Dan price is the CEO and founder of Gravity Payments, a credit card processing company based in Seattle. In 2015, he raised the minimum wage of his company to $70,000, immediately attracting the attention of the media all over the world.
After reading a happiness study by Daniel Kahneman and Angus Deaton that showed that for people who earn less than $70,000, extra money makes a big difference in their lives, Dan decided he would give his employees the conditions to live better lives.
In this interview Dan shares his thoughts on purpose and well-being.
What traits best describe you?
My team at Gravity Payments and those I work closely with would say I’m very focused. I don’t let anything get in the way of my mission to fight for the little gal or guy who believes in the American dream.
As a leader, I always want to support my team members and make sure they are successful when working with our clients or achieving their own personal goals.
What’s your purpose and motivation?
My purpose is to create a world where values-based companies reshape the economy, so business stops being about making the most money possible.
Instead, I want leaders to recognize that business should be about purpose, service, and making a difference. It’s not about doing business as usual, but doing business better.
As a leader, what are your thoughts on multitasking and strengths based approaches?
At Gravity, we have a core philosophy that “Everyone is a CEO.” I trust my team to do what they think is best for our clients, so it’s important to me that team members feel empowered to make their own decisions.
That entrepreneurial culture creates an atmosphere where people enjoy coming to work, because they have autonomy to go beyond their job descriptions.
When you can be creative and do what you love, you’re happier and can make a big impact on the business and the clients.
How has the $70K decision affected your own well-being?
My goal is to try to suck less every day. As a CEO, I constantly need to be reinventing myself to keep up. If I stayed the same way for two years, I’d be completely incompetent.
I try to get two percent better every year and find ways to shift the game. While the $70K decision was positive impact for my team and for other business leaders who changed pay structures for their team, it also came with an incredible responsibility.
Personally, my biggest fear is not living up to the opportunities that are presented to me. At times, I’m asked to stand up in front of an audience and am viewed as a spokesperson for a new way of doing business.
It’s a responsibility to ask people to question how they are framing humanity, how they are framing their business, and what they see as their purpose in life.
If I have an opportunity to help people connect with themselves and ask themselves those questions, and I don’t take it, or I don’t do a great job with it, then I would feel bad about that.
For all of us, we’ve had to work harder than ever before to make sure the $70K decision isn’t a failure. We’re need to make sure our clients are still getting the same level of service and transparency, while also staying true to our core values as a company.
Oh, and the entire Gravity team pitched in to buy me a Tesla. So, that helped!
To find out more about the $70K decision, you can view some of our business results here.
What are the components of well-being in your own life and what contributes the most to it?
First and foremost, I always try to have fun. But, health has become a huge part of preparing me for crucial moments in life you cannot control or predict.
When I am working, or living my life, the stakes can feel high. I know I can only do my best when I perform at the top level.
When those critical moments finally arrive, if I’ve exercised, ate, and slept well, I am ready to step up to the plate and face whatever obstacles or challenges present themselves.
If you could give only one piece of advice to young entrepreneurs that look up to you, what would it be?
I always say the best advice is to not take advice. However, if I had to give advice, I’d say as a new entrepreneur you should never lose sight of your values and mission when building up your company.
Stay hesitant and align yourself with people who share the same vision as you. Figure out what is the right thing for your business and, most importantly, make sure you always stay dedicated to serving your clients and doing more for them.
Dan Price | CEO and Founder of Gravity Payments
Dan Price founded Gravity Payments in 2004 from his university dorm room at just 19 after witnessing the small businesses he admired were being taking advantage of by their credit card processors.
In April 2015, Dan Price made headlines around the world for slashing his $1M salary to set a $70,000 minimum wage at his company. Overnight, he profoundly changed the lives of his team members, challenged perceptions about the purpose of business, drew the admiration of millions from around the world, and the ire of big business pundits from Wall Street to Rush Limbaugh.
Though largely known for this latest move, Dan Price’s life mission is to support the little guy or gal in their pursuit of their business dreams. Dan has built his own business on the simple, but noble, notion of helping independent businesses fight for the same advantages typically reserved for large companies in the credit card processing industry.
Dan has fostered a truly transparent work environment at Gravity, full of engaged people passionately aligned in pursuit of their mission to make business about people and purpose, rather than profit.
Dan has been recognized for his leadership and entrepreneurialism by Inc and Entrepreneur magazine, and was awarded the National Entrepreneur of the Year by President Obama in 2010. For more info on Dan Price and Gravity Payments, visit: www.gravitypayments.com