I had an interesting conversation with my wife this morning. As the Powerball lottery rises to $900 million today, it's all you see on the news. Reporters are interviewing people at the local convenience store and asking how they'll spend their money if they choose the winning numbers. Everything from houses, cars and vacations to the discussion of quiting their jobs and moving to Aruba.
As I listened to all the crazy things these people said they would do, I turned to my wife and said, "I know one person that won't be winning the lottery today" to which she replyed, "Well maybe you should go buy some tickets just in case." My next statement left her speechless. I said, "No, I don't want to win all that money, I'd rather make it myself."
I know what you're thinking. You are thinking the exact same thing my wife was thinking, "He's full of crap!" Well let me tell you something. I love my real estate business. I've worked very hard to build it to this level of selling over 100 homes per year and I want to see it continue to grow. I'm passionate about doing it myself and my fear would be that if I won $900 million I would be tempted to give it up and stop.
Don't get me wrong, some days I think winning the lottery would be a fantastic idea. Just win a big payout, give the IRS their unfair share, then buy a big home in the Caribbean and lay on the beach trying to figure out how I can spend all that money. Usually that thought crosses my mind when I have a challenging deal I'm trying to hold together or right after I nail a listing presentation and the seller informs me in an email that they've decided to go with another agent.
Oh sure, I could think of a lot of good things to do with all that money. Give a multi-million dollar payout to my Church, pay off all the mortgages from my family and my wife's family, or even start my own charity! Trust me, I can think of a lot of great things to do with it, but that's not my point. What I'm saying is that I want to get to the end of my life and feel like I did it myself. I built that and made it happen through hard work, determination, and hiring the right people.
Call it that entrepreneurial spirit or whatever you want, I believe getting that much money at once would ruin me. I think I would become lazy and waste my life away. Besides, who says I can't make that much money myself by growing my real estate business?
Ok, so my wife still thinks I'm crazy for thinking this way, but she's known me for 20 years now and knows I'm serious when making these statements. I'm guessing at some point today though, she will find a reason to sneak out of the house and go buy her own lottery tickets. I guess if she wins, she doesn't have to share her winnings with me, right?