So you talk about doing all of these other things, which is great, but there's really no amount of money that could make you more influential than you are now. So my question is: What are you going to do with all of the influence that you have right now?
Here is another fact in a long series of facts maybe everyone knows but me: Anderson Cooper is a Vanderbilt?! Of railroad tycoon fame? More specifically, his mom is the 90-year-old heiress Gloria Vanderbilt, who has $200 million dollars that she is NOT giving to her son when she dies.
Anderson Cooper, per the NY Post, is fine with that. In fact, he’s a little smug about it:
“I don’t believe in inheriting money … I think it’s an initiative sucker. I think it’s a curse.
“Who’s inherited a lot of money that has gone on to do things in their own life? From the time I was growing up, if I felt that there was some pot of gold waiting for me, I don’t know that I would’ve been so motivated.
“I’m doing fine on my own, I don’t need any,” he said.
I get where he’s coming — or at least the idea that ‘earning’ money just feels a lot better than getting it because you implanted in a very lucky uterus — but I think the next paragraph provides some critical context:
My feelings of safety and immortality quickly gave way to scarcity. After all, I thought, if I could make 10 million dollars then it must be too easy. In fact, I honestly thought, everyone else had probably already made 11 million dollars. So then I felt poor again. I now needed 100 million dollars to be happy. I drove in a car with a friend of mine and his wife. I said, “everyone has 10 million dollars now.” She quickly said, “not everyone.” — James Altucher
There’s a fascinating thread on Quora asking, “What does it feel like to be financially rich?” The responses are revealing. Take author and investor James Altucher, who explains why a rich person with $10 million would feel poor, and how he had to be reminded that he’s not actually poor. (Live the life you want to live and stop comparing yourself to others or you’ll never be happy.)
Here’s another excerpt of an interesting response by Mona Nomura, who works in the tech industry:
When my parents finally divorced, she left my brother and me with our dad and succeeded career wise. So much so, she retired in her early 40s. After she attained what she thought was success, she was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer. She spent the days up until her death regretting almost all the choices she made and beat herself up day after day. One of her last journal entries included reflections on how unappreciative she was with the things in front of her, and finally realizing happiness does not lie within superficial matters a little too late.
Photo of James Altucher: Wikimedia Commons
“Credit Suisse estimates that worldwide there are 98,700 ‘ultra-high net worth individuals,’ or people worth $50 million or more. Almost half of them live in the United States.” 100,000 is a lot of ultra high net worth individuals! And half of them are here! 50,000! I mean that just seems like a lot. It seems like I could run into one of them. Maybe tonight. They could be anywhere. They could be reading this right now. Hi.