I came across an interesting person while doing some research on successful people. Now this is not to suggest you should do this, I mean 99.99% of the people wouldn't do this.
This is a story of Joseph Tsai.
Tsai became a tax associate at Sullivan & Cromwell right after graduation and was admitted in New York on May 6, 1991. After three years at the law firm, he switched to private equity and joined Rosecliff, Inc., a small management buyout firm based in New York, as vice president and general counsel, seeking a role that allowed him to make decisions instead of providing advice. He left for Hong Kong in 1995 to join Investor AB, where he was responsible for its Asian private equity investments.
It was in this role that he first met Jack Ma in 1999 in Hangzhou after being introduced by a friend who was trying to sell his own company to Ma. Tsai was impressed with Ma’s idea to create an international import and export marketplace, as well as his charismatic personality, but it was Ma's followers and their energy and enthusiasm that ultimately convinced Tsai. Later that year he quit the $700,000-a-year job at Investor AB and offered to join Ma as a member of the founding team for almost nothing. At the time each of Alibaba’s 18 co-founders—of which Tsai was the only Western-educated member—accepted a salary of only $600 a year. He served as chief operating officer, chief financial officer, and founding board member. He single-handedly established Alibaba's financial and legal structure, since no other member of the team had any experience in venture capital or law. In May 2013, he became Alibaba's executive vice chairman. Due to his unique contribution, he has become the second-largest individual shareholder of Alibaba, right after Ma.
Joseph is now worth 9.7 billion USD
I was puzzled by this and couldn't explain it. I mean, I don't know what I would have done had I been in Tsai shoes. Then someone explained it to me, they mentioned that people see potential and its for the long-run. Tsai could have always picked up the phone and gone back to work in a similar job but he took that risk because he believed in something. It's more of long-term thinking versus short-term thinking. Its the same thinking that turns a teller into a CEO or alternatively, the teller can remain a teller.
Amar Gandhi, 28