Interested in earning a billion dollars?

Let me give you a brief introduction to this post, and then I’ll share the secret to making one billion dollars.

The CEO of Zappos.com,Tony Hsieh’s new book, Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose, comes out today. I had a chance to read an advanced copy last week.

Hsieh discovered his entrepreneurial drive at a very young age and continued to lean into his passion and work towards achieving ultimate success.

After reading of Hsieh’s early stints in the business world, we learn of his first major success during the dot-com boom. Hsieh co-founded, LinkExchange, which was later acquired by Microsoft for $265 Million.

This is where the book sparked my interest. It wasn’t that Hsieh had sold his first company, but rather it was that Tony realized he wasn’t happy.

As part of the deal with Microsoft, Hsieh was required to stay on as an employee for twelve months and then walk away from the deal 12 million dollars richer. He left after a month or so which meant he was walking away from millions of dollars. His reason? He wasn’t happy.

When I told my wife this story, she didn’t believe it. She said, “nobody would walk away from millions of dollars just for sitting around for a year.”

Tony chose happiness over profits and this laid the seeds for what was to come next.

It wouldn’t be the last time Tony would take a major risk with his money. For example, when Zappos was nearly broke and couldn’t find a single investor; Tony took EVERYTHING he had earned, and EVERYTHING he had acquired, even down to selling his apartment at a 40% discount, and bet it on Zappos.

I sent Tony a direct message on Twitter and asked, “Did you really bet the entire farm? Everything? Is that part really true?”

He responded, “pretty much yeah, but things worked out in the end :)

In July of 2009, Zappos was sold to Amazon for One Billion Dollars. Tony’s earnings from the sale were $214 million.

Buy the book. It’s out today, and it’s fantastic!

If you want to win a copy – leave a comment below, and I’ll pick someone at random to receive a free copy.

Without further ado…

How To Make One Billion Dollars in Five Steps.

(Things I learned from Tony Hsieh and his book “Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose.”

Step 1:

  • Realize money cannot, and will not, deliver happiness…ever! (no matter how much you think it will)
  • The way you feel, think, and love now is the same way you will feel, think, and love when you have a lot of money. Sure, you can buy more stuff, but you won’t feel any differently.

Step 2:

  • Realize you will win and lose. If you never lose, you’ll never win big. Look at the long-term picture. Aim high.
  • Risk only what you can afford to lose.
  • Be prepared to lose it all.
  • And, as we’ve seen above, be prepared and have the balls to bet it all.

Step 3:

  • Have principles you’ll take to the grave. Understand that your business may change over time, but stick to your principles.
  • Don’t look for short-cuts. Cheaters will always lose – eventually.
  • Patience is a virtue and required for success. Stamina is required to win the game.
  • Look around at what everyone else is doing and then do the opposite. Don’t think just because everyone else is doing it, that’s what you should be doing too.

Step 4:

  • Never believe you’ve learned everything you need to know. Read books and learn from others. Read more – and then read some more after that.
  • Understand that everything you read is great, but if you never do anything with the knowledge, it’s worthless. Put what you’ve learned into action.
  • Success is largely determined by the people you surround yourself with. Choose your peers wisely.
  • Understand luck and don’t get too cocky. If you win a few times, realize you might have just gotten lucky.
  • Again, don’t get too cocky. There’s always someone better than you out there.

Step 5:

  • You’ve got to love what you’re doing.
  • One hundred percent happiness is the goal. If you’re not happy, don’t fool yourself. You get only one go around in this thing called life – happiness can’t be bought or purchased. Figure out the problem and fix it.