I don't usually blog about dates but this had such an impact on my life and direction that I'm making an exception. The past few years were some of my first exposure to millionaires of all sorts (just go to Affiliate Summit). I've listened to their stories and asked questions and generally am intrigued at the love affair Americans have with money. Even though money isn't what makes us happy – after a certain level of about $40k per year.
Last week I blogged on another site about how an entrepreneur who was already successful won millions in the lottery only to become famous too – and MISERABLE. His work took over his life and he stopped trusting people. He stopped going to church and his wife is leaving him. He doesn't have many friends left – and most just want money from him.
I have firsthand experience with this because my grandparents became very wealthy off California real estate. People treated them differently. After they died my extended family almost broke up forever fighting for their money. They were very modest though. Thanks to them I had a full ride scholarship to college plus good examples of using money to make other people's lives better.
So I was wined and dined this weekend and could even marry a millionaire. And yet, it wasn't that appealing. The big house, the big ring and all the rest started feeling really hollow. To me, money only gets you so far. Strong character is the real gold. I woke up the next morning deeply thinking about my life and priorities. I'm a parent and providing for my son has been a priority. However, I'm very ambitious that I always try to squeeze more into a day.
So I will be re-arranging things in my life so I can stop running. I want time to socialize and connect with people other than my business partner (even though he's a valuable part of my life too and thanks for the heart-to-heart). I have to put other things above business, otherwise I'll achieve what I build and still feel robbed.
Truthfully the most valuable part of my day today was that kiss my son blew me through the car window as I dropped him off at school. No one could buy that for me and I couldn't buy it for myself. Relationships matter most in life. And that's what a date with a millionaire taught me.
There's a great post about money and happiness by Tim Ferriss, author of the 4 Hour Work Week.