He was a mid-level manager who paid his dues working at various blue-chip companies. Because his reputation was sterling, my friend called him in for an interview at his company – a young start-up with a potentially huge upside.
Everyone liked the manager. He was given the standard offer: A significant pay cut with a nice slice of equity. He would earn less but be a part owner in the company.
“I talked it over with my wife. We can’t afford to take a 20% pay cut. It’s too risky.”
My friend begged him to reconsider. “You will fit in well at the company. The stock offer is generous. It’s a chance for you to potentially get rich.”
“My wife said we can’t swing it.”
Everyone was sorry to hear the manager’s answer.
Three months later, the stock split. This wasn’t a total surprise, as the stock had split twice before. The company brutalized its employees. But employees were true owners. To get paid as an owner you had better be prepared to work like one.
The manager’s shares had quadrupled in value. At last check, his shares would have been worth $1,044,450.
Thirty-five years old. One-million dollars. Cash. Money in the bank.
The manger could blame his wife, the wind, or his God. He could tell himself that the grapes on the highest branches are the least sweet.
While he sings himself childish lullabies to help him sleep at night, others are deciding where to take their next vacation. Many are taking permanent vacations, retiring from work or taking on easier jobs with lower salaries and collecting yield.
In this lifetime, a man gets one or two chances to make a big move.
You’ll know it’s time to make your move when the decision hurts.
If the manager had left his stable job, he’d have taken a pay cut. He’d have to had cut costs substantially. His wife would have nagged him. Whenever they couldn’t pay a bill or eat out or pay for a babysitter, she’d have reminded him how much more money he’d have made at his old job.
If he had been willing to endure the pain of yesterday, today he’d be rich.
When it’s time, make your move.
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