Dear friends, family, and past clients,
This year marks 10 years of having my own business in addition to full time work. It’s the perfect year to say a warm and loving goodbye to my time serving clients and helping them to untangle the stressful web of finances, whether it be for their business or personal lives, or both.
In one blog post I wrote a few years ago, I described how I was thinking through my choice to be in the professional world of finances:
“...no matter what sincerely pressing things occur in the world, in the meantime, everyone has to deal with certain things, one of which is money. Even my friend whose body has been ravaged by cancer has often spoken publicly about the difficulties of dealing with finances related to her costly disease. In reality, ignoring money only causes more stress and angst in already devastating situations.
The way I bring significance to people's lives is that when they feel like they understand their finances and feel in control, it reduces stress, removes obstacles, and paves the way for them to be able to deal with the MOST important aspects of life, like their families, relationships, and their own valuable endeavors in this world.”
The beautiful thing is that as I helped others with their finances, I was able to care for my family financially. For 10 years, the extra income from this business has helped us to balance our budget. Anything from buying groceries to putting our three kids through child care and preschool. Additionally, I helped many folks without charging them, which brought me great joy.
Since I last updated, a lot has happened. The long and short of it is that my career has blossomed and my family has a beautiful and safe home to live in. Because the cost of living and the cost of our new-to-us home is so much more than our living expenses were before, we don’t actually have much more “disposable” income, or delta as some people call it. BUT… it is enough. And for those who remember my blog post about how I differ from Dave Ramsey, “enough” is enough for me.
I could have continued to run my business even after our last child left Montessori (which will happen next year) and we would have had some nice disposable income to save at a faster pace, take more costly adventures, etc. But for me, simplification and time are more valuable than money in this phase of my life.
My goal is not to be a millionaire. It’s not to retire early. It’s not to acquire more property or amass an empire of things. My goal is to care for my family and my community, and ultimately my world. Enough is enough for me.
What would I invest in for myself if I had more money? Solar panels, a more environmentally friendly vehicle, a bike, more frequent haircuts, and perhaps some services like home cleaning to simplify my life. Anything to simplify, streamline, and live more sustainably. Even if I had the money to, I don’t think I would purchase more property, even to rent it out for the coveted "passive income"; I already feel strange enough about “owning” part of the earth as it is. I’m the worst monopoly player–I want enough for everyone.
What am I doing with my newfound time (which, let’s be honest, is mostly early mornings, late nights, and some weekend time)? I’m investing it. I’m investing it in my family and other relationships. I’m investing it in supporting asylum-seekers to make a home in this country. I’m investing it in leading an amazing group to remediate a local Brownfields site, to give my all to my job, and ultimately doing whatever I can to restore reciprocity with the land and people.
My dividends will largely be intangible, but so worth it. We all have a short time on this earth, and while still being wise and planning for the unexpected, I don’t want growth for the sake of growth alone, or even to amass a fortune to leave to my children. I want enough for everyone.
Truthfully, we still have a ways to go with being set up for “enough,” thanks to how expensive it is to live in modern day America. For example, saving more for the inevitable car and home repairs and inevitable medical needs. But we will keep going slowly and steadily. And within parameters, everyone has to decide what "enough" is for them.
I went back and read most of my blog, and I truly feel that I have given great advice. Advice that works and is balanced. I’m going to be shutting down my website soon, so read it while you can, or reach out if you want the PDFs I downloaded. If you have to choose one to read out of all of them, I’d suggest, “A compassionate approach to economic status,” which is complimented well by “financial gratitude,” the latter was written during a specific period of time after having received stimulus payments and not having to pay for childcare during the beginning of the pandemic.
In closing, I’m guilty of feeling anxiety when I see friends getting jazzed up about a new venture or trend that is likely not to last. My brain is a special place (ha!), and being a weaver of threads in the world, I see each new thing as a thread. How are we going to handle all these new threads? What if they don’t last? Will I be seen as a failure for this ending? Are endings always failures?
NO. Endings are not failures. In fact, in a book I recently finished reading called “Feeding Each Other” the authors paint a beautiful analogy. Just like the process of composting, everything that happens when staying rooted in pursuit of relationships with earth and people contribute to making beautiful and rich soil. So even though I’m transitioning away from this aspect of my life, it has contributed to rich soil that I hope will be used to grow many beautiful things.
Love to all of you, and please feel free to send me questions or comments!
PS: I spend a lot of time thinking about and working on the systemic issues tied to much of what I addressed above. I’m learning so, so very much and you may hear more from me in the future about that <3