You might be an entrepreneur if…when a life coach tell everyone in the room “Think about what you would do if you had a million dollars in the bank–now go out and do that and don’t worry about the money” you get the impression you’re the only person in history who has actually done this and if the life coach had actually done it he might stop telling other people to do it.
You have heard this one before, right? The 4-Hour Work Week guy even used it in his book. It goes like this…
Life coach: Now just imagine that you had a million, or ten million, or a hundred million dollars in the bank–enough that you never had to work again, and you could do anything you wanted to do. What would you do with your time? Would you live on a tropical island? Would you paint pictures? Would you volunteer at an orphanage in India?
Audience thinks to itself, everyone closing their eyes and dreaming about what they would do if they had no financial constraints.
Life coach: Good, now that you have that in mind, here’s what you do–exactly what you were dreaming of doing. Live your dream, and the money will take care of itself.
Ok, it’s not that somebody told me to do this and then I went ahead and did it. But one day I heard this repeated and I thought “Wait a second, I’ve actually done this!” I spent four years working on my business without getting paid a dime for it. I could have done anything during that time. I could have lounged around at home. I could have skateboarded all day. I could have read books. I could have done anything with that time, but I chose to knock myself out and rack up a ton of debt running a business. Does that mean that all this time I’ve been doing what I really love, or am I just an idiot? I mean seriously, if I had spent those four years watching movies and eating Ben and Jerry’s I would be much better off today financially.
Now I don’t really have a choice, but I’m not sure that’s a problem for me. I have to run a business in order to pay off my debts. I don’t think anybody would pay me the kind of salary I would need to get in order to match how fast I’m paying off my debts right now. And then you add on top of that the fact that I have a lot of flexibility in my life in that I can more or less choose when I want to work and I’m probably putting in less than 30 hours per week, I think I’m pretty happy with where I’m at.
But what if my debts were all paid off? What if I really had a million in the bank and didn’t have to worry about finances? Would I keep doing what I’m doing? If nothing else were different other than those factors I probably would. Of course you don’t know exactly what I’m working on behind the scenes here at MWI, and I’m not talking about laundromatic. But I also might be preparing to go to HBS sooner. I’d probably go to Brazil for a few months. I’d probably go skateboard a bit more. And I’d probably read more books, watch more movies, spend more time with my wife, and eat out more. Simple pleasures, really.
But I’m going to have to think about this some more. It’s hard for me to imagine what I would really do if I didn’t have to do anything without being in that situation.Liked it? Share it!