Why I Think Being a Millionaire Might Be Overrated

by | BiggerPockets.com

Today I’m talking to you about why being a millionaire is overrated.

I’m truly humbled to say that my partner in crime and I unofficially retired last year. This means we have enough money to last us a couple of lifetimes, unless our kids screw it up. Isn’t that how it goes? The first generation builds it, the second one expands it — or you hope they do — and the third one loses it all, right?

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Being Successful All Around

That aside, I want to share something with you that I think is really important. Everyone is always dreaming of becoming a millionaire. You can ask anyone if they would want a million dollars and they would all say yes. They think it’s going to solve all of their problems. But then if you ask another question — what are you doing to get to a million dollars? A lot of them won’t be able to tell you that answer. A lot of them will say, well, I’m working a nine-to-five job. Yes, I get it guys. But I don’t think you’re going to get to where you want to be working a nine-to-five job. I truly believe success comes before nine and after five.

For example, I’m not the smartest person out there. I quit school at the age of 14. I can’t write or read too well. Despite that, one thing that I have done for many, many years is work extremely hard. Whatever I say I’m going to do, I do it. That, over time, has helped me to figure things out and become successful.

Related: The True “Get Rich Quick” Scheme: How Being Broke Allowed Me to Succeed in Real Estate

A Word About Responsibility

Being a millionaire gives you the option to do what you want, when you want, and where you want. It also gives you responsibility. I’ve built a few great companies, and with that comes a responsibility to my investors and a responsibility to my employees. And that is something that can be a double-edged sword. You can’t just take a four-week vacation unless you’ve really structured your business in a way where it can be self-sufficient without your presence, which is hard to do.

I just want to share a message with you guys that having a million dollars, or being a millionaire, isn’t all that great. It’s not all fairy tales and butterflies. It does give you options. And it’s a great feeling knowing that you have that financial stability and security. But still, it gives you responsibility. That responsibility can sometimes be a burden. You have to show up every single day and get the job done, because if you don’t, you are letting people down. If you’re like me, you can’t let people down. It bothers me.

Another thing that I want to share with you is that along my path to financial freedom and success in real estate, I’ve come across a lot of other successful people with millions of dollars in net wealth. And they are the most miserable, disgusting people I’ve ever met in my life. Can you believe that? I kid you not. I would never want to be anything close to them. I don’t even know how they can look in the mirror. If I was them, I wouldn’t be able to look in the mirror. All these people care about is the next transaction. All they care about is adding another zero to the end of their bank accounts. Guys, when you’re on your deathbed, you’re not going to ask to see your bank statement before you die. You want to be with family. You want to be able to look back on your life and cherish the moments and memories that you shared with the people you love. As corny as this sounds guys, I am still chasing certain financial targets to help my family, employees, and investors. That is my fulfillment.

I love the quote by Tony Robbins, “Success without fulfillment is the ultimate failure.” I guarantee you this. I was very hungry once upon a time, eating peanut butter for breakfast and drinking $1 gas station coffees. So I know what it’s like to be at the bottom of the barrel. Now, I’m at a different stage in my life where I have all of the luxuries that I wanted. There comes a time when you stop thinking about money. You stop thinking about doing the next deal to make that next profit, because it just doesn’t give you fulfillment. Buying a watch, buying a car, buying a mansion — you get it and then you’re like crap, now what?

Related: How I Went From Broke Poker Player at 25 to Millionaire at 31

I was very fortunate to achieve my childhood dream at a very young age. And I unofficially retired at the ripe age of 29. But that is still not fulfillment. Adding another zero to your bank account is not going to give you that inner peace and happiness. I promise you that.

Give Back What You Get Out

Personally, I love giving back. When you give something to someone in need, and you see the smile on their face and how much they cherish that because they  it need badly, it’s something that you never forget. When I’m on my deathbed, that is when I’m going to think about how many people I touched throughout my life.

There is another quote, “You don’t want to be the king of diamonds, you want to be the king of hearts.” So that is my dream. That is my passion and my desire.

I want to build a huge company and it’s in the works now. And when I get to $100 million valuation or even bigger, I’m giving it all away. How? I don’t know yet. But when I’m gone and everything is said and done, I want whatever I have created and left behind to continue helping hundreds or thousands — if not millions — of people. That is my purpose. T’s my fulfillment. That is why I do what I do. Even though I am looking at hitting certain financial targets, you have to help yourself before you can help everyone else. And the more money I make now, the more I will be able to help in the future. I don’t really care if you believe me or not, because I know that is what’s inside of me, and that’s all that matters to me.

Conclusion

To summarize, making a lot of money, being successful, having the millions is great but it comes with responsibilities and could be a burden at times. Just make sure when you succeed and set yourself and your loved ones up that you give back. That is all I can say because that will truly be fulfillment. Do not be like those miserable people who I have met with $70, $80, $90, or $100 million in their bank accounts but probably can’t sleep at night or look at their face when they look in the mirror.

So, guys, that is it. I hope you enjoyed this blog post.

How are you giving back? What was your path to financial freedom? 

I’d love to hear your comments below — share with me!

About Author

Engelo Rumora

Engelo Rumora, the Real Estate Dingo and your favorite Australian, quit school at the age of 14 and played professional soccer at the age of 18. From there, he began to invest in real estate. He now owns real estate all over the world and has bought, renovated, and sold over 500 properties. He is currently in the process of launching an ICO that will “Decentralize The Real Estate Industry.” He’s also known for giving houses away to people in need and his crazy videos on YouTube. His life’s mission is to be remembered as someone who gave it his all and gave it all away.

40 Comments

  1. Zachary Hendricks

    I love this post. That is one thing we have been working on in our business is being more generous. The best thing about building a real estate business is that it allows you that freedom. Recently, we were able to place a struggling family in one of our newly renovated houses for less than it could have rented for. They just needed a safe place to live, but they couldn’t afford much. It’s always better to give and be generous. If you have much, give much.

    Thanks Engelo!

  2. Steve Vaughan

    Double commas is a very worthwhile goal for many newer folks and the population in general. Some may even have a lower goal like 6 figure wealth so it doesn’t seem so unreachable. As long as folks are reaching higher, I am happy.

    I hope folks aren’t discouraged from saving and working harder and smarter to better themselves by your title, Engelo! It’s still very much worth achieving ?

    But I do agree it’s a little anticlimactic once you get there. I had visions of trumpets, fireworks and the heavens parting for me when we got there! Nah, none a that. It’s like any goal reached, hopefully, a step to the next. Celebrate in your own way and focus on making a difference in others like you have.
    It may not be all it’s cracked up to be, but much better than being broke.

    Some of us have lost our way a little after working so hard to ‘arrive’ and would appreciate a ‘whats next’ discussion.
    Thanks for another thought-provoking article, Engelo!

    • Engelo Rumora

      Thanks for your comment Steve,

      I’ve always said that if someone is so easily influenced by a blog that they read online, then they aren’t cut out to succeed in business.

      There is so much good and bad stuff that one must decipher what to take on board and what to discard.

      Blogs like mine should just mould people’s opinions for the better and nothing more.

      At the the end of day, folks need to decide what is best for them and how they want to proceed.

      Nothing beats hard work and that has been my #1 recipe for success.

      Thanks again and have a great day

  3. Gaby Lengyel

    Excellent post. You don’t need to be millionaire to concentrate just in the money. There’s people just thinking about the next new and expensive purse, tennis shoes or car. They don’t have God in their hearts, just money. I truly believe when you give you will receive it back. It’s like a universal rule. ??

  4. Amy Kulcak

    Luckily, I don’t know any of these miserable rich folks you talk, but I only assume they do exist. Just like there’s miserable poor folks out there. However, not all poor folks are miserable. I’ve been on both sides of that spectrum. I grew up poor, but never felt poor because my mom and dad managed the little money they had in a very responsible way. I’ve also been extremely lucky to know millionaires who are NOT miserable, but live very much like the average person (or maybe not so average) by living in a fiscally responsible way, not spending excessively as you tend to see, giving their money anonymously to deserving folks in need of a helping hand – as God asks them to do – and yes, they even pay those dreadful high taxes despite their ultra conservative values, because they are patriotic and love mankind. Money has overall been a blessing to them, so they aim to bless others with it as God calls them to do.

  5. Tom R.

    I just want 6 figures of passive income. That being said if I were to somehow come into $1M I would immediately invest it into as many rental properties as I could buy. I would continue working at my day job for as long as it takes to save enough money to buy my dream house for cash and then retire.

  6. Victor Alvarado

    This made me upset reading this.

    Money let’s you do things that simply can’t be done without it. Being a millionaire is not overrated but I guess I don’t really know because I’m not a millionaire right? Essentially I don’t even have enough money to make a realistic comment on this because I’m not a millionaire, so I just don’t know if it’s overrated or not.

    I do know that today I did my family’s budget and at the bottom line we have about $40 in spending money a month after expenses. I do know that it made me feel like crap to see that number. I do know that I didn’t buy the lawn mower today I really need because mine is broken and I only see $40 of spendable money. I do know that my wife wants the kids to have swim lessons and I don’t know how to pay for them. I do know that caring for a family member after multiple surgeries will have you run out of money and now owe money because of it. I do know the feeling of hearing your wife crying on the phone because the card declined while she was trying to buy milk and some stranger out the goodness of their heart had to buy it for my family.

    I do know that if I was a millionaire I wouldn’t have those problems. The shame that comes with those things sticks around for a while.

    Quite frankly I’ve lived a life of doing the right things in as many situations as possible and it just doesn’t put money in your pocket all the time.

    I’m a hard worker and have been promoted several times at the job I’m at now.

    I have my College degrees.

    I’ve tried and am still “trying” business and real estate. Bought a duplex as my first home while living in one side of it and renting the other side. I just don’t have the ability to buy any more property.

    Trying to sell items online with my own company as well but it’s just not taking off like I want.

    I’ve been trying for over 15 years and I’m still spinning my wheels when it comes to being financially free.

    I can already hear people saying why I’m still living a hard financial life: “he’s just stupid, lazy, not as driven, not resourceful enough, he’s got the wrong attitude or psychology, didn’t take enough action.” Maybe so and maybe I’m not cut out for it.

    I get your point. Anyone can be miserable/angry/happy or whatever if they are rich or poor. You and your family are probably wonderful people as well whether rich or poor! You seem like someone that wants to give tremendous value to the world and that’s awesome! Just please don’t try to tell me that being a millionaire is overrated. Again I’m not a millionaire so I’m not qualified enough to properly comment on this.

    • Vaughn K.

      Being broke sucks. Been there for sure! I think his point is though that having the other stuff is equally if not more important. If you have a wife that loves you, and great kids, that’s more than A LOT of people have. I don’t have that, but I really hope to someday. Having that and money being tight can make for a happier life than a person with a million bucks and nobody that cares if they live or die. I know that for sure, I have seen it.

      As for the cash thing, I don’t know where you’re at… But if you or your wife have spare time there is always a part time job. It sucks to put in tons of hours working a week, but it can be nice to get ahead a bit. There’s always Uber and Lyft nowadays for super no strings attached side money too. Putting in even 10 or 20 hours a month on there could go a long way towards being able to cover some of those little things that stress you out so bad. I’ve been there and done that myself too, and I found it worth giving up the social life for awhile to feel more financially secure.

      Not to mention the expense side of things. I cut my bills down from spending like $1000+ a month JUST FOR ME on food, to under $500 for food and ALL other “nice to do” stuff. I’m doing a LOT better now than when I was overspending. Then there’s the big stuff people make mistakes on like buying cars on credit, multi-hundred dollar a month cable bills etc. That stuff can all be lived without. Anyway I wish the best for you!

      • Engelo Rumora

        Thanks for your comment Vaughn,

        God Bless America as it’s the best country in the world.

        I came here with pretty much nothing and have worked day and night to get to where I am today.

        I didn’t want to eat because it “cost too much”

        Broke my hand and couldn’t afford to fix it for 12 months

        My mum got diagnosed with cancer and my grandma died all at the same time as I had huge debts piling up on me

        The above was the lowest point of my life.

        Nothing beats hard work and I mean HARD WORK

        Whatever it takes

        Much success

        • Vaughn K.

          Yep. Life ebbs and flows. I own businesses and was steadily up for almost 10 years, then had a few years of sharp declines. It HURT, but I’ve been busting hump for the last few years and am now on a solid upward trajectory again.

          I ALMOST bought my first rental 6ish years ago towards the tail end of the good years, but passed to keep reinvesting in my business… In hindsight the rental would have made me probably $400K more dollars in my market! But I made a decision that made sense with the information I had at hand at the time, so I can’t beat myself up over it. I’ve always planned on investing in real estate big time to provide more steady cash flow, and I’m prepared to do that again… That’s why I’m buffing up on my real estate reading by being on here!

          Hopefully this is the last time things ever get proper tough, but there are no guarantees, and I know I’ll make it through anything life throws at me anyway!

    • karen rittenhouse

      @Victor Alvarado
      I totally understand your pain. I have been there and it does pass. How? Time? The kids growing up and leaving home? Better jobs? Who knows, but it will pass due to all the effort you’re putting in.

      I was a single mom for years, dealt with bad family health issues through that time, and I agree with your points. Most conversations about money not solving your problems come from people who have money. Having money is truly better in every way and I don’t think many people with money would give it up because “it” doesn’t make you happy. We get that – but being without money certainly doesn’t make anyone happy.

      Your comment sums up the life of most of the country – working hard just to break even. I believe 100 percent that your circumstances will change. I admire your ability to stay in the struggle and take care of your family. The things your kids need more than anything are unconditional love and a supportive home environment.

      Thanks for adding to the conversation.

  7. James Dujardin

    I think another way of looking at it is that money makes you more of who you already are, it amplifies your personality.
    So when all the hard work pays off and there is money in excess don’t forget who you are.
    A wise man once said, “what good is it to gain it all only to loose who you are.” *Jesus*
    It is overrated once you reach the top only to have loss what is most valuable along the way and never be able to get it back.
    @ Victor. I feel for you brother as a single father of two growing boys starting with nearly being homeless, 4 years ago, to now having my CDL on the verge of being a certified crane operator.
    Just keep saying “how can i…” don’t give up…
    For example if I owe on a medical bill or almost any bill no matter the amount I can pay $10 a month and it will not be able to go to collections effecting my credit.
    Relentlessly search for knowledge in everything and anything that has to do with what you need help in. All it takes is one answer, one diamond in the rough to change everything. All this knowledge you acquire are stepping stones to where you want to be, half the time they don’t fall into place one after the other. Lol that would be too easy.
    All I can say is continue to be relentless in you journey to financial independence and along the way stop for the small things that will only be here for a moment, let it recharge you then let it prepel you forward.
    My prayers are with you.
    Have an awesome day!

    • Engelo Rumora

      Thanks for your comment James,

      Amazing stuff and 100% agreed.

      It sure does take just “one thing” that could change everything for the better and turn your whole life around

      We just can’t stop “digging” for it tho

      Much success

    • Vaughn K.

      “I think another way of looking at it is that money makes you more of who you already are, it amplifies your personality.”

      This is 110% true. I have known some sadistic people with $100 million in the bank. They were like that because they could get away with it, whereas a poor person would have to keep themselves in check more. I’ve also known some AMAZINGLY KIND people with tons of money in the bank. Tons of money just gives you the freedom to act out like you really want to, whether good or bad.

  8. Many people are chasing money. That will never change. The greatest gift you can ever have is happiness. Once you find happiness, you will be blessed with a peace of mind that will open up a life that is filled with awe inspiring amazement. And if you and your spouse or partner are both happy, the possibilities are endless. You won’t have to chase money, it will chase you. You will wake up each morning , thankful to be alive and looking forward to whatever life sends your way. So if you want to chase something of value, chase happiness. There is no better way to live life.

  9. Michael Bishop

    Nice post, Engelo. I love the Tony Robbins quote – I think too many people want $1M, $10MM, etc., but they aren’t exactly sure what that means to them or what they would do with it to feel fulfilled; simply having money is not the end all be all.

    Also, kudos to you on your mission to give back. If only more folks thought the way that you do, maybe the world be just a little better for it.

    • Engelo Rumora

      Thanks for your kind words Michael,

      Reaching 7 figures is great but true happiness and fulfillment is not in the balance of the bank account

      It’s something bigger and better than that

      We are doing our best to help and give back as much as possible.

      I’ll give it all away one day 🙂

      Much success

  10. Ali Hashemi

    I think my belief is in line with your article….wealth gives people the freedom to be who they are. But if you’re not that great of a person to begin with then wealth just gives you the freedom to be even worse.

    Freedom, not wealth is what the good ones search for. Freedom means being able to give money away without having to sacrifice your own standard of living. Those who are wealthy and give away are noble. Those who are poor and give away are truly good people.

    In the pursuit of financial freedom it’s important to remember wealth is not the end goal.

  11. Melvin Plummer on

    Engelo,
    The subconscious mind does not know the difference between what is real and what is not real. So, you are what you think you are. That’s where you have to be very careful. Allow me to offer you some unsolicited advice. You always say that you quit school at 14 years of age and you can’t read or write very well. All of that is nonsense! You have more knowledge in real estate investment and business management than 97% of the population. You may not have a PhD that is recognized, however, that does not mean that you don’t have knowledge that is worthy of a PhD. Embrace your knowledge and your life experience and stop minimizing yourself. So drop the mic and live and be grateful for what you have!
    God bless you!

  12. John Murray

    I’m a multimillionaire and I have never concerned myself with money. I’m self made and enjoyed the journey along the way. I like to work hard, money is just a freedom ticket. If an individual prizes money over freedom the chances are wealth will not follow. Once a person realizes this you can join the ranks of freedom seekers,Most will build a money prison and serve a life sentence.

  13. Andrew Lee

    Thanks for this post, Engelo. I’ve taught my children, “Money is good for making other people happy–maybe it’s the orphanage that needs your donation, or the car dealer, or the jewelry salesperson, or your local church or alma mater. But in the end you give it to somebody whether through purchase or gift or charitable donation or investment. So you are right to point out that helping others with our wealth is true fulfillment. When my wife and I reached a million dollars net worth a while back, it didn’t change one single thing about us or our lifestyle. We still live frugally and get much more joy out of donations than out of purchases. We aren’t entirely self-made–we had a ton of help from God!

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