From the very moment I began working as a lawyer, I continued to get raises, one after another. My first raise was very memorable. I was making a base of $65,000 a year, and we had just successfully defended against the FTC what would have otherwise been a fatal blow. I did most of the legal grunt work, as young lawyers do, and our outside counsel finessed it a bit. But if it was not for the hard work and effort I put in, we would have lost, without a doubt. The secretary of one of the company owners came into my office and told me I was getting a big raise because of my hard work and dedication.
She seemed so happy for me and had a big smile on her face. I was so excited. I knew that people at the top of this company made great money. They increased my pay to $85,000 a year in less than a couple months. It was such an amazing feeling. My small efforts on the level I was at gave me an almost 40 percent increase in pay.
Now, as I discussed earlier, once I realized how messed up that company was and how much the rest of the company was depending on me, I felt an obligation to my fellow employees to keep the boat afloat as long as I could.
And even as totally screwed up as my employers were at the time, I still felt a tremendous obligation to them—to make them look better—to make them weather the storm and prosper as much as I could for as long as I could. And that's what made me successful there.
Now, I have always had a ...