Love Living on a Budget“Why are you here?” I asked.  The For­tune 500 Exec­u­tive respond­ed, “Because I am burnt out and exhaust­ed.”  “The com­pa­ny keeps reduc­ing our depart­ment and adding more work load to those of us that aren’t cut.”  “I am work­ing six­ty to eighty hours a week.” “I want to find out how soon I can quit/retire.”

“What about retire­ment?” I asked the small busi­ness own­er.  “I don’t want to retire. I love what I do.”  “I want to be finan­cial­ly inde­pen­dent and not have to work, but I want to keep work­ing.”  “I feel alive and ener­gized by my job.”

Who would you rather be?

I have had these same two con­ver­sa­tions so many times I have lost count.  Every time it is the first con­ver­sa­tion, the one where they can’t wait to retire and are burnt out, I hurt for them.  I have been there.  I know how it feels and it is awful.

I am one of the lucky ones.  As a busi­ness own­er, when I final­ly faced the fact that I hat­ed by job, I was able to remake my busi­ness and my role in it into one that resides at my pas­sion point and ener­gizes me.

Pas­sion. We all have it. When we are fol­low­ing our pas­sion we are ener­gized.  We feel a sense of pur­pose. We know what we are doing matters.

Work, where most of us make our liv­ing. We spend more of our life at work that we do with those we love the most, our fam­i­lies.  Work is where we con­tribute our per­son­al ener­gy in exchange for mon­ey.   It is how we meet our exter­nal needs includ­ing hous­ing, gro­ceries, med­ical care, trans­porta­tion and travel.

We trade our pre­cious lim­it­ed com­mod­i­ty, time, for mon­ey. None of us knows how much time we have, but what­ev­er it is, it is finite. Mon­ey can’t buy more.

Far too many of us expe­ri­ence wor­ry, frus­tra­tion and stress when we deal with our mon­ey.  For the most part, much of that wor­ry, frus­tra­tion and stress isn’t nec­es­sary. We just don’t know how to do it differently.

I believe that it is pos­si­ble instead to live your life at The Inter­sec­tion of Joy and Mon­ey.  A place of peace and joy with mon­ey.  I believe it so much, I spent a year of my life writ­ing the book. Then I turned my busi­ness upside down to devel­op a process that allows clients to live at The Inter­sec­tion of Joy and Mon­ey.

Just one life, so why not?

In my book, I speak to the fif­teen areas of your mon­ey life that have to be addressed to live at The Inter­sec­tion of Joy and Mon­ey. One of those is pas­sion and work.  It makes per­fect sense.  Work is how we get mon­ey in the world.  How can we pos­si­bly be in joy with mon­ey unless our work is a joy?

Baby boomers have a hard time with this idea. They are more like­ly to work hard­er, save more and stay on the tread­mill.  Often they have built their lifestyle into ones that requires their large pay­check and stock options.  If they quit, their entire lives would have to alter, often dra­mat­i­cal­ly.  They push against this real­i­ty and end up in the sick and tired category.

Mil­len­ni­als get it.  They saw their par­ents work like crazy and won­dered, why?  They know it doesn’t have to be that way.  While Boomers’ employ­ers rail against their mil­len­ni­al employ­ees and think of them as lazy, dis­loy­al and unmo­ti­vat­ed, they miss the point.  The Mil­len­ni­als are offer­ing the Boomers a way to see the world dif­fer­ent­ly.  They know that they have just one life and they intend to live it to the fullest.  Mil­len­ni­als will take a job they love that pays less, if they find it ful­fill­ing and meaningful.

The bot­tom line is this, it all comes down to choice.  We cre­ate our pros­per­i­ty or lack there­of by the choic­es we make every day.  We can choose joy or we can choose otherwise.

If you find your­self in that place where it seems impos­si­ble to find your pas­sion at work, here are some ideas to con­sid­er that might help you change that.

  • Take the tra­di­tion­al route. Put your game plan (a com­pre­hen­sive finan­cial plan) togeth­er to build assets to fund your lifestyle for ear­ly retire­ment.   Accept your job for what it is, and find peace with it.
  • Do your home­work, a com­pre­hen­sive finan­cial plan. Know your options. Talk to your Boss and tell them you want to stay in your cur­rent role, but want to reduce your work hours to forty hours a week.  Ask them to give you six months to prove you will be just as valu­able in forty as you are in six­ty.  See what hap­pens.  Best case, your Boss says yes.  Worse case, the Boss says no. Either way you’ve done your home­work, you have your finan­cial plan and you are prepared.
  • Find your pas­sion. Do your home­work, a com­pre­hen­sive finan­cial plan. As part of that plan, research jobs that fit your pas­sion. Con­sid­er the lifestyle changes nec­es­sary to take the job you real­ly want.  That might mean a small­er home, less trav­el, and more cook­ing at home.  Imag­ine that new life and see if it will take you to The Inter­sec­tion of Joy and Mon­ey.  Life is per­son­al. Just choose for you.
  • Stay in your cur­rent job, but go ahead and low­er your lifestyle require­ments. This will low­er the amount you need to save for retirement/financial inde­pen­dence and allow you to retire from your cur­rent job sooner.
  • Find your pas­sion and build a busi­ness plan to start your own busi­ness. Like­ly, it will take some time for your busi­ness to meet your lifestyle needs, so plan accord­ing­ly, prefer­ably with a com­pre­hen­sive finan­cial plan.
  • Live your pas­sion out­side of work. You nev­er know when it might just turn into a way to make a liv­ing. There is noth­ing like begin­ning to find your way.

Regard­less of the path you choose, make it a con­scious choice.  Be clear why you are choos­ing what you are choos­ing and be at peace.

One pre­cious life.  A lim­it­ed amount of time.  Mon­ey need­ed to meet your needs, as you define them.  What­ev­er path you choose, I wish you a recipe of bring­ing togeth­er work and mon­ey that lets you live your one pre­cious life with pas­sion and joy.


In Joy,