The Millionaire Next Door

Use Your Creative Intellect Wisely

As I stated in The Millionaire Mind,

Integrity is a part of life’s curriculum.  It is a pass/fail course.  If you lack integrity, most millionaires will tell you that will not and should not graduate to economic success.  The millionaires surveyed became rich without compromising their integrity.  In fact, they credit their integrity with significantly contributing to their success.

Millionaires also see creative intelligence as a major factor in explaining economic success.  Creative intelligence includes seeing opportunities that others do not see, finding a profitable niche, specializing, and loving your career or business.

One can have a tremendous amount of creative intellect and discipline and still fail to become a socioeconomic success.  If you lack integrity the above factors cannot erase a serious shortcoming.  As an example consider the following case study.

Recently our local newspaper profiled a former high school cafeteria manager who had created what many of the students referred to as “the blue cart” or “express” line.  There were four other lines in the cafeteria where students could purchase everything from a full lunch to accessories.  These lines were always quite long and slow moving during the lunch period.  Many students used credit cards, even checks, which exacerbated check out time. 

But “standing alone was a blue cart [resembling a large picnic table with wagon size wheels] that sold a la carte items for cash and never had a register.”  The students praised the convenience and the creative selection of food items this manager consistently provided.  Her “blue cart” concept could have easily been the base for a franchise.

Unfortunately, according to the report,

. . . County school police obtained 10 arrest warrants  for [the] former manager.  The warrant accuses [the manager] of stealing $500 a day from the cafeteria [apparently from her blue cart system]. . . .  That’s $2,500 a week, which is a staggering $90,000 in a school year.  Over 15 years, that would be $1,350,000. [The manager] lives in a 5 bedroom, 5,400 square foot home.

When the author of the newspaper article stopped by the manager’s home for an interview . . . “a late model Mercedes pulled out of the garage and drove away.” 

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