Theory Of A Thousand

Sunday May 27th, 2012 – Fox Lake, IL

   I’ve never been a fan of anything mathematical, but for whatever reason I’ve been crunching a bunch of numbers in my head of late and it’s been captivating me. I’m trying to figure out a hard number of how much I’d need to be financially secure for the rest of my life – assuming I’m able to live to a ‘normal’ age. So far, nothing in my life has been normal, but I’ll assume it anyway.

I’ll even take it ten years farther than the normal life span according to the Bible of ‘three score and ten’, or 70 years. I’ll start figuring from 80, even though I find it hard to picture myself being that old. Then again, I never thought I’d make 49 – which I’m going to painfully round off to 50.

Basically, I’m looking to survive comfortably for another 30 years. My standards are as low as dream standards get, but I don’t need all that much to live quite nicely at this stage. I’m way past the point of needing a mansion and a fleet of Jay Leno or Jerry Seinfeld expensive cars. I’m not a material guy, even though I often joke about what I’d do with wealth. I really want the security.

There’s nothing wrong with anyone going ape if they can, but I’m just past that point in what’s important to me. I’d get as big as or maybe even bigger of a kick out of doing for others than I’d ever be able to squeeze out of buying anything for myself. I just need my things to be functional.

I’d be totally fine with renting a livable apartment space for the rest of my life. I have no desire to be a homeowner ever again, as the year or so I experienced it was constant misery. If that isn’t smart business, so be it. I’d rather call my landlord when the toilet gets plugged than a plumber.

I don’t even need a brand new car either. Just something that runs and starts will be fine. I’d be happy with that, and as I get older the last thing I’m going to do is buy a hot car trying to impress women. I’ve watched way too many worn out weenies waste wads on a Corvette. It won’t be me.

The numbers that intrigue me the most are those of potential fans. The American population is now right around 314 million. Canada is close to 35 million. Australia is roughly 23 million and The United Kingdom checks in at about 62 million. All totaled, that’s 434 million who allegedly speak English as their first language. I won’t even count anyone else who speaks it secondarily.

Now, I’ll knock a quick 34 million off the total and make it a nice round 400 million. If I could squeeze $20 out of just one tenth of one percent of them either for a live performance, CD, DVD, t-shirt, book or other trinket it would add up to 400,000 customers and $8 million in my pocket.

I’ll make it even simpler than that. I’d be thrilled if I could pack 1000 people in a venue for one show a night – every night for a whole year. That’s 365,000 total, and I’ll slice the ticket prices in half to $10. That way, they may be more likely to buy a DVD, CD, t-shirt or book. I may be able to squeeze $30 or $40 out of a large percentage, but I’ll keep it at $10 each. It’s still $3,650,000.

Cut taxes and expenses out of that and I’ll leave myself with half – $1,825,000. I’d put away $1 million immediately and be left with $825,000. Divided by 30 years, that’s $27,500 a year. I can squeak by on that, and would be grateful to get it. This all looks great on paper, but I’d be blown away if I could draw 1000 people ONCE. I better work on that first. No wonder I stink at math.

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