I’ve decided I need to become rich.

Not so much for the stuff I could buy with all the money, though that is a benefit, so much as for all the time it would free up to do shit I wanna do instead of shit I have to do. There are so many places I’d like to visit and so many projects I’d like more time to work on that all this time spent earning a living is seriously getting in the way. Not to mention not having any money to go anywhere or do the things I’d like to do. If I had the means I’d quit my job and spend my time doing all the cool stuff I’ve wanted to do such as traveling.

The funny part is I wouldn’t make a very good rich person. Allow me to explain: I’ve been reading The Book of Vice: Very Naughty Things (and How to Do Them) by Peter Sagal and one of the chapters is all about Consumption, as in “conspicuous consumption.” It talks about how quite a bit of what rich people spend their money on is less about the item itself as it is about being able to afford the item in question. There’s no real practical need, for example, for a $15,000 15K solid gold bathroom sink, but it’s something a lot of rich people buy because they can.

Should I ever be fortunate enough to become rich there is quite simply no amount of money I could possibly have that would result in me saying, “Hey, let’s buy a $15,000 solid gold bathroom sink just for the hell of it.” I could be richer than Bill Gates and it would still never cross my mind to ever consider such a purchase. I probably wouldn’t even buy particularly expensive cars, though I’d love to be able to walk into a dealership and just buy one outright. I could see possibly buying a big house for the tax breaks, but even then there’d be limits. I would spend a good chunk of change traveling because I’d probably find the comforts of first class worth the extra money, but I wouldn’t buy my own jet or anything silly like that.

My charitable contributions would go way up as well. There’s more occasions that I’m happy with where I’d like to donate to a cause and just couldn’t afford to do so. Plenty of family members and friends who have run into rough patches where a spare $100 would help out and we didn’t have the cash. We do what we can when we can, but I’d like to do more and being rich would certainly make that possible.

I definitely wouldn’t be one of those rich people who becomes obscenely rich and then keeps on working to become even more obscenely rich. Had I written the first Harry Potter book instead of J.K. Rowling it’s likely there’d never have been any sequels because she made a bazillion dollars off the first book alone. Well, maybe one or two sequels just to cement the fact that I’d never need to work again, but that’s probably it.

So I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to find a way to become rich. Not obscenely rich, but rich enough that I can afford to do what I’d like to do instead of working. I was working on a book myself for awhile, but it hasn’t been a smooth process and I’ve not worked on it in awhile. I doubt I’ll get rich through writing something. What I need is a good idea that starts off small and then explodes in such a way that I can sell it to some big company and retire. The modern day examples are web services like Google or Yahoo!, but I doubt I can think of anything that revolutionary. The classic example is the guy who came up with Pet Rocks. Here is where I start to suffer from a lack of imagination and my own skepticism. There’s stuff out there that’s made people wildly rich that I never in a thousand years would have considered as being something anyone would buy.

So it looks like I’ll be stuck doing what I’m doing for awhile longer until I can find some source of inspiration. Still, it never hurts to keep those ideas percolating in the back of my head. Perhaps I’ll stumble across something absurd enough that everyone will want it and I’ll realize my dream. Until then I’ll buy a lotto ticket every so often to see if I can get lucky.

7 thoughts on “I’ve decided I need to become rich.

  1. We all have those dreams, goals, aspirations but few will ever realize them.  That you are healthy, working, and intelligent are some of the aspics of wealth.  That you are loved by many, an example to many more is also an aspic.  So although you don’t have money you have some of the riches of life!

  2. If you wrote one book, you might write more because writing can transcend money- you may be so stuffed with ideas you don’t want to waste them.

    If I won seriously stupid amounts of money I’d secure the lifestyle I wanted, which isn’t over the top, though out of most peoples reaches (large house, with wargaming room, home cinema etc).  Then secure friends and family, then start spreading it around- This is a promise: If I come up seriously big on the lottery then I’m paying for a SEB get together bash- flights, hotel, the lot. How about Hawaii?

    I’ve always said If I was rich I’d set up a charity to help the homeless – rent houses, get them bak into work.

  3. You could always start your own religion/cult Les …

    OK, I know that may seem like a strange idea but just think about it, look how well it worked out for L. Ron H.

  4. There’s no real practical need, for example, for a $15,000 15K solid gold bathroom sink, but it’s something a lot of rich people buy because they can.

    This is why I dislike rich people.  It’s not the money, or the fact that they are more successful.  Hell, some of them are even smarter than me.  I don’t begrudge any of that.

    But the phenomenal WASTE that they generate is staggering.  I get upset when I hear that a CEO’s yearly bonus (not his regular salary) is higher than the ten year salary of the highest paid executive in the same company, and he didn’t say no to the bonus not because he was simply greedy, but because it would LOOK BAD if he took less.  I get upset when I hear about a divorce settlement of $2 million, but the one who was awarded the sum is screaming “I’m broke” or when I hear baseball players walk out on strike over their salary because they can’t possibly live on $5 million a year instead of the $10 million they were promised.  I get tired of hearing what a philanthropist Bill Gates is when he donates 1% of his net worth to charity, when there are thousands of people giving up pretty much everything they own to work for a charity.

    If rich people want us to stop hating them, they only need to act like human beings.

  5. Sorry, but got to disagree on that one:  BusinessWeek says 48% of net worth up to 2007.

    but I take your point in general.

    His “lifetime” donations equal 48% of his CURRENT net worth.  That is a very misleading statistic.  It means that over his entire life, he has spent 48% of his current net worth on charities.  Averaging his yearly donations from 2003 to 2007 my 1% figure works a lot better.  It’s probably not even a great chunk of his income.

    I don’t consider myself a very big philanthropist, but just off the top of my head I give around 20% of my yearly income for the last ten years.  Thats not 20% of my current net worth.  If you total up the ten years of spending 20% of my income and match that to my current net worth, that’s almost 100%, and that’s not including what I still owe the bank for my house, which would make the total around 600-700% of my net worth.  There are literally thousands of people who are probably giving up more than me.

    Billy’s not so special now, is he?

    Don’t get me wrong, 48% of $59 billion is a lot of money, but no matter how rich you are, it costs the same to put a roof over your head, to feed your family and to get to work every day.  If you spend more: either to ride in a limo or a helicopter, to have a mansion, to eat at a $100 a plate restaurant, then that is YOUR choice.  It is not your “cost of living”  That’s why they call it luxury.

    Rich people CAN do more, so why is it they always end up doing less?

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