How to Make 1 Billion Dollars

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,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.
  • John-Boy

    Oh Momma!
    Another post that is like an arrow aimed right for John-Boy's own behind! 🙂
    WOW is all I can say about Tony.
    I may be incorrect but, I bet he is the same person he was before the money windfall.
    Stunner of a story AND great lesson/s in there too.

  • Nice review Noah!

    I pre-ordered my copy last week so I'm looking forward to reading it when it arrives.

    This review was great for the core lessons.



  • Thanks Stu. It's a great read and I'm sure you'll enjoy it!

  • Thanks for the comment! Lot's of great lessons inside the book.

  • IvanaSendecka

    Aaw, thank you so much for sharing, Noah!;-)
    I totally agree on: money does not equal happiness

    And I know the feeling, how is it to bet all you have got into something you believe in…and I am delighted to hear that things will work out well;-)

    Happy Monday, all.

    cheers from Slovakia

  • Danka!

    Thanks so much for the comment. Sometimes you gotta roll the dice in life 🙂

    Cheers from Canada!

    • sheraz

      Noah fleming u know I have seen lots of people have billion dollars but they cant find happiness
      because they have health diseases problem like cancer or diabaties just think that u have billion
      dollars but u can’ t eat a sweets bacause u have daibaties so what the hell with money so first pray
      that god gives u a healthy life people respects u and u also respect the people then see how much
      Happier u r

  • Karrie Cornies

    I find it ironic that the title is “How to make a billion dollars” when the lessons teach that the love of what you do will ultimately be the most important. Sad society wants the quick 5 step process. I am passionate believer in “the Secret” and I have already seen positive things in my own life by just throwing all your balls in one bucket. Thanks Noah! If you haven't already, check out Carl Honore books, In Praise of Slow and Under Pressure. Different topic than money but I think you would enjoy them!

  • That's the irony right? I mean, everyone is looking for the magic bullet. I tried to give the post a title really “over the top”

    I'm sure over time the post will get a lot of traffic because people are looking for the magic bullet. A billion dollars? Really? Seriously??? Sure…..

    The money wasn't Tony's motivation. If it was, he would have quit after the 12 months required to cash out with a cool 12 million after his first deal.

    And that story boggles my mind! He just had to sit there. He could walk away and sit on a beach sipping martinis for the next 60 years…… He realized it wasn't worth it in less than a month.
    He walked out with almost nothing. His happiness was more important.

    Thanks Karrie for the comment 🙂

  • P.S. Thanks for the book suggestions. I'll check em out for sure!

  • Thanks for the share Noah. I didn't know TH created a book. Gotta check this one out. I'll have to agree on the idea of following your happiness rather than the paper. If I really wanted money, I would have followed another a different profession. Money never made me happy in the long run. It was always a quick fix here and there. If I make money doing what I love and use it for a great cause, that would make me happy. But the paper, it's not much to me. Gotta check out the book. I love a good read.

  • Paul

    Yes, I see an irony here too. I like the idea of following principles and not being consumed by profit and riches. There is also the idea of building a secure financial foundation rather than betting the farm on a venture to lose it all. You succeeded in getting readers' attention with the title which is a good thing.

  • Yeah. I probably should have ended the post by saying like, “In case you haven't noticed, this isn't really about making a billion dollars. It's about making a happy life.”

  • Thanks Charles
    Hold a few days and you might win won. Not too many entries and I actually have two to give away. I was going to keep my copy but I've decided to give away both copies. They might have some wear and tear, but good books should have.

    Agreed on following the paper. Cheers and thanks for stopping by again!


  • Jim

    Well, I actually DO want to make a billion dollars! I don’t think I’d bail at 1 million. But, I absolutely agree that slaving away in a cubicle, or sitting strapped to a chair hour after hour doesn’t feel like leading a fulfilling life.

    Wouldn’t it be great to endow your favorite university with enough money to empower it so that new knowledge is created in fields that enlighten the human spirit? I’d love to do this. Really, I would.


    • I think you’ve got the right idea Jim.

      Thanks for commenting.

    • young drieve

      you sound like a poor bitch who won’t get any kind of money.

  • Random


    It’s so fashionable to say money doesn’t buy/deliver/create happiness. And it’s utterly and completely false.

    Does money attract beautiful partners?

    Does money buy vacations?

    Does money buy you freedom?
    Does money buy you expensive, organic food?

    Does money give you better health care?

    Does money buy you longer life expectancy?

    So if happiness doesn’t stem from beauty, freedom, health, privilege, and longer life expectancies, please tell me where all these happy people are that are disease ridden, overweight, eating shit food, stuck in worthless jobs, dying early, and alone?

    Tell you what, go to a third world country where there is no money. Don’t put on your rosy sunglasses and tell yourself everyone is happy. They aren’t. They sell their daughters into prostitution to feed the family.

    Have a nice day.

    • You make very valid points. I was trying to write a review of a book here.

      There are very unfortunate people in this world and lots if them.

      I appreciate your comments.

    • You make very valid points. I was trying to write a review of a book here.

      There are very unfortunate people in this world and lots if them.

      I appreciate your comments.

    • Yes, and no. Money has no correlation to the human condition. There are things within life that makes each one so special. Yes I agree with everything you have stated but I don’t believe money can really buy happiness. A beautiful sunset; a smile from a loved one; the kindness of strangers; these human experiences transcend monetary happiness. I think it is important to remember the things that happiness exists outside of socioeconomic status and even those living in third world countries experience the same amounts of happiness. To say they are less happy individuals than we are because they have less resource to money, is to say they are less human than we are. These people suffer immensely and need to be acknowledged but the world seems to think it is okay to sweep it under the rug. Money wouldn’t make them happy it is the corruption and and exploitation of the people which makes them suffer.

    • ertw

      I completely AGREE! The people who say money doesn’t buy happiness are the people who’ve never had LOTS of it.

      The answer is YES in this world MONEY DOES BUY HAPPINESS!

    • young turk

      you sound poor as fuck you nigger.

  • Maneshlalmohan

    Hi Noah

    Its all about your Passion, Love, Drive and most importantly your Ultimate which is Happiness that will get you what you want out of Life with Sheer Fullfillment continuosly!

    Love and Happiness


  • Muhammad23


  • Classicredz

    Thanks Noah great words I need all the motivation I can get
    “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.”
    I needed to learn this thanks for making it very clear for a young black man that doesn’t even have $1000 in my bank account I hope this knowledge will bring me closer to the money I seek and still live the life of happiness that I live now and provide the same for others …thank you Josh

  • Shermin

    Hi Random, I think you’re kinda mistaken there.

    For a start, it’s not a fashionable thing to say that money can’t buy happiness, it’s the truth.

    I’ll explain with your questions.

    You asked:

    “Does Money attract beautiful partners?”
    Yes, but do they last?
    No. Because it only provides temporary material pleasures for these people, and once these $$$ run out, no more material pleasures, no more attraction.

    “Does money buy vacations?”
    Yes, but will this necessarily bring happiness?
    No. Because if this person is going with an empty heart, however beautiful the places are, he/she will still never be happy.

    “Does money buy you freedom?”
    If your heart is not free, still holding on to the past, worrying about the future, or bearing grudges with those who passed you some callous and hurtful remarks years ago, you’ll still never attain true freedom no matter how much money you win in the lottery.
    True, you may splurge a little and pamper yourself & your family with the $ at first, but after some time this ecstasy will once again die out, and you, left with your money, go back to the same you, holding on to the past, and grudges, remembering unkind words people have said months ago… Then, do you think you have actually attained freedom?

    “Does money buy you expensive organic food?”
    Yes, but it will never buy a person health if he/she does not know how to lead a healthy lifestyle, control his/her diet and practice having a healthy mindset. Food, does not give you health, it only supports and complements what you’re doing. Health comes from you, your mindset, your self-discipline.

    “Does money give you better health care?”
    Yes, but does it bring you health? No, it doesn’t. It only provides treatments to a poor health, caused by the person who neglected his/her health.
    So even money can provide better health care, it will never solve the root of the problem.

    “Does money buy you longer life-expectancy?”

    Good Life-expectancy= Health & Good mental state.

    Health & Good mental state CANNOT be brought from money.

    If happiness stems from beauty, freedom, health, privilege, and longer life-expectancy,
    Tell me why are there still suicidal or depression cases involving people who are actors, actresses, models, rich and physically fit, and even the elderly(having good life expectancy)?


    Because they are lonely and unhappy, and the factors you mentioned above can’t give them happiness, at all.

    So you think just by hurling a heap of cash on those who are disease-ridden, eating shit food, stuck in worthless jobs, dying early, and alone, will give them happiness??

    If you think it will, think again.

    • Los

      There is really no right or wrong answer in here. Is in you what defines your happiness. sure money always helps and makes thing easier. It will make me happy but is still won’t fill certain voids. does money attrack beautiful partners? Hell yea! And they sure will leave once it runs out. That just mean keep yo’ game tight!!

  • Bee

    If I had a billion dollars + I would go on a make believe quest for immortality.

  • soothu thayoliiii

    poda kanapundaiiiiiiiiii

  • Bidi Biderman
  • Ron

    Society is ironic, Money can not buy the things needed to fulfill the soul. Confusion, chaos only ensues when money is inserted into the equation. Humility and self respect are two most important keys to happiness. Being wealthy is more constrictive without the true keys to happiness. Once again with humility and self respect and respect for others it can be made constructive

  • T L

    I’m not trying to win anything. I agree with everything except the luck part. I don’t believe in luck. I believe in knowledge and skills. Luck is for green horns

  • T L

    Everybody says money won’t make you happy. Frankly I don’t ever recall being sad about making more money