What is a grumbler actually worth?

by Captain Walker

Categories: Humanities

Most people these days grumble about their financial situation – unless you happen to be Bill Gates or Richard Branson – but they aren’t most people.

From 2006 to now, I’ve found that when I get down to making suggestions to people who definitely communicate a need to improve earning capacity, I get told something along the lines of, “Money isn’t everything“. So I say “Oh..right” – and move on. I mean who the hell ever said money was ‘everything’?

Occasionally I might say to a ‘grumbler’, “What if you were offered £1 million tax free to do a certain new job. Would you want to acquire the skills and invest time in it?” The usual response is a smile followed by a “Yes…but who would want to offer me such an opportunity..I’m nobody“.  Others may well ask, “So how long would it take me to earn this million?” which is a good question.  But there would be some kind of certainty of opportunity, though at the time of the offer, it is unknown what exactly the job involves.

What might Mr Grumbler say? He might say, “That’s difficult…what would I do? If I could think what to do to earn that kind of money, I’d be doing it“. The “Yes” is the important part of the answer above in case you missed it.  In reality if somebody offered a ‘Grumbler’ £1 Million (tax free) to do a new and perfectly legal and moral job, the Grumbler would probably bite at it. Let’s say that in reality few average people would be offered such a deal – but they may be offered a 3-year training contract, at the end of which they would be able to earn around £200,000/yr tax free i.e. £1 million over 5 years.

I want to contrast two hypothetical situations:

Item Scenario A. “We have a perfectly legal and moral job opportunity to show you. Here’s the deal: Offer of £1 million tax free for a perfectly legal and moral job offer – on completion – of a five year period. Scenario B. “We have a perfectly legal and moral job opportunity to show you. Here’s the deal: Offer of £1 million tax free for a perfectly legal and moral job offer.
1 Keep your current job if you have one. Same
2 Training provided. You will have to meet all training targets, else you will be rejected. Same
3 In the first year, train for 2  hours per day 4 days per week after your regular job if you have one (or two hours per day only if you do not have a regular job). Your only start-up costs are a) a computer b) a reliable connection to the internet. Same
4 In the second year you train and practice (after your regular day job) for the same 2 hours per day, 4 nights per week. Any earnings you make are ours. Year one and two are using our demo accounts only. Same – except any earnings you make are yours to keep.
5 At the start of the third year, after we’ve seen promising results of your efforts in the 2nd year on demo accounts, you will be given real money to invest. You take on the job at the same 2 hours per night, 4 days per week. Any earnings you make are ours. Same – except that you invest your own money – as much or to a minimum of £500. Any earnings you make are yours to keep. Any losses you make are yours.
6 No pay for any of the above – as we need to see results first. No pay for training hours.
7 By end of year 4, you will have made at least £100,000 for us. If not the deal closes and you cannot continue. No performance requirement.
8 By the end of year 5 we must be satisfied that you could be earning at least £100,000 per year for us. If not the deal closes and you cannot continue. No performance requirement.
9 On satisfactory completion we pay you £1 million lump sum tax free, on condition that you stay with us over the next 5 years (working 1 hour per night, 3 days per week). With a charge on your estate of £1M in the event that you default or die. Any earnings made in the business are for us. Oh – and you get the sack if your projected earnings for us falls below £1 Million over 5 years. Actually – you’ll never be paid by ‘us’ (whoever we are)!!!  You’ll be making these earnings for yourself, and you can use the skills learned to make as much money as you want for the rest of your life.

I suggest that people will be more attracted by greater certainty and duration of reward in Scenario A i.e. they’ll think to themselves, “At least I’ll get something if I fail and nothing to lose – and I’ll still have my regular job!!” I know, “Not everybody is so self-driven and highly motivated to earn and not everybody likes taking risks.” So – that explains why most people will never become millionaires. No risk no gain.. no pain no gain.. no risk no pain.

What’s a grumbler worth? Nothing!


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