I was driving up to participate in a fun community picture collage event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts when I noticed billionaire Ron Conway, one of the fathers of angel investing stand in line just like the rest of us. He was probably in line for 10 minutes as the process took forever.
The reason why he’s a billionaire is because he invested in Larry Page and Sergey Brin when their company was still called Backrub at a sub $75 million valuation. Google is now worth $379 billion. Then there’s other hits such as Twitter, Facebook, Dropbox, Pinterest, Airbnb, and Zappos.
I briefly met Ron at a fund raiser for San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee a couple years ago, but didn’t say anything more than a “hi.” What strikes me about Ron is that he seems like a nice guy who deeply cares about the city of San Francisco through his various activism.
Ron’s patience reminded me that no matter how rich you get, it’s a good idea to stay humble and wait your turn like everybody else. Entitlement is a poison that will ruin you. And if you don’t want to respect the existing organization’s methodology or people, feel free to start your own.
See you at Ed’s election party this Tuesday Ron Conway!
Related: Billionaires: They’re Just Like Us!
Rob @ MoneyNomad says
Great illustration to prove a valuable point (real pictures help a lot). Honestly, patience is one of my biggest challenges – and it’s good to recognize it. It would be so great to be a success yesterday. However, we only become a success by taking one day at a time – and doing our very best.
Great thought and I look forward to reading more.
Sanjib Saha says
I am from India and I must say this is something our Indian politicians need to learn from these people. Simplicity at its best. Massive respect for this man. Cheers!
Wow that’s cool. You just never know who you’re gonna see in the Bay Area. We must not let power and riches go to our heads. Great true story and that’s awesome you got a pic too!
Money Beagle says
In my magical world, anytime anybody says the words “Do you know who I am?” they would be stripped of fame, fortune, and status.
Financial Samurai says
A very insightful observation about Ron. I think the idea about entitlement being a poison applies more to the rich and famous and not so much to the simply rich – like Ron Conway and other self-made billionaires. Humility is an under-rated virtue in our world.
I have an interesting scenario. My department hired a new manager who clearly doesn’t know much. She’s already come in and trying to shake everything up and doesn’t respect what the people have done already. I don’t want to build a relationship with her because it’s obvious she’s not going to last for more than a year. Management was desperate to hire someone and settle with her which is a mistake.
“What! Wait 10 minutes?! Don’t you realise WHO I AM!?!”
I always enjoy a good laugh when I hear this in the media from celebrities or other famous people, although I’d prefer to know that people didn’t act this way.
Great example by Ron, and thanks for sharing this FS. This is another reason I love these blogs so much – spreading good examples and messages as opposed to what the media like to do.
Financial Samurai says
Some MD at Goldman said that once on an airplane, and he got fired the next month when it got back to management. Gotta cut the ego out!
Now THAT’s the sort of story I’d love to hear more of! Nice to know Karma can occasionally do it’s thing even with big hot-shot Goldman’s MD’s. Thanks for sharing!
“Don’t you people know who I think I am?” – Steve Mittleman, while being ignored, abused and heckled by a hostile audience.
It would definitely be hard to hide that guy so I guess it wasn’t too hard to spot him.
Jokes aside, he’s someone who definitely was at the right place at the right time. An inspiration no doubt.
“Entitlement is a poison that will ruin you.” Yes, and it creeps in and affects everyone, not just billionaires. I’ve seen plenty of good military folks ruined by it, for instance.