If we want to create wealth for the greater good, we need to think about what we’d do with it, intent-wise, first:
What a useful (and fun) exercise it is to imagine what we’d do if we were given great wealth, but not so great that we could, a la Bill and Melinda and Warren, seek to save the world entire with said wealth? What if we were given a large, but finite fortune? Sure, we’d buy nice things for ourselves
But, very quickly…we’d find that we don’t want things. We want experiences. We want to give. We want to help. We want to be inspired, and to serve.
And so: if I woke up tomorrow, with 10 million after-tax dollars in my bank account, what would I do with it? What would you? Try writing your own list.
Exercise: Write down the 10 Things you’d do with $10 Million in 10 Minutes.
1. I would buy a house for my momma. I’d pay for it in cash, and wrap the door handle in a bow, just like this.
2. I’d pay off my home—which the bank owns.
3. I’d hire more staff, and train them, and then six months later I’d travel around the world, and not come back for a year.
4. I’d pay a friend to watch my dearest dog—I would miss him horribly, but I’ve never been able to travel in my whole life, and I’d like to do so before I’m 40.
5. I’d buy a Tesla, and a solar charging station.
6. I couldn’t think of anything else to get. So now I’d start giving. Given that I only had a small fortune, I’d give away 100,000 to a few favorite non-profits, each—non-profits that were doing the most good and most urgently needed it for time-sensitive work.
7. Given that I only had a small fortunate to give, I’d create something that could magnetize more wealth, and give away far more. So I’d start a non-profit, get a bunch of grants, and create an entity that would, like Greenpeace or PETA or whatever, become a first-tier cause-maker for good. In our case, we’d focus on issues that were urgent, and could bring people together around common causes. We’d use language and issues that could unite, instead of divide.
8. I’d start another non-profit, and start an animal sanctuary. Tigers, elephants, any animals on the endangered species list. It’d be a cuddly Noah’s Ark. The sanctuary, of course, would be self-sufficient after a few years—we’d have HD cameras and virtual tours and safaris so that we humans could learn about the animals without putting them in cages. No cages, unless it were for we humans to stand in, for our protection. 😉
9. I’d start a school. Elementary through college. Teaching children and young adults how to be good humans devoted to service. We’d offer full scholarships to those who needed it, but only to those who met our high bar of service, humor, troublemaking and grades.
10. Broke, I’d continue to build up elephant, and get rich all over again—but without investors, without selling out.