No, this was not a declaration of the currency instruments on my person during a recent trip through U.S. customs. This is not a game of Jeopardy; I’m not looking for, “What was the purchase price of Elton John’s Florida mansion.” Nor is this disclosure of my net worth. As I write this, alas, my net worth is a little more than $100 million shy of $100 million.
I share with you this imposing figure to let you in on a little secret. A hundred million bucks, a pile of scratch to stretch from here to the moon, is my objective, something I’m working towards obtaining.
It’s a goal I’ve set for myself. Some are loosing those incessant 15 pounds, others learning Spanish. Some are working towards home ownership and financial independence. Some are doing all these things and much more. Me? I’m myopically focused on a flush disposition, excessive cash to the tune of nine figures.
Before you chalk up up my quest for millions to pure, unadulterated greed, hear me out. With my dump truck full of cash, I have no plans to buy an island in the Caribbean or anywhere else. I’ve no aspirations to own a professional sports franchise. These days, I’ve barely the desire to catch a game as a spectator.
In his first TED Talk back in March 2007, Jeff Skoll talked about his early motivation to devote his life to social causes, dating back to his early childhood. As a young man, he reasoned that in order to be philanthropic, he’d need resources. Skoll became an entrepreneur to earn some scratch, which he planned to use to finance a socially motivated media company.
In 1996, after a couple of failed attempts at business success, Skoll became the first president of eBay, a fledgling Silicon Valley start-up founded less than a year earlier by Pierre Omidyar. The company achieved staggering success, enriching Skoll enormously. (The billions he went on to make after eBay went public in 1998 make a piggy bank of my measly hundred mil.) Since then, the Canadian-born entrepreneur has embarked on several endeavors in social entrepreneurship.
To use Skoll’s language, my $100 million are resources. To live the life of which I dream, to have the impact, make the contribution I wish to make, I’ll need capital. What exactly have I planned to make the world a better place, you ask? I’ll fill you in as soon as resources begin to mount. As the pile reaches towards $100 million, I expect it will be obvious to you.