Teaching people to earn their worth has taught me that earning more money doesn’t always make you wealthier. I launched the Millionaire Girls’ Movement three years ago and I’ve learned a lot from teaching people how to earn their worth. One of the things I’ve learned is that a well paying job you hate is expensive and probably won’t make you wealthy.
I’ve worked with lots of executives, entrepreneurs, attorneys, and accountants who are smart, competent, successful and sometimes miserable. I remind potential clients that the appearance of success is easy. You can get a great job, excel at your work and accomplish your goals. Hard work and a solid strategy can help you achieve what ever you want. That’s not the problem. The challenge is creating a career that you love, because if you don’t, you spend all that money you’re earning trying to buy a life that you love. I know many people who earn north of half a million dollars a year living paycheck to paycheck. Ask any asset manager or wealth advisor and he or she will tell you that there is no shortage of high-income earners with low net worth. For this reason, I select my clients very carefully because I have no interest in contributing to a cycle of misery and I don’t believe that building wealth through work you love is as mysterious as people might have you believe.
When you can’t wait for Friday and dread Monday, you’re spending most of your work week, which is most of your time, wasting yourself rather than enjoying yourself. This leads to purchasing expensive cars that lose their sex appeal after a couple of months or handbags that cost as much as a mortgage. High earners who hate their work justify excessive purchases by saying, If I’m going to work in a job that I hate, I’m going to buy the things that I want. It’s not a terrible argument. Why wouldn’t you? The only problem is that money should buy you freedom and choices. And earning a lot of money and being broke creates a kind of self-imposed prison that gets harder to escape with the acquisition of new homes, more credit card debt, and more stuff. I’m not opposed to having nice things so long as those things aren’t owning you. I have a house that I love and I can afford.
To be clear I’m not a fan of blindly chasing your passion either. I see the impact of people who fund an illusion that costs them their homes, relationships, and happiness. Accumulating debt and being constantly anxious about money is a terrible way to live – in fact it’s really not living at all.
I created work I love but if you’re not an entrepreneur – create a job you love. Instead of trying to earn more, think about earning smart. Make sure that you earn enough to support your life and fund your future but don’t choose work merely because it pays more – it may end up costing you more!
It’s important not to think about just what a job pays but what will it cost you? How much time will you spend commuting to buy a big house far from work? How much sleep will you lose in stress and anxiety? How much of your life will be lost in work you don’t care about with people you don’t enjoy? How will the job impact your spending habits?
We are an either/or culture when it comes to work in this country. You may love your job and be broke or hate your job and earn money. I’ve always been suspicious of these assumptions and have chosen to challenge them. I work for love not just money and it’s made all the difference in the world. Working for love means that I put in more time because my work is not drudgery. Because I put in more time, I make more money and have greater ownership over how I spend my time and the kind of work I do. My goal is to earn enough to be able to say “no” to work that I don’t want.
I remind my clients that time, not money is our most precious asset. It’s a diminishing asset and no matter who you are or how much you earn you can’t buy, beg, borrow or steal more time. Spend your time and your money carefully. Don’t squander your time on a job that costs you your happiness, your freedom or your security. When I started out and told people that I wanted to earn a great living writing, speaking and coaching and I didn’t want to work with jackasses most people looked at me like I was saying that I wanted to be a unicorn. Spending time with my sons and traveling was part of my business plan – not just some personal goal. If you truly want to be wealthy don’t just work for more money, make your money work to create a life you deserve.