A Million Dollars Is Nothing

A Million Dollars Is Nothing

A million dollars is nothing. If you own a million, you're not even getting started. Consider yourself poor, and begin to see the what you can add to society. Don't stop and say, "I've done it," ever!

You never arrive. In your job, in your family, in your mental capacity—you always have room to grow. No, not for yourself, you selfish codfish, for the people around you. For the building up of the entire country. You get a million dollars, then invest it into someone who is 21 and has a good idea. Give a hundred thousand to a new orphanage. "100k?” you say. Yes, that much.

Stop thinking of a new ML Mercedes and think of someone else. You are nowhere near Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg, so keep building, keep giving, and get two nice Toyotas, and leave it at that. Let the Jones' do what they do, and then you do what you want to do.

I'll reiterate, You'll never arrive! Especially if you're Zimbabwean. With an economy of 7 or so billion US dollars, no one in Zimbabwe can stop and relax. We are still on nursery school compared to the first world.

A number of people thought they had made it a few years back, then bang! The economy changed overnight. Remember that finance is a poor source of personal security in this day and age. It helps, but it is not infinitely secure.

Entrepreneurs, drive an old secondhand truck until you are 35. Invest the rest into new ideas. You don't really need a boat.

If you are working for a company that pays you 6 figures, live off a quarter and invest the rest. If you make a good deal, then give some of it back.

One of my clients rents in a building that was sold for far in excess of its market value (a few million in excess). The caretaker of the building, with over thirty years of service to the company and the building, was paid three thousand dollars in gratuity. A very legally calculated gratuity in terms of the law. For a company that just came into millions, that has to be the saddest example of failure to appreciate faithfulness.

Absolutely no one should be retiring. Give your advice to the next generation. Hold free tea parties at your house for people in their 20's who have ideas. Seth Godin does it and there are very few people as cool as Seth Godin in the country. Mentor people, give away an hour a week to build up a worthy individual (or individuals). Stop thinking about the monetary value of the time you give away! Think instead of the value you are putting into the lives of people.

Selfishness will kill our nation. Covetousness will kill our nation. Living for 'the image' will kill our nation. If all you do, if all you ever dream of is improving your life and your personal fortune, then do the nation a favour and please find somewhere else to do it.

Think bigger, be bigger. I'm not talking about fostering a donor mentality or a 'gimme gimme' attitude in the lives of those you give to (I loathe beggars as much as you do), but about enhancing the lives of others. One of my business partners was struggling with the strain of supporting an extended family; six extra school fees and a funeral a week is no joke. Their solution was to build a family business; now if a family member wants school fees paid they come to work, earn a good salary and contribute to society.

What would it take for running water to be supplied 'kumusha'? How can you partner with the community to make it happen in a sustainable manner?

Ignore those who want to jump on the publicity bandwagon, if you are looking for publicity every time you give, then examine your motives again. If that is too big a project, then look at the bottom of your garden and examine the state of your servants' quarters, and while you are there examine how much you are paying them. Why don't you try live off that for a month and see how far you get?

Please do yourself a favour. Never fold your arms. Never think that you've made it. Don't drive the latest top of the range vehicle that depreciates the minute you drive it off the floor. Invest more than you live on.

If you fly business class, you better be earning more then 5 figures. Honestly just how big does your house need to be? Yes enjoy life, but give back. Give to your church, community and school. Stop greeting young entrepreneurs like they're stupid. Respect them, help them, and don't take their ideas away. Let them become better and richer than you.

(photo via villes)