Last update: 09-Dec-2013 1:43 am
Monday, December 09, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
You are here
Balancing financial security and job satisfaction
Melissa, 40, was making a great income but hadn’t been enjoying her job for years. It didn’t take much work on identifying her passions and values to figure out that she is a bona fide dog lover—the kind of person who creates an immediate bond with any dog that she comes into contact with. She couldn’t see how loving dogs could make her a good living. One of her first coaching assignments was to start a business in the evenings and she came up with the idea of running her own dog care business. She knew she needed financial security so she started the business while still working full-time. She used her evenings and weekends to research the best locations for a dog day care, purchased a great property and hired staff to run the business. Needless to say, she didn’t have much spare time on her hands, but keeping her day job gave her the financial security she felt she needed to know she didn’t have to make an immediate or huge profit from her business. Far better to be busy than financially stressed! Working full-time also forced her to define procedures and policies for her business in a manual, as well as train and hire a full-time manager and staff to run the place without her. This freed her up to work on the more interesting projects like marketing campaigns to get new clients for her business.
Here are four critical questions that were asked of Melissa: How did working on identifying and satisfying your personal requirements and needs make a difference? “It is so important to realise what it is in life that you actually crave—for me that was security and balance. I knew that financial security was a need of mine, but I had no idea about the balance thing. And boy, did I have an unbalanced life—constant travel, stress, not sleeping. I was totally in the wrong field for someone who needed balance. My corporate existence was always up and down. I was moving to places I didn’t particularly want to live in for a job that I didn’t particularly enjoy. It was total unbalance. Balance seemed so foreign—so boring to me. I want to be going going all the time, so why would I need balance? Now I see that I can’t be myself without it and that it was impossible for me to achieve balance while working. How can you be balanced if you wake up in the middle of the night worrying about some personnel issue?
What was the shift for you in finally quitting your day job? “After year one the business was starting to break even and was turning a profit ahead of time. I had budgeted it to be profitable by year two, so this was a pleasant surprise. I was steadily paying back the business loan and my accountant was impressed with the prospects for the business. Even then, I was very terrified to let go of my day job. I held onto my day job until I realized that in the past six months of working I had only saved $5,000. I was reminded that the point of the day job was to provide financial security and that if I had spent those forty plus hours a week for six months on marketing for new dogs, I would easily have made more than the $5,000. So all of the sudden, the financial reasons for keeping the day job had disappeared and it made sense to quit and work on the business full time. I was given a coaching assignment of writing my letter of resignation—an assignment that was really easy to do! It was turning it into my boss that was the hard part.”
What was the turning point for you? “I just got to the point where I was so tired all the time. Someone told me something very important that really hit home—that time was something you can never get back, but money you can always make. I’m in my 40s, I’m not getting any younger. I realised that I had to do this now because I won’t have the energy in my 50s. I was ready. It was just a matter of realising that it was going to be okay. My worse-case scenario if things didn’t work out as planned was to go back to a 9-5 job. That was my safety net.”
What advice do you have for others? “Do it sooner rather than later. I go back to the advice that I received, “Time is the only thing you can’t get back. You can always make more money.” If you have a need for financial security, start your business on the side to give yourself the comfort level you need. I wish, when I was advised to start saving money and making a bigger nest egg that I had listened. I was in such a place where I was still buying things to fill a void. Why do something that makes you miserable every day? My fear was financial even though it wasn’t a real fear because I had a lot of money in savings and I could have found another job. The needs and values are so important. Now I know clearly what I need, my personal requirements—what my mind and body has to have and don’t confuse that with wants.”
You too can change your life!
User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment writer and are not representative of Guardian Media Limited or its staff. Guardian Media Limited accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Please help us keep out site clean from inappropriate comments by using the flag option.
Guardian Media Limited reserves the right to remove, to edit or to censor any comments. Any content which is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will be removed.