Six years ago, Gravity Payments CEO Dan Price, 37, discovered one of his employees was working a second job to make ends meet. His response? He gave her, and ultimately everyone in the company a raise to $70,000 per year.
He paid for it by dropping his own $1.1 million salary to $70,000. He tweeted “Money buys happiness when you climb out of poverty. But going from well-off to very well-off doesn’t make you happier. Doing what you believe is right, will. ”
When he was interviewed on FOX News, he was laughed at and ridiculed. They said his business would fail, and accused him of being a socialist. However, the FOX employees who ushered him in to the shows emceed by hosts making seven figures, told him they could hardly make ends meet on their minimum wage salaries.
Six years later after the decision that others said would destroy his business, Dan reports that revenue has tripled, the customer base has doubled, 70% of his employees have paid down debt, many bought homes for the first time, 401(k) contributions grew by 155% and turnover dropped in half. His business is now a Harvard Business School case study.
At the start of the pandemic, Dan says they lost 55% of their revenue overnight. His loyal employees volunteered to take temporary pay cuts in order to prevent layoffs. They all weathered the storm. He paid everyone back and is now giving out raises.
His employees were so grateful they bought him a Tesla. And then he gave out more raises.
Dan Price made a choice to spiral up the happiness and abundance spiral, rather than down the fear and poverty spiral. It’s all the same spiral, it just depends on which direction you go in.
Bernie Sanders said: “I think what Dan has done is not only extraordinary for his own employees, I hope it sets an example for companies all over this country.”
6 years ago today I raised my company's min wage to $70k. Fox News called me a socialist whose employees would be on bread lines.
Since then our revenue tripled, we're a Harvard Business School case study & our employees had a 10x boom in homes bought.
Always invest in people. pic.twitter.com/o7Ca7I4b7e
— Dan Price (@DanPriceSeattle) April 13, 2021