555 million-dollar question

The year is 2020 and you are you.

You have the same habits, same thoughts, you’re still working your job meaning that you take the same route every day. Going from home to work and from work to home. Except that on this particular Friday, you’re possessed by the god of adventure and instead of taking the same route, you decide to take another one. One you’ve never taken before. Very adventurous of you.

The god of money, seeing your brave decision to be adventurous, decides to reward you by dropping a 5$ bill on the path that you’re walking. Since you’re a good person, before taking the 5$, you try to find it’s former owner, but in vain. There’s no one in sight so you decide to keep it. By this point, you’re already happy of the adventurous spout you had because it made you 5$ richer ! Fuck yeah !

Now, you’re slowly strolling along your path, still happy that you found that 5$ when an old asian man suddenly appears in front of you.

“Hi young man, I know you must be very busy, but would you have time to help an old man out? The finances at my store have been very low these past few months because all this snow is scaring my customers away. As a result, I have a bunch of lottery tickets that are about to expire. Would you mind buying a few of them from me? I’ll give you a good price. It’s usually 1 for 3$, but because you seem like such a nice person, I’ll make it 3 for 5$ for you. Just for you, special price” he says to you.

Your first thought is to politely refuse the old man’s request because he makes you a bit uncomfortable. In an unconscious effort to protect yourself, you put your hands in your pockets in order to have a closed body language. But, as soon as you do that, you feel the 5$ that you picked up earlier. And since you believe in karma and all that shit, you have a change of hearts and decide to help the old man out. Not only buying 3 tickets, but buying 6 of them ! So generous of you.

The old man is very grateful for your generous act and tells you these parting words “Thank you, young person ! I know that this act of kindness will grant you much fortune later on”. Not thinking much of it, you simply reply “Thank you sir, have a good day” and go on about your stroll back home.

Little do you know that his words have more meaning than you originally thought because you’ve actually just purchased tickets from the god of luck.

You see, the gods, being all powerful and immortal are bored in their day-to-day and love being entertained. So, the god of luck, seeing that the gods of adventure and money took interest in you, decided to join in the fray and give you his blessings also. However, unlike the other two gods, this god liked being personally involved in his matters. Consequently, he decided to create a convenience store (or a depanneur, like we say in Montreal) on the path you were taking and transformed himself into an old asian man.

Unsurprisingly, you wake up the next morning and you find out that the 6th ticket you bought was actually a winning ticket. You just won the motherload. 555 million dollars.

So now the question is, what do you do with your life?


Alright, pardon me for I got carried away writing this fictional story that, in someways, could actually happen to you, but that’s not the point.

The point here is the last question that I ask you in my story. “If you suddenly won 555 million dollars, what would you be doing with your life?”.

With all the confusion about my career path and not knowing what I want to tackle next, I find this question to be very important to answer. There’s a similar question that people like to ask which is “If money wasn’t an issue, what would you do?”, but I find this unrealistic since I, personally, can’t detach the real value that money has in our lives. However, I think everyone can imagine what it would feel like to win the lottery. I just so happened to think of 555 million because my favorite number is 5.

The goal here isn’t to think about all the frivolous things you would buy or all the acts of generosity you would do. It’s super easy to think “oh, I’ll buy myself a huge house and live there forever” or “the first thing I’ll do is give money to my parents so that they can retire”. Those are a few acts that last maybe 1 month max. What do you do after that?

The best way to think about this question is to get as specific as possible. At what time would you wake up? What would you do in the morning? How about during the day? And at night? Even if you come up with a virtuous answer like “I’d use my money to help people in need”. Try to be for specific about it. How would you help them? What would you do? Would you spend all day on the computer simply doing etransfers to charities? I don’t think so (but maybe, I’m not judging here). Try to be specific.

What’s the point of this?

yeah, so at first, I have to admit I didn’t really see any value in this question because I kept telling myself “oh, I’ve never had a passion or whatever so there’s nothing I’d want to do every day of my life”. You might have similar thoughts, but there’s something really relieving about not having to worry about money.

You’re super rich so you can do WHATEVER you want. Maybe you’d finally take those baking lessons and open a bakery or you would help companies by being an angel investor or you’d give your time to charity by opening schools in remote areas or maybe you’d simply stay at home and make the best dishes possible to take care of your family. I don’t know, it’s up to you to do the work and the thinking.

But at the end, whatever answer you come up with, no matter how much time it takes you, you will now have a direction in life. It doesn’t mean that you can quit everything you’re doing and pursue that one thing. No, the reality is that you probably didn’t win the lottery and you might or might not have a bunch of responsibilities. At least now, you’ll have something that you can slowly works towards that gives you joy. And who knows, if you’re good enough at it, 5 years or 10 years down the road, you might be able to make it your full time occupation. You might not have that 555 million dollars, but you’ll be able to do something that you enjoy every single day that you thought of.

Below, I’ll be posting a few different examples of “What you might do” and what first steps you can currently take to work towards that vision.

Example 1: YouTube Tech Reviews

Let’s say that as soon as you hear the question, the first thing that comes to mind is that you want to have your own YouTube channel. That’s a very broad category. Would you like to talk about self-development, comedy, make shorts and movies, have a podcast, make documentaries, etc. ?

You think about it and decide that you really love Dave2D’s channel and want to make a YouTube Tech Review channel. There are so many channels out there, but it doesn’t matter because it’s something you love and you are unique.

Here, you shouldn’t be thinking about receiving cool free tech all the time. You should probably think about, filming yourself, coming up with video idea, coming up with a list of things you’d like to review, at the beginning there might be some editing involved, how you would make your channel more interesting and, of course, what to actually talk about when review the tech. If you can imagine all those steps and you doing them day to day, then it’s probably a good fit for you.

First steps here would simply be to start posting on YouTube. Every week, you can take 1-2 hours to grab your cellphone, press the record button and talking about a tech item. You don’t have to buy anything at first. If you love tech, you probably have some tech items lying around. Your FireTV stick, your computer, your cellphone, your wifi modem, your earphones, etc. Those would be possible first steps. The only thing you really require is to put in the time, which, if you’d be willing to spend your “whole life” doing, can probably manage 1-2 hours per week.

Example 2: Bakery Store

Maybe, the first that comes to your mind is that you’d love to open a bakery store. Unlike the YouTube example, I think here there’s the possibility of not being too specific. Meaning that instead of simply being a “cupcake bakery” ou can have a “general bakery” that sells all sorts of treats (both are fine tbh).

Again, here, you shouldn’t imagine baking for Gordon Ramsay and suddenly getting instagram famous and selling your treats to the richest celebrities (although that would probably be nice). Your day-to-day would mostly be experimenting with various recipes, actually mixing the ingredients and baking, maybe ensuring that the quality of the goods is high, etc.

The firsts steps here would simply to start baking. Maybe you have many family gatherings or friends birthdays and people are always down to have some dessert. This is a good opportunity for you to test different recipes and make your friends / family try them. It’ll be a quick way of getting starting and a quick way of getting feedback also.

Example 3: Marketing Consultant

You have the same aspirations as I once did ! Congratulations ! Let’s say in this scenario, you’d like for companies to come to you and ask you for advice how on they can improve on their marketing. Or maybe you can be reaching out to companies and help them. Whatever, it doesn’t really matter.

Your day-to-day responsibilities would be somewhat vague depending on what project you’re working on. Some projects might require you to be very hands-on and actually do the SEO of a company and stuff, but on others, you might have more of a strategic role. In the latter case, you’d most likely be implementing short experiments or doing lots on research on why your client should implement the strategy that you’re proposing. The more numbers and solid data you find, the easier it’ll be to convince the client.

The first steps can take different approaches. If you feel like you’re someone who needs the hands-on experience to know how to do things, then you can simply start a quick website and try to market it. Or you can ask a friend to market their services. The other approach, if you only want to be a strategic consultant, you can start writing breakdowns on current marketing plans (what lululemon is doing so well to keep their customers or something) or you can even choose a company and write up a plan on how you would change their marketing and why it would work.

Alright, that’s it for me, if you ever want to talk more about this subject, feel free to contact me !

Peace ✌,

Nicholas