What with the stock market flopping around like a beached guppy, my email and voice mail boxes frequently fill with messages from fully invested friends looking for wisdom in negotiating their financial lives.

Of course, these days it’s less enjoyable to bask in the wealth generated last week, because this week that wealth seems to be disappearing faster than we can come up with ways to spend it.

It should be easier to become rich, shouldn’t it?

Several peers were discussing these new facts of life prior to a neighborhood board meeting recently. It came up that billionaire Mark Cuban, one of the founders of broadcast.com in Deep Ellum, recently told the Dallas Business Journal that more than 300 of his employees had become millionaires after working with him for a few years.

Another guy in the group joined the conversation, confiding that he had met one such newly minted millionaire and hadn’t, shall we say, been blown away by the blinding light.

“Yeah,” sighed yet another, “that could have been us. It should have been us.”

“No,” said a pragmatic member of the group. “It wouldn’t have been us. We don’t have the guts to do it anymore. We don’t have the time or the motivation anymore, either.”

No one wanted to admit it, but he had a point, Time was, a few years back, we would have made the time and found the motivation to stride into the office at 7 a.m., stumble out at midnight, and be happy to do it all over again seven days a week for a couple of years, supremely confident of the ensuing Vegas-size payoff.

Not so anymore. Spouses, kids, jobs, mortgages, obligations – they all have a way of draining courage from even the most budding over-the-hill entrepreneur, leaving a spent lump on the sofa dreaming of things that might have been and days that will never be.

Not that I’m complaining, of course. Who among us non-billionaires would trade the joys we have for those we don’t? Consciously or not, that’s a choice often made by those who enjoy “overnight” success.

I love my wife and my kids and my job and my life. These are my wealth, and they mean the world to me, as they should, and yet the appeal of being an internet billionaire just keeps nagging and nagging and nagging…

It all begs an interesting question, one asked by someone more thoughtful than I: Will the day eventually arrive – when the limelight has become tiring and counting money has become monotonous and a loving family and sincere friends are hard to come by – when an internet billionaire might wish he could trade places with me?