Photo by Jp Valery on Unsplash

Why $10,000,000 Dollars Would Destroy You

“If you have enemies, give ’em a lottery ticket.” -Anonymous

A few years ago, I was still a (very) amateur writer. I had a few dozen followers and a handful of views each day. That’s it.

I wanted, desperately, to be a big writer star. I wanted hundreds of thousands of people to read my stuff. I wanted to make a ton of money while I slept. Frankly, I wanted to be famous.

But do you know what would’ve happened if, one day, I woke up and saw that I had miraculously gained 1,000,000 followers with millions of dollars in the bank? Do you want to know what would’ve really happened?

I would lose all my followers in a matter of months.

They’d unsubscribe after reading my cringe-worthy posts. I’d lose the money, too. For sure. Yes, I’d buy my mom her dream house in Coronado Beach and pay the college tuition for all my siblings and cousins.

But you know the old phrase: “A fool and his money are soon parted.”

I’m not just being self-deprecating for no reason. That’s just how it would be. And this is how it is most everyone who gets a huge influx of money, influence, and power who isn’t ready for it yet. 2 years ago, I didn’t have the capacity for success yet. Frankly, I didn’t have the capacity for more than a couple hundred followers.

But today, everything is different. In the past couple years, I’ve gained:

  • Millions of views

There’s no way me-from-4-years-ago could’ve survived my responsibility today. I have hundreds of students who’ve paid me a lot of money for coaching and online courses. I get intense criticism for my writing every week. I would’ve fallen apart.

Why do so many lottery winners go broke?

Because they didn’t have the capacity for their success.

If you want to achieve huge success, fortune, and influence, you need to increase your capacity for it first.

You’ll Never Get “Real” Success Until You Have the Capacity For It

“If you want to have more success, you need to become more.” -Jim Rohn

Years ago, my therapist taught me a lesson about relationships I’ll never forget.

He told me there are 3 stages of relationship commitment:

  1. Dating

He told me that more intimacy needs more commitment. Intimacy is like water, and commitment is like a cup. If you try to put too much water (intimacy) into a cup that’s too small (commitment), you’ll get a mess.

Many relationships fail because the couple’s intimacy is too big for their commitment. Couples who move in together just a few months after meeting rarely last (though we all have a friend who’s tried). I know I’ll get flak for this, but sex is too much intimacy for any commitment less than marriage.

The point is this: you won’t have “real” success until you develop the capacity for it. Otherwise, you’ll just make a mess (how many YouTube stars have turned their instant-fame into a catastrophic mess? How many millionaire athletes have gone broke? Why do a third of lottery winners go bankrupt?).

Darren Hardy, author of The Compound Effect, once told a story about how he ended up with his wife.

When he was in his 20’s, Hardy began compiling an enormous list of every attribute he wanted his future wife to have. He eventually filled 40 pages detailing the most exquisite and perfect match he could think of.

At the end of his writing, he realized something very important:

Any woman like that wouldn’t want to have anything to do with someone like him!

Hardy realized he needed to become a far better version of himself to attract a woman like that.

You must become a far better version of yourself to achieve the enormous success you want.

The good news is, you can start increased your capacity for success, today. In fact, you can increase it every day so that, eventually, you’ll be able to truly manage it when it comes. In my experience, that’s the only time success comes.

This is what happens when real success comes to a person who doesn’t have the capacity for it.

This is why so many lottery winners go broke.

“This is the process by which wealth is accumulated; first in small sums, then in larger ones as a man learns and becomes more capable.” -The Richest Man in Babylon

Once You Make a Million Dollars, You Can Give It Away

“After you become a millionaire, you can give all of your money away because what’s important is not the million dollars; what’s important is the person you have become in the process of becoming a millionaire.” -Jim Rohn

The money isn’t important; it’s who you become in the process that’s important.

In his book, The Richest Man in Babylon, Clason describes what happens to the man or woman who is given “unearned gold: the fortune either makes wanton spenders who develop insatiable tastes, or hoarding misers who know they don’t possess the ability to replace it.

Don’t wish you had a million dollars. Instead, use your energy more productively in a way that will actually serve you:

  • work to increase your capacity for success

“Income seldom exceeds personal development.” -Jim Rohn

The truth is, earning a million dollars isn’t what’s important. People earn millions of dollars every day.

What’s important is the person you become through that process. You can become a disciplined, confident, self-assured expert who sets his/her family up for the future, if you choose to.

Then, the money will actually cease to be important. Because in the process, you’ll have learned how to be someone who can earn a million dollars. And that is infinitely more important than the money itself.

“Your level of success will rarely exceed your level of personal development, because success is something you attract by the person you become.” -Hal Elrod

This 2-Minute Journaling Exercise Will Increase Your Earning Potential

“How much is a lot of money to you?”

It’s a simple question that can increase your earning potential by 10x, even 100x.

This is because your answer will reveal some key beliefs you have about yourself. Your answer will also tell you your next step in achieving more income.

For me, my answer is $5 million dollars. That’s a “lot” of money to me. Somehow, $4 million just doesn’t seem nearly as big. $5 million is my golden number.

I’ve asked this question to many other people, and the answers I’ve heard are very interesting; most people say something in the ballpark of $10,000 — $50,000.

The problem here is that once you achieve what you deem “a lot of money,” your mind shuts off the energy valve that releases inspiration and creativity for earning income. Your mind thinks it’s time to clock out, you’re done. This is why you need to raise your definition of “a lot of money” so your mind doesn’t shut off.

Let me be clear: always needing more money to be happy is bad. There’s an old Stoic proverb that goes, “Not needing wealth is more valuable than wealth itself.”

What I am saying is that until your mindset is big-enough to handle hundreds of thousands are dollars, you’ll never get there. For most people, that’s more money than they know what to do with. But if hundreds of thousands of dollars still isn’t “a lot of money” to you, you keep your ability to manage yourself with discipline and restraint. You also keep your energy valves open so you can eventually reach “a lot of money.”

As Tony Robbins once said:

“We all act consistent with who we think we are.”

Want to earn millions of dollars? Then train yourself to become someone who can handle that kind of cash without getting overwhelmed.

In Conclusion

The goal is not to earn money. The goal is not to get rich; how many “rich” people do you know that live terribly unbalanced and empty lives, ruined by their wealth?

The goal is to become someone who can handle enormous success. To achieve mastery over yourself. To be ready to seize an incredible opportunity when it finally comes.

This is how you will attract success; as best-selling author Hal Elrod said, “success is something you attract by the person you become.” When success finally comes (and it will), you’ll be one of the rare individuals who can accept a huge responsibility and transform it into an even bigger success — without getting corrupted.

Don’t wish you won the lottery. Instead, work on becoming a bigger version of yourself who can handle that kind of money.

Then the money will come.

Ready to Level-Up?

If you’re an entrepreneur and want to achieve your goals 10x faster, check out my free checklist.

Click here to get the checklist now!

Writer for CNBC, Business Insider, Fast Company, Thought Catalog, Yahoo! Finance, and you. Come say hey.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store