Tall Poppy Syndrome


By Cam McLellan


Today I’m going to write about Tall Poppy Syndrome – in Australia we have a tendency when someone stands out from the crowd, to want to go along in a group mentality and chop them off at the head, to bring them back to the level of everyone else.

So what is a “tall poppy”? It is a person who is doing something different, trying to get themselves ahead of the crowd, who stands out from others. So the decision you need to make is whether you are happy to be one of those people who tick along in life, or whether you’re someone who is prepared to take the steps you need to, to educate yourself and move forward building your wealth.

Here are some practical examples to understand why it’s so important to do more than the crowd:

What’s difference between my parents, and grandparents’ lifestyle and life expectancy, as opposed to what’s happening now, taking in to account expenditure and why doing something about your financial freedom is more important today than ever before.

In my grandparents circumstance they left school at 15, they then worked at the same job until they were 65. At that time the average life expectancy was 75 and the strategy was to pay off your home, whilst tucking a little bit extra under the mattress for retirement, which, on average was about another 10 years. This strategy actually worked for them. But what was their lifestyle like? It wasn’t extravagant. A holiday was taking a caravan down to the local caravan park and camping on the foreshore.

So let’s compare that to today’s lifestyle. Average school leaving age is 20 – 25, we want to retire younger, if you ask most people they want to retire at 50 – 55. Our medical system is a lot better so life expectancy has stretched out to 85 years plus. So what’s occurring here, you’ve got two things that are compounding the issue with today’s society, you’ve got a much shorter space of time where you need to build your wealth, to support a much longer retirement period. But what’s our lifestyle like? Personally I go overseas for holidays, my kids all have iPads, we want for more disposable things than in my grandparents day. Put simply – everybody wants more. Which means we need to build wealth at a much faster rate.


To survive retirement above the poverty line you must be a tall poppy. Sadly this is now a fact.

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