Here’s a not-so-surprising statistic: According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average American’s household net worth for people ages 45–54 is $84,542. For the 55–64 age range, it’s $143,964, and for ages 65–69, it’s $194,226. Net worth is calculated by taking a total of all your assets (cash, savings, investments, real estate, etc.) minus all your debt (mortgage, credit card debt, car loan, etc.).
Why is that not surprising (at least to me)? Two reasons: One, Americans are drowning in debt. Remember, wealth is not income; it’s what you own after the debts are all paid. Worst of all, the fastest-growing category of liability is credit card debt, which is largely used to purchase non-assets — in other words, “stuff.” The second reason this doesn’t shock me is because wealth in America, and those who are in the top 1%, 20%, and bottom 80%, haven’t changed in years.
Essentially, the bottom 20% are living at or below poverty, and one rung up on the ladder, or the remaining 60%, struggle endlessly with their finances, accumulating no wealth. Those two groups, which make up the bottom 80%, significantly drag down the averages, even though it’s easier than ever to start a business, learn new skills, find and connect with people, and publish books, videos, and content for the purposes of marketing yourself or your business.
However, according to an article in Inc. magazine, the average net worth of a U.S. entrepreneur is $4 million. That may seem high; but the people who are lumped into this group are that top 5% of income earners in the U.S. who are, according to Investopedia, earning $299,810 on average, and the top 1% of income earners bring in $718,766 per year. While the actual numbers may change in other countries — I’m certain the percentages are relatively the same — the bottom 80% are in serious financial trouble, the top 15% are doing well, and the top 5% are holding and responsible for most of the wealth in our country.
There are two VERY important lessons to be drawn from all of this. First, if you want to be in the top 5% or 1% of income earners and wealthiest people on the planet, your chances of getting there go up exponentially if you’re a business owner. Of course, being a business owner is NOT a guarantee of wealth OR high income, as you will see in my article “The Shocking Failure To Achieve Financial Freedom As An MSP” later in this issue of MSP Success Magazine. Second, and far more instructive, is that IF you want to be in the top 5% of income earners, you have to BEHAVE differently and make decisions differently than the vast majority (80%) of the MSPs and IT services CEOs in this industry.
To quote Mark Twain, “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” And when it comes to success in business, wealth accumulation, and financial habits, nothing could be closer to the truth. If you find yourself broke at age 60 or over, it’s hard to argue that you did much right in your life pertaining to money. You might be a good person and a loved, responsible, valued person to your family and to your community — I’m not having a morality conversation, nor am I suggesting that “poor” people are stupid, lazy, worthless individuals — but when it comes to MONEY, you are, without a doubt, a failure.
We recently published a rather shocking income investigation, we conducted with MSPs and IT services CEOs and executives. We specifically polled people based on income, not net worth, which are clearly two different metrics. However, they are linked, and it’s safe to assume that those who earn sub $100,000 a year are not financially free. If they are, chances are it’s SLOW going. This is tragic. I sincerely believe that MSPs and IT services companies are some of the most under-appreciated, underpaid professionals in the business world today. They (you!) are doing incredibly important work for their clients, protecting their clients’ digital assets and operations, and allowing them to function day-to-day without much thought about IT. Further, running a managed services business is, without a doubt, one of the most complex, fast-paced, and difficult businesses to operate. Change happens by the week, and getting everything right is an incredibly complicated, ever-moving target to hit.
That’s why I hope this magazine and the marketing, sales, and business strategies I provide for this incredible community elevate YOU into the top 5% and 1% of income earners and wealthiest citizens. I cannot think of a harder-working, more generous, or more deserving group to be in that position. That’s why we sign our emails with “Dedicated to YOUR success.” We truly, honestly are.
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