In relative wealth, the Rothschild’s were the richest family in history. Starting in the 1800s, Mayer Amschel Rothschild, along with his five children set up a banking empire that would spread across Western Europe and do business all over the world.
Some stories have postulated the Rothschild’s in a negative light, however there is much to learn from how they acquired their great wealth. Known for having the largest fortune in the 19th century, the Rothschild’s knew five keys to acquiring wealth which can still benefit us greatly today.
Here are the 5 things you can learn about wealth from the Rothschild family:
Mayer Amschel-Rothschild learned finance at an early age, but from there he went on to sell rare collectible rings to a wealthy and powerful man in Crown Prince Wilhelm of Hesse, who later went on to a higher title.
Allying with this powerful man who had plenty of reserves to spend on coin was monumental for Rothschild continued to do business and started banking with his client. The lesson comes in two-folds. First, take care of your customers, and they are likely to become your customers again. Second, sell to the richest buyers.
“To listen closely and reply well is the highest perfection we are able to attain in the art of conversation.” – Francois de La Rochefoucauld
2. Sell to the richest buyers
Selling to the wealthy and the nobility was a mainstay philosophy of the Rothschild family dynasty. It started with Mayer Amschel selling to Wilhelm of Hesse as noted before, but the whole family used this key to phenomenal wonders. In fact, there wasn’t anyone bigger that they could sell to and finance with their banks than governments. This is exactly what they did.
The Rothschild family provided value to smaller banks and individuals for loans, but most importantly for national governments when several went off to war against each other all throughout the 1800 and 1900s. These governments with their kings and monarchs were the richest buyers and paid huge sums of interest to build the Rothschild family fortune. If you want to find wealth, sell to those who have wealth and provide them and others with tremendous value.
3. Utilize the supply and demand equation
The Rothschild’s knew business and like many of similar Robber barons of the 1900s, they controlled the resources that were in demand. This led to them gaining more and more wealth. Already allied with the monarchs and leaders of Western Europe, they were the financiers a country would go to if they needed to finance a war.
The demand was extreme at these times of need and the Rothschild banks were the ones that had the supply of funds necessary. Mayer Amschel did this by placing his five sons in five strategically placed locations around Europe. It is also rumored that the family would fund both sides of a war. While it may not be value in the sensical thought of it, the family filled a need and provided value that was much in demand and this affected millions of people.
If you want to get rich, be on the positive side of the supply and demand equation and make sure what you have is the best suited for your customer’s needs (demand). Supply decreases if you are one of a kind and can achieve for your customers what no one else can. This is when prices also rise for your services.
4. Partner with family or close associates
Part of what made the Rothschild’s so successful was that stood succinctly together in their enterprises. Mayer had a plan and a vision that he had his sons to follow through on magnificently. The brothers were together and aligned in their mission so they could really depend on each other. Sometimes it’s not the best idea to go into business with family, but the lesson is that if you can come to alignment with your trusted allies, then there is no limit to what you can accomplish.
I would also add that it is imperative to have this kind of trust and faithful execution from your employees or subordinates. Employ people you can trust and count on following through on the plan and the vision. When you find these types of people, there is no telling how far you can go.
“Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.” – Stephen R. Covey
5. Stay humble
There is good reason you can’t find as much information about the Rothschild’s as some of the other industry leaders. The Rothschild’s didn’t court attention and instead went about their business without making frequent headlines for themselves. In looking for documentaries or a lot of information on those who acquired great wealth, you will find the majority of the information on Rockefeller, Carnegie, and J.P. Morgan, yet fewer on the Rothchild’s in comparison.
The family built several enormous estates and fancy houses, yet there weren’t too many headlines about the family. What is important is that those who did business with the family knew about them and where to find them. The lesson here is that when you become wealthy, the whole world doesn’t have to know. In fact, this can be detrimental in itself. You can stay humble and still go about your business.
The Rothschild’s were a family that knew the business and went about acquiring wealth so extraordinarily that great lessons can be found in how they made their accomplishments. Whether you run a small, medium, or even large business, these lessons can prove to be colossal in your success.