Do You Want to Be Rich?

A few days ago, I was being interviewed by a local newspaper when the interviewer, after asking a ton of questions about frugality and my ideas on personal finance, simply asked me the titular question.

Do you want to be rich?

I thought about it for a moment and realized the question – and the answer – isn’t as easy as it sounds.

I don’t want to be rich in the Bill Gates sense of the term, because many of the things I enjoy doing in life would simply become impossible. Bill Gates can’t go to the grocery store with his family, not without shutting the place down – he has employees do it instead. Bill Gates can’t simply go on a stroll through a neighborhood – it’s too much of a security risk. He’s also constantly targeted with people who want something from him and feel as though they deserve it simply because he has more wealth than they can imagine.

I do not want that kind of wealth in any way, shape, or form. I don’t want anything even close to it. If I found myself in his shoes, I’d do much the same thing that he’s doing – I’d be giving it away to worthy causes just as fast as I could while being sure the money was being spent in a worthwhile fashion.

Yet, although being able to help people in such a way would bring me some joy, I would still feel as though I was missing a lot of things in life.

I don’t even want to be what I call “locally rich” – the local businessman who is the richest person in the neighborhood with the nicest house and so on.

Recently, the home of West Des Moines developer Dave Walters had his house foreclosed with an estimated price tag of $4.2 million – meaning it was the most expensive house in the Des Moines area. The local newspaper featured a visual tour of it – and I realized that, as I looked at the pictures, I wouldn’t want to live in that house. The upkeep costs would be tremendous, requiring me to have to work at a very high level just to maintain the place. In fact, to maintain it, you would have to have hired help – it goes far beyond what a single person would ever want to do (or even could do).

What I really want in life is financial independence. I dream of simply being able to live my life as I live it now without having to worry about future income. I don’t even desire to spend much more than we spend right now – the only thing I might add is the ability to travel a bit with my family as my children get older. I’d also like to be able to devote myself more and more to volunteerism and other causes.

That, in fact, is my long term goal. I’d like to reach that point in the future, but I’m in no rush to get there (trust me, if I were in a rush to get there, The Simple Dollar would have a lot more advertisements on it).

But here’s the kicker: from the perspective of many people, financial independence is rich. For me to have what I would call full financial independence, I’d need to have a net worth above two million dollars. The average American right now will not earn that much from their employment in their lifetime. At the same time, however, for a decent slice of this decade, the average American had a negative savings rate.

On the other hand, I view being rich as a state where you have so much money that you’re either continually accumulating more money, spending it in wasteful ways, or giving it away through philanthropy, but in exchange for that you lose some of the ability to enjoy simple things in life. That’s an equation that I want no part in.

Much of this flashed through my mind before I answered the reporter quite simply: “I don’t want to be rich. I just want to be financially independent – to be able to live my life without financial worries.”

And, with the personal finance practices I’ve learned in the past few years, I’m heading down a path to do just that.

Some questions for you to think about and comment on: what does being rich mean to you? Do you strive to be rich, or do you have other goals?

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  1. Trevor - 14 Year Old Blogger says:

    Awesome goal. Financial Independence. I thought it was called financial freedom. To live life without financial worries.

  2. wanzman says:

    So what you are saying, is that if you were in a hurry to get rich, you would use your blog to promote your book almost daily, inundate readers on your blog with some sort of “scrounge strategy” whereby if they would only pay you $8.02 per month, you would give them incredible (read: obvious)ways that they could save unheardof amounts of money each month.

    Or, you could just hire Ramit to turn your blog into his blog.

  3. Frugal Liz says:

    I know what you mean about just wanting financial independance. I wish that my family had enough money that we could just go on vacation without having to save up for it all year. I wish I could just buy whatever I want at the grocery store without having to think, “Well that NY strip steak looks mighty good, but the chuck roast is only $2.00 a pound!” I wish I could have a “green” house designed by an architect and built on a plot of land that was big enough for me to own a horse and to grow a HUGE garden. Oh well, maybe someday.:P

  4. Before I even started reading the article I knew you would instead opt for “financial independence”. That’s what it’s all about my friend. Good story.

  5. Josh says:

    I agree with you completely. I have no interest in accumulating insane amounts of wealth, but I would like to buy or build my (reasonably sized) dream home with some acreage and live comfortably without having to worry about money.

  6. Frugal Dad says:

    I don’t strive to be rich, just to have “enough.” Enough to enjoy my current lifestyle without worrying about where future income comes from. When I reach “enough” I’ll stop focusing on income-earning activities and turn my attention to life-enriching activities.

    I like that you put a target amount ($2M) on your goal needed for fininancial independence. So many folks simply say they want to be rich, or that they want to be a millionaire, but they never quantify their “number.” Like the quote says, if you aim at nothing you’ll hit it every time!

  7. Johanna says:

    Anyone who is “middle class” by American standards is far better off than the vast majority of people in the world. We are already rich. Let’s be grateful.

  8. The Personal Finance Playbook says:

    @ Johanna – I agree. The standard of living in the United States is ridiculously high. Whether we live “rich” by American standards really isn’t the question. The “middle class” in America have cars, tvs, and air conditioning. We are, indeed, already rich.

    That’s not to say that financial independence isn’t a good goal. I think everyone strives to create investment income and opportunities in which your money works for you. That’s just part of being life savvy.

  9. Johanna says:

    @Personal Finance Playbook: Of course – it is always good to have goals, and I didn’t mean to suggest that it wasn’t. In the meantime, we can feel happier and more fortunate by focusing on what we have, not on what we don’t have. Let’s not feel like we’re lacking something because we still have to (gasp) go to work and earn money rather than living off our investments.

  10. KC says:

    Rich is such a relative term. The “richer” you get the more “rich” you think you’ll need to be. Studies have shown this. Even people with a couple million think they need a few million more. It’s human nature.

    I’ve often thought if I won the lottery or obtained some quick wealth I wouldn’t tell a soul – not even my parents. People would start coming out of the woodwork wanting money from you. I really feel sort of bad for some of these rubes that win vast amounts of money in the lottery. You know “preachers”, “charities”, “friends” and the like are just lining up to ask for money.

  11. Justin says:

    I am rich…even though I am in debt. I have learned the error in my ways, and am on the path to being a good steward of God’s gifts to me. All I desire is to please God and my family. If I can do that better than I do now, I will be in league with the those that are truly wealthy.

  12. Sri says:

    Trent- great question.
    Many people who become billonaires don’t start with the goal of becoming billionare. I believe that purpose of this blog is to share his ideas to a number of people, income generated is secondary to it. Similary Bill Gates or Richard Branson have their ideas about how IT should be or how travel should be. They get to influence greater number of people. I would not say no to being very rich if that is result doing what i love to do.

  13. Ryan Loos says:

    Great way to put it. Financial Independence or Financial Peace. It is a different number for each of us. The biggest goal is what are we content with when it comes to financial independence. No matter the dollar amount we have invested it does not matter unless we have contentment with our material possessions.

  14. Shanel Yang says:

    Yes, I want to be rich. Tens of millions of dollars rich. At the very least, $1 – 2 million b/c I believe that’s what’s needed for a couple with no kids to live comfortably without worrying about money. But, after reading Felix Dennis’s book How to Get Rich, I no longer want to be filthy rich, as in hundreds of millions of dollars. He makes an excellent case for not even trying, and he thoroughly convinced me it’s not worth it. : )

  15. I too have no desire to be rich, I simply desire to have my needs met which the Lord has always done.

    I am currently working to set a “ceiling amount” of money I need to save. I will work & be faithful to save that amount then plan to give anything over & above to my church and other ministries the Lord lays om my heart.

    I know according to His word that the Lord will faithfully honor this commitment based on my level of faithfullness to Him.

    I am honored to be His steward, and pray for the strength to be faithful.

    Thanks for this great article.

    DebtFREEk!

  16. thrifty27 says:

    you can be rich without being famous or even well known

  17. SteveJ says:

    Right on. I also love the fact that you have a number in your mind.

    My brother-in-law was starting out as a financial planner a few years ago, and to give him a good trial my wife and I sat down and met with him. He started out with big goals and tried to get a feel for what we were looking for. Despite having known me for years, he really couldn’t grasp the fact that I never want to retire, I don’t want to party like a rock star, and I could not care less what the stock market is doing. Heck I even like paying taxes, how else will we pay for all the nice things America does? My dream is to be debt free and be in a position where I can decide I need/want something and save for it normally. I want to buy with cash, and if I don’t have the money, I’ll save until I can. No more payments, no more credit, and a lot less time staring at spreadsheets trying to figure out where I can squeeze another $20 for groceries.

  18. Michele says:

    I think you said it succinctly. I also desire financial independence or financial freedom. I have been working on this goal for 20 years. I am 41. I have saved for retirement since my 20’s and have never been in debt. Anybody who lives on less than their income can achieve financial independence. I do agree with others that “rich” is subjective and most people in the US are “rich” compared to those in developing countries. And I also agree that there are more important things in life than money – like family and health.

  19. Michael says:

    I want to be rich. I just don’t want to get too rich too quickly.

  20. Michele says:

    I just want to add that assuming we have our health and our family, then financial independence is the next thing to strive for.

  21. Becky says:

    I’ve been talking financial independence for years. I’m only 27 and I still get laughs and eye-rolls from coworkers and friends who don’t understand why in the world I would have a 401k AND savings AND a high-interest moneymarket. I’ve been married for about a year and while my husband and I are not wealthy by any means, we’re fast moving down the road to financial independence.

    I’m a true recessionista and I hope more Gen Yers start realizing how cool and powerful saving for the future can be!

  22. Like most comments here, I would agree with the idea of financial independence. Having lots of money just for the sake of having lots of money seems silly.

    To me, being rich represents freedom, flexibility, and comfort. But at the same time, I think we would all agree that being rich involves the things that money can’t buy.

  23. kz says:

    “I dream of simply being able to live my life as I live it now without having to worry about future income. I don’t even desire to spend much more than we spend right now – the only thing I might add is the ability to travel a bit with my family as my children get older. I’d also like to be able to devote myself more and more to volunteerism and other causes.”

    This sums up my desires pretty nicely. In fact, it’s what I focus on any time I’m having a bad day at work or when something new and shiny comes out that I just *have* to have…I remember that my goal is to putter around a huge plot of land, gardening with my husband and taking trips to visit grandkids. Makes my job so much more fun to do and makes it so much easier to resist the temptation of ‘stuff’ to remember what the goal is.

    Although I would also have to say that I’m already rich in the areas in which I’d like to be rich: health, family and friends. Everything else is just gravy.

  24. partgypsy says:

    Rich is a perception, it is what someone who has more money than you has. It is almost a sure path to unhappiness, because it is a vanishing goal; no matter how much money you accumulate there will always be other people yet richer than you. On the other hand financial independence is a worthy, quantitative, and achievable goal.

  25. Paul says:

    Amen Trent, Amen.

  26. Víctor N. says:

    I live in the Dominican Republic. Being rich in my country means having a huge house or penthouse in the capital, owning various cars, two or three beachside villas. More often than not, rich people owe what they own. Their debt levels are ridiculous. Maintaining that high-flying lifestyle is expensive, as you put it, Trent. Personally, I just want to get that financial independence you speak of. Hopefully, I am on my way!

  27. liv says:

    Nice article :)

    I want to be slightly rich, but not in a snobby way.

  28. GeekMan says:

    There’s a difference between being rich and being wealthy. A rich person can lose it all very quickly, think of all the “rich” public figures who somehow go broke or declare bankruptcy because of some sudden downturn or a series of unfortunate events that costs them their fortunes. The truly wealthy however, almost never go broke. Their money is working for them in such a way that they don’t need to do anything but what they WANT to do. My goal in life is not to be rich, but to be wealthy enough to never HAVE to work. That doesn’t mean I won’t work (I can’t imagine sitting around with nothing to do, BORING!) it just means that my job will be something I enjoy doing and not something I endure doing.

  29. Michelle H. says:

    I’m already rich. Good marriage, healthy kids, loving family, steady job with a good paycheck, roof over our heads, no debt, plenty to eat, etc.

  30. Katy says:

    I just want to stop being a slave to our mortgage.

    I want to be able to buy the family ice cream cones without thinking twice.

    I want to be able to take a little vacation without having to save for four years.

  31. Joey says:

    Your financial independence entries are often your best ones; this one’s no exception. Also lots of great comments in the thread too.

    The truly rich are those who realize there are things more important than money.

  32. Gabriel says:

    Trent,

    I whole heartedly agree with you. Being debt free and financially independent is being rich. As Americans our standard of living is higher than most, if not all of the world. Excess is our problem as a country and itś the primary reason we are in this economic mess.

    Gabe

  33. DB Cooper says:

    A bunch of teachers I work with chipped in $10 each and bought several dozens of lottery tickets yesterday – the megamillion is up to $132 million, I guess. I don’t play, have never, can’t cough up $10 for that. The comment on the e-mail sent out by the collector was:

    “Yes, I realize that there is a better chance of being hit by lightning while being bitten by a shark, but without big dreams where would we be? I’ll be wearing my metal hat and chumming in the ocean if your looking for me.”

    …and then today:

    “Bought 150 chances at dreams last night.”

    Educated people dreaming of being “rich” – which I understand. It’s just not for me (the lottery, that is). Financial freedom would be sufficient for me, and I’m afraid I’ll have to do it the old fashioned way.

  34. Steven says:

    Rich? No. I simply want to have enough to provide a comfortable lifestyle. That doesn’t mean I’m not willing to sacrifice.

    I have an article discussing this topic in a different way which will post to my website at midnight for anyone who is interested. I talk about making sacrifices today in order to have a better future. I think it ended up being one of my better articles, probably because it was written from the heart. I encourage everyone to read it, not just because I wrote it, but because I think it has a powerful message. *End shameless plug*

    For me money isn’t about anything more than providing security, and I don’t need to be rich in order to accomplish that. I think you make it clear in this post that you feel the same way. Thanks for the good post!

  35. Sandy E. says:

    First, I would not want to be rich or famous because I value my anonymity way too much. The joy of being able to walk around without being approached is just priceless.

    Second, here’s a quote from Thoreau that I’m sure many of us can relate to: “We make ourselves rich by making our wants few.”

  36. MelodyO says:

    I stumbled upon your site this week, and I have to tell you…I love it. You’re doing excellent, important work here, so keep it up.

    As to your post, I’m interested in this very question myself, as my husband and I are at a crossroads right now. We’re in our early 40s, have a successful business, no consumer debt, and our real estate and investments are worth about a million (sounds more glamorous than it is). At the moment we are trying to figure out what the heck we’re working toward. Sitting in the sun doing bleep all for the *entire rest of our lives*? Changing careers to something more fun? Um, like what? We’re at a loss. We’re good at setting goals and reaching them, but this time we’re struggling with what our goal should be. I’ll let you know if we decide on something. :0)

  37. ClaireTN says:

    For me, being rich means that I can make choices about what to do with my life and how to spend my time that are based on what I find meaningful, not simply on what will make money. I have a wonderful job that brings in a decent income. Through my work I genuinely feel that I am making a positive contribution to my world. If I live simply, I can pay my bills, live within my means, and even enjoy nice vacations. So…I guess I am rich.

    If I wanted a huge house, luxury cars, and all the latest fashions, then I could not be rich on this salary. But who wants to be a slave to high-income job just for the sake of having that stuff?

  38. Jim says:

    What does ‘rich’ mean?

    I think everyone has a different opinion. I want to be rich because to me having $1-2M in the bank would be rich and that is what it would take to have financial independence. My goal isn’t fancy houses or luxury yachts, its simple financial independence. But to get that you have to be ‘rich’ at least as I define rich.

    Jim

  39. tambo says:

    All we’ve ever wanted, financially speaking, was to have ‘enough’.

    Enough to pay bills, buy groceries, and get through the random crappy event, like a washing machine that up and quits.

    We’re finally there, and it’s nice, really nice.

    No fancy house, car, gadget, or vacations for us. We have enough, and it’s wonderful.

  40. Brent says:

    I could always use the more money. First for security, and then for meaningful things. I could go back to school get a PHD and then fund my own research. There are always bigger and better things to do in the world and resources make those possible. Do I want a Lamborghini and a 50′ yacht?… not really… do I want to by equipment and training to solve some of the worlds most critical and challenging problems without being accountable to anyone? Absolutely. Providing for myself for the rest of my life is the first priority though.

  41. Jillian says:

    I want to be ridiculously wealthy. I want to have so much money that third world nations can live off the interest. I want to give abundantly to organisations that nourish and educate the world’s poor. I want to fund health programs and technological developments that will help bring people out of poverty. I wouldn’t mind having a nice house with a swimming pool, either. Is that so wrong?

  42. Nicole-frugalisfab says:

    Very thought provoking. If you had asked me if I wanted to be rich, of course I would have said yes. But after reading your article, of course I don’t want that. I want my life, without worrying about being able to pay all of my bills and worrying if we will have enough money to make it through retirement.

  43. I guess I am the only one who wants to be rich. I don’t care about money per se, but I want to live in a big penthouse on Copacabana beach, have a fleet of fast cars (with drivers), be surrounded by more beautiful women that I can count who all treat me like a prince, be able to jet off to anywhere on the planet in my first class private plane, be treated like a king every where I step, and have a staff so talented that I never have to do anything. It is hard to have those things without being rich. But alas I’m not, but I’ve still found ways to be happy and have fun on a lot less.

  44. sai says:

    Great article Trent, for the simplicity of the idea. Most of us, interested in personal finance, do not have this clarity of the most important goal- the mission statement of personal finance.

    Defining financial independence in monetary terms gives us an exact gol to aim for. Making it acheivable.

  45. Matt says:

    Of course I want financial independence, but the devil’s in the details. Whenever I think about where I want my life to be, I start dreaming of a 4 bedroom 3 bath house with some land around it and an RV with a pickup in the driveway. My kids would be the ones to have friends over because our house would be “the place” to hang out as we would have a pool and such. They wouldn’t be ashamed of their clothes, or made fun of because their clothes had holes in them like mine did. Yet, I realize that this dream is exactly the same one my parents had, and the one that put me into clothes with holes in them because they lived beyond their means.

    It’s always a struggle to accept that financial independence is the place we want to be even though it may not look the way we want it to. I think that’s why people have trouble saving, they can’t realize that accepting reality is much better and healthier than the dream.

  46. Matt Duke says:

    When I set out to make money online, my goal was just to make enough to help pay some of the bills each month and allow some breathing space for paying off a house faster. Since I started however, my goal has changed from now having enough money not to live an exhorbant lifestyle (like how you mention about not being like Bill Gates etc), but to ensure that money is not a problem so my family and I can do the things that are important to us. This includes travel, study for interest sake, and to make sure we are not locked into the regular 9-5 daily grind of the typical workforce. I also enjoy being able to share my money with people who are less fortunate to help them out, so being rich is one thing, how you spend your money is a totally different matter.

  47. It’s not like, if I win the lottery, I’ll be turning it down.

    But ‘enough’ is plenty. I define enough as a paid-for roof over my head, a chunk of land for growing food and keeping animals, bills paid and food in the fridge. Plus of course – waking up in the morning and being able to choose how to spend the day – rather than showing up at an office out of economic necessity.

    So ‘enough’ is what I’m working towards.

  48. Sushil says:

    Once we are able to distinguish between our “needs” and “wants”, much of the financial mess disappears magically!

    I am from India, and firmly believe in the old adage…we should have enough for our stomach, as well as for any guest(s), who may turn up at our doors.

    Anything more than that, is an unnecessary burden that one carries.

    Blessed be….

  49. I’d be happy with $1.3 million and working part-time. I’d still love to be filthy, dripping, nasty rich. I would donate to several charities and start my own “The Apprentice” contest. Of course, that would mean I have something to teach them.

  50. Katie says:

    I’m with you. I want to not worry about money. I don’t want to have to continue working harder and longer to make more money, I want to be able to volunteer at my children’s school, make more visits to the women in my church, take regioual trips with my husband and children, support a missionary, those kinds of things. That would be “rich” to me.

  51. Jill says:

    My first thought was exactly Trent’s – I just want to have financial independence and not have to worry about money. But then I thought – who am I kidding? I would love to have a nanny, cook, maid, and a personal trainer. Who wouldn’t? I would love to never have to fly coach again. I would love to have a larger house (not a mansion, but something bigger than 1,200 sq ft). But the reality is that I would only love to have those things if it were handed to me and I didn’t work the long hours and the stressful job to get it. And since I don’t play the lottery and would never win anyway, I content myself with less.

  52. Christine says:

    Excellent post- financial independence is the real goal and I am working toward it. I would love to be able to spend more time with my family and work less knowing we are comfortable in our current lifestyle. Perhaps a few more vacations and day trips to museums, sporting events, etc.

    I really enjoy your posts – keep them coming!!

  53. Mike says:

    Trent that was a good article, I’ve always thought being rich was being “comfortable”. Comfortable with what I have, where I am in life, and comfortable in my own skin. If each of us could find that in ourselves we wouldn’t be a “wealthy” nation, we would be a “rich” nation.

    Sandy E I really loved the quote by Thoreau.

  54. micki says:

    Trent, I really like your page the best out of all the pages I subscribe to (and I subscribe to a lot). Consistently you write articles that really hit home. This one is no exception. Yep, I really want financial independence. I really wanted to own my own subsistence farm and grow all the food we would need. However, I am currently working on getting out of debt. I understand the principles of all of it, but it still feels like forever to get out. But I know that sooner or later, God willing, I will get there. Keep writing, Trent. It’s excellent.

  55. Chris says:

    My Grandpa called it “F*ck you money”… I think that about sums it up.

    I don’t want to be REALLY rich. The amount of work, schmoozing, and “friends” you must have to achieve that kind of wealth is just not worth it to me. Some people love that game, I detest it.

  56. Ellie says:

    Hy Trent,
    Nothing to do with todays message.
    When I open your messages (since hotmail changed their format) I cannot get the end of each typed line. I have tried to ask them how to widen the page but they are not helpful. After jumping thru hoops to get an answer, it didn’t work.
    Was wondering if a lot of your loyal friends are having this trouble?
    Thanks,
    Ellie

  57. Andrea says:

    My husband calls it “independently poor”

  58. Craig says:

    Today the word rich has a different meaning. Rich people in today’s world are struggling. I think most people would like to live financially stress free with the lifestyle they see fit. To me that would be considered rich.

  59. Moneymonk says:

    Being rich is having more than the other person

  60. Lynne says:

    I have been rich most of my life! I have family I love, and who love me. I have a job I love. I own my home (ordinary home in an ordinary neighborhood). I had a husband whom I loved and who loved me equally, until he died last year. So, I am rich. Have I reached financial independence, no. Will I? Probably not, but I still have the things that are truly important in life. Would I change anything? Sure….We always dreamed of traveling, not having to worry about paying the bills, etc. I still would like those things, but if it doesn’t happen, I’ll still feel like I have had a full life. Truly, the old saying of the best things in life are free is still relevant today.

  61. Being “rich” isn’t just measured in money– it is also peace of mind and quality of life . . .

  62. Battra92 says:

    I just want to be able to have a place of my own and never have to worry about money. I know I’ll live in the fast lane but I would like to be able to buy a roll of Kodachrome without cringing at the $9 price tag.

  63. Sarah says:

    Was the interview for 515 Magazine? My boyfriend (a Drake student) mentioned that he saw your site profiled there.

  64. Deb says:

    To me being rich isn’t so much a number as a feeling. What is it you want out of life? What are you striving for? What makes you happy? Yes everyone has to have money or compensation of some sort to live. That is mute. But I read a book not to long ago, the book was on not so much the accumulation of money, but instead what the money was used for. I really liked that principle. It breaks down everything that you spend money on and makes you think about it. Everyone thinks they need “money” to live, and that is true in having to pay for the basics in life, but what about bartering? Its an age old system that worked for a long time, but most people don’t even think about it anymore. Just one of the tidbits that I found in this book. So…. Rich? No not monetarily, but rich in life, health, happiness? Yes indeed.

  65. Diane says:

    I’m with Michele (comment #20). As long as I have my family and we’re all healthy my next goal would be financial independence.

    I think being rich would distract from my goal of enjoying my life and my family, while being financially independent would enhance that goal.

    That said, it would be really cool to win the lottery, invest in some savings for the future and be able to do something wonderful for my extended family & friends!

  66. Darla says:

    I live near Okoboji. You can imagine the price tag on some of the property here – yikes.

    And they say we aren’t in a recession in NW Iowa. Isn’t that a hoot!

    In this area of Iowa it’s really hard to not get caught up in wanting to be “rich” (unless of course you are married to the chief of police, then you’re a shoe-in for not being rich ;)

  67. Charles Cohn says:

    There are some downsides to being rich that haven’t yet been mentioned. First of all, fancy toys like yachts, airplanes and big houses need to be administrated — you have to hire people to maintain them and captains and crews to run them. It’s just like what you have to do to run a company.

    Secondly, the bigger your house it, the better organized you have to be, since bigger houses have so many more places to mislay things.

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