Tuesday, June 01, 2010

How To Live Like A Billionaire


So many are obsessed with wealth, but how many know how to spend it?

For years, I've given a simple three word answer to the question, "What would you do if you became a billionaire?"

My response? "Take more naps."

A bit flippant perhaps, but telling. The true value of wealth is freedom. It's up to you to make the most of that freedom.

Today, I spent part of a jog refining my answer. I've decided that there are three things I'd do if I become a billionaire:

1) Get enough sleep to feel well-rested

Sleep is incredibly underrated; a full night's sleep makes me feel like a world-beater. Now imagine that feeling every single day!

2) Get enough exercise to feel healthy

For most of us, exercise is one of the first things to go when work gets busy. But if you were a billionaire, you could make it a priority.

3) Get enough time with your family to feel happy

Whether it's time with a parent, playing with a child, or spending quality time inside and outside the bedroom with your spouse or partner, your family relationships are one of the most important contributors to your happiness.

I would argue that much of the dissatisfaction people feel with their lives comes from being forced to prioritize earning money over these three priorities. A billionaire wouldn't have to.

Then again, do you really need to be a billionaire to get enough sleep, exercise, and enjoy the company of your family?

Maybe, just maybe, you can live like a billionaire right now. Ultimately, it's up to you.

UPDATE:

I particularly like what my friend Matt said to me in a Twitter DM:
"Sleep, Exercise, Sex is also How to Live Like a German Shepherd Dog."

Billionaires have a lot to learn from German Shepherds!

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Can't we live like a billionaire simply by becoming a multi-millionaire and living in a country where our dollar is more valued (global arbitrage). The things you name are achievable at a much smaller number than "billionaire". Really, being a billionaire is an absolute waste, and there's little extra happiness to be gained from the millionaire level.

The only real thing to achieve, then, is the extra glut of power that's possible.

Ross said...

Can't we live like a billionaire simply by becoming a multi-millionaire and living in a country where our dollar is more valued (global arbitrage). The things you name are achievable at a much smaller number than "billionaire". Really, being a billionaire is an absolute waste, and there's little extra happiness to be gained from the millionaire level.

The only real thing to achieve, then, is the extra glut of power that's possible.

Foobarista said...

I'll admit that I've taken the "smaller" route by avoiding career paths where I'd have to kill myself in order to make mid sixes instead of low sixes and being able to sleep at night and take regular real vacations (ie, visiting relatives on holidays don't count).

I guess this may mean I'm "lazy", but so what? You can always get more money, but you'll never get more time.

Jonathan Patrick said...

Chris

so many people think of wealth for the things it can buy them. Meaning the tangible things it can buy them. Enjoyed seeing someone talk about what wealth really buys, freedom.

I know my comments aren't a value add today but just had to say that your post has me renewed today. Thanks.

Chris said...

Foo,

It's amazing how many people kill themselves for an income that doesn't grant them real freedom.

Freedom is the end; the money is just the means. And sometimes it's not even the best means.

alice said...

Do billionaires ever really do these things? It seems like they're too busy working to keep their billions. (Judging from what little I'd know!)

Paul said...

This reminds me of the story of the poor Mexican Fisherman ....

http://www.abundancetapestry.com/should-the-poor-mexican-fisherman-give-up-contentment-for-cash/

In a quiet Mexican fishing village, an American who was on vacation saw a local fisherman unloading his catch. He decided to approach him.

The American asked the fisherman, “why are you finishing your day so early?”

The Mexican replied “Oh Senor, I have caught enough to feed my family and a little extra to sell for today. It is now time to go for lunch with my family and have a siesta. In the afternoon, I can play with my kids. In the evening, I will go to the cantina, drink a little tequila and play the guitar.”


The business professor was horrified at the fisherman’s lack of motivation to succeed. He answered, “If you stay out at sea until late afternoon, you will easily catch twice as much fish. You can sell the extra, save up the money and in six months, maybe nine, you will be able to buy a bigger and better boat, and hire some crew. Then you’ll be able to buy a second fishing boat and hire another crew.”

He continued, “In another year or two, you will have the capital to buy a second fishing boat and hire another crew. If you follow this business plan, in six or seven years, you will be the proud owner of a large fishing fleet.”

“Just imagine that! Then you can move your head office to Mexico city, or even to L.A. After only three or four years in LA, you float your company on the stockmarket giving yourself, as CEO, aqa generous salary package with substantial share options. In a few more years – listen to this! – you initiate a company share buy-back scheme, which will make you a multi-millionaire! Guaranteed!”

The American got very excited at the prospect himself. He said, “I definitely know these things. I’m a well known professor at the US Business School.”

The Mexican fisherman listened intently at what the animated American had to say. When the professor had finished, the Mexican asked him, “But, Senor Professor, what can a person do after getting millions of dollars?”

Now, the American professor hadn’t thought that far. He was taken aback by the question.

So he quickly figured out an answer “Amigo! With all that dough, you can retire. Yeah! Retire for life! You can buy a little villa with a picturesque fishing village like this one, and purchase a small boat for going fishing in the morning, You can have lunch with your wife every day, and a siesta in the afternoon, with nothing to worry you. In the afternoon, you can spend quality time with your kids, and after dinner in the evening, play guitar with your friends in the cantina, drinking tequila. Yeah, with all the money, my friend, you can retire and take it easy.”

Puzzled with the American’s suggestion, the Mexican fisherman replied, “but, Senor Professor, I do that already!”

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I say just live to the best of your ability and pray for God's blessings in life -- like health and forgiveness and such. And should the other come, you'll really know and understand what to do with it.