What happens when you have all the money in the world and are still miserable?
Billion Dollar Exit
Markus Persson is a Swedish entrepreneur and inventor of the wildly popular game Minecraft. Starting on a laptop in his bedroom, he went on to grow the company until Microsoft made him an offer of $2.5b, from which he personally received $1 billion.
He became a billionaire overnight. And that’s when his problems started.
Sometime after completing the deal, in a series of increasingly desperate tweets, he shared;
#’ Hanging out in Ibiza with a bunch of friends and partying with famous people, able to do whatever I want, and I’ve never felt more isolated’
#’ In Sweden, I will sit around and wait for my friends with jobs and families to have time to do shit, watching my reflection in the monitor.’
#’ The problem with getting everything is you run out of reasons to keep trying, and human interaction becomes impossible due to imbalance’
Sudden Money Syndrome
He was suffering from SMS and before you say, ” I wish I had his problems; it must be so hard being a billionaire!'” you need to realise that SMS can be absolutely devastating for some people.
Investopedia describes it as: “A type of distress that afflicts individuals who suddenly come into large sums of money. Becoming suddenly wealthy can cause people to make decisions they might not have otherwise made.
SWS symptoms include feeling isolated from former friends, feeling guilty about your good fortune, and extreme fear of losing your money.”
The Solution – Plan Ahead
Few of us are going to have a billion-dollar exit but if you do receive a significant windfall, you need to be prepared.
- Think about and carefully plan the next 3 years of your life post-sale.
- Hire a specialist coach familiar with the challenges of sudden wealth.
- Focus on your health – mental and physical.
- Spend time with family and the friends you have known longest – they’ll keep you grounded.
Money’s great, but love, family, friendships, and health are way more valuable.