“Underdog” is a term often used by readers to describe the millionaire next door. There is a subsegment within this millionaire fraternity whose stories are particularly compelling. It contains the beta millionaires, both men and women. About 20% of millionaires were raised in an environment that was anything but nurturing. And these beta millionaires had a great amount of work experience during their formative years.
So it was with Maria McFriendly. While in high school her father, a chauvinist and an elitist, told her she was not college material and that she should take up a trade. She repeatedly scored in the 900s [out of 1600 at the time] on her SATs. Maria defied her father even though it meant paying for 100% of her college expenses herself. She was a B student in high school and graduated with a 3.2 average from the local state college. While in school Maria was never out of work. Working was a necessity, but it also gave her an excuse to be away from the non nurturing home environment provided by her parents.
During her formative years Maria relied heavily upon her friends and their parents for psychological support. Today she credits these relationships with enhancing her self esteem. She was always doing favors for her friends. She excelled at “matchmaking”; if you needed a date just call Maria! She also was a whiz at finding jobs for herself friends.
Maria’s transition from amateur head hunter to the professional ranks began when she was a junior in college. She was hired to bolster the employment staff in an executive search firm. She moved quickly from clerical work to actual “matching.” Later at age 30 she opened her own business which specializes in staffing the intellectually gifted-those with advanced degrees in physics and engineering- for the high technology sector. Isn’t it ironic that one who supposedly does not possess high analytic intellect [given her SAT scores] finds jobs for those who do possess this characteristic? In fact, only 8% of millionaire business owners reported that their choice of vocation was indicated by aptitude test results.
One does not need to be intellectually gifted to become a socioeconomic success. With a net worth of $3.8M, Maria has succeeded because she scored high on Factor 7 from The Millionaire Next Door: they chose the right occupation. Beta women especially often excel in businesses that provide some form of promoting, protecting or supporting others.