I figured I'd get this one out the way early in the week, because it's likely going to piss a few people off and they'll give me a bunch of crap and then we can all move on. This post is written with the people already working on the Street in mind, but it applies to prospective monkeys as well. This is a post about recognizing your unique position and the opportunity you have in life.
You are working on Wall Street. I'm using the term not as a specific location, but as an industry. In other words, you make your living in high finance. You could have done any number of other things, but you chose this. And, more importantly, this chose you. You made the cut where hundreds, perhaps thousands, failed in their own attempts. By virtue of what you do for a living, you are probably in the top 1% of earners in your age bracket. And I used to be one of you.
I visited Hell last week.
I'm 42 years old, married, and I've got two kids. And last week I found myself (with my wife and two kids, and two friends of ours) waking up at the crack of Christ to drive an hour outside of town to some ghetto airport so we could be herded like cattle among the lowest possible class of traveler to board a RyanAir flight to Dublin.
As I stood in the crush of humanity jostling for position to board an aircraft with no assigned seating, seats that don't recline, and flight attendants whose only purpose in life is to sell you shit, I wondered where my life took a hard left.
If you take your career seriously (I did not) and you maximize the opportunity you have in front of you (I did not), then there's no way you'd be able to bring yourself to travel among the unwashed peasantry in your early 40's. And you damn sure wouldn't subject your family to it.
You can charter a private jet anywhere in the world for $4,680 an hour. Think about that. Dublin is just over an hour from Paris. So that breaks down to about $800 per person ($1,600 round trip, obviously). None of the aggravation of waking up early and driving an hour, because I'd have left whenever I wanted to and had a limo take us to the private airport just outside the city. No security bullshit - you pull right up to the plane. No rubbing elbows with the poor.
By virtue of the fact that you are in this business, you have the opportunity to live like no one else can. Why should you have to deal with the aggravation of commercial flight when you can fly private? Why should you deal with your kids' incessant complaining when you can pay a nanny to do it for you? Why would you spend your valuable downtime doing house or yard work when you can pay any number of servants to do it for you?
We are not in this for the dental plan. You can tell yourself anything you want about why you do what you do, but the bottom line is that you do it for the money. Why not charge at that and just make piles of it?
I left the Street when I thought I had enough. And I was right, for the most part. But now it's harder for me to justify $116,000 for a 25-hour Marquis Jet card. And that's just wrong.
Don't be that guy.
And that guy, in this particular case, is me.