Millionaires Vs Broke People

September 18, 2016

LinkedInanity — Dubious Wisdom From The LinkedIn Wall, Let Them Eat Cake Edition

by Freddy J. Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango + And Guy Who’s Wondering How Much More LinkedIn He Can Take…

Please tell me this is one of those annoying LinkedIn puzzles. You know, one of those banal math problems or word games that clueless people play on the professional networking site.

This particular LinkedIn challenge obviously shows the value of proofreading, and it’s so easy that a Fox News host could solve it. The column headers are clearly reversed, so just swap ’em and the table makes perfect sense. In fact, anyone who’s ever worked for a blowhard Hollywood millionaire could see the issue.

So what’s so hard about this —

Wait — you’re telling me that this wasn’t a simpleton’s puzzle? That someone actually believes this and is shilling it?

OK, don’t get me started on the causes of poverty in this country, such as medical debt or that it’s simply expensive to be poor.

Since this is a site for creative professionals, let me just speak on behalf of the artists and writers and musicians and other dream weavers out there — brilliant people I know who are struggling to make ends meet, and who are just one bad fall on a broken L.A. sidewalk (most of them) from bankruptcy.

  • The artists and creatives I know read daily — and not just stock quotes or screenplay breakdowns. They read novels and poetry and nonfiction books. Reading is as vital to them as food and water and great music.
  • They set goals — small ones and lofty ones, in the hope that someday one break will make their lifetime of toil and tenacity pay off.
  • They compliment their fellow artists, going out to see and hear and experience their work even though they can barely afford to do so.
  • They not only embrace change, they instigate it (because that’s what artists do).
  • They have no choice but to forgive, since when you’re at the bottom of the pile looking up, you need all the hands up you can get, even from trolls who got lucky but now want to be worshiped.
  • And do they talk about ideas? Did I mention they’re artists and writers and musicians?
  • Along the same lines, they’re constantly pursuing more knowledge and taking more classes and seeking more advice for the next step up.
  • And when things go wrong, well, of course they note that America is myopically cruel to most artists, allocating less money to the arts than to military marching bands, but no one is more self-critical than they are.

At least these are the artists and creative folks I know. I wish I had half their ambition and resilience despite the odds stacked against them.

And while I’ve also met some certainly wonderful wealthy people — some who do read every day and care considerably about others — let me just say that a few millionaires I’ve met would only know artistry if you put the word “con” in front of it.

So whoever put this table together, let me just say that…

  1. It’s too easy of a puzzle (you might try reading more). And…
  2. Thanks for reminding us that the value of a human being should be measured by the content of their character, not the content of their bank accounts.

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Freddy is the Founder & Creative Strategist of Atomic Tango. He also teaches at the University of Southern California (go Trojans!), shoots pool somewhat adequately, and herds cats. Freddy received his BA from Harvard and his MBA from USC.

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