Every once in a while, something comes along that gets me so worked up, I have to take the time to speak up about it. For this, I have to thank Wealth Dynamics.
Do you know Wealth Dynamics? Have you done the Wealth Dynamics test?
Let me first start off by crediting the creator of Wealth Dynamics for his stroke of absolute genius: He figured out a way to tap into the one resource on this planet that is virtually unlimited. And what is the source of this magical fountain that keeps giving and giving to no end?
Or more specifically, people’s fascination with themselves. You’ll never go poor if you know how to feed on that.
Yeah, that’s right. This is gonna be one of those articles. Strap yourselves in folks.
Like many before me, I was recommended to take this test by other business people in my circle. I put it off for a number of years, but this year I finally decided to get it done. $100 and 25 simple questions later... I got a Test Result telling me I was a “so-and-so” Profile!
Just astonishing… I wondered if there were others out there who felt as disgusted as I felt in that moment. So I did an online search for Wealth Dynamics and used the google trick of adding “sucks” at the end. Nothing… Seriously? No one with anything critical to say about this?
The world doesn’t become a better place if people are not proactive about speaking up. So, what follows below are some of my gripes with Wealth Dynamics.
But nobody got hurt, right?
There are some who will say, it’s just a bit of harmless fun, no? Horoscopes are a bit of harmless fun. Those goofy relationship quizzes in teenage magazines are a bit of harmless fun. Personality tests are a bit of harmless fun (to a degree). But Wealth Dynamics is supposed to be related to business and work; This is people’s livelihoods at stake. One of my bugbears with Wealth Dynamics is that the structure of it almost encourages a fixed mindset that can create a cycle of dependency and laziness. When you consider the number of people who have taken this test, that’s a pretty big culture of those being influenced to think this way.
A path to success?
So you’ve taken the test and it says you are a so-and-so Profile. That being assumed for what it is, are you any good at being that Profile? A very important dimension which Wealth Dynamics does not measure is ability. Just because a Wealth Dynamics test says someone is a “so-and-so Profile”, does not mean they have the talent, skills or experience to be a desirable business person with that “so-and-so Profile”. In fact, for someone who might be excellent in many areas, their fourth or fifth thing they are good at could very well be better than another person’s first thing. The big caution here is that Wealth Dynamics only indicates one’s preference to do business in a certain way; It does not measure one’s actual ability to do business in any way.
Neat little boxes?
It can be a wonderful if very complex thing to try to understand the differences between us. I wouldn’t say Wealth Dynamics is the worst study of differences in the world, but what it ultimately amounts to is a system of compartmentalization. Putting people in categories is possibly the furthest thing from understanding the complexity of differences with their very specific and unique situations. Setting this aside for a moment, one can see in the Wealth Dynamics chart the influence of Myers Briggs – particularly their use of the questionable polar binaries of Extraversion (E) / Introversion (I) on the horizontal axis and Sensing (S) / Intuition (N) on the vertical axis. I don’t want to get into a further dissection of this, (for example, I would consider Intuition to be a more evolved form of Sensing, not its diametric opposite,) but let me just ask: What is stopping someone from being good with systems AND good with people? What is stopping someone from being good at creating things AND good at selling them? Does this not just reinforce self-limiting beliefs?
What’s in a name?
Whilst the Myers Briggs system has its issues, the focus is gracefully on the generic acronym (that results from which side of their binaries someone may tend towards). Wealth Dynamics however, loves to revel in the names of their categories. Some of these names sound great, some less so. An example - towards the top of the list is perhaps the “Creator” – the one who apparently never finishes anything. And yet, because it sounds so great, it’s the one many people want to be, or are even disappointed if they are not. On top of this, the effect is further multiplied by attaching famous names to it like Richard Branson. How many budding entrepreneurs would not wish to think of themselves like Richard Branson? It is like the business equivalent of perfumes associating themselves with beautiful and famous actresses. Buy this perfume, and you too can be like so-and-so beautiful actress! I wonder if these famous business people who are named-dropped by Wealth Dynamics ever formally gave their blessing to having their names being used like this and put into said categories? And what about the broader zone categories like “Dynamo”? Wouldn’t the most dynamo thing be someone who could move seamlessly through any of these categories – being great in whatever areas as such suited them?
Circles of Competence
I’d like to end on a more positive note. One of the good things about Wealth Dynamics is the culture of collaboration it encourages. To find others to work with whose abilities are complementary to our own. We can achieve more when we work together with others - the ideal scenario being when the end result adds up to more than just the sum of its parts. On this, I would like to borrow and possibly extrapolate on a wonderful term from the great Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger – the “Circle of Competence”. As simple as it sounds, it refers to the subject area which matches a person’s skills or expertise. But their important takeaway is that it is not about how big you make your circle, but how clearly you define its boundaries. This is a concept I can wholly get behind – it is both fluidly dynamic and requires one to be proactive. If I could extend this idea towards an understanding of how we can work with others in a productive and complementary manner – it is natural to clash with other people when our circle overlaps with theirs. When we are aware of the potential turf battle that can ensue, we can be smart and flexible with how we draw the boundaries of our circle relative to others with different circles we may choose to work with. Those “boundary lines” might start looking more like interlocked puzzle edges than circles, but it means you avoid overlap clash whilst also making sure the gaps between you are responsibly filled. Now isn’t that beautiful? And I won’t charge you any money for this, or get you to answer some silly questions and put you into a category.
My apologies if you were hoping to read an update on something architecture related… I really do need to figure out how to get better at making time for that…