There are tons of books, podcasts and experts in the finance area. They all tell you different things too. Like one will say it’s good to have a tiny bit of debt so you can retain a good credit score. Another will tell you zero debt and paying cash for everything is best. I have found there is value in the advice out there but there is also a lot that is not said. For example, no one tells you what happens after your debts are paid or your savings accounts start to show life what to do. More importantly they don’t tell you how it feels and how to live that way the rest of your life.
Unfortunately a lot of dependence for our wealth comes from our jobs. It is a love hate situation that tends to weigh more heavily on the hate side. Over 72% of us dislike our job. That’s not exactly speaking highly of how we spend the bulk of our time each week and yet it is our lifeline to paying off debt and building wealth. What a situation! I can accept doing what you need to be get in a better financial situation, we have all been there. Yet when you do get to more even ground financially are we still supposed to put up with disliking and being dissatisfied with our jobs? NO!
First, I do believe we need to get a serious handle on our spending and position ourselves financially to lessen the dependency we feel on our jobs. Secondly, I think we need to build something that further reduces that dependency and the risk it creates when that employer decides on a whim they don’t need us anymore. If we’re going to build wealth then let’s also build the security around it so that it is completely and freely our own. My approach to that was starting my own business while I am still working in my job. It gives me the time and resources to invest in my business without the panic of needing the business to pay for my family’s bills and mortgage.
The next thing I believe is super important about building wealth is realizing once you get a little money in the bank that you have a plan for how it is going to be used. How will you grow that money so that not only your dependence on your disliked job reduces more but you have a fulfilling path forward on how you’re going to live. This is where I believe the calling to live more naturally is appropriate. If we’re going to keep going the same way we were, then just because we have a little money stashed up isn’t going to improve our situation. We need to grow as our money grows so that we realize how to use it differently and grow our own life happiness and contentment in the process. If you only have money but no love you really don’t have anything.
Where the experts fail us in this area is that after the relief of the debts is gone and we are working on things like building our retirement balances and building our savings is what we are feeling. That is powerful to feel that every time you get a paycheck you don’t have to write a mountain of bills against it. It is liberating and we have a boost of confidence we didn’t have before. That is ideal for considering how you will use your new found freedom to do what you really want in your life. It is not a feeling most of us experience so when it happens we are a little lost. It is also easy to slip back into old habits because it is what we know best and it’s comforting.
Most of us will still need to work at least some so why not use this opportunity to work at something you love, that lights you up and is not dependent on a profit driven company mentality and jerk boss who doesn’t have your back?When I started Dragonspit Apothecary I was going through some very challenging things in my work and family. There were many things happening at work where I could see a mile away I was being setup to take the fall for and while that was happening my husband was crumbling under the weight of PTSD. There was not a single area in my life that didn’t suck and wasn’t on fire. This was not the perfect time to start a new business and it sure seemed like an out of my mind moment but I did it anyway. I knew I was going to need to find a new job and my life was upside down but I knew in my heart this was the one way I could figure out to have at least a sense of control somewhere.
While my life is not that crazy right now, I still work in a corporate job and while the boss is different he’s not the best guy either. I know it is a matter of time before something else happens and well I’ll need to find another position. We all know that feeling and that’s why every 2 to 3 years most of us are back on the job market. Yet what has happened since then is our wealth has built because we changed how we were living as a family. My business has grown, while slowly and based on my limited time but it is still bigger than it was on day 1. We are building wealth and a future at the same time.
I was tired and burned out from the chaos of corporate work. It had taken all I had and then some and I was over that feeling of being used. Yes it paid for our bills and helped position ourselves to safeguard our little bit of savings but I was putting way more in than I got back. What they don’t tell you about building wealth is the sacrifice you put into that is ridiculous. You work hard, long hours putting up with a lot of bullshit from people to make that happen. I wanted a better way to achieve it because that didn’t feel good to me. It is my belief that the journey should feel just as pleasant as the arrival. It should be a learning experience that leaves us stronger not burned out, worn out and ready for retirement.
Here’s the area I feel people don’t talk enough about when building wealth, it is natural. We should not have to check out and go mind numb to recover from the stress we are enduring just to say we have some money in the bank. Letting our health degrade, our emotions and adrenals be depressed is not what it means to live well. It is one thing to work hard but it is another to have it take so much from our lives that we question why we did it at all. Making the experience of building wealth be a rewarding and exciting journey feels so much better. I personally wasn’t willing to give away my soul anymore to just have a fluffy bank account.
I think it is fantastic to see people work hard to pay off a debt, but let’s keep the perspective of why we’re doing that and where it is leading us also at the forefront. Our freedom from debt is a great start and where most of the experts spend their time talking but the journey of how that is done needs to represent us. It needs to feel like us and work well in our life. Then once the debts are gone it is when that feeling expands even more and we truly get to step into what it means to give our time and talents to something that makes the world better. For me it was starting a business and blogging, to share with you the learning process I went through to live more naturally.
If you’d like to explore what this could mean in your life, please visit my website or contact me at dragonspitapothecary.com