Shortly after I turned 30 I hit my first big financial career goal - an $100k year. I think I was pretty close to being "on the money" that year. #PunIntended That same year I had my worst mental health crisis landing me in an out-patient hospital program for depression and anxiety. Cynical panic attacks and suicidal ideation were my constant companion because I felt like I was failing. Yes - during the year where I made $100k for the FIRST time - I felt like I was failing. My mind had temporarily fallen apart. Why? There are several compounding factors but one big one is that money is a hallow goal. Money and career 'progression' had become a personal measure of my value, being "successful" was my identity. And then I felt empty the moment that I could not see an endless runway of income.
What I know now is that my TRUE ambition is something that money HELPS provide - #freedom. Freedom from debt, from distracting obligation, from location (to travel) and from unrealistic expectations. Freedom from the fear of college loans and credit card debt. Freedom to build something #meaningful, to leave my mark with whatever time I have. Freedom to take care of others when they find themselves in a tough spot - to give.
Corporations are not designed to support the dream of financial freedom. They are built on rules that will limit those that work within and provide true wealth only to those close to the top. There is a reason why people compare jobs to running on a hamster wheel. I won't discount the learning that comes with being part of an established organization. We offer our time and skills, in return we receive learning and a paycheck.
Having my #sidehustles facilitates a different, ancillary, path toward #meaning and #freedom. And the organizations I work for have benefited from those experiences since I bring my whole self everywhere these days.
I guess what I am saying is that 8-years ago I did not know how to put words, or actions, to manifesting my hopes and dreams... not until I put the idea of money aside. The idea that money along would satisfy me. Money is just a tool; a bartering medium.
This Fast Company article is on to something that many of us feel. https://www.fastcompany.com/90896267/self-employment-is-the-new-american-dream I hope everyone finds a way to their version of freedom.
What does freedom look like to you?
#mentalhealth #work #people #money #mentalhealthcrisis #learning #career #jobs #womenofcolor #blackentreprenuer