The ten million dollar question

By | 2010/05/12

Sometimes my job can drive me a little loopy. Every business has its ups and downs, and every company is great at some things and not so great at others. Some people switch jobs again and again looking for a “perfect” company. They’re like the people who never go into a relationship unless they’re guaranteed the other person is 100% perfect. (They end up lonely.)

Life, and work, is about compromise. There’s no such thing as a perfect job; instead, a good job is where the good things about the company you work for and the work you do significantly outweigh the unpleasant things either in your job or the company.

So what’s this with a ten million dollar question?

It occurred to me that a measure of how happy you are in your job can be answered by the age old question of “what would you do if you won a million dollars?” No, I’m not in a position where I have to answer that question. (Alas.)

A lot of people say that if they won a million dollars, they’d quit their job and live a life of relaxation. Accounting for even the best of interest rates, we know that’s not really possible. A person living on modest means would need to win at least ten million dollars before they could start to think about making some investments, quitting and living a quiet life.

So instead of a million dollar question, let’s make it a ten million dollar question.

If you won 10 million dollars, what would you do?

  • Retire?


  • Invest a chunk of money in the company you work for (and maybe take a holiday)

I know without a doubt I’d choose the latter, not the former.

I remind myself of the ten million dollar question whenever I’m having a shit day. It’s a bit of perspective – even on the worst of days, the idea of investing in and growing the company that I work for as opposed to quitting remains my much preferred option.

I hope you, too, work for a company like that.