Singer and songwriter Justin Bieber is renting a £108,000-a-month mansion in London. He could easily retire comfortably at the age of 22, but he chooses to work and perform around the world. Despite his growing success, he may face the same challenges experienced by many high income earners.
Mayfair-based life coach and author Michael Serwa has transformed the lives of some of the world’s highest-earning individuals and explains how being super-rich can come with its challenges.
Serwa has worked with bankers, lawyers, musicians, celebrities and CEOs of multi-billion pound corporations, coaching his clients to leave their comfort zones and progress to the next level of their lives by identifying the barriers which are holding them back.
After working with high income earners for over five years, Serwa knows how difficult life can be for the insanely wealthy. “People expect you to be happy, and often you’re just not.
You wish others would understand that just because you have something they want it doesn’t mean you feel the same. High earners have a hunger to go further. It’s difficult to express this without sounding ungrateful for what you’ve got.
You need someone who won’t tell you to be grateful for what you have, but instead encourage you to pace yourself and achieve something you haven’t accomplished yet,” he explains.
Serwa identifies this trait in high income earners are being a cross between ambition, drive, and a feeling of lack. “You feel you have achieved so much compared to others, but so little compared to what you want to achieve.
People could view you as a champion, whereas you still see yourself running the race. Your mentality to achieve more and go further has got you to where you are now. It will also get you to where you want to go.
Some people may not comprehend that you want to go further and think you should be happy with what you have, but they don’t know your ultimate goal. You need the support of someone who doesn’t acknowledge the word ‘enough’.”
Most high income earners are incredibly time-poor. “Everyone wants a piece of you,” Serwa says. “When you have become a success people will want to know your trade secrets, to receive your attention and become part of your network.
It isn’t wrong to help others, however it can be time-consuming and you may have nothing new to show for it.
The time you spend helping people, even if it’s only 10 to 15 minutes, adds up. Think about everything you could do instead. Time is a valuable resource and you need to invest it as you see fit.
These individuals are also under a lot of pressure to put up a facade, Serwa explains, especially in front of their closest connections who depend on them and worry if they show weakness. “Nobody told you that being at the top meant you’d be watched intensely, especially by the ones who care about you most.
Everyone expects you to be a strong, strategic, charming, money-making genius all of the time. You experience a high amount of expectation for you to deliver and if you don’t you reach those expectations you view it as a loss.
An excellent and strategic coach’s priority is to make you act, feel and look like a champion – making you an expert at turning situations around in your favour.”
Work-life balance also gets tossed out for high networths, who may have made their money at the detriment of other areas of their life. “You feel that with everything you want to achieve, 24 hours hardly cuts it.
You have to make choices between activities such as dinner with friends and preparation for a meeting. Maybe you sacrifice an hour at the gym for an hour planning to meet contacts. You then have no idea when you last saw your friends outside Facebook and a day off at the gym turns into a month.
There is a way to manage it all. You need to have the right person to hold you accountable for what you choose to do or not to do. You need to feel good about all your decisions. If you don’t, it means there is room to improve, and you could probably do with someone to point it out.”
For Serwa, it’s all about tough love, because without accountability, success can just as easily slip away. “The more choices you have in front of you, the more discerning you have to be. Making a decision that’s beneficial to yourself may upset others. You have to be careful when making these choices.”
And of course, there’s the issue of trust. The higher up these individuals soar, the less people there are for them to rely on. “Few people are insightful enough to talk to about your life. So it sounds like being successful is actually hard work,” says Serwa.
Serwa is in the process of writing his second book following the success of his first, From Good To Amazing: No Bullshit Tips for The Life You Always Wanted. The book is a collection of ‘top tips’ from different areas of personal development and assists readers in changing their lifestyles for the better.