If I had a million dollars…

When I moved to Silicon Valley five years ago, I sang this song over and over again — and it usually went “If I had a million dollars….I’d buy a house”. Well, I’ve bought my house and so now, the question is what would I do if I had *another* million dollars?

Let me put this post in context — I’m sitting in the Dallas/Ft. Worth airport, banging out this post, while drinking a beer, noshing on nachos, and hoping that my flight doesn’t get any more delayed so that I can put my kids to sleep on a Friday night. So the first thought comes to mind is that if I ever lottery jackpot (which I guiltily play every time I pick up groceries), I would quit my job so that I could stay home with the kids.

But would I?  My kids are in school so I’d have to find something else to do during the day. Maybe I’d work on a political campaign or help out a non-profit. Maybe I’d pull my kids out of school, travel around the world and homeschool them along the way. But then again, I probably wouldn’t, which pulls me back to why would I want to “make it big” in the first place?

I find Silicon Valley warped in so many ways, and none more so than the drive to strike it rich. But there’s something else — it’s the drive to make a difference. In my line of work, I see many repeat entrepreneurs who have made their riches, but are back in it again, working outrageous hours — for what? There’s something driving us here, something more than the profit motive.

It’s part of the reason why I love living here — the passion with which people pursue their hopes and dreams. And before I get any mushier (the effect of the beer, week of work, or just plain sentiment), let me put down what I would do with a million dollars:

– I’d give half of it away to support my favorite causes
– I’d invest a quarter in new businesses that could multiple the money for even more future investment in good causes
– And I’d spend the rest on family vacations to far flung locales.

So what would you do with your cool millions?

Cross-posted on svmoms.com

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~ by charleneli on September 9, 2006.

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