13 years this July with a small startup that isn't so small anymore.
I have been here through an acquisition and about to go through an IPO. Once that's done, I can pretty much do what I want for the rest of my life. My current job pays too well, has too good of benefits with too little work to want to move on, so I will be here until they tell me to move on or something changes.
I can pretty much do any side hustle that I want now or just choose to spend as much time as I can with the ones that I love.
NOTHING is guaranteed in this life except that you will die at some point. I lost my mom when she was only 49 and since then I have tried to live and work in a way that I can get the most time with the ones I love. I have seen too many people regret the time they spent on/with their family when it's their time to go, I will never make that mistake if I can help it.
Of course, we all have to do what we need to do to provide for ourselves and the ones we love, don't chase something that won't be enough to provide the lifestyle you want. Try to do it in a way you can enjoy the things you are working so hard for, or what's the point. IMO we aren't meant to spend the prime of our life on some one else's time while we get the last 20 to ourselves as our health and fitness declines.
got my first check from current company working summers in 1996. Climbed in the office after graduating college 5 years later. Sure it's not the same everywhere but loyalty has definitely paid off for me.