Paul Buchheit on Wealth, Jobs and Dreams

I somehow stumbled across the blog of Paul Buchheit who was pontificating on what to do with millions of dollars.

I had no idea who Paul was and guessed he was just some normal dude who thought about what he would do with millions of dollars.  Turns out, he’s the guy who created Gmail, developed the prototype for Google AdSense (which is the vehicle that makes Google worth the billions they are worth), and came up with Google’s motto: “Don’t be evil,” back in 2001.  He also was a founder of FriendFeed, which was acquired by Facebook. (this is all according to Wikipedia).

I figure he’s had millions of dollars so his advice is from that perspective, not from someone who wishes he had millions to spend.

Anyway, this blog isn’t about what to do with millions of dollars… you can read what Paul Buchheit says at his post titled “What to do with your millions.”  It’s a fun read.  What I wanted to quote was a part about jobs:

“Many people with jobs have a fantasy about all the amazing things they would do if they didn’t need to work. In reality, if they had the drive and commitment to do actually do those things, they wouldn’t let a job get in the way.”

I know we need to have income, and many people let their jobs give them life-purpose, but sit back and think about this today… is your job (or even your job search) getting in the way of all the amazing things you really want to do?

I know money plays a role in this.  Perhaps, though, the lack of enough money is our biggest non-legit excuse for not really pursuing our passions…

What do you think?

(the original thread was here, on Hacker News … in case you wanted to know what to do with millions of dollars from geeks :p)

6 thoughts on “Paul Buchheit on Wealth, Jobs and Dreams”

  1. Honestly, Jason, I think fear gets in the way even more than lack of money. Fear and procrastination. People are afraid that they will lose their current lifestyle, belongings, assets, whatever… so they put up with a job that they hate. If they lose the job they hate, many scurry around trying to find the next one and never ever test the waters on being an entrepreneur.

  2. It’s a great post, spin it slightly differently. I agree all what Julie says except the final note “risking the waters for being entrepreneur”…You can go for what you are absolutely love doing other than just being entrepreneur, I hope it’s not the only option.

  3. Of course, Linda, there are options other than being an entrepreneur to be successful. I just know that I have worked with so many clients that have a great idea that would be a successful business but they won’t test the waters because they would rather go to a job they hate every day than take the mental and financial risk of running their own business. I also have clients who have tested the waters not by being an entrepreneur but by channeling their passion and finding a job that lets them use the passion. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t but you never know if you don’t try.

    I touched on more of this over on my blog after I wrote the comment:

    So if you are not happy where you are or you are scrambling to find your next position, what’s stopping you from testing the waters with a sound business plan and an equally sound marketing plan? Or what’s stopping you from finding the career of your dreams working for someone else rather than just the next “job?”

  4. Jason, as you know first hand, when you get away from your “job” (because you were brave or got laid off” and go for your passion, the money seems to find a way to work itself out. Having passion, commitment and drive stops one from being a dreamer and turns them into a doer.

  5. Money seems to change everything about a person. You may daydream about how you would act if you had a million dollars, how you would spend it or give it away but who really knows until they have the money.

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