New Zealander Derek Handley’s mobile marketing company, The Hyperfactory, was acquired last year by Meredith Corporation for an undisclosed amount.Last month, he gave a speech at Kea, New Zealand’s global network, about his life as an entrepreneur and explained what he did with the money from the acquisition.
Handley wanted to buy three things, and they weren’t a mansion or a yacht:
1. A trip to Africa
2. A ticket to space
3. A letter Napoleon wrote to his generals
In his speech, he explains his unusual purchases.
“19,392 is apparently the number of days that I have left to live,” Handley starts.
“And although it sounds like a lot, over the last few years I’ve come to realise that it probably takes you a good five years to achieve something meaningful. Turns out that 19,392 is really only 10 of those 5 year blocks. So when you think about having to achieve 10 things and that’s all you’ve got, you’ll be much wiser in how you spend each of those chapters…”
“…When I was 21 and starting out, I was aspiring to be an entrepreneur, because I wanted to build businesses,” Handley says. “I wanted to make a living, I wanted to make a mark, and I really wanted to make money.
“10 years on, after this period I started to see things very differently and I started to see entrepreneurship as one of the greatest assets of society to make the world a potentially better place. As an answer to many of the world’s ills, and as an enabler to much of the world’s opportunity.”
So, 30-year-old Handley took his “FU money” and made his three purchases.
“First, I went to Africa and discovered and learned all about how entrepreneurship and microfinance and microloans were empowering microentrepreneurs to lift themselves out of poverty in the present.
“Second, I bought a ticket to space with Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic [which costs $200,000] because I wanted to see the world from up there as one and be inspired by the future.
“And third, I bought that letter that Napoleon had written to remind myself of the past, and to never give up.”
This is the Napoleon letter Handley bought (he used it as inspiration when The Hyperfactory was on the verge of failure):
We are at a time when you need to double the resolve, and double the vigor of ordinary times. Lead by example. Be the first to put yourself in danger. And with the troops that you have, I expect you to defeat double of theirs.