Dear lottery winner: Make a plan, work the plan

David MoonBlog

Some advice for the winner of last week’s $259 million jackpot:

You, Inc. is now a quarter-of-a-billion-dollar business, so act like it. Make a plan.

Then work the plan.

Decide where you want to be 20 years from now. Work backwards from there. If you were at that place today, what would you have been doing ten years ago? Then look back another ten years. What would you have been doing then?

That’s what you should be doing now.

When you identify your long-term goals, set aside specific buckets of money and other assets to fund each goal.

Take a nice vacation, but don’t quit work – at least not for a year. Your coworkers know the real you. They will keep your ego in check until you develop a more advanced crap detector.

Buy a car and pay off all of your debt. If you’re a guy, get a massive TV and declare yourself lord of the remote. If you’re a woman, get that shoe thing out of your system.

That is enough splurging for year one.

Create a realistic budget and do not deviate from it.

Do not hire a lawyer, accountant and investment adviser from the same firm.

Do not hire anyone you cannot fire.

Find a therapist. You probably always needed one, but you are going to really need one now. Your ability to manage your emotions creates a ceiling on your ability to manage your money.

Besides you can afford it.

If your crazy cousin was a failure at everything he’s tried in the past ten years, using some of your money to try something else won’t change his outcome. Say no to him.

Develop a network of other mega-jackpot winners. Find people who have been in circumstances similar to yours and succeeded in ways you want to succeed. Learn from them. Copy their best decisions.

Don’t buy any more lottery tickets. You do not have a magic system; you got lucky. Whenever you’re tempted to buy a Jumbo Bucks card, anonymously pay for the gas being pumped into the oldest car at the convenience store.

Give. The happiest people are givers. But have a plan. You can give a little to every cause that asks, or you can choose a smaller group of organizations and make a huge difference in their work.

Give of your time, not just money. Even with all of that money, your time is still your most valuable asset.

Count your pennies. Always.

Take the lump sum, but don’t make any investments for a year. Your house is not an investment, so it’s okay to get a new one if yours is a dump. One.

If you’re the big lottery winner, consider following these simple suggestions. They will help you keep your money by keeping it in balance with the rest of your life.

And if you didn’t win the lottery, you should still consider following these steps. They work for anyone.