I never imagined I would write a book. When we were building Ameritrade, we were too busy keeping the company afloat to make any kinds of notes or records. We were too focused on watching every penny to spend money on film, so there aren’t many photos.
Along with a few partners, I founded the company with $12,500, mostly borrowed from family and friends, and we grew it to what it is today thanks to the hard work of so many employees and the sacrifices of my family. Only when I was approached to write a memoir did I realize that people might want to hear the story of how a kid whose first job was working as an assistant janitor at the Nebraska City courthouse could get to where I did. I thought they might enjoy finding out just how little we knew when we got started, how clueless we were until we learned from our mistakes, how many times we almost went out of business, and how fortunate we were to live in America, where the free-market system gave us the chance to succeed.
My book is called The Harder You Work, The Luckier You Get: An Entrepreneur’s Memoir, and it’s being published by Simon & Schuster on November 5. I’m grateful for the chance to share this story, and I thought you might be interested.
You can learn more about the book at the website www.TheHarderYou.work, and you can order a copy on Amazon. If you like the book, I’d appreciate you spreading the word – it was a fun project for me to do, and I think some people might enjoy the story.