A life lived on the rat-race wheel, chasing dollars to maintain a lifestyle that no longer serves your emotional well-being, is no fun.
As the owner of Sharing Profiles (HireMeAspen is our flagship website), I had reached my corporate limit at the end of 2007. Yet, I continued to barely hold on to my Dow Jones job until early 2010 when it became increasingly evident that I was doing a disservice to both my company and to myself.
With each passing day, it became more and more painful to put on a fake smile. The torture I felt from the daily grind of selling a product I not only no longer believed in but also one that couldn’t light any spark inside whatsoever was excrutiating.
I’m 46. I’ve done the NYC-executive thing. The middle-America wife thing. The divorcee-in-Aspen thing. And I can attest that exterior circumstances really don’t matter as much as I once thought they did. Cliche but true, it’s the inside that counts and how you feel about yourself that matters.
Not how much money you have. Not how much someone else likes you. Not how pretty you look. Those are all external.
I think life boils down to one simple question: do you like who you’ve become?
Just because I may voice that question, doesn’t mean I’ve mastered the answer. This question seems to be an ever-evolving dilemma for me. Although I’d like to say the honest answer is yes, without fail. I’m not 100% successful in affirming myself. I can say with certainty though that with each passing day, I answer with more yes’s than no’s.
I may not have as much money as I did when I was on top of the corporate sales world. I may not feel like the high-powered executive I imagined myself to be in the Big Apple. I may be losing touch with those “all-important” connections I once valued. And I may not be as fun as I once was because it seems like all I do now is work, work, work.
But I would trade those pinings of yesteryear for the newfound sense of self I have today. It’s not that life’s any easier at all. I could always use more money, more love, more peace.
But, at least for today, I’m free to make my own decisions about how I spend my time, and that in and of itself is worth all the rest.
So, do I recommend a lifestyle change? For me, yes. For you…well, only you know that answer.
But I can attest that in the past year, after stepping off the treadmill of corporate America, I have learned more about myself than I would have if I’d stayed. And as a bonus, I know with 100% certainty I have a keener business sense today than I did a year ago. There are many things that come with owning a business and truly being in the trenches that corporate America can never teach.
Life today is a never-ending ebb and flow of happy highs and disappointing lows, but I wouldn’t change a thing.
So go for it. Life’s short, and no path is etched in stone.
(Oh…and should you decide to throw caution to the wind and pick up and move to Aspen, there’s one resource ready and waiting for you to help your transition be a smooth one: HireMeAspen.com.)