I almost walked away from coaching.
Actually, to be more accurate, I almost walked away from my coaching training program, which I wasn’t even attending in order to become a “real live coach”, but rather just to learn some more people management skills for “when I went back to managing teams in my ‘real’ career.”
It wasn’t that I didn’t love coaching–it was that I loved it SO much! It felt like the equivalent of that “you complete me” line, but for work. I hadn’t felt that lit up, that aligned, that curious, in flow, and engaged, and captivated, and firing on all cylinders, and simultaneously so at ease–in maybe…ever?
And, then, this so-called “fact” that I had picked up somewhere along the way chimed in and it goes something like this:
“You can either be a rich ‘sell-out’ or a starving artist.”
In other words, you can either love your work and be broke, or be miserable in your work and make bank. And since I loved this coaching stuff so damn much, it must mean that I would have to choose this ‘starving artist’ category. It must mean that it didn’t count as “real work” and that it wouldn’t be possible to make a living this way…and basically would just be ‘irresponsible’ and ‘impractical’ and a big fat waste of time.
And so, I almost walked away from my calling, from my ikigai, without even finishing the training because of some “fact of life” that I had absorbed from someone I don’t remember, at some point I don’t remember. Because I thought I had to choose between meaning and money, between fulfillment and security, between work I love and a lifestyle I love (slash just living in NYC!).
(Side note: No wonder we all hate work!!! Choosing between not being compensated for our work or work we hate?! Seems like a pretty lame catch-22 to me! Who makes this crap up?! Oh right…#patriarchy)
Thankfully, I was desperate enough for work I loved, and stumbled upon the thing that was so aligned, that I couldn’t not do it, that I decided (after a painful 6 month pause…) to continue coaching, even if it meant I had to be a “starving artist”.
Thankfully, what this decision actually did was give me the opportunity to call BS on this ridiculous and unfounded dichotomy! In fact, to PROVE BS, I built my own 6-figure business within 1 year, and have supported hundreds of coaching clients create work they love while making more money as well!
I discovered the following:
- Purpose, fulfillment, and money are actually BFF!
- Purpose, or “career alignment”, and money are positively correlated, NOT negatively correlated.
- Career alignment”, in fact, leads to exponential income growth (and exponential fulfillment growth, too!).
In short, mindful money-making is our M.O here. We build conscious careers that live at this intersection:
Money meets Meaning meets Mastery
…where money is not the shameful underbelly of the equation, but rather an essential element, without which the meaning and the mastery falls apart.
Still skeptical? For all my underfulfilled, overachieving brains out there, here’s the linear, logical proof:
Premise: when you’re doing the work that you are uniquely well-suited to do in the world (we call this “career alignment”), you will, by definition, be amazing at what you do and be making a unique and indisputable impact.
- The more aligned your work is (meaning), the more impact you will have.
- The more impact you have, the more value you are offering.
- The more value (mastery) you are offering, the more money you will earn.
- *Bonus*: The cycle continues for exponential growth! The more money you earn, the more you can invest in yourself, your growth and development. This investment goes directly into increasing your aligned achievements (meaning), which means more even more mastery achieved.
And cycle continues:
more mastery–>more meaning–>more money–>more mastery…
Now, this won’t happen overnight. And these are major mental mindset and behavioral shifts that aren’t easy to make (because: human lizard brains resist change). You’ll need to do some experimenting to find your right work, and within that, your right impact and right value. And sure, you may have to take a short-term paycut for long-term growth, as you learn new ways of being with yourself and your work, and get into right relationship with money and income and investment.
BUT, you, too, do not have to make this lame and miserable choice between meaning and money, work you love and a life you love, and fulfillment and security.
Mindful money-making through conscious career building is a bit of an art and a bit of a science, but it CAN be taught. I believe deeply (and have tons of anecdotal evidence!) that it is available to everyone who can learn how to find it.
MY JOB, as I see it, is to make sure that everyone who wants to learn mindful money-making has access to the resources and support they need to do so.
YOUR JOB is to take the action and make the commitment to the resources and support that you need to “mindful money-make”! (Unless you’re not interested in making money and having fulfillment at once, in which case…why are you here again!?)
There’s no one right way to do it, but DO take some action, any action, TODAY, RIGHT NOW, before you close this browser window. Get a coach, buy a book, start a daily “Journal Gym” practice, check out this article to start thinking about building your conscious career Kondo-style, or get more info about learning mindful money-making and conscious career building with us in our “WTF Am I Doing with My Life?” career bootcamp at wtfamidoing.co