Much has been made of Mark Zuckerberg’s 2012 fiscal year earnings of $2.3 1. You can read details about how he made his money here.billion dollars. 1 Among the more interesting articles I’ve read concerning the subject, however, are these two which beg the question: With that much money why doesn’t he just quit?
Despite lacking a wealth of life experience to draw upon here, I feel qualified to answer this question (and the answer is as follows): Money is the most important thing of all until you have enough of it, and then you focus on other things. The amount of money that qualifies as “enough” is different for each person, and is governed by many different factors, but everyone has a number; sooner or later one can buy all the goods and status and power one desires. The fact that most of us never reach this point doesn’t change that I believe it’s (theoretically) there.
2. I don’t make any claims not to be a nerd.With that said, after initially discussing intrinsic versus extrinsic rewards 2, a group of a half dozen comp/HR friends and I recently kicked around the topic of what we’d do if we each earned Zuck’s $2 billion dollars in one year, respectively: I wasn’t surprised to learn that none of us would retire (most of my friends aren’t wired that way), but I was surprised to learn that most of them would be working on entirely different projects and within different fields than they currently are.
If you would be in a different career if you had more money you should probably be looking to move into that field already.
…I would typically use this last paragraph to elaborate on why you should be pursuing the career that makes you happy now (as opposed to when you are financially secure enough to do so), but I’m out of time today so instead I’m going to hand off to the late Steve Jobs to wrap things up better than I probably could:
As always, please share your thoughts in the comments below.