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THE INC. LIFE

Jeff Bezos Spending $1.7 Million is Like the Average Person Spending $1 (and More Fun Facts About the Amazon Founder)

As well as some perspective on the power — both in financial and personal rewards — of entrepreneurship.

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BY Jeff Haden - 13 Sep 2018

Jeff Bezos Spending $1.7 Million is Like the Average Person Spending $1 (and More Fun Facts About the Amazon Founder)

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Ever wondered what it's like to be not just rich... but Jeff Bezos rich?

Maybe you haven't since, as Epictetus said, "Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants."

Epictetus was right. But still. Even though we all should define success differently, most people factor wealth, at least to some degree, into their success equation.

So just for fun, here are some fun facts that will put Jeff Bezos' wealth into perspective -- as well as the power of entrepreneurship.

1. When Bezos spends $1.7 million, that's like the average American spending $1.

Bezos is currently worth approximately $163 billion. (He owns 16% of all Amazon stock -- making him the single largest shareholder -- so even minor changes in stock price dramatically affect his net worth.)

The U.S. median net worth is $97,300. Divide $163 billion by $97,300 and... yep: $1 to the average American is $1.675 million to Bezos.

Which means...

2. He paid, in Bezos dollars, $149 to buy the Washington Post.

Bezos bought the Washington Post in 2013 for $250 million. While there's no way to truly assess recent financial results, additional investments in technology and staffing to expand the WP digital platform has greatly increased readership and reach.

And even if the purchase doesn't pay off... hey, he only wasted $149 in Bezos money.

3. That's not his only smart investment.

Bezos invested $1 million in Google in 1998. Based on appreciation in Google stock, that investment alone would be worth around $1 billion today.

And speaking of investments...

4. Bezos's parents invested $245,573 in Amazon in 1995. Today that could be worth approximately $30 billion.

Initially skeptical about their son leaving his Wall Street job to start an online bookstore, Bezos' parents took the plunge -- even though, as Brad Stone writes in The Everything Store, he told them there was a 70 percent chance they would never see that money again.

Now that investment is worth billions. (And Jackie and Mike Bezos run the Bezos Family Foundation.)

5. Since the Amazon IPO, the company's stock price has increased 97,000 percent.

Yep. 97,000 percent.

Too bad you and I didn't get in on the ground floor.

Or even in February 2016, when the stock price was a relative bargain at $507 per share; 2.5 years later a $1,000 investment would be worth nearly $4,000.

(Making that yet another boat I've missed.)

And Here's the Point

If building sizable wealth is your goal, the only way to get rich is to start your own business. (The basics of starting a business are easy; you can do it in one day.)

Why? In return for less freedom, less control, and less fulfillment, every day you go to work for someone else... your upside is always capped. Entrepreneurs enjoy the possibility of an unlimited financial upside.

That's why you should take a chance on yourself. Even if it's a side business. Or a side hustle. And if you don't understand how personally fulfilling taking a chance on yourself can be, check this out.

And don't say that you're too old to start a business -- in general terms, a 50-year-old entrepreneur is almost twice as likely to start an extremely successful company as a 30-year-old.

Then get started on your entrepreneurial journey, even in the smallest and safest way.

Becoming an entrepreneur is the best investment you can make -- because it means you're investing in yourself.

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