When someone's offering you money for something, you need to find out whom you are accepting it from and why he wants to give it to you. I've had opportunities throughout my career to make more money as a coach. The head guy has come after me, offering me a raise and a promotion to coordinator to come join his team, but I've turned him down because it wasn't worth it to me. I wasn't going to sell my soul by giving in to someone else's philosophy or beliefs that I didn't agree with. The money might have been a little better. The title might have been a little better. But for me, that wasn't my goal.
My goal, all along, has been to be a head coach, and unless I saw taking the coordinator spot as being a workable situation that would help me get to the next level, I didn't think it was something I could do, especially if the head guy and I didn't agree on some very key philosophies.
When I was in Tampa, life was very good. For me to leave there for anything other than a head-coaching job, it would have to have been an unbelievable opportunity. I enjoyed the environment there, I agreed with how Tony Dungy approached things, and I knew I was learning a lot about becoming a head coach just by watching him. Our son, Marcus, was nearby, playing high school football and the time we were able to spend together really meant a lot to Lia and me.
Money doesn't motivate me. It never has. Even now, I don't have a checkbook. Lia takes care of all that stuff. Most days I've got about seven dollars in my pocket. I don't dream of obtaining material wealth. Big houses and cars and boats and diamonds and furs have never been something I wanted.
If money is the goal, then however much you acquire, it can never be enough. And once people find out you're doing something for the money only, they know they can buy you. And then you stand for nothing. Everybody needs money; I understand that. But how that money is acquired is what's important.
Drug money is bad. Prostitution money is bad. Money made on false pretenses is bad. Look at how many people are in jail now because they let money guide their ambition. Executives, CEOs, presidents of top companies-people who appeared to have everything they would ever need in their lives are now spending time as common criminals. The more wealth they acquired, the more they needed. You can't take money that gets you in more trouble than not having any money at all. Feeding my family is the most important thing in my life, but taking illegal money to do it isn't an option. You get caught and sent to jail, and then what does your family do?
People who spend time obsessing over what they don't have don't see what they do have. If you're spending all your time at the office so that you can make that overtime check to buy your son some fancy gadget he wants, then you're cheating your son of what's really important: time with his dad. And you're cheating yourself out of time spent with your son. I heard someone say that no one has ever heard a guy on his deathbed say he wished he had spent more time at the office.
We all want a bigger paycheck; that's a fact. Because most of us equate that paycheck with our worth. We want to feel that our work is valuable and important. But equating that paycheck with our worth isn't always right. Look at the paychecks of some of the people who matter most in our lives. Firemen, policemen, nurses, teachers, paramedics-they are perhaps the lowest-paid members of our society. And yet, we couldn't survive without them. How is it that the guy who saves your home from a fire, or keeps you from being robbed, or drives you to the emergency room makes so much less than the head of some company who will probably never touch your life? The Fortune 500? Most of us have never even heard of these guys and probably will never need to know them. That doesn't mean that what they do isn't worthy or isn't important, but for most of us, their jobs have no direct impact on our lives. Money does not equal worth. Worth is what you feel inside from the effort you give to do your best in your job and in your life.