Today I want to open up about a controversial topic that has been weighing on my mind lately.
What’s your relationship with the stuff?
I grew up in a comfortable middle class household. My dad was successful in business and he invested wisely so that we could live comfortably. I was raised to believe that debt is to be avoided, saving is important, and hard work and good grades equal success. We didn’t spend money on stuff like trendy clothes, going out to eat, or fancy family vacations, but we lived in a big house and always had everything we needed.
When I was in 8th grade, my dad’s company went bankrupt and he lost his job. That same year my mom found out she was pregnant with my little sister, surprise!! As the oldest child, I felt a lot of responsibility as we downsized and went through this stressful transition and it made a big impact on me. Not necessarily a bad or lastingly traumatic impact (although my early high school journals say otherwise), but it was eye opening and I had to grow up a little faster than my friends.
I was raised to believe and trust that hard work and success would equal money, and that success and money were related to each other. Well, I graduated with my masters’ degree in 2011 after a long 24 years of achievement and academic success, and all of a sudden I was broke and under-employed. I felt totally worthless and had to confront failure face to face for the first time in my life. It was a rough wakeup call.
So my relationship with money has been kind of negative my whole adult life. I’m used to feeling “broke,” I’m used to stressing out about affording things I want, I’m used to feeling guilty after buying something fun for myself that's not a life necessity, like candles or clothes. I struggle with jealousy when my friends can afford nice clothes, manicures, or upgraded apartments. Every time we grocery shop I experience negative feelings of guilt and anxiety when the total rings up on the register, and I always feel like I need to budget more and spend less.
Throughout my whole life I believed that if I wanted to help others and change the world, I’d have to be in non-profits and settle for a limited income. But I’m realizing that’s not how the world works at all. Beachbody coaching has been a paradigm shift for me because it’s opening my eyes to the possibility of having financial freedom while custom-designing a life and career that fit my strengths, talents, and dreams perfectly. But....
Since quitting my job last fall, my relationship with money has become even more complicated.
I don’t have a nice reliable paycheck every two weeks just for showing up. I have to show up AND do the work now...and if I slack off or get overwhelmed or distracted or lose focus, I don’t make any money. I’ve only been self-employed for five months and while I know I’m establishing a strong and stable foundation, for the time being my income is unpredictable. I can pay my half of the bills, but there isn’t anything extra and it’s really really really hard to accept that things need time to grow. I’m learning to have patience and FAITH in both God and the “system” and I know that things will pick up this year.
I’m currently running training workshops for some of the new coaches on my team, and in our forum this week I asked them what they want “more” of in life. One of the most talented up and coming coaches shared that she wants more money, then said “just kidding.” I reassured her that it’s OK to want more money, and she responded with this:
“I definitely feel guilty about money sometimes and try to think of it as a bonus to helping people.”
Boom. It was like a Roman candle went off in my head.
So let’s go there. Let’s talk about money vs. helping people.
In my mind, I’ve always divided the world into two categories: people who are helpers and people who make the bucks.
- “Good” jobs, the helpful jobs, teachers, non profit workers, etc = broke
- “Bad” jobs, the Man, the system, capitalism and corporations and business = money
Non-profit = good
For profit = cold and heartless
It sounds kind of dumb when I write it out like that, doesn't it? Oh the lies and disbeliefs we convince ourselves are truths.
So, I’m going to come out and admit something I haven’t told anyone because it makes me feel guilty and ashamed: the number one reason I quit my job and career path in environmental non-profits to pursue network marketing with Beachbody?
I did it for the money.
I saw the earning potential, I see coaches on my team create 6 figure+ incomes in a matter of a few short years, and I decided I want that too.
Yup. I didn't decide to coach full-time for the “helping people” part, which is our mission and my personal passion, because at my job I WAS helping people, I WAS making a difference, I was changing lives of underserved kids in Chicago and it felt incredibly rewarding. I didn’t leave my job because I wasn’t feeling fulfilled.
I quit because I believe I’m worth more, and I want to provide a stable foundation for my future family.
I am smart, talented, and I want to be able to be financially compensated for living my truth. There’s no shame in that! I want to have control over my personal and professional growth, change lives, AND make more than $30,000/year, and I don’t believe those things are mutually exclusive. You don’t have to choose, and you for SURE don’t have to feel guilty for wanting to make more money if you are passionate about making a difference or working with non-profits.
There are a lot of wonderful women on my coaching team who want to help others and the financial aspect is a bonus to them, but something I realized today is that the money is my priority….being able to help others is my bonus. I’m having a blast, developing into the woman I know I’m meant to be, becoming a true leader, making lasting relationships, changing lives, and this is my calling. I am going to take it and run because I know I have something incredibly special and once in a lifetime with team Inspire Joy, and I know the hard work and struggle is going to pay off in a year or two.
Don’t feel guilty or ashamed for wanting more money.
Don’t feel like you’re “not a good person.” The self sacrificing mentality of “I want to help everyone and I don’t care about money” is great, but let’s face it. We need money to live in this world. We can live modestly and don’t have to waste it or be flashy and ostentatious, but it’s so important to feel secure.
Money is energy, freedom, abundance. If you feel abundant, if you don’t have to worry about living paycheck to paycheck, you will be able to relax, be happier, and GIVE MORE. One of my highest priorities in life is to be able to leave a legacy for my children and grandchildren. A career in non-profits might be fulfilling in the short term, but it’s not going to get me to that long term goal. With the unlimited potential of being able to create my own career, I can help people AND make money, and ultimately make an even bigger impact in the world by volunteering my time and resources to church and the non-profits I care about.
I felt guilty about all this for months but you know what? I’m going to embrace it.
I am not a bad person for wanting to be financially successful, and I am not selling out because with Beachbody I can create financial freedom WHILE helping others. It’s really a win-win, and it sounds too good to be true but it’s not. Network marketing has a tendency to get a bad reputation because most companies are sales-focused, but I have discovered a company whose mission is to help others. Literally. “To help others achieve their goals and lead happy, fulfilling lives.” It feels GOOD to me, and I’m going to take advantage of the opportunity I’ve been blessed with to build an organization and provide for my future family.
Don’t get me wrong, this whole life transition has NOT been easy, and nothing is perfect. I know I’m taking a big risk, and I know I’m very lucky and blessed to have a husband who supports me while I figure my shit out and struggle through the beginning phases. There are opportunity costs to every decision but I know with certainty that this is where I’m supposed to be. This decision isn’t for everyone, but it’s right for me. Trading my polo and khakis for leggings and fuzzy slippers, and FREEDOM to create my daily schedule based on what makes me happy is a bonus :)
No matter what your own goals or dreams are, you deserve to be well compensated for living your true purpose. Don’t listen to limiting stories from society, family, or your own head.
You don’t have to choose between money and helping others.
You have the power to write your own story. Don’t like where you are? Change your outlook, or change your circumstances.
Do what makes you feel good, and don’t ever settle for a life that is less than you deserve.
p.s. You can read more about joining my team as a coach HERE!
*Beachbody does not guarantee any level of success or income from the Team Beachbody Coach Opportunity. Each Coach's income depends on his or her own efforts, diligence, and skill. See our Statement of Independent Coach Earnings located in the Coach Online Office for the most recent information on our Coaches' actual incomes.