Dave Says on Business: Company Owes you Nothing

Dave Ramsey
Posted: Mar 02, 2012 12:01 AM

Dear Dave,

I’ve been self-employed all my life, and I work my tail off every day. The other day I heard some guys complaining about their jobs and saying that their company “owed” them all kinds of perks. Being a small-business owner, what is your stance on this?


Dear John,

Here’s the deal, an employer owes employees fair wages and the respect that goes to someone who will devote themselves to the job and do it well. But if you don’t like something to the point that all you’re going to do is cry and complain about it, then take a hike a find a job you like. That’s what I’d do.

At my company, I take my leadership role seriously in terms of being fair to the team and taking care of them. I mean, I couldn’t do all this stuff by myself. But I’ve also seen some companies out there that have earned this attitude they get from employees, because they’ve mistreated their workers. They lie to them, cheat them, and worse.

It’s all really simple, John. If you love what you’re doing and you’re treated with fairness, dignity and respect, it’s a winning situation for the employer and the employee. That’s what I try to do here. If you hate your job, or your company doesn’t treat you fairly, go find another job. The company “owes” you nothing in terms of perks.


Dear Dave,

I started a little consulting business auditing commercial phone bills about four months ago. I look for unnecessary expenditures and errors and I take a percentage of what I save my clients. I’m doing a lot of cold calling and can get in the door, but I’m having a problem closing the deal. I keep getting asked who I have helped locally. How can I get someone to sign up without first having established clients?


Dear Beverly,

Why don’t you try offering to do two or three of these audits free? I’m not talking about huge companies, but local businesses that are well-known in your community. Offer to review their billing free of charge, no matter how much you save them, and ask for a referral letter if you save them money. Then, show what it would have cost them to have this service done and how much you saved the company.

You’re trading services for great references. If you do a few of these you should be able to overcome that objection!


Dear Dave,

I recently graduated from college, and I think I’d like to get into the real estate business as an agent. I don’t have much real world experience, so what can I do to learn and become a great real estate agent?


Dear Ryan,

Congratulations on finishing college! It sounds like you’re ready to hit the ground running.

I think the first thing anyone in your situation should do right now is get a first-hand look at the day-to-day life of a really good real estate agent. Find out what someone who sells 100 houses a year does on a daily basis, how they got to where they are, and how long it took them to get to that level in terms of skills, referrals, knowledge, and recognition in the marketplace.

You might consider driving to a nearby city—one that’s far enough away so that competition won’t be a factor—and finding a superstar agent. Tell them your situation, and ask if you could ride around with them for a day or two and pick their brain. Basically, I’m talking about interviewing them and finding out how you can be them when you grow up. Believe me, you’ll learn tons about the technology and marketing sides of things, too.

Real estate is probably the perfect example of The Pareto Principle. It states that 80 percent of the people make 20 percent of the money, and 20 percent of the people make 80 percent of the money. Learning as much as you can as quickly as you can is a great first step to making sure that you’re in that top 20 percent!


* For more financial advice please visit daveramsey.com.