These kinds of stories crop up quite frequently: Link
‘I made millions from my lounge’
Is the headline on the front page of the Herald. Which makes you click on it…
And then once you click on it, you get this headline:
Founder of cosmetic brand ZOEVA turned her eBay store into a multi-million dollar venture
Which is of course, less click-baity, but still drags you in…
But what we never hear about is the millions of others who have tried something very similar and failed i.e. made no money and probably lost a bit.
Closer to home on programmes such as Country Calendar, we only hear about farmers who make lots of money, whilst restoring their wetlands, home-schooling their 6 kids and putting on BBQs for the locals. Not to mention developing an award winning garden, having their 3 generations of family over (who of course farmed the land before they did) and also having the local school kids over for day trips.
We don’t hear about the ones who bought herds and expanded their dairy farms just before the milk price crash and they then went out into the middle of a field and blew their brains out. Which happens quite often, but as I said, we just don’t hear about it.
And why is this important? Because these success stories tend to make us feel like failures. If we only have a normal job, or a small business that doesn’t make much money or perhaps we took a risk with something but lost out, or we’re up to our eyeballs in debt, then we look at this lady who seemingly started up a webiste and then started raking in the money.
Of course it’s much harder than that. But it’s presented in these news stories like a really easy thing to do. They don’t mention the thousands of hours of work put in, and of course the essential ingredient, a huge dollop of luck!
And the inference is that if we haven’t or can’t do the same thing, then were a collossal loser.
We also see this kind of thing in various other areas like: People who have lost a lot of weight, people who are very good looking, pictures of ultra expensive houses (cars and every other material item) and so on.
And so maybe it’s a reminder not to compare ourselves with others. But it’s damned hard not to do that. And the journalists and retailers know this. In fact our whole economy is based on it.