How I Became the Richest Person in the World

Hello, poor people! My name is Fortune Falani, and I’m the richest person in the world. This is my story.

You may ask, ‘Fortune bhai, how did you become the richest person in the world?’

I’ll tell you how.

I came from a humble background. I started with nothing. The only thing I had was my friend Chuckmuck Chailani.

Those were tough days. I had sold my scooter to loan money to a local businessman, Firki bhai. He put it in a business that eventually sank because, as I came to know later, he knew nothing about that line of business! And when I asked for my money back, he avoided me! It’s not like he wasn’t rich already; he just wouldn’t return what he owed me!

One day, I cornered him on the street. I was very upset. I blurted out, ‘Firki bhai, why don’t you return my money? You have so much money of your own. Why didn’t you use your own money for the business? Why did you have to ask me for a loan? You never had any intention of repaying it, did you?

Firki bhai, who was tensed at being cornered, suddenly relaxed, smiled benignly, and said, ‘Fortune, you don’t do business with your own money; you do business with other people’s money.’

That was the eye-opener that changed the trajectory of my life.

So, I went to a big bank and said, ‘I want to become the richest person in the world. I want to begin by buying Badhiya Ltd. Loan me 1 bazillion rupees.’

‘But Fortune bhai, how will you repay the loan? You don’t have any income!’ said the bank manager.

‘But Badhiya Ltd. makes money, na! I’ll pay back from that!’

‘That makes sense. But still, I can’t give you a loan unless you mortgage something. Do you have anything?’

‘No, but my best friend Chuckmuck will stand guarantee.’

‘Well, in that case…’

My loan application was approved and I got 1 bazillion to buy Badhiya Ltd. See, I used 1 bazillion of debt to buy 1 bazillion of equity and became a bazillionnaire overnight!

I continued taking loans from banks and lapping up companies left, right, and centre. All those companies are listed on stock exchanges. So, my net worth was reflected on stock exchanges through the shares I owned. As I kept buying companies, from a bazillionnaire, I became a dazillionnaire, fazillionnaire, and, finally, today, I’m a gazillionnaire and the richest person in the world.

That’s my story.

On paper only? You’re so cute. This is how the world works, sonny boy. Aren’t Elon and Jeff billionnaires ‘on paper’ too? Don’t kid yourself. Equity is as real a currency as love is a commitment.

How much loan have I taken, you ask? Well, isn’t it obvious that if I’m a gazillionnaire, I must have taken a few gazillions in loans?

Haha! Let me Robert Kiyosaki you – no one calls me a gazillion loan-taker; everyone calls me a gazillionaire businessman. You’re not known by the loans you have on your books; you’re known by the equity against your name.

No, no, no, no, I don’t feel like that. I don’t think it is perverse that I’m the richest person in the world even though my own country is crushingly poor. Didn’t you learn anything here? Take loans, poor people, and buy successful businesses. That’s how you become rich. If I had worked hard and started a business from scratch and tried to grow it organically, forget this lifetime, I wouldn’t have become the richest person in the world in three lifetimes!

Loan default? Why are you so negative? Anyway, my friend Chuckmuck is my guarantor. Haven’t you heard that famous quote by Robert Browning?

‘Ah, but a man’s loans should exceed his income,

Or what are friends for?’

Published by Anupam Choudhury

I'm a writer, editor, and blogger from New Delhi, India.

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