Thinking of leaving the business

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Chris Hansen's picture
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Joined: 2007-07-22

I've been in the business for about a year and a half. I've gathered just under 13 mill. I'm steadily prospecting everyday and have been up to this point. Like many of you, people have been hanging up on me my whole (brief) career, either before I said the name of my firm, or shortly after I presented my product.
While this doesn't offend me, I asked myself a question the other day that I could not answer. The question was - Why do I put up with this garbage? Of course I'm trying to make money, but I'm also providing a valuable service. Why are people so apathetic to guys like us? Why do we put up with it? Then I began thinking...
I'm fairly young, I'm very confident in my understanding of the markets - why do I try to help those who won't let themselves be helped? My current thinking is to leave the business and either earn my CPA designation (probably) or apply for law school.
The point is that I believe I can earn as much, if not more and deal with a different, more palatable form of b.s. as opposed to the ignorance we encounter from people to stupid to realize they are trying to be helped. Plus, I'll never need a broker because I'll handle my own portfolio.
Finally, with my existing book, I have a good friend that is a broker with another firm that I'd recommend my clients move to. After all the money I spent on newspaper ads, mailers, seminars, etc - I'm not going to just let my firm keep these accounts :D.
The one item that is holding me back from proceeding is the prospect of having to pay the firm something to the tune of 100K. I'm sure that can be arbitrated down, but that is a major issue at this point.
Any thoughts?

BankFC's picture
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Joined: 2005-05-27

I have never heard of a firm enforcing training costs on someone who leaves the business altogether (i.e. to go to law school).  If you left and went down the street to a competitor and immediately started soliciting your clients, then you might get into an issue, but that's not what you'd be doing.

troll's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-29

You should join a bank.  I hear these guys make some serious coin and don't have to do any prospecting.  Cool huh!

Chris Hansen's picture
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Joined: 2007-07-22

Ferris Bueller wrote:You should join a bank.  I hear these guys make some serious coin and don't have to do any prospecting.  Cool huh!
Thats the word on the street!!!111
When I was in college I worked at a bank and F-me if I ever work in one again...

troll's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-29

Yeah, "Life is pain, princess. Anyone who tells you any different is selling something."
Go do something else and put up with a pain in a different part of the posterior. In the end, pain is pain. It's something we put ourselfs through to achieve the goa at the other side.
You gotta die of something, it might as well be something you like.
Figure out what it is that you love to do, then figure out how to survive by doing it. If you really love doing it, then you'll either hit your stride and thrive doing it or you'll never strie doing it but you'll be happy all your life.
I know lots of people who looked at teaching and said "Now there's the raquet, work half days and have the summers off,two weeks off for Christmas and a week at Easter, not to mention all the Jewish holidays too, and retire at 60 with a fat rat pension!" but they forgot one little thing (actually between 20 and 35 little things) they have to teach these kids something. Very few went on to remain teachers.
Me I love what I do. I love to argue and then find out if I'm right or wrong. There is no other profession in the world that gives you that opportunity the way this business does!
If you're just in this business for the money, you'll have a hollow existence (albeit it one that is semi rewarding). But you can do just as well being a plumber.
Good luck on your journey. I hope you decide that you're doing this because you enjoy doing the investing enough to work through the drudgery of people hanging up on you. That will eventually pass, or at least become a much smaller part of your day. 

bornagainbankr's picture
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Joined: 2007-07-16

Chris Hansen wrote:
I've been in the business for about a year and a half. I've gathered just under 13 mill. I'm steadily prospecting everyday and have been up to this point. Like many of you, people have been hanging up on me my whole (brief) career, either before I said the name of my firm, or shortly after I presented my product.
While this doesn't offend me, I asked myself a question the other day that I could not answer. The question was - Why do I put up with this garbage? Of course I'm trying to make money, but I'm also providing a valuable service. Why are people so apathetic to guys like us? Why do we put up with it? Then I began thinking...
I'm fairly young, I'm very confident in my understanding of the markets - why do I try to help those who won't let themselves be helped? My current thinking is to leave the business and either earn my CPA designation (probably) or apply for law school.
The point is that I believe I can earn as much, if not more and deal with a different, more palatable form of b.s. as opposed to the ignorance we encounter from people to stupid to realize they are trying to be helped. Plus, I'll never need a broker because I'll handle my own portfolio.
Finally, with my existing book, I have a good friend that is a broker with another firm that I'd recommend my clients move to. After all the money I spent on newspaper ads, mailers, seminars, etc - I'm not going to just let my firm keep these accounts :D.
The one item that is holding me back from proceeding is the prospect of having to pay the firm something to the tune of 100K. I'm sure that can be arbitrated down, but that is a major issue at this point.
Any thoughts?

As a CPA you'll make 50K and work 60 hours a week, and as a lawyer you'll make 100K and work 100 hours a week.  Or you can shut up, keep busting your ars for 5 years, make 200K and work 30 hours per week.  You choose.

troll's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-29

ourselfs... yeesh

troll's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-29

I think BankFC is right, nobody will come after you if you are leaving the business. Except for one thing - if you actively work to have your clients move to your friend at another firm, it will probably in some way, get back to your current firm. And then they would probably go after you, IMHO.
But you've got to be kidding. consider this:....why are you taking these idiots so personally when they hang up on you? They are idiots, and you should accept that fact. The reality is you have to talk to 50 idiots to find one person smart enough to understand your value proposition. If you are being totally honest, and you've really brought in $13MM in a year and a half, then you are doing really well. And if thats the case, then you are on your way to building not just a great business, but a great life for yourself. I dont think anybody (in the real world) lives as good a life as an established Broker/Advisor, especially considering that after a certain period of time, you CHOOSE how hard you want to work. AND, you can take a big-ass check, open your own shop, or do whatever you want to do.
THAT IS WHY YOU ARE TAKING THIS CRAP FROM THESE IDIOTS. And its temporary. Think about it. If you have really gathered that much assets, in that short a period of time, think long and hard before walking. Do you think its easy getting clients as a CPA? They all go to the same sh*tty networking events that I do, for the same reason as I do, and the only way they make partner is to bring in business. No different than us.
As a broker, keep up your current pace, and in 2 more years you have a book of $40MM in assets, and you wont be calling idiots, you;ll be taking clients and their referral friends to dinner.
Remember, the grass is always greener dude, so think long and hard before walking away from a great start to the best career in the world.
 

Chris Hansen's picture
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Joined: 2007-07-22

bornagainbankr wrote:
As a CPA you'll make 50K and work 60 hours a week, and as a lawyer you'll make 100K and work 100 hours a week.  Or you can shut up, keep busting your ars for 5 years, make 200K and work 30 hours per week.  You choose.

BTW - my previous post wasn't meant to disrespect bank FA's. The bank enviroment isn't for me though.
Anyhow back to your excellent point. When you put it that way, its a no brainer, but we both know those numbers (at least where I'm from) are not accurate. In addition, those are only portion of the variables involved but a great point nonetheless.
thanks

noggin's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-30

pratoman wrote:
I think BankFC is right, nobody will come after you if you are leaving the business. Except for one thing - if you actively work to have your clients move to your friend at another firm, it will probably in some way, get back to your current firm. And then they would probably go after you, IMHO.
But you've got to be kidding. consider this:....why are you taking these idiots so personally when they hang up on you? They are idiots, and you should accept that fact. The reality is you have to talk to 50 idiots to find one person smart enough to understand your value proposition. If you are being totally honest, and you've really brought in $13MM in a year and a half, then you are doing really well. And if thats the case, then you are on your way to building not just a great business, but a great life for yourself. I dont think anybody (in the real world) lives as good a life as an established Broker/Advisor, especially considering that after a certain period of time, you CHOOSE how hard you want to work. AND, you can take a big-ass check, open your own shop, or do whatever you want to do.
THAT IS WHY YOU ARE TAKING THIS CRAP FROM THESE IDIOTS. And its temporary. Think about it. If you have really gathered that much assets, in that short a period of time, think long and hard before walking. Do you think its easy getting clients as a CPA? They all go to the same sh*tty networking events that I do, for the same reason as I do, and the only way they make partner is to bring in business. No different than us.
As a broker, keep up your current pace, and in 2 more years you have a book of $40MM in assets, and you wont be calling idiots, you;ll be taking clients and their referral friends to dinner.
Remember, the grass is always greener dude, so think long and hard before walking away from a great start to the best career in the world.
 

Pratoman gave you some excellent advice... Good luck to you in whatever you choose to do.

Dust Bunny's picture
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Joined: 2007-05-07

As a broker, keep up your current pace, and in 2 more years you have a book of $40MM in assets, and you wont be calling idiots, you;ll be taking clients and their referral friends to dinner
Absolutely.   Weed out the S.T.T.H.  prospects.  Too stupid to help.  This can include some of larger dollar targets that 'look' attractive but will eat up your life and soul.   Back away from the greed....... put down the idiots.  You'll feel better for it.   Trust me.   Weed the garden, put on your hip boots to go through the muck... it IS worth it in the end.
Best of luck

troll's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-29

Dust Bunny wrote:
As a broker, keep up your current pace, and in 2 more years you have a book of $40MM in assets, and you wont be calling idiots, you;ll be taking clients and their referral friends to dinner
Absolutely.   Weed out the S.T.T.H.  prospects.  Too stupid to help.  This can include some of larger dollar targets that 'look' attractive but will eat up your life and soul.   Back away from the greed....... put down the idiots.  You'll feel better for it.   Trust me.   Weed the garden, put on your hip boots to go through the muck... it IS worth it in the end.
Best of luck

You spelled "T.S.T.H." wrong. Does this make you "S"?

scrim67's picture
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Joined: 2005-04-28

pratoman wrote:
I think BankFC is right, nobody will come after you if you are leaving the business. Except for one thing - if you actively work to have your clients move to your friend at another firm, it will probably in some way, get back to your current firm. And then they would probably go after you, IMHO.
But you've got to be kidding. consider this:....why are you taking these idiots so personally when they hang up on you? They are idiots, and you should accept that fact. The reality is you have to talk to 50 idiots to find one person smart enough to understand your value proposition. If you are being totally honest, and you've really brought in $13MM in a year and a half, then you are doing really well. And if thats the case, then you are on your way to building not just a great business, but a great life for yourself. I dont think anybody (in the real world) lives as good a life as an established Broker/Advisor, especially considering that after a certain period of time, you CHOOSE how hard you want to work. AND, you can take a big-ass check, open your own shop, or do whatever you want to do.
THAT IS WHY YOU ARE TAKING THIS CRAP FROM THESE IDIOTS. And its temporary. Think about it. If you have really gathered that much assets, in that short a period of time, think long and hard before walking. Do you think its easy getting clients as a CPA? They all go to the same sh*tty networking events that I do, for the same reason as I do, and the only way they make partner is to bring in business. No different than us.
As a broker, keep up your current pace, and in 2 more years you have a book of $40MM in assets, and you wont be calling idiots, you;ll be taking clients and their referral friends to dinner.
Remember, the grass is always greener dude, so think long and hard before walking away from a great start to the best career in the world.
 
I'm in year 3 and well on my way to 40M in assets after year 5.   I"m about 2/3 of the way there right now.
I have never taken a client to dinner or had any client appreciation events.
Are they truly worth the time and expense?
Thanks in advance for any valuable feedback.
scrim

Dust Bunny's picture
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Joined: 2007-05-07

Bobby Hull wrote:Dust Bunny wrote:
As a broker, keep up your current pace, and in 2 more years you have a book of $40MM in assets, and you wont be calling idiots, you;ll be taking clients and their referral friends to dinner
Absolutely.   Weed out the S.T.T.H.  prospects.  Too stupid to help.  This can include some of larger dollar targets that 'look' attractive but will eat up your life and soul.   Back away from the greed....... put down the idiots.  You'll feel better for it.   Trust me.   Weed the garden, put on your hip boots to go through the muck... it IS worth it in the end.
Best of luck

You spelled "T.S.T.H." wrong. Does this make you "S"?

  Yep ...by default   Also makes me TDTT..   too drunk to type.    I  admit to being 'S' ...tupidoid

troll's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-29

Dust Bunny wrote:Bobby Hull wrote:Dust Bunny wrote:
As a broker, keep up your current pace, and in 2 more years you have a book of $40MM in assets, and you wont be calling idiots, you;ll be taking clients and their referral friends to dinner
Absolutely.   Weed out the S.T.T.H.  prospects.  Too stupid to help.  This can include some of larger dollar targets that 'look' attractive but will eat up your life and soul.   Back away from the greed....... put down the idiots.  You'll feel better for it.   Trust me.   Weed the garden, put on your hip boots to go through the muck... it IS worth it in the end.
Best of luck

You spelled "T.S.T.H." wrong. Does this make you "S"?

  Yep ...by default   Also makes me TDTT..   too drunk to type.    I  admit to being 'S' ...tupidoid

Wish I was there.

Indyone's picture
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Joined: 2005-05-30

Having been in the CPA biz for awhile, I'm baffled why you'd even consider it.  Compared to this business, being a CPA sucks.  You deal with even bigger idiots (IRS and state departments of revenue) and work much harder for the same money.  Everyone is pissed because they owe taxes and that's somehow your fault.  A client decides to hire employees, pays them several checks with no withholding and then decides to tell you about it after year-end.  The list of nonsense accountants deal with is endless and I'm sure that being an attorney is much the same.  Never mind the fact that you can do the work and bill, and you may or may not get paid (unlike this business where you are paid upfront and have zero collection issues).
As others have told you...think long and hard about leaving this business...there will come the day when you'll realize that the replacement career you've chosen is a far bigger piece of sh*t than this business ever was.  You're well on your way to making it and there are thousands of newbies who'd give their left nut to be where you are...don't piss it away.

bornagainbankr's picture
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Joined: 2007-07-16

Chris Hansen wrote:bornagainbankr wrote:
As a CPA you'll make 50K and work 60 hours a week, and as a lawyer you'll make 100K and work 100 hours a week.  Or you can shut up, keep busting your ars for 5 years, make 200K and work 30 hours per week.  You choose.

BTW - my previous post wasn't meant to disrespect bank FA's. The bank enviroment isn't for me though.
Anyhow back to your excellent point. When you put it that way, its a no brainer, but we both know those numbers (at least where I'm from) are not accurate. In addition, those are only portion of the variables involved but a great point nonetheless.
thanks

Dude you need to do your homework, those numbers are extremely accurate for a new accoutant or lawyer, of course it depends on where you live.  I am in the midwest.  I have a friend who is a 3rd year lawyer makes 120K works 80-100 hours, he was supposed to go on vacation but all the other "partners" where going to some convention so they told him if he ever wanted to be one of them they assume he would do the right thing (i.e cancel his vacation that was planned for a long time.)   Hmmm sounds good to me

bXpress's picture
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There is "BS" in every business.  All business owners deal with tough prospects, challenging clients, and red tape.
If you think it will be different if you leave this industry then you are naive.

gad12's picture
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Joined: 2006-12-06

As another former CPA I must concur with INDY - if your situation is as you say it is, you will regret it one day without question.  Anyone on here will tell you I'm sure, that the first 10 million is the most difficult.  It only gets better from where you are.
In addition your clients are worth a good chunck.  Why not complete your contract, (although they'll probably settle for a fraction of the amt), go Indy and you can do both if you like.  Study for your CPA on the side and then have a practice that offers both.  I think you'll find early on like Indy and I that CPA work is much more work for less pay and you'll stay away from it.  

troll's picture
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EDJ to RIA's picture
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Chris Hansen wrote:
I've gathered just under 13 mill.

As an indy RIA you could be fine.
$13MM x 1.5% = $195,000 or $16,250 per month

farotech's picture
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Joined: 2007-01-05

13 million in a year and a half is a helluva track record. Why the heck are you thinking about quitting?

BondGuy's picture
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Joined: 2006-09-21

Every one of us can count a dozen times in the first three or four years that we were ready to quit. This is a tough biz. I'd tell you to hang in there but i can't. Maybe you aren't cut out to do this. Still, I will tell you, for me, all the agony was worth it. I've been able to give my family a dream life. A life free from any monetary worry. this biz allowed me to spend a lot more time with my kids as they grew up than anything else i could have done. How much pain is financial freedom worth? Only you can answer that question.
The good news is, from an asset gathering POV, you can do this. Most can't.

pretzelhead's picture
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Joined: 2007-03-23

Take a breather for a long weekend.  Go to the beach and drink heavily, and come back and take those assholes on again.

troll's picture
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scrim67 wrote:[
I'm in year 3 and well on my way to 40M in assets after year 5.   I"m about 2/3 of the way there right now.
I have never taken a client to dinner or had any client appreciation events.
Are they truly worth the time and expense?
Thanks in advance for any valuable feedback.
scrim

I think they can be. Dinners with clients take you out of the offic and deepen the relationship. Once that happens, they are more apt to introduce you to friends.
I've never done a client appreciation event, but I know a number of big producers who do it every year and tell me they get referrals from it, having clients bring friends.

DJRoss's picture
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Joined: 2007-06-22

Chris Hansen wrote:I've been in the business for about a year and a half. I've gathered just under 13 mill. I'm steadily prospecting everyday and have been up to this point. Like many of you, people have been hanging up on me my whole (brief) career, either before I said the name of my firm, or shortly after I presented my product.
While this doesn't offend me, I asked myself a question the other day that I could not answer. The question was - Why do I put up with this garbage? Of course I'm trying to make money, but I'm also providing a valuable service. Why are people so apathetic to guys like us? Why do we put up with it? Then I began thinking...
I'm fairly young, I'm very confident in my understanding of the markets - why do I try to help those who won't let themselves be helped? My current thinking is to leave the business and either earn my CPA designation (probably) or apply for law school.
The point is that I believe I can earn as much, if not more and deal with a different, more palatable form of b.s. as opposed to the ignorance we encounter from people to stupid to realize they are trying to be helped. Plus, I'll never need a broker because I'll handle my own portfolio.
Finally, with my existing book, I have a good friend that is a broker with another firm that I'd recommend my clients move to. After all the money I spent on newspaper ads, mailers, seminars, etc - I'm not going to just let my firm keep these accounts :D.
The one item that is holding me back from proceeding is the prospect of having to pay the firm something to the tune of 100K. I'm sure that can be arbitrated down, but that is a major issue at this point.
Any thoughts?The problem may have to do with your pedagogy. Some guys are diehard telephone sharks. They thrive on closing deals in a more impersonal environment. They are the types that have a set goal every morning and hit the phones and don't quit until they have nailed their goal for the day. Instead of quitting examine yourself and identify what kind of sales pedagogy fits you best. Myself I am an educator, and have always been one in various fields. My forte in sales has been in preparing prospect through education. This requires a different approach, and educating someone over the phone tends to be a long shot at best.If you have the opportunity to actually leave the office, maybe face to face contact would work better for you. At least as a change of pace if you can mix it up between phone calls and personal contact.Quitting would IMO be a mistake unless you are driven to achieve goals in other disciplines. Being fed up with ignorant customers IMO is a sales opportunity. It is a chance for you to create a niche for yourself by going after those "ignorant" types by tackling the problem from another angle.

EDJ4now's picture
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Joined: 2006-02-08

Indyone wrote:
Having been in the CPA biz for awhile, I'm baffled why you'd even consider it.  Compared to this business, being a CPA sucks.  You deal with even bigger idiots (IRS and state departments of revenue) and work much harder for the same money.  Everyone is pissed because they owe taxes and that's somehow your fault.  A client decides to hire employees, pays them several checks with no withholding and then decides to tell you about it after year-end.  The list of nonsense accountants deal with is endless and I'm sure that being an attorney is much the same.  Never mind the fact that you can do the work and bill, and you may or may not get paid (unlike this business where you are paid upfront and have zero collection issues).
As others have told you...think long and hard about leaving this business...there will come the day when you'll realize that the replacement career you've chosen is a far bigger piece of sh*t than this business ever was.  You're well on your way to making it and there are thousands of newbies who'd give their left nut to be where you are...don't piss it away.

Everything he said, except insert attorney for CPA.  I know a lot of attorneys, and very few under 50 don't hate their job.  Those who don't are working in smaller towns, or doing government/non-profit work.  They have all made a decision to take less money to improve their lifestyle. 
Attorneys working in bigger firms in the bigger cities (the only ones with less than 20 years experience making any real money) work their asses off to get where they are.  It's different sh*t, but similar in that respect to what we do when we start out.  The difference is that they have to do it for 10 or 20 years, not 5.  Also, even if their name is on the door, if a big client calls you on Friday afternoon and wants something done over the weekend, you are going to apologize to your family and send them to the mountains or beach without you, because you have to work.
As a 1st year associate at a big law firm, your odds of making it as an equity partner are lower than that of a Merrill trainee becoming a million dollar producer.  Smaller firms are easier, but you have to realize you will always be working 40-60 hours a week for less money than your typical experienced broker makes working 30 hours a week.
By the time you graduate from law school to your 80 hr/ week job, you could have made it in this career by now.

Vin Diesel's picture
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Joined: 2007-04-18

give it one more year before you quit. take a short vacation, come back and work harder than you did your first year.
if you leave now you will regret it forever. give it just 1 more year.
good luck

BullBroker's picture
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Joined: 2006-12-26

What type of prospecting have you been doing?  I would think at $13 million after only 18 months you could move from the "low impact" (cold call, door-to-door, cold walk business) prospecting.  To a more "high impact" (refers from existing clients, seminars)prospecting.  That alone would cut down on your contact with the ignorant who don't want or understand  your value.  I would say that you have already done the hardest part of this industry it will only get easier for you.

Broker24's picture
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Joined: 2006-10-12

Good friend of mine is an experienced attorney (15 plus years), but not
partner, at a large regional firm. He is *required* to book 1800 billable
hours each year, minimum. He also told me to get to partnership
quicker, it needs to be more like 2000-2200. Think about that - about
75% of the hours you work are billable (on average), to compensate for
lunch, meetings, admin work, nose picking, etc. - you NEED to work like
60 hours per week (50 weeks per year) just to hit the billable hours
minimum quota. I don't know exactly what he makes, but i am guessing
in the $115-140K range. I tell you, after 3-5 years, you could be blowing
that away in half the time he works. Not a bad billable rate.

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