A SINGLE TEAR

3 January 1994 - my 26th birthday. I had recently taken a job as a trainee equity dealer in London, which included a daily commute from Oxford. I soon learned the job involved selling small company shares by telephone to the unsuspecting public. I realised that the company I worked for was prepared to say, and do, just about anything to make a sale. If you remember Gordon Gekko, or you've seen "Wolf of Wall Street" you'll know what I mean.

I knew I was in the wrong place. This wasn't who I was. I had been taken in by the people I was working for, and by my own desire to chase money.

I'd made a trade-off. I'd traded my personal values for money.

And now, sitting on the train, looking around the carriage at my fellow passengers, all of whom looked as miserable as I was feeling, I admit that I cried. Not heaving sobs, but a single tear that slowly squeezed itself from the corner of my eye and silently slipped down my cheek onto my still-folded, and unread, copy of The Financial Times.

I was immediately struck by the thought that there must be more to life than chasing money, right?

There on the train, I made another trade-off decision. Upon reaching London, I resigned and headed straight back to Oxford, jobless and quite worried about what would happen next. At the time, it felt like a humiliating experience.

Looking back, it was one of the most important moments in my life.

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