“It’s just a paycheck!” How many times have you heard that expression and it made you cringe with the realization that yes, you might very well be a slave to the almighty dollar. When they tell you to follow your dreams, your passion and even your desire, do you stop and think, “Yeah, but will it ultimately pay the bills?” Paying for keeps is like playing for keeps: if you don’t start looking after yourself no one else will, including your boss.
I once was asked whether I thought it was wise for someone to abandon what they loved for a very comfortable salary. My response was, “Why can’t you have both? Who said you had to choose?” We all feel that we are not worthy of having it all that somewhere, someone is keeping score and we have to trade down in order to trade up. If you are one of those people who feel that you are not in a position to give up the job that is killing you everyday because it pays the bills -think again. You are not going to win any new friends or allies because you are good at sucking up and sticking it out no matter how miserable it all seems. At the end of the day, your not so astute boss can see through that game. No, you are going to have to do better than that if you truly want to “pay” for keeps.
When you play the pay game you are not only waging a battle with your conscious but also with your checking account. When the bills keep coming, or you had to take a recent pay cut to work to support your family, you can easily lose sight of your greater purpose, your vision or as Oprah would say, “The life you were meant to live!” It sounds all too good to be true but at the end of the day the bills don’t stop coming even though your creative spark is dying a slow death.
Balancing what you are suppose to be doing now and in the future against what you are forced to do because of your financial situation takes a great deal out of you emotionally and of course economically. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes we are forced to make decisions about our future under duress or when the situation becomes intolerable. Not that I’m suggesting you set off a chain reaction of chaos to spur your creative juices! But knowing when enough is enough and you just can’t swipe your key-card one more time on your way to work, is a sign it’s time to move on at any cost.
Strategically plotting out your next move happens best when you know your bills are covered. It’s not so much that you have to go into debt to find your passion but you should at least try to plan out how you will make the next move when you have a job. Knowing that there is a way to accomplish both, getting paid for what you love and following your ambitions, should be enough to get you through the next card-swipe knowing it could be your last. On your terms of course!
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