1
Which trio better understands wealth creation? Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg and Big Short author Michael Lewis? Or Victorian showman PT Barnum, virginal chanteuse Madonna and TV oilman Bobby Ewing? Yes, out of Dallas.以下哪三位人士更深谙賺錢之道?微軟(Microsoft)聯合創始人比爾•蓋茨(Bill Gates)、Facebook的老板馬克•紮克伯格(Mark Zuckerberg)、還是《大空頭》(Big Short)的作者邁克爾•劉易斯(Michael Lewis)?或是維多利亞時代的馬戲團經理巴納姆(PT Barnum)、以《宛若處女》成名的女歌手麥當娜(Madonna)以及電視劇中的大亨鮑比•尤因(Bobby Ewing)?沒錯,就是《豪門恩怨》(Dallas)裏那個。

If you chose the first three, because you admire their entrepreneurial skills, I have some bad news. All of them claim their wealth is, in some way, down to luck. Two recent books — The Wealth Elite by Rainer Zitelmann and The Geometry of Wealth by Brian Portnoy — suggest there might be something in this. Gates, when asked the secret of his success by author Malcolm Gladwell, said simply: “I was very lucky.” Similarly, Zuckerberg told Facebook Live viewers: “You don’t get to be successful like this just by being hard-working or having a good idea . . . you have to get lucky.” Lewis even urged Princeton graduates to “recognise that if you have had success, you have also had luck”.

如果因爲欽佩其創業能力,你選前三個的話,那我有些壞消息要說。他們都聲稱自身的財富在某種程度上是靠運氣賺來的。最近的兩本書——雷納•齊特爾曼(Rainer Zitelmann)所著的《財富精英》(The Wealth Elite)以及布萊恩•波特努瓦 (Brian Portnoy)所著的《財富幾何學》(The Geometry of Wealth)——都暗示,財富確實和運氣有所關聯。當作家馬爾科姆•格拉德威爾(Malcolm Gladwell)問蓋茨成功的秘訣時,後者直截了當地說:“我那時運氣好。”類似地,紮克伯格在Facebook直播中告訴觀衆:“僅憑苦幹或有好點子是達不到這種成功水平的…你還得運氣好。”劉易斯甚至力勸普林斯頓(Princeton)的畢業生要“認識到如果你取得了成功,那就說明你也有運氣”。

Bill Gates says his success is luck, really?/比爾蓋茨說自己成功是運氣好,當真嗎?-華夏娛樂360
2
Academics elsewhere also cite felicity as causality. When Swiss sociologists interviewed 100 wealthy individuals in 2009, many were “willing to ascribemuch of their success to luck”. In a 2015 study of 160 German entrepreneurs and corporate leaders, Roland Hiemann concluded that “Captain Happenstance” might be a suitable name for “a majority”. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the Hungarian psychologist who identified the concept of “flow”, found the same thing in his 1996 work Creativity “When we asked creative persons what explains their success, one of the most frequent answers — perhaps the most frequent one — was that they were lucky.”其他領域的學者也將幸福說成是一種因果關系。2009年,瑞士的社會學家們采訪了100名富人,許多人都“願意將自身的成功在很大程度上歸因于運氣”。2015年,在研究了160名德國企業家與公司領導者後,羅納德•希曼(Roland Hiemann)得出結論:“大多數”領導者也許都可以被稱爲“意外的領袖”。提出“心流”(Flow)概念的匈牙利心理學家米哈•契克森(Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi)在其1996年的著作《創造性》(Creativity)中有同樣的發現:“當我們問有創造力的人如何解釋他們的成功時,最常見的答案之一——可能也是最常見的答案——就是他們很幸運。”

If this comes as a blow to your self-esteem, how should you deal with it? Luckily — or rather not — both the new wealth books have some answers.如果這打擊了你的自尊,你該如何是好?幸運的是(或者說不幸的是),這兩本關于財富的新作都有一些答案。

In The Geometry of Wealth, Portnoy, an authority on behavioural finance, tries to help people see that true wealth is “funded contentment” — which sometimes means accepting that “many of the good outcomes in our lives are due to the help of others as well as some element of luck”. A whole generation of baby boomers, he points out, has been “extremely lucky in terms of stock market outcomes”.

在《財富幾何學》中,行爲金融學權威波特努瓦試圖幫人們認識到,真正的財富是“有資金支撐的滿足感”——這有時意味著接受“我們人生中的許多好結局要歸功于別人的幫助以及一些運氣成分”。他指出,整個“嬰兒潮一代”一直以來“就股市表現而言非常幸運”。

Bill Gates says his success is luck, really?/比爾蓋茨說自己成功是運氣好,當真嗎?-華夏娛樂360
3
In The Wealth Elite, Zitelmann draws on interviews with 45 self-made millionaires and billionaires to identify deeper reasons. Most wealthy business people attribute success to luck, not because it is a real factor, but because serendipity deflects envy, he reckons. “If someone says ‘I had good luck’ it sounds much better than ‘I’m smarter than you’,” he explains.在《財富精英》中,齊特爾曼通過采訪45位白手起家的百萬富翁和億萬富翁探尋更深層的原因。他認爲,大多數富有的商人將成功歸因于運氣,並不是因爲運氣真是個因素,而是因爲“機緣”能夠擋開嫉妒。他解釋道:“說‘我有過好運氣’遠比說‘我比你聰明’中聽得多。”

 
Luck alone cannot explain wealth creation, Zitelmann argues, because those whose wealth is solely down to luck — lottery winners — typically lose it within a few years. His interviews lead him to believe that the entrepreneurial wealthy have a “special attitude and personality”. In this, he is supported by one of the 19th century’s bigger personalities, PT Barnum, who said: “There never was a man who could go out in the morning and find a purse full of gold in the street today, and another tomorrow, and so on, day after day. He may do so once in his life; but so far as mere luck is concerned, he is as liable to lose it as to find it.”齊特爾曼認爲,光靠運氣並不能解釋財富的創造,因爲那些全憑運氣發財的人——中彩票的——通常在幾年內就會失去財富。他的采訪讓他相信,富有創業精神的人有種“特殊的態度和個性”。在這一點上,19世紀最有個性的人之一巴納姆會贊同他的觀點,後者曾說:“從來沒有誰能早上出去,在街上撿到一個滿是金子的錢包,然後日複一日地這麽走運下去。他可能在一生中撞一次大運;但僅就運氣而言,也是今天來明天走的東西。”

 

Zitelmann’s research concludes that everyone will have “a moment of luck”, but wealth creators know how to recognise that moment and make something of it. And to do so requires two other shared characteristics.

齊特爾曼的研究結論是,人人都有“走運的時刻”,但財富創造者知道如何識別這一時刻,並利用它做點什麽。爲此還需要另外兩個共同特性。

Bill Gates says his success is luck, really?/比爾蓋茨說自己成功是運氣好,當真嗎?-華夏娛樂360
4
First, an ability to sell.Zitelmann says his interviews, unlike previous wealth research, reveal a common set of sales skills. Selling ideas is as important when trying to win over a single individual as it is when dealing with a huge organisation, he points out. He quotes Madonna’s manager’s understanding of this: “Her high earnings were not a product of any extra-special musical talent, nor were they the result of luck or coincidence; they were the product of an exceptional ability to position and promote herself”.

首先是推銷能力。齊特爾曼說,與以往的財富研究不同,他的采訪揭示了一套共有的推銷技巧。他指出,無論是說服一個人還是同一家大公司打交道,推銷自己的想法都同樣重要。他引用麥當娜經紀人對此的理解:“她的身價並不是什麽非凡音樂天賦的産物,也不是運氣或巧合;而要歸功于一種出色的自我定位與推銷能力。”
Bill Gates says his success is luck, really?/比爾蓋茨說自己成功是運氣好,當真嗎?-華夏娛樂360
Second, an ability to deal with setbacks. Here, the self-made display a marked difference, Zitelmann finds. “Most people blame everyone else if they have a bad result; rich people blame themselves.” This drives them to work harder, reinforcing the adage that the harder one works, the luckier one becomes. Many have observed it down the ages: philosopher Seneca, American founding father Benjamin Franklin, golfer Gary Player. But none puts it better than actor Patrick Duffy, aka Bobby Ewing in Dallas: “Good luck happens to people who work hard for it.” If only his character had worked as hard as he did.其次是應對挫折的能力。在這一點上,齊特爾曼發現,那些白手起家的表現出了明顯的差異。“大多數人習慣將不如意歸咎于他人;富人則會自我問責。”這促使他們更加努力地工作,于是進一步印證了這樣一句諺語:運氣愛光顧那些勤奮的人。古往今來,很多人都發現了這個道理:哲學家塞內加(Seneca)、美國開國先賢本傑明•富蘭克林(Benjamin Franklin)、高爾夫球手加裏•普萊耶(Gary Player)。但誰也沒有演員帕特裏克•杜菲(Patrick Duffy)(即《豪門恩怨》裏的鮑比•尤因)說得好:“幸運垂青于那些努力爲之奮鬥的人。”要是他飾演的角色也像他那麽努力就好了。

Bill Gates says his success is luck, really?/比爾蓋茨說自己成功是運氣好,當真嗎?-華夏娛樂360