Best of Both Worlds
Even though I had my own business in college, in the world of finance, it’s difficult to start out without a larger organization. Here I was, barely drinking age, expecting people to trust me with their money. I realized I needed some kind of big company to add credibility, so I interviewed with all the big investment firms looking for a career in financial planning. Ultimately, I picked a company that I had some familiarity with—the one my uncle worked for. He said, “If you’re going to go to one of these firms, you might as well come here. I can tell you these are good people.” My uncle also told me something else—that I was on my own and there was no talk of a partnership with him. I had to go out and find my own clients, but at least I had the credibility of a well-known investment firm on my business cards, a nice cubicle, and some great teachers. Over the years, I’ve found the best of both worlds.
No matter where you are in your career and regardless of your financial health, you can find more control over your job and add to your sense of security. One of the important things is to avoid living paycheck to paycheck with no cushion—which is how most Americans live. This is the root of all stagnation. If you’re truly living paycheck to paycheck and in debt, it’s difficult to take any career risks. If you’re in that position, work at being your own cushion. In Chapter 4, “Sell from the Heart,” you’ll meet Buddy Newell, who got through his hard times by working a couple jobs and a huge amount of hours; in the end, though, he found a career that provided financial security. It may take time, but everyone can find more financial and career security.
The key is the entrepreneurial mindset; it’s the road to the best of both worlds. The entrepreneurial mindset is one of leadership, ambition, and drive—it works when you have your own company, and it works when you’re an employee within someone else’s company. The entrepreneurial mindset is like the law of gravity: It works wherever you are—whether you have your own business or a job. The entrepreneurial mindset works wherever you go.
The more of these qualities you have, the more your company will look at you as a partner than just an employee, which is the key to freedom and earning power.