Finding Happiness While Working a Nine-to-Five with Monica Rivera


Finding Happiness While Working a Nine-to-Five with Monica Rivera

I think there is plenty of information and advice out there about how to start a business and quit your nine-to-five job, especially if you’re not happy in it, but I don’t think there is enough about how you find happiness and fulfillment while still working in your nine-to-five, which is why I’m excited to chat with Monica Rivera, host and producer of the “You Wanna What?” podcast. Monica joins me today to share her story about finding happiness in her nine-to-five and how you can do it as well.

What are we drinking?

Monica — Witches Brew (vodka and raspberry Crystal Light)

Shannon — Deep Eddie’s grapefruit vodka with club soda

Podcast Notes

  • Monica has been in corporate America for over 15 years working in different roles within marketing and business-to-business marketing, for banks and telecommunication, and now in the tech world.
  • About four years ago, Monica felt uncomfortable in her role and she felt she needed to grow.
  • When people would tell her to find her passion and go with that, it was difficult, because she has so many interests.
  • In 2013, Monica bought a microphone, and it sat there until June 2017. She finally made a decision to take the leap and record her first podcast. Starting the podcast lit up all of the lights inside of her. It is creative, she gets to talk to interesting people, and she taught herself how to edit her show.
  • Shannon has been podcasting for three years, over 200 episodes, and she still enjoys it.
  • Monica has listened to podcasts for about 11 years. The first podcast she listened to was The BS Report with Bill Simmons. She loved that he didn’t just stick to sports – he also talked about pop culture.
  • Don’t listen to self-doubt about there being so many podcast, because your voice is not out there.
  • Podcasting is not an expensive hobby to start.
  • There are almost 8 billion people in this world. You just need a small corner of people who are like-minded and share your story and that is enough. Make the show that you want to make and people will find you.
  • Sometimes we use money and acquiring things as a way to fill up holes in our lives. Monica found she was buying clothes she didn’t use and was using money to fill a void. Spend on experiences versus things.
  • Experiment! Eat someplace different, visit a new town, take up a new hobby.
  • Shannon sees it often at the Gym – when clients begin to spend more money on things, they are usually unhappy about something in their life. It is difficult to be self-aware when this is happening.
  • When asked what is important in their lives, people rarely say stuff, shopping, or aquiring things.
  • Instead of going shopping, think about doing something else. What are the things you liked to do as a child? What was fun for you? Often, there is carryover into adulthood.
  • 54% of Americans do not use their earned vacation. You can take time off of work!
  • “At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict, or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, or a parent.” – Barbara Bush
  • We put such an emphasis on professional development and financial development. Those things are important, but we also need to take care of our self-investment. It is just as important. It makes you more productive and happy.
  • There is more to life than work and Netflix.
  • It is not necessarily your job that is killing you, it is the behaviors around it. Look for ways to fulfill yourself outside of your job.
  • It is easy to blame unhappiness on your job, but look at the rest of your life. You don’t want to be unhappy until you find the job that gives you purpose.
  • Do little experiments to find out what you like and what you don’t like. You don’t need to commit to them.
  • If you push yourself out of your comfort zone, make sure you evaluate it afterwards to see if you actually liked it. It’s okay if you find out you don’t like what you tried. Give yourself permission to try something else.
  • Experiment with a low cost barrier. Groupon and Living Social are great ways to try new places and new things. It doesn’t need to be costly!
  • The best way to be comfortable making changes is to make more changes.
  • If you have the opportunity to do something you want to do now, don’t  put it off. You don’t know if you will get the chance to do it later.
  • Ball on a budget! YOLO within reason. Get a second job, if you need to, in order to reach your goals.
  • Be open to new experiences. Take a different route – get off the expressway.
  • Think of your nine-to-five as that which allows you to afford to experience new things.
  • You can create new experiences all the time.
  • Go to new events, connect with different people. If you want to stay home, start journaling – it is just for you. Challenge yourself to do 10 minutes a day for a week. See what comes out.
  • If you are unhappy in your job, start trying different things outside of work. Your experimentation outside of work could lead to new career opportunities. If you are unhappy, stop doing the same things over and over.
  • Some jobs are really bad, but usually they are not. Sometimes you just need a different perspective.

TAKEAWAY: My biggest takeaway is to not dismiss the importance of your nine-to-five job. As an entrepreneur I can tell you that starting your own business is not an answer for all, and for financial and mental health, sometimes your nine-to-five is going to be the best place for you. So if you’re not finding happiness there, start practicing some of these strategies to find happiness while also collecting a stable income.

Random Three Questions 

  1. If you weren’t doing your podcast, what type of podcast would you record?
  2. If you were to leave your nine-to-five job, what would be something you would love to do?
  3. If you were on death row, and it was your last night, what would be the meal you would order?

Connect with Monica

Podcast: You Wanna do What?


Instagram: @youwannadowhat

Facebook: @youwannadowhat

Twitter: @youwannadowhat1

If you need someone to chat about your finances to see if it makes sense for you to stay in your nine-to-five, I hope you’ll reach out to my team at the Financial Gym. One of the best roles my trainers play in their clients’ lives is being the sounding board you need for life’s tough money choices. You can schedule a free call here to find out more. No matter where you are in your financial journey, my financial trainers can help you get where you want to go. So head over to or send friends to to sign up today!


  1. I take ALL my vacation !!! and SICK DAYS even when the company may not want me to. If they want to they can give me a bad review for not getting my work down due to being out for my allotted days. I will just laugh!!

    Being Financially independent really means I don’t need them. CHECKMATE!!!

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