I always thought money would make me happy.

Matt Hyams
Jul 11, 2016 · 4 min read

So what did I do after college? I immediately went into finance. I was working next to guys who were making $5–10 million a year. And I wanted to be exactly like them. So I worked hard and started from the bottom.

At the beginning life was tough. I was only making about $40k/year. And struggling in Manhattan to make ends meet. But soon I started getting better, and I started making more money. And I started chasing that money. And the more I chased it was never enough. I could never have enough. Even when I started to make millions it wasn’t enough.

I had an apartment on Park Avenue. I had a house in the Hamptons. I had a house in Italy. I had a driver. I could get tickets to the Super Bowl the day of if I wanted. And then I woke up one day and I looked around at my wealth and I thought “Am I happy?” The answer was such a resounding NO that I decided to change my life.

I went into work the next day and quit right on the spot. My friends, family, and colleagues all thought I was crazy. But I knew one thing: I didn’t want to spend my life chasing down millions, waiting to be happy. I knew the answer for myself and the answer was this: I needed to become a billionaire.

Of course millions of dollars wasn’t going to make me happy! Lots of people have millions of dollars and it’s been proven that this amount of money does not lead to happiness. But when I started reading articles about money and happiness there was very little research done on billionaires. All of the research I found had predominantly been done on millionaires. Granted, some of these millionaires had close to a billion dollars but none of them had quite made it to a billion. So that got me thinking about billions of dollars.

I decided to seek out some billionaires, ask them about their life, if they were happy, did they have enough money, and did having a billion dollars contribute to their happiness. The answer was a resounding YES.

All of the billionaires I spoke to said having a billion dollars made them very happy, contributed to their overall happiness and freedom and not one of them regretted having a billion dollars. Clearly the adage “Money doesn’t buy happiness” wasn’t 100% true. This saying needed to be clarified — “Millions of dollars doesn’t buy you happiness, but a billion dollars does.”

So I set out to make a billion dollars. When I first started my journey I had a lot of misconceptions about how to go about this and what businesses to create. So I created a bunch. Garbage removal, tech start ups, capital investments, fish farms, phone apps (I was sure I’d make close to a billion with my “Brady Brunch” app where you’re paired up with strangers to increase the number of people in your party which makes it easier to get a table at brunch). Some of these were successful by normal “Million Dollar” standards, but not by the Billion Dollar Standard.

Needless to say, I’m miserable, but I’m happier than I was before because my mind is expanded knowing what I know. In the meantime I’m going to have to settle for a measly million dollars to keep me moderately miserable. Believe me, I’m not happy about any of this. Yesterday I ate fish without any gold on it. My bathroom floor heating system is broken and the goddamn contractor’s on vacation.

But I’m confident my speaking tours, teaching people about how billions of dollars will make you happy, will earn me more money in the long run. I’ve developed a system to help everyone achieve lasting happiness:

  1. Ask yourself how much money you think you need to make yourself happy.
  2. If the answer to the above question isn’t a billion dollars or more then scratch out that answer and write in “one billion dollars.”
  3. Talk to billionaires, ask them what they did.
  4. Try to create a life as close to what the billionaires have as you can, including starting a business that mimics what they do.
  5. Never stop until you die.

Even if you didn’t get a billion dollars until your last year on earth that last year would be the best year of your life and would contain more happiness than all of your previous years combined. Look, I don’t have any more time to sit here and convince you, I’ve already wasted a billion dollars worth of my time.


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Matt Hyams

Written by

Comedian, writer, housewife, deemed "Really Good Person" by Buddhism Magazine 2 wks in a row.

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