Rich explains why building a business gave him more control over his destiny.
Control Your Destiny
I started my career thinking that a corporate job would provide both security and financial stability. As I was climbing the corporate ladder at Novell, I was convinced that I would pay off my home and retire with the stock options this burgeoning company offered me. By the time I left, those options were worthless.
I did learn a lot of lessons on someone else’s dime, but I also made a lot of other people rich. One year, I received an end-of-the-year bonus of $10,000. I thought this was a lot of money until I learned that my boss had received a $1-million bonus—off of my work!
I found the same thing to be true with others I knew. One friend opened the Latin American market for his company, growing that market from $0 to $50 million in four short years. His reward? A four percent raise!
I also witnessed, over and over again, that corporations simply have no loyalty to their employees—only to their shareholders. I came to realize that as an employee, the idea of security in companies large and small is a myth! It took several years, but I finally discovered that the best path to taking control of my financial and personal future was to create my own businesses.
Today, no one can lay me off. I receive the direct rewards of my own success. I also get to decide how much risk I want to take. In the past I had to be ready to fly across the country or the world at a moment’s notice. Now I decide when and where I travel. I used to have nine vacation days a year. Now I determine when and where I work.
Do I work any less? Definitely not—in fact, I probably work more. But I control my work instead of having my work control me. As a result, I have the ability to enjoy the more meaningful and important things in my life—and to do it on my terms.
Bootstrapped! goes beyond simply telling a person how to start a business; indeed, it promotes the values of achieving balance, reaching for purposes higher than amassing wealth, and investing time and resources into those parts of a person’s life that matter the most.
That does it for the introduction! We’ll drive straight into Chapter 1: Grit next week!