Not so much for the stuff I could buy with all the money, though that is a benefit, so much as for all the time it would free up to do shit I wanna do instead of shit I have to do. There are so many places I’d like to visit and so many projects I’d like more time to work on that all this time spent earning a living is seriously getting in the way. Not to mention not having any money to go anywhere or do the things I’d like to do. If I had the means I’d quit my job and spend my time doing all the cool stuff I’ve wanted to do such as traveling.
The funny part is I wouldn’t make a very good rich person. Allow me to explain: I’ve been reading The Book of Vice: Very Naughty Things (and How to Do Them) by Peter Sagal and one of the chapters is all about Consumption, as in “conspicuous consumption.” It talks about how quite a bit of what rich people spend their money on is less about the item itself as it is about being able to afford the item in question. There’s no real practical need, for example, for a $15,000 15K solid gold bathroom sink, but it’s something a lot of rich people buy because they can.
Should I ever be fortunate enough to become rich there is quite simply no amount of money I could possibly have that would result in me saying, “Hey, let’s buy a $15,000 solid gold bathroom sink just for the hell of it.” I could be richer than Bill Gates and it would still never cross my mind to ever consider such a purchase. I probably wouldn’t even buy particularly expensive cars, though I’d love to be able to walk into a dealership and just buy one outright. I could see possibly buying a big house for the tax breaks, but even then there’d be limits. I would spend a good chunk of change traveling because I’d probably find the comforts of first class worth the extra money, but I wouldn’t buy my own jet or anything silly like that.
My charitable contributions would go way up as well. There’s more occasions that I’m happy with where I’d like to donate to a cause and just couldn’t afford to do so. Plenty of family members and friends who have run into rough patches where a spare $100 would help out and we didn’t have the cash. We do what we can when we can, but I’d like to do more and being rich would certainly make that possible.
I definitely wouldn’t be one of those rich people who becomes obscenely rich and then keeps on working to become even more obscenely rich. Had I written the first Harry Potter book instead of J.K. Rowling it’s likely there’d never have been any sequels because she made a bazillion dollars off the first book alone. Well, maybe one or two sequels just to cement the fact that I’d never need to work again, but that’s probably it.
So I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to find a way to become rich. Not obscenely rich, but rich enough that I can afford to do what I’d like to do instead of working. I was working on a book myself for awhile, but it hasn’t been a smooth process and I’ve not worked on it in awhile. I doubt I’ll get rich through writing something. What I need is a good idea that starts off small and then explodes in such a way that I can sell it to some big company and retire. The modern day examples are web services like Google or Yahoo!, but I doubt I can think of anything that revolutionary. The classic example is the guy who came up with Pet Rocks. Here is where I start to suffer from a lack of imagination and my own skepticism. There’s stuff out there that’s made people wildly rich that I never in a thousand years would have considered as being something anyone would buy.
So it looks like I’ll be stuck doing what I’m doing for awhile longer until I can find some source of inspiration. Still, it never hurts to keep those ideas percolating in the back of my head. Perhaps I’ll stumble across something absurd enough that everyone will want it and I’ll realize my dream. Until then I’ll buy a lotto ticket every so often to see if I can get lucky.