Chapter 9Give 5 Percent More to the People You Work With

When I was first hired as a lawyer for the company I was working for while in law school, it was my dream job, but it didn't stop me from not just dreaming about but shooting for the moon when it came to my starting salary. I asked for $98,000 a year, which was not completely unreasonable considering the market and where we were geographically located but it was definitely a stretch. It was 2004 and the economy was strong, but the competition was fierce. They ultimately hired me at a starting salary of $65,000 a year.

I was ecstatic to not only get hired but to be getting paid a decent salary. But I quickly discovered that it was not what they were giving me that made me a success, rather it was what I was able to give them. They needed me a whole lot more than I realized. In fact, had I known just how much I probably would have asked for even more than I did!

Before I got hired I knew that the company had some legal challenges, but it was much worse than I had thought. Literally the day I started in 2004, the company was sued by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC was alleging that the company and its owners were basically criminal charlatans deceiving the American public. The FTC moved to freeze all of the company's assets and force the company into a receivership. They were basically moving to put the company out of business.

As a young lawyer I was petrified! I didn't even have my actual bar card, which is ...

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