Back in May of 2016, I left a management job where I was making enough money to live comfortably. I could pay my bills and still had “fun money”. I could go to Target and impulsively buy $50 worth of stuff I didn’t need and I didn’t think twice about it. I thought this was the good life. I was way off.
So why did I leave to make less money? Well, for me personally there were a couple influencers at work. First, the job I was working required me to work 55 hours a week. I was spending 55 hours of my precious time, helping someone else build their dream, while my aspirations sat on the shelf collecting dust. In fact, I had forgotten altogether that I too had dreams. I had no idea what I wanted anymore, and even if I did know, I had no time to do anything about it.
In addition to lack of time, I also had very little energy to attend Zumba and work on my fitness. Now, Zumba for me is much more than exercise and a way to get fit and sexy. Dance is a passion and an outlet. I go to Zumba to sure, get fit and whatnot, but I also go to let loose, cope with life’s challenges, and raise my vibrations. I needed more Zumba in my life.
Thirdly (I know it’s not a word, but it could be), my wonderful sister Leah and her awesome husband Brent, who are Naturopathic Physicians, were looking for someone to be their office manager, and they knew I would be a wonderful fit for that role. I had the positive energy and people skills that would bring to their office, the peace and light they sought. Bonus, this would also mean more time with my family! She had offered me the possibility in the past somewhat jokingly, and I just brushed it off because obviously I couldn’t leave a job to make less money, right?
Now, the decision was not an easy one, but only because of financials. I would be taking a pretty significant cut in pay, and I knew I would have to do some serious budgeting. I also knew, I would be okay. I could afford food, and my gym membership, and to pay my bills. I could afford to feed my dogs good food. Really, it was just the unnecessary, unplanned purchases I would not be able to make anymore, and was that really a loss?
Basically, I was trading a few nights a week eating out & frivolous purchases of clothes I didn’t need, for more sleep, more quality time with loved ones, and the real win, time for me figure out and work towards my own dreams and goals!
Making this career switch which brought me less money, encouraged me to get my priorities in order. Since leaving I have adopted a very Minimalist lifestyle, and have awakened to what it really, truly, actually… important in life. I find joy in small moments. I appreciate sleeping in past 5:00am. I attend Zumba 3 to 4 days a week. I see my brother-in-law and sister, and new nephew way more than I would have if I was still working 55 hours plus.
Of course someday I hope to pay off my bills and have more expendable income that sure, I could just go right back to Target and throw it all at the industry and say “Here’s my money, thanks for the useless shit!”… Or, and what I plan to do, is with my new found understanding of my priorities, and my grasp on what real value is, I can invest in creating memories, planning adventures, and giving freely!
If I had not made this change, I would not have opened my eyes and my mind. I would not have been able to wrap my head around the valuable lesson that Minimalism teaches us. Less really is more. When you have little, your world is opened up. Your values shift, your priorities align, and your life is better for it.
Do you know why, we think that earning more and more money is the measurement of success? Not because we decided it is, but because that is what industry tells us.
The media is constantly reminding us that there are bigger and better things we could buy that will enhance our quality of lives! Bigger houses! Bigger cars! Fancier phones!
“People of the world, we want you to be happy… truly, and this is what will take you there! Let us help you!”… so said the industry leaders.
What a crock. No thanks Industry, instead of lining your pockets with millions of dollars, I think I will keep my hard earned money and invest in something more valuable. People. Experiences. Dreams… and not yours… mine.
So this, my fam, is why making less money, brought me more happiness and encouraged me to shift my values and perspectives. Now, I tell you… If you love what you do, by all means do it for 100 hours a week, please. But if you are not happy where you work, if it leaves you unfulfilled and tired, but you are afraid to lose the money… do not be afraid. You will be okay.
Jason Mraz said “Take a leap and the net will appear”. Now, I do encourage you to have somewhat of a plan. Don’t quit your job and sit on your couch waiting for good things to happen. Things don’t just happen for us. But if you set your mind to it, and you have good intentions, you will figure it out, and you will thrive. You will grow in ways you did not know you wanted to grow in.
I hope this personal account of my experiences helped to encourage you or open some windows of thought. I would love to hear from anyone who has taken similar risks and flourished because of them!
XO – Zurby