6 Refreshing Stories of People Who Gave Away 1 Million Dollars

3 Online Entrepreneurs Who Passed On $1 Million Dollars

I consume a lot of content on the internet and through many mediums (books, audiobooks, etc.). Because of how much I consume, you tend to find very weird similarities or quirks between successful people sometimes. Today, I want to share with you three individuals, who probably don’t know of eachother, who passed on an $1 million dollar offer.

1. Jerome Jarre.


He’s a Vine star with over 7.5 million Vine followers. He has successfully translated that into an empire on other social media, with millions following him on Instagram, Youtube, and Snapchat. He co-founded an internet marketing agency with investor and entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk. Their clients include some of the top Vine influencers in the world. Jerome was recently offered a $1 million dollar contract with a top New York advertising agency. He turned it down. He explains why in this short video that details his whole story. It is very touching and illustrates some great points I talk about in my own Youtube videos and on this blog. You can achieve happiness without bundles of cash or materialistic things. Sometimes, it is not worth compromising your freedom, fun, or time on this earth for things like money.


Please check out my Youtube playlist where I dive into the depths of happiness and the hundreds of scientific studies done on it. The truth is that we know more than enough on happiness and what it takes to achieve it. The problem is that no one bothers to read the information on what is actually important and modern society tricks us with things we think we need: hot women, fancy cars, fame, and money. I have read numerous books on happiness to help myself. The best one I found, which I recommend to everyone is The How of Happiness.

You can check out the details on it here and buy it on Amazon.

It is incredible. It goes into all the science behind it but still keeps it very reader friendly. It goes extensively into detail on all the things you can do without becoming too long or boring.

2. Marie Forleo

Marie Forleo

Marie had a revenue stream of $1 million dollars through two programs: an annual conference and a yearlong mentorship program specializing in adventure and travel called Adventure Mastermind. It was a very tough decision but her heart was not in it no longer and she wanted to do new projects. She stepped away from the money, a decision many people fail to make. Many people thought she was crazy but she kept to her decision even though a lot of people wanted the service.

One thing she says is that, “If people are saying you are wearing crazy pants, you are wearing the right pants.” I don’t know if I would go THAT far, but I think she has the right idea.

I heard a recent story of a man who makes $1 million dollars a DAY. Not a year. A Day. He hates his industry and doesn’t believe in the product he sells. He says he wakes up angry and bitter every day. However, he cannot quit his business. Although he has made a lot of money, he won’t quit because he can’t leave the money he would be making. That’s not what I want. I would definitely step away from that but it’s a tough decision to make and some people are too comfortable.

The billionaire Sara Blakely behind Spanx says that her father taught her to always fail. He would ask her at dinner every night what she failed at and then cheer for her. It wired her to look in failure in a different way.
Tweet: “If you’re not failing, you’re not trying.” @WillYouLaugh

3. Joel Brown from addicted2success.com


Joel’s website is a blog about achieving maximum success in your business and life. He was offered many buy outs from people to purchase his Success blog. They kept rising in price until he got a million dollar offer. Ultimately, he chose not to do it because his creation was “his baby.” He had spent years crafting it. Joel runs a podcast on his site and I have listened to most of them. He has successful people on his podcast and I remember one thing that was said in an interview that relates to this a lot. One man was a successful non-profit entrepreneur and has sold his company for millions. He said he regretted his decision because he also sold his passion. He couldn’t get the same feeling of fulfillment he got from working with people worse off than him and working directly. He said nowadays he simply donates his own money to charities but the feeling is not the same. It is a great lesson and warning to future entrepreneurs.

4. Sylvester Stallone

I want to throw in another one for you. This man is Sylvestor Stallone. He is a well-known actor behind some of the best films ever released like Rambo, the Expendables series, and the Rocky series. Mr. Stallone was once dirt poor. He was homeless and eventually got so good at being able to survive with close to no money that he almost made it into a science. He was rejected from tons of auditions but one day he decided to turn around after a rejection and tell the man that he also wrote scripts. That one decision changed his whole life. This is a great life lesson: sometimes, you have to offer and let people know about things they don’t know you can do. Even if they didn’t ask for it.

Mr. Stallone spent hours everyday writing scripts. He said it started off horrible. His scripts were trash. But he said the key is to keep practicing every day and you get better and better. Too many people quit if they start off bad but the thing is most people start of sucking at something. You just have to keep going.

Now here’s where it gets interesting and relevant. Sylvestor eventually writes the script for Rocky and gets an offer in the tens of thousands of dollars for the script. He turns it down but gets increasingly higher and higher offers. Eventually, the highest was in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Now, you have to remember he was still homeless at the time. These were tough decisions. Eventually, he turns down all the offers because he knew he would regret it for his whole life if he wasn’t a direct part of the movie and playing in the movie. He chose to fully express and follow through with the work of art he created and it ended up doing well for him in his heart AND financially.

5. Vin Diesel

Vin Diesel is a world-famous actor behind many awesome films like the Fast and Furious series and one of my favorite series, The Chronicles of Riddick.

He turned down millions of dollars to be in a Fast and Furious movie to prioritize a film he was currently more deeply passionate about, The Chronicles of Riddick, for a pittance. Although that film series did not make as much as Fast and Furious, it is one of my favorite films (not the latest one. The first one).

That’s all the stories I know of. If you have any others of successful individuals who have passed up on big offers, please leave the stories in the comments below.

If you’re a helpful person, don’t forget to share this story with someone you think would enjoy this stuff!

6. Neil Patel

Neil is an online entrepreneur behind companies such as Quicksprout, Crazy Egg, and Kissmetrics.
Here’s a story of how Neil wasted a million dollars in a new idea:

I learned from this story that hiring the wrong people who aren’t scrappy, don’t ship, and spend more than necessary will lead to failure.
Neil also didn’t pay attention to advice from others around him.


Money is important but it is not everything.
There are factors that can be more important, like passion for your work, purpose, or happiness.

But when you’re placed in situations that tempt your greed, it can take a lot of courage to make the right decision and pass on lots of money.

Would you make the same decision if you were in these situations? Let me know in the comments below.

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By Will Chou

I am the the founder of this site and I am grateful you are here to be part of this awesome community. I help hard-working Asian American Millennials get rich doing work they love.

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