By Timothy Ferriss
Cautions and Comparisons
How to Burn $1,000,000 a night
These individuals have riches just as we say that we “have a fever,” when really the fever has us.
–Seneca (4 b.c.—a.d. 65)
I also have in mind that seemingly wealthy, but most terribly impoverished class of all, who have accumulated dross, but know not how to use it, or get rid of it, and thus have forged their own golden or silver fetters.
–Henry David Thoreau (1817—1862)
1:00 a.m. cst, 30,000 feet over Las Vegas
His friends, drunk to the point of speaking in tongues, were asleep. It was just the two of us now in first-class. He extended his hand to introduce himself, and an enormous–Looney Tunes enormous–diamond ring appeared from the ether as his fingers crossed under my reading light.
Mark was a legitimate magnate. He had, at different times, run practically all the gas stations, convenience stores, and gambling in South Carolina. He confessed with a half smile that, in an average trip to Sin City, he and his fellow weekend warriors might lose an average of $500,000 to $1,000,000–each. Nice.
He sat up in his seat as the conversation drifted to my travels, but I was more interested in his astounding record of printing money.
“So, of all your businesses, which did you like the most?”
The answer took less than a second of thought.
“None of them.”
He explained that he had spent more than 30 years with people he didn’t like to buy things he didn’t need. Life had become a succession of trophy wives–he was on lucky number three–expensive cars, and other empty bragging rights. Mark was one of the living dead.
This is exactly where we don’t want to end up.