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Myth 5: You need a burning desire to get rich
It can't just be about the money. Following your passion and loving what you do will ultimately lead to a bigger bottom line.
By Josh Hyatt, Money Magazine senior writer

NEW YORK (Money Magazine) -- "How much money is enough?" a reporter once asked John D. Rockefeller at a time when the oil tycoon was the richest man on earth. His quick reply? "Just a little bit more."

To be sure, there are plenty of rich people whose sole motivation throughout their working lives was to be rich. And everyone who works hard in business wants to make money.

"Certainly people who get rich want to be financially rewarded and expect to be," says psychologist Goldbart, who co-directs the Money, Meaning and Choices Institute.

REALITY: But, Goldbart adds, there's more to it than that. "Money isn't the only value they see in what they are doing," he says. "These are people who love to build."

Adds Bill Dueease, co-founder of a lifecoaching service in Fort Myers, Fla: "Rich people didn't get there by chasing money. They got there by chasing their passion."

So when Vu "Bill" Nguyen talks about how much he loves making it, he's not referring to all those greenbacks he's got. "I always want to make a wonderful product that people love," says the 35- year-old Nguyen, who has been part of seven tech-oriented start-ups, three of which he founded. He launched his latest venture, La La Media, last year.

The Palo Alto company operates a Web site where users can swap music CDs for $1. His heftiest payday to date came in 2000, when a company he'd co-founded called Onebox, a service for consolidating voice and electronic messages, was acquired for roughly $850 million.

Nguyen earned more than $10 million on that deal. He's used that windfall to underwrite a collection of 10 cars; he's also splurged on hiring brand-name bands, such as Fountains of Wayne, for his private functions.

The rest? It goes into "bland muni bonds," he says. "I don't want any heartache from it." Leaving his investments in bonds lets him concentrate on his next endeavor. "I am maniacal about the product. I almost completely don't think about the other stuff."

That includes other people, he admits, and that character flaw has gotten him fired in the past. But he takes solace in the following: "I'm the living example of what your high school guidance counselor told you. Figure out what you love, and do that. It's an approach that has made me ridiculously lucky."

And rich too.


Myth 1: You've got to have incredible charisma

Myth 2: You must be able to see into the future

Myth 3: You've got to stick to your guns, no matter what

Myth 4: You need to take big risks

Myth 5: You need a burning desire to get rich

Plus: Secrets of success from those who've made it Top of page

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