Why I Turned down $250,000

A few years ago when I was around 30 years old,  I had a job offer with a total annual compensation of $250,000. To some of you, this might not seem like a lot of money but to me, a blue collar kid who grew up poor and never went to college, this was a lot.


I wasn’t looking for a new role and a startup company in the silicon valley called me one day, invited me to their office, took me out for dinner and drinks, and offered me nearly a quarter of a million dollars per year to help them lead and grow customer success for their company.


The position itself was awesome and it would have given me the chance to be one of the top people at a growing startup. The compensation, perks, and team were all great. The company also had strong growth numbers for a startup. It checked all the boxes, so to speak.


But I turned it down.


It wasn’t an easy decision but in the end, I turned it down. What I was doing at the time at my current company was more important than the money being offered to me. I was already at a startup that I joined fairly early and it was important to me to stay with that company and see it through to completion to an IPO or acquisition.


It was also my loyalty to my team at the time and what we were trying to build together that caused me to turn down the offer.  It was in that moment when I realized that I had reached a point in my life where I was searching for something more than money. I was searching for the ability to do something meaningful. Everyone has these moments, we just need to be mindful enough to recognize them for what they are.