The other day, Will asked me how my life would be different if I had millions of dollars.
“Imagine you’re super-wealthy,” he said. “What would you do?”
That wasn’t the first time I’d been asked that question. I’ve given this question a lot of thought. And here’s my answer:
Nothing would change. I’d do the same things I’m doing now: buy rental properties, run a website, write articles. I’d just do it on a bigger scale.
I’d still be a writer, but I’d hire a research assistant. I’d still run a website, but I’d have more administrative and technical support.
Instead of buying duplexes and triplexes, I’d buy entire apartment complexes. I’d love to own a 100+-unit expanse of gated “luxury” apartments with swimming pools and fitness centers.
(I spotted one in a foreclosure auction listing. The starting bid was $5 million. Cash only. I went home and said to Will: “Do you think we can find a group of investors that would let us be a 0.01 percent partner?”)
I guess that’s a sign that I’m on the right track. As the movie Office Space says: Choose your career by imagining what you’d do if money wasn’t a factor. (Yes, I get career tips from movies. I’m Gen Y.)
A quick glance at people who have created immense wealth shows the same reaction: They kept doing what they were doing, even after they became huge. Kanye West still makes music. Jack Dorsey still launches tech startups. Donald still builds his Trump brand.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not comparing myself to these people. My point is that love for your work (passion, purpose, commitment) precedes everything. If you don’t like what you’re doing, you don’t stand a chance. But if you’re fully invested in your work, a higher net worth won’t cause you to quit. If anything, it’ll motivate you to grow faster and work harder.
So … what would you do if you had tens of millions? How would your life change? How would your work change?