I have spent much of my adult life making other people and other businesses money. And not small amounts of money, either.
In one of my first jobs I took over a department and slashed $550,000 in waste in my first year. In another job I was put in charge of a very small business that had lost more than $10,000 in the previous year and turned a $21,000 profit the year I took over.
I once took over a basketball tournament that had gone bankrupt the year before. My boss told me not to lose $20,000 doing putting the event on. After paying each team a small fee for participating, paying all the officials, paying for the venue and giving away several $1,000 scholarships, the basketball tournament made a few thousand dollars.
I’ve always worked hard to put the businesses I worked for first in my life. I’ve been proud of my work ethic. What I have failed to do all along that time is take care of myself. I’ve made a few dollars here and there. However, I have always been left to scratch out a middle-class living.
Recently my longtime business mentor visited Las Vegas. This is a man who DID make it big. He worked hard, made sure he had ownership/control over the ventures he worked for, sold stuff for a premium price and retired early.
We bonded again over a few hours at a poker table talking about my life in Las Vegas, my current job situation and the stuff I really wanted to do. A few days after he flew back to Kansas City I received this note in the mail.
It read, “Chad, Great to see you. Our time together was great fun. Your abilities are worth a lot. Cover all bases on your decisions ahead. Call if you in town (sic). Your friend, Jay.
It was an unexpected note that I have read at least once a day every day since I received it almost a month ago.
I realized after seven years in Las Vegas I am doing what I have always done — helping make a giant corporation as much money as I can, while not really looking out for myself.
That changes today.
I am tired of putting on a suit and tie daily. I’m tired of being told when I will come to work, when I can go to lunch and when I can go home. To corporations, people are fungible. They are easily replaced. I can say without a doubt that my previous employers didn’t miss me one single day after I left. The business simply replaced me with someone else, perhaps even someone cheaper, and moved on down the road.
Starting today, I am building an empire for me and for my son. I am going to be the CEO of my entire life. I am going to take the risk, because I understand how great the reward can be.
I believe in me.