From $250K a year to nothing


In late 2006, the much younger and more naïve 21-year-old version of me graduated from the University of Melbourne. I was full of optimism, elated by hope that the career I was about to embark upon would bring me a deep personal satisfaction in life. Between 24 and 29 years of age, I took home on average about $250,000 per year. In 2016, at 31, I took home exactly zero dollars.

For a lot of people, seeing an annual payment summary like this with their own name on it would probably trigger a rush of adrenaline equivalent to skydiving from ten thousand feet. They’d probably be thinking: “Hey, I’ve done well for myself!”

I remember seeing this and feeling nothing. Not because I thought it wasn’t enough, or because I felt like I didn’t deserve it. I worked tirelessly and endlessly over those years. Fifteen-hour days were the norm. Six days a week was usual. No, it wasn’t any of that. It was because I felt like I had sold out my own personal beliefs. To understand this more, I need to tell you a bit more about me, where I came from and what I believe in.

Education was everything

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