Question for you.
What do a professional Nanny, Landscape Business Owner, Event Planner, Personal Trainer, Writer, Actress, Event Planner, Dog Walker, Pet Sitter, Interior Designer, Inventor, and a Mary Kay Beauty Advisor all have in common?
Can’t guess? Well, I’ll tell you… These are all businesses or career paths that I started in my 20’s and early 30’s.
Yup, I’ve kept myself busy! Oh and did I mention that all of these pursuits were side hustles? Yes, I explored all of these ideas while also growing a successful corporate career. I worked really long and really hard on my free nights, weekends and vacation days to test my ideas and learn what worked for me and what didn’t. (And let me not forget, there was this other little thing of birthing and raising 3 kids mixed in there too.)
Erica, why have tortured yourself, you might ask?! And the answer is - I can’t help it! I’ve been on a lifelong pursuit for career happiness. I’ve been relentlessly determined to do work that mattered to me, and to others.
Why? Because I truly believe, with all my heart that, when women do work they love, they change themselves, their families and the world.
Lucky for me, I finally found something that aligned all my passions, talents and experience, something that made me feel really excited and fulfilled every day. (Hooray for Career & Coaching!)
But does it matter? Do you need to do work that’s meaningful to you? And if you do, will you earn more money? Let's talk about it...
Do what you Love and the Money will Follow
The number one concern I hear from my clients is that if they switch gears and start pursuing the career that they really want, they won’t be able to make enough money to pay the bills.
This is a valid concern.
Leaving a “secure” job with a steady paycheck to step into the unknown definitely comes with some financial question marks. How do you know you’ll be successful? You don’t know! But let’s not forget that succeeding in anything has risks. There are no guarantees in the “stable” corporate career path either. Just ask the hundreds of thousands of people that are laid off of from their good paying jobs each year. (I see you out there!)
Here’s what I suggest you do. Create your own definition of success and measure yourself to that definition only. Not your lawyer Dad or your accountant Sister’s definition of success. You are the only one that can determine what a successful life and career looks like for you.
That certainly may include making lots of money, but sometimes it may not.
If doing work you love, work that matters to you, is a high value for you then I suggest you pursue your passion and do it! If you’re determined that this is the most important measure of success for your life and career then by following that passion you’ve already succeeded.
So what to do about making the big bucks? Get creative. It’s amazing how many opportunities present themselves when you’re open to and seeking them out. How badly do you want a meaningful career? How badly do you want to write that book or work with underprivileged children or support environmental improvements?
Start by getting involved in what matters to you, either on the side or in volunteer form. I do believe the money will eventually follow, but if it doesn’t, or if it takes a while, remember you’ve already succeeded, because you followed your heart and are doing work that matters to you.
Do what you Love and you’ll Never Work a Day in your Life
If someone tells you this. I think they’re lying!
The most successful and accomplished people in the world work really, really hard. This is true.
One of my favorite podcasts is called “How I Built This: with Guy Raz”. In this podcast Guy shares the stories of the world’s largest companies and their founders. It’s very interesting, inspiring and motivating. One thing I’ve never heard from any of the people that Guy interviews is that it was easy to build their business or run the companies they run. It’s just not easy.
But you know what they all say, that it’s rewarding. No matter how exhausted you are, work becomes rewarding and energizing when you absolutely love what you’re doing.
I’m an optimist. (Obvi!) Despite that, I realize that not everyone has the luxury of dropping everything and pursuing their passion full-time. But anyone can start taking steps to move in the direction of their dreams. I help people create career transition plans that get them from where they are now to where they want to be. I know it can be done.
You can question where you are, what financial resources you had and lost or never had at all. You can question the choices you’ve made or didn’t make that got you where you are today. You can play the hand you have or you can waste your time questioning the cards you were dealt.
The choice is yours.
Once you decide how you want to look at your life you then can decide to take actions in the direction of your dreams and start moving toward doing work you’ll love. Do this and you’ll be rich one way or another. Rich in life fulfillment or rich in the pocketbook. I think we all can agree - both would be nice ;)
Thank you for reading!