A Million For Your Thoughts

The True View

Others fear that money will warp their perspectives on what's really important. Sinclair says one of her clients made a big impression on her. While most of the movie stars and wealthy CEOs she has worked for have had "three kids and five nannies," there was one actress who stayed to watch her son's swimming lessons, and then would take him to school. "She didn't even have a nanny on the staff," marvels Sinclair, who reveals that the actress was Valerie Bertinelli. "I'm going to be like that, too," says the often-working, still-single Sinclair.

Shelton just became a mother herself, and her millionaire status gives her the freedom to be a stay-at-home mom. Since her baby's birth, she's been running her company by telecommuting, relying on her staff of 26 to see that the company continues to thrive. "I think [being able to delegate] is the mark of a good entrepreneur," Shelton says.

It's this freedom that Shelton says is the best gift you can buy yourself when you become the next millionaire on the block. "The one thing I have truly found since I've been able to buy a lot of things is that [the finer things in life] do not bring you happiness," she says. "What I like more about the fact of having money is it buys you the freedom to travel and to choose things. It's the same thing with having a child; I did not have to make some of the decisions that other working mothers have to make, and I feel so fortunate."

Fallon is still figuring out what the best thing about being a millionaire is--but he understands the worst. "I know a lot of people who, if they couldn't fly first-class and didn't have money, they would be unhappy," he says. "And I guess I don't ever want to be in a situation where I have to hold on to money that tightly. I don't want to be afraid of losing it."

And then, like people do in the movies but almost never in real life, Fallon expresses his thoughtful philosophy by quoting a stanza from Rudyard Kipling's poem "If":

" 'If you can make one heap of all your winnings

" 'And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

" 'And lose, and start again at your beginnings

" 'And never breathe a word about your loss . . . '

"That's kind of the thing, you know?" muses Fallon. "I'm blessed to have this, but I want to live my life so that if somehow the money is taken away or lost, it's not really that big of a difference. I don't want money to become very important to my happiness because I think that's setting myself up for false expectations. Who knows? Anything can happen."

Geoff Williams has written for numerous publications, including Entrepreneur, Consumer Reports, LIFE and Entertainment Weekly. He also is the author of Living Well with Bad Credit.

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This article was originally published in the March 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: A Million For Your Thoughts.

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