To most this would probably seem like a strange question. If you asked 1,000 people they’d probably say something like the following:
“I don’t have a $100,000 to give away! “
“How can I change the world?”
Well this past weekend, in Portland, Oregon I had a chance to witness this very question first hand! On the final day of attending Chris Guillebeau’s second annual World Domination Summit, standing on stage in front of 1,000+ people, Chris asked himself this very question.
After J.D. Roth gave the final keynote presentation in the Newmark Theater, and after Chris Guillebeau took the stage and thanked his small army of “ambassadors” who had all volunteered their time to make the event a success, he told a story. His story was the following parable paraphrased below.
“A king is going on a trip so he calls together three servants. He tells the servants he’s giving them each $100 to use wisely. The first man spends his $100 on food and entertainment and when the king returns later, he has nothing to show for it. The second man saves his $100 under the mattress of his bed, so when the king returns he has the original $100 still. The third man invests his $100 and manages to grow his money immensely. When the king returns from his trip, the third servant shows him what he has built. The king is very impressed and rewards the man even further!”
So what does all of this have to do with the question I initially asked you might be thinking? Well, while on stage Chris talked about how the World Domination Summit had managed to bring in a small profit this year after covering all its expenses. So what to do with this money? Well after discussing some options, and mentioning an anonymous donor, Chris announced that he was giving each and every one of the 1,000+ paid attendees at the summit an envelope with a crisp $100 bill tucked inside to do with as they wished! That’s right… he was giving away $100,000!!! To say we were all in shock would be an understatement! Some people cried. Everyone in the theater stood up and applauded! This was one of the most selfless but also inspirational acts I think I’ve ever witnessed.
However, this $100 came with a condition. His charge to each of the attendees was this…
GO OUT AND CHANGE THE WORLD!!!
That’s right! Each of us in attendance was to go out and try to make the world a little better than they found it. Whether that involved starting a business such as is described in his new book, “The $100 Startup”. We could donate the money to charity. On Day 1 of WDS, Scott Harrison of Charity: Water spoke about the wonderful work they are doing to bring clean water to some of the poorest countries in the world. We could pay down debt. We could use it to travel. Each of us was now $100 richer to try and use wisely.
What Do I Do With $100?
So as I left the theater, with that envelope in my hand, several possibilities ran through my mind. What should I do with my $100? To be honest I still don’t know yet. Some of the things I’ve thought about included:
- Donate the money to charity such as Charity: Water, Wounded Warrior Project, American Cancer Society or some other worthwhile organization?
- Use it to start a business. I’ve been considering starting an online business for some time and I could buy a domain name, and get a business started?
- Put it towards future travel funds to go out and see the world?
- Put it towards registering for World Domination Summit 2013? (I registered for this anyway for myself and my girlfriend for next year!)
One thing I did learn that day was that generosity knows no limits. There is no age limit for changing the world! Anyone can launch a project or start a business or do something to help themselves and help others leave the world a little better off than we found it!
So ask yourself this…
What would you do with $100 to Change the World?
– Please let me know and spread this around! I’d love to hear what you would do!