DHH on the Day I Became a Millionaire

David Heinemeier Hansson, better known as DHH, is the founder of Ruby on Rails and Basecamp. Two days ago he published a great blog post titled The Day I Became a Millionaire. Basically, the gist is that many people obsess about making a ton of money and think that that’s going to make them happy. Only, ones that achieve their goal find out that happiness comes from pursuing personal passions, doing great work, and helping other people.

Here are a few quotes from the post:

  • Could you imagine not having to save up a whole year to buy a Commodore 64? Or to fly away on a foreign-country vacation every year?
  • Jeff Bezos had taken an interest in Basecamp, and Jason and I each sold him a minority, no-control stake of our share of the company for a few million dollars each.
  • The euphoria I felt when it was finally real lasted the rest of that day. The inner smile remained super wide for at least the rest of the week.
  • Expectations, not outcomes, govern the happiness of your perceived reality.
  • If anything, I began to appreciate even more intently that flow and tranquility were the true sources of happiness for me all along.
  • It was like I had pulled back the curtain on that millionaire’s dream and found, to my surprise, that most of the things on the other side were things I already had.
  • Once you’ve taken care of the basics, there’s very little in this world for which your life is worth deferring.

For many entrepreneurs that haven’t had financial success, the destination seems more important than the journey. Once success has been achieved, it becomes clear that the journey was more valuable than the outcome. If you haven’t read it, check out DHH’s The Day I Became a Millionaire.

What else? What are some more thoughts on the idea that true happiness doesn’t come from money once basic needs are met?

One thought on “DHH on the Day I Became a Millionaire

  1. Yes. It is all about learning to love – the journey, the late nights, the early mornings, the milestones, the highs, the lows, the wins, sharing this experience with the people with you, your customers, your industry, your competitors, and all that is put in front of you is there to make you stronger, better and more ready for the next hurdle. Don’t be afraid, don’t move too fast, but appreciate each moment and give thanks for this opportunity of a lifetime, which most people never get to experience. In entrepreneurship and in life, success only makes your life more complicated as things don’t get easier with success but only more challenging, as it does in any career/ life pinnacle and the journey on the pilgrimage. The rewards of entrepreneurship are the freedoms to evolve, help others achieve, and at some point it all comes to an end. So be humble throughout And realize how important it is to not tie all of your karma to your career, professional-self but to be able to evolve far beyond the financial hurdles. Allow entrepreneurship to free yourself from the systematic, confined world we live in to ultimately do it your way, unrestrained from the constraints of others whatever way you aspire this to be. I truly believe that entrepreneurship is the starting point of this journey on the Way.

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