I was doing some deep thinking the other night:
How would I live my life differently if I had $10,000,000 in cash?
I wrote down a bunch of ideas of specific things I would do, like play more tennis and hire a personal chef.
I’m also going to share some of the best things my friends said. At the end, I’ll try to encourage you to do this exercise and attempt a conclusion.
The premise: How much, and what would you do?
I was reminded about this activity that I originally did at a Tony Robbins conference.
Tony asked the audience two questions:
- How much money do you need to retire and live your best life?
- What would you do differently now that you had all that money?
Answering the last one is important: You have to get specific.
Instead of saying, “I would eat healthier” … I found it was more helpful to say, “I would eat at Hu Kitchen (my favorite healthy restaurant in Manhattan) every day whenever I want.”
- Does the money renew?
Assume no, but you can invest it like normal money.
- Can I spend it all at once?
Why $10 Million Dollars?
As my friend Ben Yu said,
$10,000,000 is enough to secure financial independence, which is basically the goal. The goal is to ensure that this money is enough to last the rest of my life and pay for my expenses without dipping into the principal.
My other friend Brian Sharp summarized,
$10MM is right around “Fuck You money” in the sense that interest income off that could easily support most normal people with even a modicum of self-restraint forever.
I wrote down some specific ideas about things I would do differently, or start doing, if I had the confidence of knowing I had $10 Million Dollars in my bank account.
- Write a How-To book about throwing great cocktail and dinner parties
- Be more productive
- Actively pursue developing a greater network of people who inspire me
- Frequent apartment servicing, like daily housekeeping and a personal chef
- Hire a media team to help me make more fun videos
- Hire a personal executive assistant in NYC
Do more fun stuff:
When I thought about what “fun stuff” meant, I wrote down:
- Go Karts
- Laser tag
- Epic picnics
- Vacations with friends
Turn it into $50,000,000
I love working with my colleagues at Museum Hack. If I had a lot more money, I wouldn’t change much there. I believe that keeping Museum Hack as a sustainable business, instead of a non-profit, allows us to create a better product and stay focused on our customers.
Having those things above to make my life easier and more fun, I would spend the balance of my time on entrepreneurial pursuits to turn the $10m into $50m.
I’m on the Warren Buffett charity and giving plan: I believe I can make a greater impact, with more money and influence, later in life when I’ve amassed a greater fortune.
What my friends would do
Some of the most popular answers when I asked my friends on my Facebook page what they would do:
Start a charity or nonprofit
One of the most popular answers was a variant on starting a charity or nonprofit. People would work for a cause that they cared about.
“Guacamole at Chipotle, every time”
Great answer from my friend Adam Enbar.
Not change anything
Several of my friends, like Rachel and Kosta and Lauren, are already living their best lives. They wouldn’t change anything.
Another of the most popular answers revolved around traveling.
How much do these things really cost?
This might be the most important part of this exercise:
- Write out your list of ways that you would live your life differently.
- Calculate how much each of them would actually cost.
- Be amazed at the relative affordability of living your best life.
It may not be cheap, but I’m willing to bet that most of our “dream lives” do not actually require $10,000,000.
For me: Yes, it costs a fair amount of money to rent a private tennis court in New York City (approx $175/hr) or to belong to a nearby gym with a swimming pool ($220/mo). But those fees are relatively small and require much less than $10,000,000 to regularly execute.
Doing this exercise helped me to realize that I don’t need a lot of money to do the things that make me happy.
Playing tennis, swimming, and reading more books = these are all things I can do if I make time and prioritize them.
My wish list is largely self-centered, and often trivial. I make no apologies for this. My goal is to continue to collect money and power, and then use it for positive influence on causes which I care about.
If I had $10,000,000 in cash, I’d make sure that my life was easier and a lot more fun. Then I’d work on entrepreneurial pursuits to get to $50,000,000. That’s my plan.
Related post: So you’ve got a million dollars. Now what?
Also: My friend Zach Smith sold his company for many millions of dollars. He bought a boat and is sailing around the world. See my video tour of it.