If I Offered You a Million Dollars


Not too long ago, Nick turned me on to the book Good to Great, by Jim Collins. It’s a pretty amazing book; it’s based on thousands of people-hours of research and analysis, and chock full of insights, like the myth that insanely high CEO salaries are essential to a corporation’s success.

But two of the most useful pieces of information that I personally got out of the book were questions. Questions that really helped me focus my aim in life. One was “Am I even CAPABLE of being the best in the world at ANYTHING?” If you ask yourself that question, it really helps you re-frame everything, and get an interesting, useful perspective on focusing your time and energy, and setting goals.

The other was a question that Collins asked himself early in the process of developing the book. It was “How much would someone have to pay me not to publish Good to Great?” and his answer was basically that a hundred million dollars wouldn’t be enough. This concept came up again today when I read this Business Insider article which talks about how if an outside CEO had been running Facebook in 2005, they would have without question sold it to Yahoo for a billion dollars. Why didn’t this happen? Because then-22-year-old Mark Zuckerberg, who created the site, “didn’t want the money. He wanted to build a social network.” He is quoted as saying “the only thing I’d do is start another social network, and it’d be the same as this one, and this one’s running pretty good so I don’t want to sell it.”

So what about you? How much would it take to make you stop doing whatever you’re doing right now? If I offered you a million dollars…