Who Wants To Be A Billionaire?

At what point does wealth start to appear obscene, self-serving and fuelled by vanity?


Who needs five yachts, teams of security people and PAs, six mansions, and Celebrity Joneses to keep up with? Many of Britain's owner-director entrepreneurs have absolutely no ambition to be super-rich. Quite rightly, too.

Let's take Average Alan. He's 54, got a £1m home, has just about paid off the mortgage, owns the 6 series BMW and 4WD, has kids working and he's helped them buy their first homes, and his wife refuses to move from the village. What needs he of £1bn? What does he lack? Time, peace of mind, a stress-free life because he still works too many hours, worries in the middle of the night, pushes himself a bit (sometimes a lot) too hard. He's been doing it for decades; it's not getting any easier, and he's not getting any younger.

£1bn would be more pressure, more work, more worry. Physically, mentally and financially he simply doesn't need it, so how much does he need to give him the quality of life he desperately wants?

Surely £3m is enough. It would give him a fulfilled and busy life. Okay, he could "get by" on £2m, and splash out rather more with £5m, but really, does he want or need much more? He's satisfied with what he's achieved: he's secure (as you can be), he's reaping the rewards, living life on his own terms. After a lifetime of pushing, thrusting, worrying, going up, getting pushed down again, being fearful, challenged, doubted, abused, cheated - and delivering some of that back - why would he need to have more of the same when he can have what he actually wants?

A story: Kurt Vonnegut and Joseph Heller (of Catch-22 fame) are at a party being held by a super-rich hedge-fund manager.

Vonnegut leans towards Heller and says, "Do you realise that our host earned more money in the past 24 hours than you have earned from all of your best-selling books?"

"Ah yes," says Heller, "but I have got something he hasn't got."

"What's that?" asks Vonnegut.

Heller answers, "Enough."

The real wisdom, of course, is knowing when enough is enough, and going cold turkey on the addictions of work, of being busy, of being needed, of being important, of being "revered" for having made it. The billionaires are, of course, the addicts, the can't-stop junkies - sad sacks to be pitied.

Let's celebrate the wisdom of the £3m billionaires.



Robert Craven -- UK's #1 Business Speaker (SpeakerMix)
The Directors' Centre - Ecademy Profile
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John Murray

johnmurray12-703381

Who Wants To Be A Billionaire?

Hi Robert Just seen this blog for the first time and had to comment. It is a question I have pondered a LOT recently - as I now see so much poverty on a daily basis in Afghanistan. It made me realise that in having 'just' a car, 'just' a house I was really like a 'Billionaire' when compared to those on the streets begging in that country. So, when is enough enough? My goals have now turned full circle due to this form of contemplation. 'Enough' for me now is to be 100% debt free - no personal debt and no mortgage. Those are the key indicators for me now. So, the credit cards have gone, anything I buy I pay for based upon what is in the account - not the amount of credit that remains - and the focus is now to lose ALL debt. Then, that will be 'enough' for me. I will still aim to generate income, money etc as we have to live. If it is £1M or £1Bn, great. But if not, so what? I already am a 'Billionaire' compared to so many others in the world and I thank my lucky stars each and every day for this. I even carry a little reminder around with me to help me constantly remember my good fortune. Great blog and great comments. Regards John

1 comments

Robert Craven

robert-craven-22343

Who Wants To Be A Billionaire?

See also Congratulations...

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Fraser Hay

fraserhay-90022

Who Wants To Be A Billionaire?

cocked up previously respondng to wrong thread. Plum that I am. "Hundreds and thousands" are a topping for icecream. I remember buying a very large tub of them at the cash n carry once. I had hundreds and thousands of hundreds and thousands. hmm.

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Fraser Hay

fraserhay-90022

Who Wants To Be A Billionaire?

Can I just clarify... Life Membership was paid to Ecademy Ltd which I think is no more. the assets were bought and transferred to Ecademy Global Ltd Would Ecademy Global want to continue to a model that could be perceived as not working? I am still a little unclear what differentiates the Life Members (in terms of value and benefits received) from the pay as you go members? I think its been highlighted above that the payasyou go members currently pay the monthly subscription but also have to pay to attend boardroom, and BS days, but i think the life members also have to pay to attend these.

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Alan Bowman

alanbowman-330504

Who Wants To Be A Billionaire? Money is Like Manure

Money is Like Manure. When you have a heap of manure in the garden all you get is etiolated grass and the smell BUT when you spread manure around you get growth and flowers and the smell goes also. Money spread around brings help, smiles and happiness and encouragement to others so much so that even Bill Gates and Warren Buffet subscribe to this theory. Kind regards to all Alan

1 comments

Alan Bowman

alanbowman-330504

Who Wants To Be A Billionaire?

Hi Robert Just used the words Steve Holmes used and then thought BTCB was a good acronym, albeit brand new, and having seen what has gone on his comment is spot on. Cheers and this Blog proving more and more prescient when you see what has occured since you first posted it in March 2012. Bankers, Azil etc etc need one say more. Cheers Alan

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Dean Grimshawe

deangrimshawe-164000

Who Wants To Be A Billionaire?

I still want to be a Billionare. With that kind of resource I could do a heck of a lot to assist all the projects I back. It would be a lot of responsibility but it would be far better than constantly saying 'I just wish I could do more'.

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Anna Figiel

annafigiel-87173

Who Wants To Be A Billionaire?

I don't - the responsibility of managing extreme wealth would negate the benefits of freedom which a comfortable level of wealth would bring. I rarely play the Lottery, but if I ever happened to win a few million quid, most of it would be donated to charitable projects. I'd enjoy that as a new job.

1 comments

RealSteveHolmes Fading away soon

cvsage-38854

Who Wants To Be A Billionaire?

Big time corporate banditry began with thatcher's "reforms" and has turned into the kind of theft formerly deployed by robber barons, who also imposed fear on their underlings and took everything there was to take. I'd shoot the lot of them. They are undeserving thieves.

2 comments

Lyndon Wood

Lyndon

Who Wants To Be A Billionaire?

There comes a point where money is not money anymore it is a means to deliver your ongoing ambitions. By the time you have the big house, fancy cars, boat, villa in whatever wealthy state or town, holidays galore, buy what you want when you want, well you can do all that with £10m so a billion does not change your life. You need £6m to be able to retire if your in your thirties and a little less but not much, if you are older. Money breeds evil. Sometimes from the person with a billion quite often from jelous people who say they don't want it but actually do knowing they will never get it. As the saying goes "there are no pockets in shrouds" Lyndon

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Fred Rutgers

fredrutgers-186363

Who Wants To Be A Billionaire?

If having a billion would get me on the Forbes or Quote list, i'd be making a lot of people happy with donations to prevent me getting on there! Money can only make you happy if you spent it wisely! Fred Rutgers

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Robert Craven

robert-craven-22343

Who Wants To Be A Billionaire?

The theme of this topic just keep son running and running. Obviously a key question re success... RC

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Robert Craven

robert-craven-22343

Who Wants To Be A Billionaire?

Want To Be A Billionaire? Build One Of These Seven Businesses looks like an interesting article... RC

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Robert Oosthout

robertoosthout-155636

Who Wants To Be A Billionaire?

Robert the question should be: "What would you do with the billion?". I don't care about how much they own. The question is, do rich people use their money for the betterment of the world, in other words also to the advantage of others, or do they use it only for themselves. Being rich is not good or bad. Do you realize that rich people are in most cases very generous people? They create companies and work for others, income for others, housing for others, etc. To be quiet frank, I want to be a billionaire. That is if it is not caused by hyperinflation. The question is, do I have a big enough dream to realize it and do I have a burning desire for its achievement? I am working on it and what if I would be a billionaire? I would create a foundation and finance all kind of charity projects like I already do, only bigger. I would focus first on supporting The Hunger Project and second on building schools and libraries, because our education system is getting worse and worse every year. People don't read anymore, They don't learn their languages, they don't do math, quiet elementary things, if we want to create a future for ourselves and others. Leaders are readers. It is a matter of learning people how to fish instead of giving them a fish. Let me be clear. I believe we are accountable for our own lives, our happiness, our health and our wealth. I would support the Clinton Global Initiative, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. I would support programs in Africa for children that lost their parents caused by AIDS, to see that they have a future. I would focus on children, because they are our future. And I would support women, because they are the backbone of society. I would support everything that leads to sustainability. So I would invest in solar energy, wind energy etc. I would be of the grid, producing my own energy and selling it to the power companies. I would coach and train at least a million people to be millionaires and more. I could go on for ever. I have decided that I will be 125, so I have plenty of time. It is like what Peter Ragnar says:"If you have decided, that you have something significant to do in life, there is no time to die." And yes, you are right it is a matter of knowing when you have enough and we all know that this is a distinction most people don't own. First we have underconsumption, than we have the optimum and if we go on we get overconsumption, a state most countries in Western Europe are in. At the optimum we have a choice. Either we share our abundance of resources with others, or we keep it to ourselves. The first choice means more pople are rich and the second means although we have enough money we are poor and the others are too. Choose!

1 comments

Dean Grimshawe

deangrimshawe-164000

Who Wants To Be A Billionaire?

'There are times when a man should be content with what he has but never with what he is' I can resonate totally with the sentiment of not pushing for more for the sake of greed. But that depends totally on why they want more. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not featuring on the Forbes list this year however I'm not against being super wealthy. Lets put it another way..... One man earns £50k/ year, one man earns £500k/ year and the next earns £5M/ year. Which man is the most selfish? Well, one possible answer is the guy on £50k. Because with such a small amount of money you can only take care of yourself. And lets face it, most people are content with what they have are thinking in terms of themselves. Which is certainly not necessarily wrong. With more money we can reach out to more people and make more of a difference. I know many projects I would love to commit more money to from my own Team Warrior initiative. Can you make a difference without money? OF COURSE! But lets face it if I have an extra billion to pledge to good causes it will certainly help. Thought provoking blog Robert. Good work.

1 comments

Beth Burgess

bethburgess2-672944

Who Wants To Be A Billionaire?

Haha Ed, I never learned to drive. Maybe I could buy myself some suitable off-road track for it, otherwise I'd not have much use for my billions in jail ;)

1 comments

Ed Oliver

edoliver-85619

Who Wants To Be A Billionaire?

Beth Where's the fun in a chauffeur driven Ferrari? I think that calls for a bit of DIY even with a billion Regards Ed

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Beth Burgess

bethburgess2-672944

Who Wants To Be A Billionaire?

It depends what you would use it for. I would love to be a billionaire because then I could set up and fund several charities. No yachts for me, though I would like a nice chauffeur-driven Ferrari and a 24-hour hairdresser for bad hair moments. Haha I heard Cheryl Cole hires an assistant to walk behind her with an umbrella when it's raining. That's probably rubbish but it wouldn't surprise me actually. I am joking of course (though not about the charities or the Ferrari).

1 comments

Gordon Wheaton

gordonwheaton-294525

Who Wants To Be A Billionaire?

Good blog Robert. Although do you pity Richard Branson? Regards Gordon

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Jeff Mowatt

jeffmowatt-232748

Who Wants To Be A Billionaire?

I'm reminded again this morning by a conversation on Linkedin about values driven business, of which my colleague was a pioneer. He was still a pioneer when I joined him. It's become the focus of a Guardian hub, but the editor doesn't like my contributions, which I suspect he finds threatening to the reputation he's trying to build. Then along comes an employee of Virgin Unite. I'd recently submitted a suggestion on their Screw Business as Usual campaign. It is based on the efforts of that pioneer. I relate how my purposal must pass their scrutiny before being accepted for voting. Social innovation is clearly being controlled by censorship, to protect egos. My comment is also unwelcome on Linkedin http://lnkd.in/cEtcfS

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Jeff Mowatt

jeffmowatt-232748

Who Wants To Be A Billionaire?

Indeed Robert. Even Steve Jobs couldn't buy his way out of liver disease. What I'm writing about today isn't about being a billionaire but of being co-opted into their greed by means of a sham which postures as a social economy. http://www.ecademy.com/node.php?id=175124

1 comments