When Bill and Paul started their company in the late 1970’s, they couldn’t always afford those pesky things like paying their staff.  In lieu of paying with cash, employees who worked overtime or bonuses often times got stock options instead of cash.

By 1986, Microsoft went public and people holding those stock options became instantly wealthy.  Overall, three employees over the next decade would become billionaires and 12,000 of them became millionaires.

Some decided that it was time to call it quits.  Others kept on working.

One guy, Charles Simonyi, decided to use his millions to take rides to space, once on a Soyuz Rocket in 2007 and the other in 2009, he went to the International Space Station.  But, his adventures didn’t end there; the same guy also dated Martha Stewart.  Other former Microsoft employees went on to be philanthropists, others developed video games, and one even went back to the family business, and created Cabbage Patch Kids.

But this is the story of one Vice President who left the company after 18 years.  Chris Peters had developed Microsoft’s first mouse.  Having made his millions, he left the company and decided he would follow his childhood dream, to become a professional bowler.

In the 1990’s, he tried out for the Professional Bowlers Association but he didn’t make the cut.  That could have been the end of Chris’ dreams, but fate had a different plan for Chris and his love of bowling.

In 1999, the Professional Bowlers Association was on the verge of going bankrupt and folding, so it was put up for sale.  The association was failing was because from its height in the 1970’s, TV ratings and attendance at pro bowling events had dropped to almost nothing.

Enter Chris Peters and his friends.

Pooling his own money with other rich friends, Chris bought the Professional Bowling Association and then moved it from Chicago to Seattle.

Since the move, the Professional Bowlers Association has become profitable and by 2011 the association’s tournaments have started airing on ESPN.  The association is now profitable and healthy with over 4300 active members.

As a Real Estate agent, I thought this was a great story about how sometimes what you really need to succeed, is to change your address.

So, when you are ready to change things up, give me a call, I can help you find a new home.  After all, a change of address might just be what you need to succeed.

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