Dan Price reached instant internet celebrity status when he announced plans to pay all of his employees a minimum of $70,000 per year.
The founder and CEO of Gravity Payments came to the conclusion that his employees deserved more money after one of his workers complained that he was being “ripped off” by Price and Gravity Payments.
To make his plan a reality Dan Price cut his own salary from $1.1 million per year to the same $70,000 level he is paying his employees.
That’s not the only sacrifice Dan has made. In order to pay for the plan, which increases wages over the next two years, Price has mortgaged his house and sold all of his investments to come up with the $3 million he needed to make the program a reality over the short-term.
“I wanted a larger margin for error,” he said in explaining the mortgage and asset sales. “Victory is far from secure, but the trends are positive.”
His brother is currently suing him for “excess compensation” because of the $70,000 minimum. “I have never, in the history of the company, given myself a pay raise without Lucas’ consent,” said Price. “I have, however, unilaterally cut my pay multiple times, including taking an 80% pay cut in 2008-09 to help save the company during the recession.”
In the meantime, Price is coming up with some really unique ways to make money. He just signed a deal with Viking Press to write a book about his company and his plan for a $70,000 minimum wage. He will donate the proceeds from his book sales to Gravity Payments.
“It’s an account of what went right, what went wrong, what lessons can be learned, the surprise of the blowback” he tells CNNMoney.
Regardless of what comes of Gravity Payments in the next several years, Price say’s his decision continues to “make me happy every day.”