"Tom James takes care of us in every respect, from training to wealth building, from incentive trips to benefits. This is a really great opportunity!"

Lee Dora
Indianapolis, IN

"I love the benefits package that Tom James offers. It provides the security and peace of mind I need to protect my family."

Brian Hopkins
Minneapolis, MN

"I get to spend all day with the most interesting, successful and enterprising people in my city, in London."

Paul Copp
London, England

"The Tom James opportunity has provided me the opportunity to win amazing trips, build my net worth at a young age, and make lasting friendships while earning a fantastic income. However, more than money, the principles taught within our culture have shaped me into a better husband, son, brother and friend; I would not be who I am today without my career at Tom James."

Clayton Turner
Atlanta, GA

On Making Career Choices

By: Josh Roberts, Vice President of Retail Development
February 11, 2020

Quotes to Think About:

“What we desire most earnestly, we believe most easily.” —Stephen Covey, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

“The secret of success of every man who has ever been successful lies in the fact that he formed the habit of doing things that failures don't like to do.” —Albert Gray, The Common Denominator of Success

“Principles are fundamental truths that serve as the foundations for behavior that gets you what you want out of life. They can be applied again and again in similar situations to help you achieve your goals...Every day, each of us is faced with a blizzard of situations we must respond to. Without principles we would be forced to react to all the things life throws as us individually, as it we were experiencing each of them for the first time.” —Ray Dalio, Principles

As we considered the launch of our Tom James Careers blog and what topic we might tackle first, it seemed appropriate to start with the overarching question of how one ought to approach making a career choice of any kind. 

We process approximately 5000 applications per year for our Sales Professional positions around the world, and therefore get a lot of insight into how candidates are approaching their career choices. Candidates talk about choosing the right industry, salary, opportunities for advancement, you name it. Since career choices are directly tied to both current and future lifestyle opportunities, it’s hard not to have a mixture of emotions threatening to influence our decision-making processes while we try to navigate. So how do you make a good decision?

We often say about Tom James that we are a company that strives to operate on principles. As indicated above in Ray Dalio’s quote, what that means is we search for reliable truths to run our decisions through so that we are able to make successful choices in a variety of circumstances independent of the pull of emotion and the influence those emotions have on our ability to see things clearly. Making a career choice—whether it’s where to start, whether to stay or go or what to prioritize in your employment package—seems like a worthy subject to have some principles to fall back on.

What follows are a series of principles that we believe can help cut through the myriad of choices candidates are faced with, from industry to pay structure, benefits, culture, location, and so many more:

  • The law of supply and demand will apply to income the same way it applies to everything else in economics. If such a thing as “easier money” exists, either the owners of the company will recognize it and adjust the opportunity accordingly to maximize owner value, or so much competition for the role in the form of outside competitors or other candidates for the role that, for all intents and purposes, the “easy money” will become “hard money”. Therefore, you can expect that on average and over time, making a buck in one context will require approximately the same amount of effort, risk, talent, etc. as making a buck in another context. Do not be deceived by thoughts that there will be an easier way to accomplish your goals!
  • People earn fantastic incomes in quite literally every industry. People also fail in every industry. No industry will help or hurt your chances of achieving success, and that is because of the third principle, which is…
  • Success is an inside-out game. Individuals who work diligently, have high levels of accountability, and focus on clearly articulated goals that they look at all the time will succeed in any context.
  • The vast majority of wealth is created via ownership, and not through ordinary income. It is extremely challenging to save your way into net worth. Ownership in a growing enterprise is the key.
  • You will become like the people you spend your time with the most.
  • The greater the risk, the greater the reward.
  • Every dollar we receive has an expectation associated with it, whether we are salaried or commissioned. No pay plan can provide true income security. That can only come from our level of adherence to the principles of effectiveness!

Certainly, we could expound on these and other principles, but perhaps it becomes evident how principles can simplify decision making. Looking at the above, you could articulate a clear and concise career “wish list” that looks something like:

Wherever I go, I’ll need to work harder and add more value than my competition if I am going to earn more money than what is “average”. The primary factors that will determine my ability to work harder and add more value will come down to the people I’m surrounded by and the motivational landscape. Also, while income will help me achieve short- and mid-term goals, only wealth will help me achieve my long-term and legacy goals. 

Therefore, the most important things I need in a career are: constant contact with successful people, lots of opportunities to connect my efforts to my desires, and an opportunity to own part of the enterprise.

Obviously, at Tom James, these are the things we focus on the most: hiring and developing hard-working, goal-oriented, high character leaders to serve our client demographic of highly successful people, and providing them with a vast array of motivational opportunities through a lucrative commission structure, monthly and seasonal bonus opportunities, incentive trips and a net worth building opportunity offering profit sharing and ownership in addition to the customary 401(k). But regardless of whether one chooses Tom James for their career or somewhere else, we believe they will see the above principles play out and be able to maximize the odds of their success by filtering their career choices through the above.

As we continue to build out our blog and readership, we look forward to sharing other principles and perspectives that have been developed both in our own 53 year history of building people, and through exposure to our wonderful clients.



"Tom James takes care of us in every respect, from training to wealth building, from incentive trips to benefits. This is a really great opportunity!"

Lee Dora
Indianapolis, IN

"I love the benefits package that Tom James offers. It provides the security and peace of mind I need to protect my family."

Brian Hopkins
Minneapolis, MN

"I get to spend all day with the most interesting, successful and enterprising people in my city, in London."

Paul Copp
London, England

"The Tom James opportunity has provided me the opportunity to win amazing trips, build my net worth at a young age, and make lasting friendships while earning a fantastic income. However, more than money, the principles taught within our culture have shaped me into a better husband, son, brother and friend; I would not be who I am today without my career at Tom James."

Clayton Turner
Atlanta, GA

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