Follow Your Arrow
This Friday on my podcast, I got the opportunity to sit down and chat with my friend Mel from Broke Girl Rich. For those of you who don’t know Mel’s story, she has had quite the eclectic career path that began with a job as a stage manager on the Holland America Cruise Line, where she ended up working for over five years. I find her story fascinating, and to her, it’s just her story; however, I am fascinated because she started following her arrow from a young age, which is something I wish I did.
Looking back on my career, I feel like I had a boring start to it. When people ask me why I became a business major in college, the truth is that my older brother was a business major; and he assured me it was the best career path to making money. From the age of 14 when I started working in a bagel store, I was fixated on making money. I never even contemplated a major like English or Theatre Production because I knew that they were not associated with money like a business major was.
Fortunately for me, I loved the classes in my business school, and I graduated in 2000 during a peak in the job market for jobs in financial services, so I was on the fast track to making money right after graduation. For years, I worked in various areas of investment banking and each year I made more money than the previous year. My arrow was solely pointed to money for most of my teens and twenties. My famous quote that I shared with people is “I’m not saving lives, I’m just making money.”
My Arrow Changed Directions
After I turned 30, though, and started reflecting more on the footprint I wished to leave behind, I realized that money wasn’t everything, and I needed something more rewarding from my career. After four years of searching, I found it in my current job of working as a financial planner helping predominantly young professionals make smarter money choices.
My job now has brought me into contact with people of all different backgrounds and job types, and I have to say that I am a little envious of those, like Mel, who chose a career path based on passion more than on money. They may not always have the easiest financial choices to make, but at least they fuel their souls while they are working rather than fueling just their bank accounts.
The courage of their choices inspires me and reminds me of the song, Follow Your Arrow by Kacey Musgraves, and my favorite line from the song is “follow your arrow wherever it points.” There are plenty of opinions out there about what you should do with your life and how you should live it, but we have to follow the trajectory that is most true for us, no matter where that leads.
I Love When My Clients Follow Their Arrows
Many times throughout the course of working with clients, I often end up counseling them on their career choices, and I don’t care how much my clients make, I care that they find a career that inspires and motivates them. It’s not always easy to find something like this, especially something like this that also pays the bills, but if you have the inspiration from your day job, it’s amazing what you can accomplish monetarily. I help clients build wealth no matter how much they make in their day job, and the clients who experience the most success are usually the ones who are following their arrows where their careers are concerned.
Mel’s parents were not thrilled that she chose the theater route over the teaching route, but thankfully after a steady career in a profession she loves, they have stopped asking her if she plans to do something else with her life. The path hasn’t always been easy for her and she is currently in between jobs and debating collecting unemployment, but she has chosen to follow her arrow and it makes the tough money decisions easy because when she does work, she loves what she does.
I encourage you to not be afraid to follow your arrow no matter where it takes you. If a career is calling to you or a change is weighing on your heart, there is a reason for it. When I stopped following money and followed my passion, I had tougher money choices, but found greater joy; and that joy has far surpassed the value of the dollars that I used to earn.