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  June 28, 2013
Dream a Little Dream...

 

 

"Money can’t buy happiness... but it does allow you to rent it for a while"     ~Anonymous


Last Saturday was a bright sunny day...

I found myself in a lawn chair, sipping an ice cold beer, sifting my toes through the sand and listening to the waves crash onto the shore.

Summer has arrived, so several of my friends and I decided it was finally time to enjoy one of the perks of living in San Diego with a trip to the beach. 

As we relaxed, one of my friends commented that if he ever won the lottery, he would be a permanent fixture at the beach... not a local San Diego beach but rather an exotic beach... hidden in some remote location.

Another friend chimed in and told the group that if he ever won the lottery, he would purchase a private island in the Caribbean and invite all his friends and family to join him several months a year.

Attentions then turned to me...

"So Jim... exactly what would you do if you won the lottery?"

With a very serious face, I proclaimed to my friends that, believe it or not, I had actually won the lottery several years ago.

My friends were in disbelief...

"Really!... how much did you win?"

"Well the Jackpot was over $40 million that week...

...however I only won $2... well... $2 before taxes of course".

A big laugh overcame the audience...

"Seriously (as if talk about winning the lottery can be serious)... I don’t think winning the lottery jackpot would change my life one iota".

I would never quit my job... I absolutely love what I do...

I wouldn’t buy a bigger house... and in fact... I want to live in a smaller house in a few years as the kids grow up and move out (hopefully)...

I love my wife way too much to think about trading her in for a younger model...

I already drive a reliable, comfortable and sporty car... no need for another one...

I’ve been to 56 countries and 41 states... and currently spend 10-15 weeks on the road each year... so do I really need to travel more?

Buy a boat?... a plane?

I have all the things I’d ever want/need...

Perhaps I would donate a bit more money to my favorite charities I suppose...

As I finished rattling off the laundry list of my life in the presence of my friends... I sat back and smiled and smugly pronounced that life is pretty darn good at the moment...

Later that afternoon I took a quiet walk along the shoreline thinking about the earlier lottery conversation...

I’ve heard about how winning the lottery could be a godsend to some people and a curse to others (I am told that there is even a cable reality television show that chronicles the lives of past lottery winners... ).

With just a few exceptions... coming into a great deal of money, be it the lottery, an inheritance, or a windfall of any kind doesn’t really change the true nature of a person... rather it just magnifies it.

If someone was hard-working, was faithful and had a high level of integrity, had a great sense of purpose, was an optimist, made well thought-out decisions, was generous, intelligent, and had a lot of energy, initiative and drive... then it is highly likely that after winning the lottery they will, more than likely, continue to possess these same positive characteristics...

On the other hand... if a lottery winner was typically lazy, blamed others for their own faults, had problems with fidelity, tended to have emotional outbursts, was greedy, struggled with addictions, was compulsive, was a pathological liar, was disrespectful of themselves and others, was self-righteous, was a pessimist, closed minded, and/or mean... then no amount of money will change this person...

... and more than likely... their lottery winnings will soon evaporate and they will find themselves back in the exact same situation that they were in prior to winning the lottery...

Now I personally do not know anyone who has actually ever won a lottery jackpot (more than $1M)... but I do know several people who have become "overnight" multimillionaires... due to the sale of an appreciated asset (primarily from real estate and entrepreneurial venture).

One day these people were struggling to make a payroll... the next day they were worth 10’s or 100’s of millions of dollars...

I don’t really equate these people to lottery millionaires per se... but they did happen to be at the right place... at the right time... with the right product / service / idea... selling their asset to the right buyer (sometimes the right buyer is the general public when the company shares are publicly listed on a stock exchange).

If it is one day your turn to be on the winning side of a major financial windfall (lottery, inheritance, sale of an asset)... I have a few suggestions for you...  

  1. Never forget who you were, who you are, and what you hope that you will be some day. Remember... money doesn’t change a person’s character... it only magnifies it.
  2. Assemble and hire a great professional team to advise you. Then hire watchdogs whose sole purpose it is to help you watch and monitor your team. There are plenty of scammers out there who prey upon others when a lot of money is involved.
  3. Learn as much as you can yourself about tax law, investments, and accounting. Always be in control and have the last say about any investment or tax strategy.
  4. Don’t go crazy buying stuff. Sure... your company just went public giving you a net worth of $100M... so it’s okay to treat yourself to the 1962 Ferrari 250GTO you’ve always dreamed about... but you certainly don’t need a fleet of classic cars - along with garages with attached houses to keep them in.
  5. Diversify... diversify... diversify. Never keep all of your eggs in one basket... EVER!
  6. Do good works... plan to give back some of your wealth each year to charitable entities... and get personally involved so you can personally see where you money is helping others.

I have already had the good fortune to be a winner in the lottery ($2)... and have retired from playing... therefore I know - with absolute certainty - that I’ll never be a jackpot winner (although my friend Ed claims that odds of finding a winning ticket are not really that much different than buying a winning ticket... so maybe I’ll get really lucky and find a winning ticket one day).

Maybe OptiFuse will one day bring me great riches...

...and if it never does... it’s okay... because I’m living my dreams each and every day...

It is my sincere wish that you too dream of a better life... a better community... and a better world in which we all live in... and that you’re living a rich and fulfilling life... a life that riches just can’t buy...

Thank you so much for your support of OptiFuse, where we like to remind you that you’re the master of your own dreams.

 

Jim Kalb
President

Email - jimk@optifuse.com
Website - www.optifuse.com

Blog - www.optifuse.blogspot.com
Twitter - @OptiFuse


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