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Bill Gates Used to Fly Economy All the Time When He Could Easily Afford First Class — For a Surprisingly Relatable Reason Why would one of the richest men in the world choose a cheap seat? It wasn't because he couldn't afford the extra legroom.

By Marc Randolph Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

For many years, Bill Gates used to fly economy. Not because he couldn't afford first class, but because he didn't consider it good value. It's five or six times more expensive, but only marginally better (and you all get to your destination at the same time).

In the same vein, I could afford a really nice car at this point, but I've never been a car guy, and I don't need a Lamborghini or a Maserati (which I can't even spell without spellcheck on). A Volvo station wagon does the job just fine, and I wouldn't value the difference. Likewise, I don't need to drop $1000 on a bottle of wine at dinner either, since I know I'll get the same enjoyment from a $35 bottle.

Related: Get Free Advice About Your Business From the Co-Founder of Netflix

So what is wealth good for in the end? Besides providing security, it also gives flexibility. After all of the experiences I've had co-founding Netflix and investing in many great companies, the most important thing I've learned about money is that once you have enough (by the previous definition), you can choose to have less of it in exchange for choosing how to spend your time. And spending your time doing something meaningful to you…that's worth way more than a Maserati.

Read more from Netflix's co-founder and first CEO Marc Randolph at marcrandolph.com and check out his book That Will Never Work and podcast of the same name.

Marc Randolph

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

Co-founder and first CEO of Netflix

Marc Randolph is a veteran Silicon Valley entrepreneur, advisor and investor. As co-founder and founding CEO of Netflix, he laid much of the groundwork for the streaming service. He's the author of That Will Never Work and a podcast of the same name.

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