September 19, 2011

I Won The Lottery. Now What Am I Going To Do?

WARNING!!!  This became a really long and probably boring post.  I quit trying to spell and grammar check too.  It was just not worth the effort.  Sorry in advance. Also, avoid the ads this story may generate on my site.  I'm sure they are going to be about winning the Lottery or something like it.  Nobody wins.  Nobody.
  - James Guhn
Have you ever dreamed about what you'd do if you won the lottery?  I'm sure we all have.  Are you the type of person who is sure you are going to win it in the future?   Maybe "as soon as God feels like you can handle the responsibility"?  Most people who do win, can't handle the wealth in a responsible way.  Most people over spend, over extend, and put themselves in a place where their cost of living exceeds the amount they can earn.  Many even have to file bankruptcy to get things "back to normal".  Most of them can't get passed the greed lust to realize the taxes, upkeep, and the future costs of their spending and purchases.

Anyway, I would like to win, despite those problems and the Bible's warning about riches.  I'm one of those fools who thinks I can manage it, live similarly to how I live now, and still recognize the need for a Savior.   Would I give it all to charity?  NO.  Would there be many selfish purchases of excess?  Yes!  But, my theory really is that, for the most part, my life wouldn't change much, and if it did change in a Spiritual way, it would be for the better because I'd have more time to read the Bible, write about the Bible, write songs about God, record those songs, publish those songs, and promote those songs about God to the masses.  People who know me well, also understand I have a few desired items, but most of my joy comes from being the guy who can "picks up the bill" at a dinner or entertain guests with an exiting evening full of food and laughter.  I'm not so much about possessions as I am about the appreciation felt by doing something for another person.  I'll do anything to make people laugh...to my own detriment.  Don't get me wrong, I do know I'm an ass, but most of the time it's either my frustration with people's total lack of common sense, or I'm trying to make someone laugh at the expense of others.

So what would I spend my millions on?  (Oh yeah, and we're talking lots of millions.  Like hundreds of millions in this dream post).  My first purchase would be something for driving.  Currently the list would probably include an Audi A8, Q7, or R8.  Or all 3.  Right now those are my favorites.


 I'd, of course, buy a house, or more likely, property to build my dream home on.  I'd want enough land to build a driving course too (more on that in a minute).  I'd want to take vacations to Hawaii.  I'd hire someone to go on that vacation to watch the kids (applications will be accepted from friends too so, be thinking of what qualifies you to go).  I'd find a very safe investment where the interest earned would be enough for a normal salary, let's say $80k to $100k per year.  This investment would be the "untouchable" portion of the winnings, set aside to pay me for the rest of my life.  Sure, it's not going to be earning as much as the money could possibly earn in more aggressive investing, but at this point wealth is not the goal.  I'm already there.

But that's really the list of purchases for myself.  A house with property.  A few of my favorite vehicles.  Vacation.  And a few safe investments, including money for my kids colleges and their own needs (and a few wants).  The rest, I'd want to us doing things for others.  Now, I'm not talking charity type stuff.  I'm not trying to sound giving and like I'd suddenly be this super loving guy.  I'd actually be really cautious and steer clear of almost all charity style giving.  I don't trust most of them.  I'm really referring to friends and family giving.  I'd take care of those close to me, the ones I love and care about.  Sure, I'd support my church, but mostly I'd become physically involved at church, seeing how I wouldn't need a job.  I'd volunteer for programs and projects, get back into music, maybe teach some.  But the no job thing leads me to my next points.

I'd want to continue in some line of work.  Some days I think I'd go back into law enforcement.  Other days I think something simple and mindless like a bank teller would be nice.  Today I actually thought about a "stay at home" position with the bank, were I work a phone, answering operational questions for branches all over the country.  But here is how I see these jobs working out:

Law Enforcement Job
The law enforcement job works out where, I'd want to purchase my own car.  Currently I'd look at the Dodge Charger since the Crown Victoria is all but gone, although recently I heard my old agency may be going with the Chevy Tahoe.  I'd have it painted in the scheme of the hiring agency.  I'd outfit it with all the latest and greatest technology, including all the upgraded hardware and software available to work with existing systems.  I'd also eventually invest time and money into bringing the agency's hardware and software up to modern specs as well.  I would require a paid position and union protections, but the salary would not be the concern.  Mainly, I'd want all the available protections afforded officers of the law, from the public and criminals who may want to take from me and my winnings to satisfy their own greed.  I would not ask for pay during the training portion of the job, but I'd wait until I was a stand alone officer, to allow the agency and other officers time to see my commitment to taking criminals to jail, making people feel safe, and being involved in the community (is that not the perfect cop answer?).

After establishing myself in the job and proving I am a hard working officer, willing to do the same tasks as anyone else, I would work on things that can make doing the job more efficient, safe, and productive.
From my short time on patrol, my first thought here is a system within the cars that makes it easier, safer, and quicker to gain information on a call, a suspect, or a vehicle, etc. that an officer is involved with.  Also, I'd work to upgrade all the communications systems throughout the given agency, so there are not areas within the jurisdiction where communication is a problem.  I'd work on the report writing system and dispatching system to create seamless transfer of information, creating templates for many of the reoccurring crime reports, so that completion of the report is quicker, more straight forward, and to the point.  In car report writing systems could be created with pre-populated information and drop-down cells to help quickly and accurately write a report.  Agency wide networking would allow for officers to access the information anywhere.

My home driving course (on the land I referenced earlier) would be set up to facilitate training and ongoing refresher courses for safe officer Emergency Vehicle Operations Course requirements, and additional quality vehicle operations.  I would design a course that allowed for fast driving, winding road courses, and other intense conditions, such as wet pavement and slide control training.  I would spend time and money on my own skills to properly prepare me to train officers in pursuit and code 3 driving.  I'd offer access to the officers at free or reduced costs so they could continue to practice and hone their skills on their own time.  I'd also offer the course and equipment to the agency to facilitate required training mandates.  I'd provide the vehicles, with the same specifications as the agency's fleet.  I'd also provide an area for shooting practice and arrest control technique training.  My property would be a virtual academy for law enforcement training.

Bank Job
I would have nothing to learn if I went the bank teller route  As a teller, I'd spend all my time talking to customers and running their simple transactions.  I'd want to do this in a place where there is high traffic, not so I'm busy all the time, but because the only challenge for a bank teller is to keep people happy while moving them through a large line and offering them products and services that might benefit them.  I can do all the duties of a bank teller in my sleep...sometimes I did.  Really, I'd take this job as a millionaire, simply for the ability to entertain customers, without any responsibility except fulfilling their banking requests.  Mindless? Yes.  But I'd also have the interaction with people I'd need to allow me an opportunity to entertain.

If I went toward an operation support position, something called Retail Support where I work, it would allow me to use my current knowledge of policies and procedures, along with the ability to refine, revise, and possibly write policies. I've been doing this already in a limited scope but in past with major impact, writing policies, creating forms, and providing access and training.  Still today, I am emailed often from people all over the company looking for revised or electronic versions of my forms and handouts.  I'd love to have a more connected role to the current policy writers and be more involved in the processes that shape how things are done within the company.  I'd look at combining the efforts of the policy writers with those of the training department, to more completely offer the correct processes to follow.

Of course, even without the lottery winnings, this job would be awesome.  But, by winning the Lottery millions, I'd do it in a capacity that allowed me to be part time and home based.

Conclusion to Crazy Talk
So, I wrote this to talk about my wants, but it really made me think about what I want to do with myself.  In reality, winning the Lottery is probably not going to happen and the law enforcement thing is probably too much of a drastic life change with too many unknown variables.  But the Retail Support thing is really what I want to do.  I really want to do it in the capacity of someone who can make the changes happen.  What would that require?  I'm not sure.  How does anyone become a mover and a shaker in a huge company like mine?  These are the questions that, if answers, can lead to great success.  I'm the type that doesn't feel uncomfortable asking the successful how they managed to make it happen, but I know often times there are people who feel threatened by people who push themselves forward aggressively (it's challenged me more than once).  I've always been good at the jobs I've held,  and if I wasn't good at something, I made the required changes to make success happen.  I'll conclude with these thoughts:

1.  I need to pursue what I love.
2.  I need to look harder from the outside in at what that pursuit needs to be.
3.  I need to make the moves to make it happen without feeling like it's going to takes winning the Lottery.

So, I really didn't win the lottery, but if I did....yeah, it'd be some stuff on this list for sure.