Let Your Job be an Investor in Your Life
Ep. 253
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In this episode of Lessons from a Quitter I talk about the different mindsets people have towards their jobs and how those mindsets can affect their overall experience. I want to help you look at your job as a means to an end, which can free up mental space and energy for other aspects of your life that you want to focus on. 

I want to encourage you to make the most of your job, even if you find it boring or unfulfilling, by using any extra time to work on a side hustle, passion project, or new hobby.

I also spend some time talking about people who hate their jobs and are making their situation worse by constantly ruminating on negative thoughts about their job. I go over how our thoughts about our jobs can create suffering and energy that take up mental space and prevent us from taking action to change our situation. That’s why I suggest treating your job as an investment in your business. So let’s start focusing on what we can do to make the most of our situation, whether it’s finding a new job, starting a side hustle, or simply changing our perspective.

Show Transcript
Hey, welcome to Lessons from a Quitter where we believe that it is never too late to start over. No matter how much time or energy you've spent getting to where you are. If ultimately you are unfulfilled, then it is time to get out. Join me each week for both inspiration and actionable tips so that we can get you on the road to your dreams. Hello my friends and welcome to another episode. I am so excited to have you here. Before we jump in, I had mentioned last week, I have some exciting things coming up and I'm so excited to let you guys know that we are running a live challenge at the end of May. I haven't done a challenge in almost two years, but I think more than two years. And I love doing these types of multi-day kind of three day challenges because it gives us a chance to really work together and coach and dive in and get some results in just a couple of days.
So we're doing the love it or leave it challenge. It is time to decide. Think about how much of your life you spend wasting and indecision in not knowing what you wanna do in one foot, in one foot out. In ruminating, in spinning, should I go, should I stay? Should I find another job? Should I stay in this job? And how much that costs you in time, in energy, in stress, in uh, rumination, in all the things. It is time to decide my friends, we are going to put an end to this and we're gonna kick that off with this challenge. I'm so, so excited to do this because I really wanna help you guys make a decision. We're gonna do it over three days, May 23rd, 24th, 25th, we're gonna do some teaching. We're gonna do tons of coaching. There's gonna be a pop-up community that you can join and be with all the other people that are also making a decision.
So if this sounds like something you're struggling with and you wanna learn how to make decisions, you're not really good at kind of deciding when there is all this fear and uncertainty, this is the challenge for you my friends. I want you to go to quitter club.com/challenge and sign up. It's free. I will send replays if you can't make the times, the calls will be at noon Pacific standard time every day. But I will send out a replay each day. I just would encourage you to block it off and put it on your calendar and show up because this is the beginning of taking momentum. And we all know what happens when we put things in our inbox to watch one day to listen to a replay. We never get to it. So decide to come, decide to show up. Make this the first decision that you make.
Sign up, put it on your calendar and come hang out with me. May 23rd, I can't wait to see you all. Okay? Now that we got that out of the way, let's chat about how to think about your job, how to use your job to create the life you want. And this is why I wanted to talk about this subject. One of the things that I have been seeing is whatever circumstance our job is, right, however many hours it takes, the stress that it comes with it, the job title, the things that we have to do, that's what the job is made up of. And then if you follow this podcast, you know we talk all about your thoughts and there's so many thoughts about our jobs and there's so much going on that creates suffering for us that doesn't have to be there. And it's always fascinating for me to he, when I coach people to hear how they talk about their job, we have this fundamental misunderstanding about what a job should be.
We have been given this idea that your job has to be your favorite place. It has to be somewhere that fills you up and you have to love it. You have to love it all the time. And you're, it's your family, right? Like we, corporate America loves to tell us that we're like a family. No you're not. It's a job. It gives you a paycheck. That's what it's there to do, okay? And I see so many people that really create so much suffering and create so much confusion and overwhelm because they're constantly thinking that something is missing from their job. They're constantly thinking that I should be more passionate about this. I should have some greater purpose. I'm not really contributing much. What is this really doing? I don't love it all day every day. Which spoiler alert, that just will never happen with any job because life is 50 50.
My friends have told you guys this a million times now. I love what I do. I absolutely feel like I'm doing exactly what I should be doing. And yet 50% of the time it's tasks I don't wanna do. It's tasks that I'm not great at. It's things that aren't my quote unquote zone of genius, which everyone tells you to try to find. I do a lot of things in my zone of genius. I do a lot of things I love and then half the time I do backend stuff and taxes and accounting and you know, marketing and things that I don't want to be doing. So the sooner we kind of understand this concept that maybe nothing is wrong here, maybe the job is great, it's paying my bills, that's what it was meant to do. Why am I even at this job? Is it creating the life that I want?
And I want you to really think about if you can treat your job as a job, if you can treat the job as like, okay, these are the finite amount of tasks I have to do in order to get a paycheck. And then that paycheck is what is going to fund my life. How much space, mental energy you free up to create that life you want. I've found that so many people I coach, they usually fall into two camps. Like there are people who actually have jobs they like, either they like them or they just have a pretty good setup. Like they're actually getting paid like a good amount to not do that much work. So people will say like, I'm really bored or I'm not really reaching my potential, I'm just being complacent. This isn't my passion. And that's fine. It's not to say that you can't go find something that is more intellectually stimulating or is something that you're gonna be more passionate about.
I mean, I want you to do that with eyes wide open knowing that that thing is also not gonna be the end all be all. It's not gonna be the thing that keeps you happy all the time. But there's not to say that that you can't go after something more. But I always think like, okay, well you've been given this gift that you have a job that is relatively easy for you to handle, that you maybe even have some extra time. Like I hear so many people that do work where you know, maybe they're sitting at a front desk somewhere or they're doing something where there isn't really much to do all day. And my thought is how wonderful you have all this free time now that someone's paying you. You could work on your side hustle, you could work on a passion project, you can find a new hobby.
There's all these things that your job can do for you if you utilize it, except you're sitting there constantly thinking about how much it sucks cuz it's so boring or how much it sucks because you're not reaching your potential and then you're not actually trying to reach whatever potential you think you have to get to. So I have the people who like the job or think it's good, but they're constantly telling themselves that there should be something more. And then we have the people who hate their job and think it's terrible and make it worse, right? It's like, okay, you've already decided that you're gonna stay there. You have a choice. And that's really important to know is that for whatever reason you're choosing to stay in this job that you think is terrible. And that's not like a shaming or a blaming type thing.
It's just like let's really understand why you're choosing to stay if you're staying for money or stability or maybe you wanna network and get to a different position before you leave. Or maybe there's some promise of some payoff. Like if you are vested after two years you get some stock options or you get a bonus or whatever it is, that carrot that they have dangled you have grabbed onto, you're like, yes, I'm gonna stay great. But then we make it so much worse with all of the rumination of like, I shouldn't be here. I'm wasting my life away. I can't believe like this can't be it. Why am I doing this? I'll never figure this out. And we create all of this drama instead of just accepting what is like, this is the job I've decided to do, I've chosen to do, okay, what do I want to think about it?
Because I want you to think about when you are subconsciously just thinking all of these thoughts about how terrible it is and you're ruminating and you're obsessing and you're constantly spinning and you're constantly one foot in, one foot out. I want you to think about what that creates for you. How much suffering and energy and time that takes up in sitting and thinking about how much this problem is a problem, whether it's the mundaneness, whether it's the hours, whether it's the pay, whatever it is, instead of using that as something to fuel the action that you wanna take. Like okay, if I wanna change this, what do I wanna do? We don't do that. We just sit and we're like, I hate this. I'm gonna stay but I'm just gonna keep ruminating. And so I want you to start thinking about how your thoughts about your job are creating that experience for you.
Not the actual job. Like the job may suck, it may be great, it may have a lot of good, bad whatever. And then there are all of our thoughts about the job that add on so much suffering and we start losing hope, right? When, when we are not making a decision to leave, when we are making a decision that like for the short term, for the next year, for the next three years, whatever it is, I've decided to stay because I need the money because it is a good stepping stone. Whatever my decision is, I'm gonna stay. But then I'm constantly telling myself I shouldn't be here. Maybe I should make another choice. I can't believe I have to stay here for another year, two years, three years. We start losing hope. It becomes like a very hopeless place. And so it seems like there's no light at the end of the tunnel.
And what's worse than that is like we start losing trust in ourselves because we're telling ourselves we should be doing something different but we're not doing anything different. And so you start creating a story that like I can't trust myself to figure this out, to take the next step to change this. We start unwittingly becoming victims in our own lives. Victims meaning like feeling helpless. There's nothing I can do when there absolutely is all of the control is with you. You can make a choice I talked about about the challenge. It's just making a decision and you have made a decision, right? The absence of a decision is a decision. Like deciding not to leaves means you've decided to stay. And that could be a really good decision. You might have really good decisions to stay, but you're like, you know what? I'm gonna make this decision and then I'm just gonna beat myself up every single day and I'm gonna constantly focus on how much I hate it.
And we all know what happens. Like you've all have had this with so many things where it's when you focus on it, it grows. Like you've had a situation where chewing loudly and becomes an obsession, that's all you can hear. And you get to the point where you wanna murder them and it started out with just like they're an annoying chewer or something similar like that. Like your boss acts a certain way and then you start focusing on it and all of your energy goes to finding it and ruminating over it and wondering why he does this. And then before you know it, it's such a big issue for you because that's where you've put all of your attention. And so I want you to start thinking about your job as an investor in your life. I've heard a lot of people speak about this, so I don't know who kind of uh, coined this term.
And I know people talk about this like your job as an investor in your business and it's for a lot of people that want to start a side hustle or wanna start a business, it's a really good way of thinking. Like if you were gonna go start a business in a traditional sense and maybe you needed to get a loan or maybe you needed to get investors cuz you needed a lot of capital to start it, it's a, we live in a time where you don't need that anymore. Where maybe you're starting an online business and it doesn't require as much capital. And so you can look at your own job as an investor in your business. You can look at like hey, I am making this sacrifice for the future of my business from for my future. I'm going to stay and work and put the money that this job affords me either to my lifestyle so that my business doesn't have to sustain us or into my business so that I can grow it right?
I don't need to take out loans, I don't need to get other investors. I'm gonna invest in this business and eventually that business is going to replace this job. It's a beautiful way of thinking about it. If you are gonna start a side hustle, if you are gonna start a business, it absolutely is an essential way of treating your job. Like the job is the investor great. I don't need it to be my favorite place. I don't need it to be something I'm super passionate about. I don't need it to be something that's like the most thrilling thing in the world. I just need it to give me the money I need so that I can build this business on the side. Which by the way was like never possible before, right? I'm not about hustle culture, but if you need to stay in your job until you can replace your salary, it is a beautiful time to be alive because you can do that cuz you can build a business on a couple hours a day or a week and you can do that on the side.
And often the reason we can't do that is because our thoughts won't allow us to. It's not that we don't have the time or we can't find the time or that it's not enough time. I've seen people build businesses on like an hour a day. Dale Sharon was on the podcast. She used to have 12 hour days as a social worker with her commute, her three hour commute and she built her side hustle up to $300,000 before she ever quit. And she did it 30 minutes in the morning, 30 minutes at night. And so a lot of us like to believe that we don't have the time or we can't do it because we're constantly spending our time ruminating and obsessing over how terrible our job is and how terrible the situation is and how we can't get it together and beating ourselves up. And imagine how much time you have when you stop that and you just decide like, okay, this is the situation right now.
This is what my job is affording me. It's giving me the luxury of being able to not feel super stressed about my business bringing in money right now. It's able to pay for my expenses, it's able to fund the marketing or setting up of my business. It's able to do a lot of things. How freaking wonderful, right? Stop giving more to your job than what it requires. Your job is a job. Leave it where it's done. Come home. Work on your business, right? Trust your plan to leave in the future. Know that this is a short amount of time. Let it be an investor. It's such a beautiful thing. But I love this term. Even if you don't wanna start a business, even if you don't wanna start a side hustle, let your job be the investor in your life. Decide the type of life you wanna have.
Now I'm not saying that you can't find a job that you love, that you feel great about. Fine, I will say that I would. I want you to really get clear on what does that mean? Because when I tell you I've coached people on the most, I don't even wanna say just normal thoughts actually, but a lot of people for instance will say, I don't feel like I'm contributing enough. All coach people who have jobs where seemingly on the outside, it seems like they're contributing a lot. They work for really impactful non-profits. They are in the medical field saving people's lives, doing lots of things that are changing the world and they still have the thought. I don't think I'm contributing that much cuz on the day-to-day we're not out here fighting fires, right? We're sitting behind a desk and maybe you're working on some grand initiative in your job, but on your day-to-day doesn't feel like you're doing much cuz you're just like a cog in that wheel.
You're doing one aspect of it. But it's really important to know like when will my brain believe that I'm doing enough? Cuz I see people leave and go to other types of careers because they want to have more impact only to get there and have the same thoughts. Like I'm not really doing much. And so you really wanna question like when would it be enough? What am I supposed to be doing? When do I feel like I have enough con contribution? And until I get there, again, I'm all about quitting and leaving and finding the thing that you love. But while you're choosing to stay, allow your job to just be the investor in your life. What if you didn't have to love it every day? What if you didn't have to make it the most amazing experience? What if it wasn't a family? What if you didn't have to love your coworkers or your boss?
What if you didn't have to worry about making a huge contribution to the world every single day? What if your contribution to the world was building your life, showing up for your family, being a pleasant person, being nice to people because you're actually happy and you're doing things outside of your home, outside of your work? One of the exercises I do in the club and I really encourage people to do is really thinking about like their dream life and what that would look like and what specific things they would be doing every day. Because for so many of us, we can do those things now, right? Outside of really extravagant things like maybe luxury vacations or whatnot. The day-to-day of like what we envision our dream life are things that are available to us, right? I've talked about this like when I did my this exercise for myself, a lot of it included.
Like I would wake up without an alarm and I would sit and drink my coffee in my backyard and I would read first thing in the morning and then I would slowly go into my day and you know, yada yada yada. I would have all this luxury time to work out and go for walks and be out in nature and slowly cook meals that are nourishing and wonderful and spend time with my family and be present and have more dinner parties, all those things. All of those things are available to me and have been available to me my entire adult life. I just chose not to take them cuz I'm always in a state of panic that I'm not doing enough that there's other things I need to do that my to-do list is still piling up and on and on and on. And I see so many people put off their lives for some day for one day, and we don't even know when that day is.
How much money do I have to have before I can slow down? How much prestige do I have to have? What position do I have to have? And I love that we think like once I get there, once I have accomplished more, once I have a bigger business, once I've gotten the promotion, then I can slow down, then you have more responsibility, then you have more worries, then you have more on the line. What if you could slow down? Now? What if you could decide my job is a job and it is there to invest in the life that I want out of my job, outside of my job? What does that look like for me? And how can I start doing that? You don't have to do it all day every day. And a lot of people will say, well, like, well, I can't do it.
I can't have my dream life because I can't wake up without an alarm. Well, you could on a Saturday or you could on a Sunday. Why are you not doing it then? Why aren't you taking that midday nap? What are the thoughts that you have about yourself if you do that? Usually it's not things that we can't do, it's just things that we won't let ourselves do because we think that makes me lazy. I'm not good enough, won't ever get anywhere, people will judge me. And so we're constantly keeping ourselves in this hamster wheel of getting to some place and we miss out on our whole life. Decades and decades go by and we never slow down to create the life that we want. And so I want you to just start by changing how you think about your job. Your job ha doesn't have to be anything other than what it's, it doesn't have to provide you with anything more.
If you cannot have a life outside of it, then you might want to consider leaving earlier. You might wanna get that plan in place very quickly. But if it can, if your job can be an investor in your life, if your job can serve the purpose of just paying you for the tasks that you do and it can allow you to leave and set boundaries and decide that you're not gonna check the emails at night and you're not gonna be the first to respond and you're not gonna need to be perfect or please everybody, then my God, do it. Start implementing those thoughts. Start creating that approach to your job. Start allowing your job to simply give you the money to create the life that you want. Start figuring out what that life is even. What does that even look like? What would you even do?
You can work backwards if you didn't have to work, if you had the money that you needed, what would you do every day? And then figure out how can you incorporate some of that stuff outside of your work Now, how can you start setting boundaries so that you have time to be out in nature or you have time to go for a walk or you have time to drink your coffee in the morning and not check emails until a certain time. When you work backwards and you work intentionally and you start implementing these things, it's amazing how much your life can actually change instead of waiting for some day when all of a sudden you're gonna have some magical windfall and make all this money and then everything's gonna fall into place. That typically will not happen. I'm not saying it can't. Maybe I'll win the lottery, but I just wouldn't hold my breath for it.
So just decide for this week. You don't have to do it forever. You can decide to go back to ruminating and obsessing. And again, this doesn't mean that you can't start making plans for changing your career or finding the one that you love doing or finding one that has more contribution or you're more passionate about. We can do all of those things, but let's not put off our happiness until we do those things. Let's decide right now, if in the next week my job is simply an investor in my life, what do I want for my life outside of it? How can I allow it to just be what it is? How can I not need it to fulfill any other part of me, but simply I have to treat my job like a job. I'm gonna go do my work and then leave. I'm gonna go.
I don't need it to be more of anything. I don't need to be more fun, more passionate, more productive, more. I don't need to give more contribution. I don't need to love everybody there. Watch how different things become in just one week. Start thinking about how much less time you spend ruminating over how terrible it is and simply accepting like this is what the job is right now and I'm choosing to stay here and until I do, it's good enough and I'm gonna go and figure out what do I want to use this job for outside of this. So go out there and let your job. Just be an investor in your life. Let it be the thing that lets you create the life you want and go out and create that life. Now, starting today, find one thing that you can do outside that fulfills you, that makes you happy, that is your passion, that gives you rest.
Whatever that is, you don't need your job to do that for you. You can do that for you. And if you need help with this, even this specific thing, if you need help with really accepting where you're at and deciding are you gonna stay there or are you gonna leave? I want you to join us in the love it or leave it challenge. Part of it is this exact thing that we're talking about is just learning to decide on purpose. Learning to make a choice. Like, hey, I'm staying here. I'm choosing to love it for now. And how can I do that? What do I change in order to be able to do that? How long am I going to stay? All of these decisions are what free you up to then use the rest of the time to figure out the life you want.
So join us for the Love It or Leave It challenge on May 23rd. You can go to quitter club.com/challenge and I hope to see you there till then. I will see you all next week for another episode. Hey, if you are looking for more in-depth help with your career, whether that's dealing with all of the stress, worry, and anxiety that's leading to burnout in your current career or figuring out what your dream career is and actually going after it, I want you to join me in the Quitter Club. It is where we quit what is no longer working like perfectionism, people pleasing imposter syndrome, and we start working on what does and we start taking action towards the career and the life that you actually want. We will take the concepts that we talk about on the podcast and apply them to your life and you will get the coaching tools and support that you need to actually make some real change. So go to lessons from a quitter.com/quitter club and get on the wait list. Doors are closed right now, but they will be open soon.