Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The cost of a million dollars

A Powerball lottery ticket now costs $3.  For this $3 - I'm not going to tell you what you COULD get, but what you do get.  For $3 - you buy yourself a dream and support various state causes.  Actually, I'm not sure how the Powerball extra money works and where it goes.  I know with Colorado State Lottery, half the money supports the care of our open spaces.

I'm not going to go into the politics of the lottery.  I don't look at a lottery as a "tax on the poor' - more as a "donation of the hopeful"  (BTW, Colorado Lottery, feel free to use that tag line - although they can't really use donation as then people would be using lottery tickets as tax deductions).

Any who, back to what you get when you buy a lottery ticket.  You get a piece of paper with a number printed on it.  It might be worth something greater one day, it might not.  What you are buying for yourself is, well, hope, dreams, and other fantasies.  After all, someone does win the lottery.

I buy lottery tickets all the time.  Not those lottery tickets though.  Although, I do buy them on occasions - dreams are free, but you can't win the lottery if you don't play.......

The lottery tickets I buy?

Where do I start?

With people that I meet.  I have SO fallen in love with the POTENTIAL in so many people.  I have hope for them.  And yes too, to quote from EAT, PRAY, LOVE -
"I have fallen in love more times than I care to count with the highest potential of a man, rather than with the man himself, and I have hung on to the relationship for a long time (sometimes far too long) waiting for the man to ascend to his own greatness"
I buy their lottery ticket.  I spend my time, my energy and sometimes money trying to "HELP" other people. I can help make them better.  One of them, one day, will be my winning lottery ticket.  I just know it.

I don't think I knew I ever thought of my friends or romantic prospects as "buying a lottery ticket", but with some of them, I do now think I'm once again buying hope - for them.  For me, then I have helped them.

Next lottery ticket?

Start-up companies.

I don't have a "career" issue.  You know, where I need to be "President/CEO" of ANYTHING.  That to me is a job.  I wouldn't even begin to think that if I "work really hard, for the next forty years, I will then get to retire and see the world".  There is NOTHING wrong with thinking that way.  In fact, at times, I am a bit jealous of people whom can think that way.

The Hawaiian guy - Lily's dad - when I think of the fact that he had a job he loved and worked the same job, then retired at 54, I am a bit jealous.  He's still young (although if you had asked me at 30, I would have thought that was old).  He doesn't want to see the world.  He had a good job, worked it and now it's over.  (Every ONCE in a while, I do also envy the teachers of the world - and the summers off would fit my personality, just not sure the kids would.  Well, maybe the high schoolers)

So, I guess, I don't have a "job" issue either.  I think it's great for some people, but not a "ticket" I need to buy.

I have Start-up "issues".

If I told you now, you could work 5 days per week, over 8 hours per day, and in 4 years, you could have ONE million dollars, plus a decent (and by decent I mean you aren't starving, but not living large) salary for the next four years - what would you say?

It's this line that usually gets me.  For me, it's the latest "drug".  The latest "next start-up".  What can I do to help make this company a success?  Boom, I'm gone.  Gone, like someone getting hooked to something they will never be able to win.  I want the start-up to work.  I don't think it's going to be the next Microsoft, Google or even Facebook - I just think it's going to be a $5 million company, good profits, and provide something no one else has yet.

(Think of the show Shark Tank - the only TV show we will admit to be addicted to around here.)

Then I'm hooked.

I've always worked for small companies.  Some were franchises.  Some have been completely independent. Some have done quite well.  Others not so much.  I've even been screwed over by an unscrupulous owner.

Today though, I realized something about my start-up addiction.

I had two very hard conversations.

One, with the owner of one small business I've been helping out.  It's a great company, and they are going to be a "good" company.  While, I don't think she's ready for help, there isn't going to be enough money there, in the short term, maybe in the long term, but not enough for me.  So today I called her to "break up".  When she first answered the phone, she was very happy to talk with me.  We spoke for a bit, then I was honest.  I told her my concerns, my thoughts and what I wanted to do.  I also told her, it was okay, not to want a partner in this business right now.

You know what, it was probably one of the most liberating conversations I've ever had.  When I first phoned her, I was ready to say "This isn't working, I will send you the stuff back".   But I didn't say that.  Instead, I asked her what SHE really wanted.  Then I was able to say what I thought I was hearing from her.  By the end of the conversation, she was relieved.  She wasn't sure what she wanted  it either - someone else just needed to say it out loud for her. But it didn't need to be "gruff".  I just helped her realize she didn't really want this either.

The other business - he's of the understanding you need to be in the office 5 days per week, 40 + hours, available at all times and then in 4 years, you will have this great pay-out.  I did tell him I was in no way interested in that idea.  Except of course, of the great pay-out.  However, I was trying to make it black and white.  He's trying to make it black and white.  He's stuck on "you could have a million dollars in four years".

I'm stuck on, well, what if I don't GET the million dollars in four years?

I'm a glass half full kind of girl.  I don't say DON"T.  I say "how can we make this happen".  So I'm out on my bike tonight, and I come up with this:  "Why does it have to be 4 years (yes, this is my commitment issue talking) - why can't we say 9 months?"  "Why does it have to be a million dollars?"

Because, what would that million dollars really cost me?  Stress, time with my sons, my freedom - things money can't buy.

"What do you want from me for the next nine months that I could make a sacrifice, you could look a little shorter term, and we are both getting what we need?   I'll take an okay income, lots of free time, and give me $100k. In 9 months."

Maybe it could work for both of us.

Because, really, you see, I already won the lottery.  I'm healthy.  My two beautiful sons are healthy too. We have a roof over our head in a beautiful state. We live in Hawaii during the summer. There is food on the table. We are loved.

I have more than a million dollars could ever buy.

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