At 24, I was managing two offices of a growing company, making what they call stupid money. I sat in meetings with top execs, went to high-class parties and had irrelevant discussions with CFOs and CEOs. You know, the conversations you have to have because you need them to invest in your company, and having them in your corner will make you look good. So when you go to an event, everyone all gets in the picture together to help children. When the real reason behind the picture is that the guy to my left needs money from the guy to my right, and if this picture is put in the newspaper, it will look like we all are in for the greater cause. Smile! Everyone say it with me now…Politics!

[Click of the camera]

I was so amazed by how they talked about money as if they didn’t have a dime to their name. There I was, at a charity event with a glass of champagne in my hand, listening to everyone talking about the stock market and their personal investments. Yet this is an organization that is built on helping children in the community. Well, at least that is what we have to tell them. That is when I realized I would rather make less money and have more of an impact on my community or any individual, than make tons of money and not help my community at all.

All I can advise you is know what you want. Had I stayed with the company, I would be making psycho money by now. Money is great, but when it comes with stress and manipulating people so you can show off your Mercedes Benz or Porsche, it’s not quite my forte.