the 1%
It’s the whole idea of this blog and the one thing you must attach yourself to before anything else if you want anything in life.
If you do the same things as most people (99%) expect to get the results that most people have: unhappiness, regret, bad health, poor, unintelligent, uneducated, unmotivated, cynical, defeatist, and overall: average.
So turn off the Netflix, delete the social media, start a business, eat healthier, start doing the things most people won’t do, and you’ll be a whole lot more fulfilled, happier, and successful.
Instead of consuming information that makes you feel good, join the 1% that consume useful, helpful, and productive information. Blinkist is what I use and recommend. It allows me to consume information quickly, that way I can spend more time on action. Blinkist takes the best books out there, and creates easily digestible audio and text summaries of them. Their library is huge and constantly growing, so there’s likely to be several books you could consume within a few hours to give you a head start.