Welcome to another edition of my Weekly Journal! I use this space to share about my journey from lawyer to jewelry business owner. In this week's journal entry, I'm writing about money. I've written quite a few journal entries on money because it's the number one thing holding us back from pursuing a dream of a more fulfilling and satisfying career. In the last 7 years or so, I've had to do a lot of work on my beliefs around money in order to quit my job as a lawyer and go out on my own as a jewelry business owner. And I mean a LOT of work. Through sharing my work and my experience on this topic, I hope you will change your perspective on money too.
Let's clear something up right out of the gate. Why do you want money? Think about it for a minute. Is it because you want to save a lot of money in the bank in order to feel secure before you quit your job to pursue a dream? Is it because you want to travel the world? Raise a large family? Retire from work altogether? Buy fancy cars? Buy multiple homes? Why? Why do you want money so badly? We get so caught up in dollars and cents and bills and financial goals, that we sometimes lose sight of why we actually are working so hard to earn money. When you really sit down to think about it, you'll come to find out that you don't actually want the money itself. You want the things money will bring into your life or help you achieve, right? What would happen if you started to focus on those things more and stopped focusing so much on the actual dollars and cents? Better yet, what would happen if you started focusing on the feelings those things would bring you? For example, what if you focused on the feelings you would have if you pursued your dream of owning your own bakery (or boutique, or consulting business, or whatever it is you really want to do)? You'd feel so much freedom in your work to do your own thing and set your own hours and, most importantly, spend the minutes of your life doing what you want to do rather than what some boss or large company wants you to do. That is true, beautiful freedom right there. There is also so much stability and security in living life on your own terms - in pursuing your purpose through the natural given talents and abilities you were born with. When you have this type of mental and emotional stability and security, you begin to see that stability and security do not come from a paycheck and do not come from having a large savings account. We all know plenty of people with large sums of money who are by no means stable or secure, right? Just look at the world of celebrities.
You see, we are taught by society, or our university, or our parents to strive for the best job with the best salary we can obtain, when really we should be taught to strive for the feelings we think that salary would bring. What would those be? Namely, they are freedom, security, and stability (and maybe a few others personal to you). And the truth of the matter is, freedom, security, and stability are NOT found in money and they are available to you regardless of how much money you make. Huh? There's a lot to unpack there, I know. But it boils down to this: there is a huge disconnect when you think you can only get freedom, security, and stability through money.
Let's unpack this with some examples. Is the new career or job you're dreaming about going to be more fulfilling, and therefore bring you more joy and internal peace? That's stability right there. Mental stability. And mental stability is a lot more valuable than boatloads of money in the bank. For one, you can't buy mental health or physical health. Health is arguably the most valuable form of abundance.
Here's another example. Is the new career or job going to make use of your God-given talents and gifts which you aren't using in your current job? If you answered yes, that's security right there. Let me explain. When you use the talents, gifts, and skills you were born with, you are working from a place of service (i.e. how can I best serve the world with the special skills I have?). This is the opposite of working from a place of "I need a paycheck." When you build a career around the gifts that come naturally to you, you're going to excel more quickly, more easily, and face less risk of layoff. And even if you do face a job cut, you're likely going to gain a new one quickly. Job security doesn't mean "I have a job with this employer forever." No, no. Job security means "I naturally excel in this field because of my God-given talents and skills and therefore even if my employer goes bankrupt through no fault of my own, I will find a new job in this field quickly because I'm naturally great at it." That's security right there.
Now here's the kicker. Ironically, when you approach career and work from this perspective, the money follows! It's amazing. Almost like magic. It doesn't happen overnight and some patience is needed, but when you commit to work that's in alignment with YOU, the money follows naturally. One of my favorite teachers, Iyanla Vanzant, once said money is "My Own Natural Energy Yield." You see what she did there? Money is a currency, an energy. And it's simply what comes back to you when you put good energy out into the world in the form of sharing your skills and talents through your work. I just love that.
Let me leave you with a passage from one of Iyanla's books called One Day My Soul Just Opened Up:
Most of my life I thought I wanted money. I believed that if I had money to do what I wanted to do, when I wanted to do it, I would be deliriously happy and free. As a child and as an adult, I have often heard myself say, "Boy! I wish I had a million dollars." I thought that would be my ticket to freedom. One day I woke up with those same thoughts floating around in my mind, and by the end of the day I had $1.1 million. It was a short time later that I realized it was not the money that I actually wanted. My true desire was for the freedom I thought the money would bring. It was too late! I had the money and all of the obligations that came along with earning it.
So what are you chasing today? Is it paychecks? Or the feelings of stability and security and freedom? Always prioritize the latter. The money will take care of itself. Trust me. I am living proof of this through my decision to quit my 11-year career as an attorney to start grace + hudson.
If you'd like my Weekly Journal sent straight to your inbox every week, click here to subscribe. I hope you're able to learn something from my experience and also my mistakes!