Joe, Andy and Tom are buddies in the same High School graduating class.
After school each day, they all get together and talk about their future, what success means to them and what plans they have to reach their goals.
At Summer's end, Joe enrolls and attends college.
Andy uses his college fund to start a Shoe Store Franchise.
Tom gets a job and starts a small part-time home based business in Network Marketing.
Five years later after Joe has completed his college education and has finally landed a job in his field, he is just starting his income earning career.
Andy is looking at financing another shoe store on the other side of town.
Tom is considering retiring from his job to devote full time effort to building his home based business.
He is enjoying those growing bonus checks.
Another four years later, after Joe has worked faithfully for his company, one day he gets a lay-off notice.
The company is downsizing; his services are no longer needed.
Joe frantically starts looking through the job classifieds, freshens his resume and worries about what he is going to do.
He has no savings set aside but was planning to get around to that soon.
Andy now owns two shoe store franchises.
He has a tremendous amount of overhead in running his stores along with employee headaches because he cannot be in two places at once.
Even though Andy is the owner, it's tough for him to get away.
From the outside looking in, Andy appears to be in control of his life but the business actually owns his life.
Tom has long retired from his job, has continued to build his home business, has been to Europe twice, taken a cruise to Alaska and is able to spend time as a volunteer in his community.
All the while he continues to build his Network Marketing business.
The royalty checks from his home business keep coming on a regular basis.
Joe cannot find work in his chosen career field and ends up taking on a full-time job at the local discount store in addition to a part-time job delivering pizza for the local Pizzeria to make ends meet.
Andy decides to get out of the shoe business; it's just too much stress.
He has considerable debt from the ownership of the franchises and his income will stop.
His remaining savings were depleted last year when he decided to bring in extra inventory for the Spring/Summer season.
He found out later it was not a good season for close-toed sandals and plastic tennis shoes.
Tom, on the other hand, started his home business with very little cost, had no additional overhead, no employee headaches and was able to do business where ever he went.
As Tom's earnings increased through his Network Marketing business, he diversified his extra income, also contributed regularly to a savings fund and created college funds for his children.
When Tom decides to retire from his home business, his royalty checks will still come.
After nine years, Tom is the only one of the three who really owns his life.