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Ever since I was little girl, I was driven by money.

I think back to the days when my dad would give me 5 cents for every piece of litter I picked up on the side of the road. Being the greedy little girl I was, I would spend all of my summer day collecting trash on our country roads. I loved it. I loved that the harder I worked, the more money I made. It seemed so simple at the time.

That wasn’t the only incident I can recall where I was driven by money. I think back to when the neighbor girl and I used to hold lemonade stands at the edge of our driveway. Bright-eyed and full of hope, I would mix the lemonade powder with water and think about getting rich off of our little stand. Because we lived out in the country, the outcome was always poor and our parents would buy out all of the lemonade out of pity for us.

My obsession with making a lot of money panned out similarly as I grew older. By the time I went off to college, I still had no idea what I wanted to do with my life.  In one of my first blog posts I ever wrote, What College ACTUALLY Taught Me, I touched on how one of the most important lessons I ever learned in college was that money shouldn’t be the sole focus when choosing a career.

Today, I want to dive a little deeper and share my story with you. I want to inspire you to do what you love and find your passion in life. Because in the end, that is all that matters.

A Lesson Learned the Hard Way

To briefly touch on what I had previously written in that post, I was always so driven throughout high school and college by making a high income. I wasn’t exactly sure what career path I wanted to pursue at the time, but I knew that I wanted to do something that I could make good money in. At my university, I switched my major 6 or 7 times. As a high school senior and an incoming freshman, I considered physical therapy and nursing until I quickly realized that my science classes were torture for me and something I had no interest in. My junior and senior year of college was spent in the business major. I dabbled in business management and marketing classes, and tried to convince myself that this was what I really wanted to do. (Even though I could barely stay awake in my classes and I was almost failing because it just didn’t click).

While doing business, I was both a double psychology and communication studies minor. These were the only classes that I loved going to. Psychology fascinated me and I was naturally skilled at communicating with others.  In the past, I had taken career inventories and was given the results that I would be skilled at human services-type work, but ignored the results because I didn’t think that there was any money in that.  I kept telling myself that my personal strengths of being a natural born leader and a skilled communicator would be excellent in the business setting, but I ignored my other skill sets that mostly encompassed who I was: patient, compassionate, and great with kids.

The “Aha” Moment

What was my “aha” moment when I finally realized I was making a big mistake with my career choice? I remember it vividly. I was in the library with my best friend studying. We both had a final exam in an hour; my exam was in economics. I despised this class with every ounce of my being and knew that even though I had studied hours upon end, I was doomed. It just didn’t click. I was complaining about the class to her when she ever-so-bluntly said to me, “You know what, Chels? You’re not meant to be in business. You suck at it. You’re meant to be a counselor.”

At first, I was ticked. UM It’s a little too late for that, Abigail! I thought. I had only spent the past 3 semesters taking stupid business classes that had only lowered my GPA. I cringed thinking about all of the time I had potentially wasted, not to mention, the blood, sweat and tears that I had put into my school work. All for nothing!!  But I knew in my heart that she was right. I hated everything about the business program. My heart was in human services. I knew that I had to change my major and put away my silly pride. I had finally realized that money can only get you so far in life, and it’s not worth it for a career you that you don’t enjoy.

That day was a game-changer. I went into my economics class not really caring if I failed the exam. I knew that big changes were about to come in my life, and I was excited for the future.

A Changed Perspective

That was over 3 years ago. Since then I have graduated with a degree in psychology and was accepted into a Master’s program for Professional Counseling with a school emphasis. I am so glad that I had such an honest friend who knew me better than I even knew myself at the time. I couldn’t be happier with my life choices; this career is truly what I was put in this world to do.

God was pulling me in a direction completely away from what path I was desperately trying to stay on. Looking back now, there were so many signs that business wasn’t the choice for me. Crying in the bathroom because I had failed another accounting exam. The feeling of dread going to every single class business class day in and day out. Loving my child psychology class and being generally interested in the material.

I was convinced that to be successful, I needed to change who I was. Not true. I learned that everybody has something unique to contribute to the world; you just need to find what you are skilled at and share your gift with others.

Passion Exceeds Salary

Friends, it’s SO important to do what you love. Please, please, PLEASE do not be completely driven in your life by money. If you are in college or even an adult thinking of going back to school, please choose a career path that you know you will enjoy. I promise you that if you are truly passionate about it and love what you do, the money will come. You will be recognized for your efforts and hard work.

I’ll leave you off with one of my favorite quotes. “When you do what you love, everything else falls into place.” This sign is hanging in my home office. It inspires me to do what I love every single day, and to create purpose to my life.

Do what fuels your passion.

Do you enjoy your job? Would you ever quit your job to pursue something else you love? Leave me a comment below.

Xoxo,

Can’t get enough of my self-improvement posts? Check out these!
Do You Wish Your Life Away?
5 Reasons Why You Failed

 

 

  • yanique

    It really is so important to do what you love. I know a lot of people who make tons of money and are miserable. Sure making money is nice, but I agree with you, it should be secondary.

    • Chelsea

      Exactly. And I mean, I know firsthand that having a low income is ROUGH. Money definitely is a focus, but it shouldn’t be your whole focus.

  • My dad is the perfect example of this. He doesn’t really like his job but he makes a pretty great salary. He is miserable just about every day but in his mind, he is bringing home the “bacon” so in the long run it is worth it. I chose a job that may not make the most money, but I love it.

    • Chelsea

      Good for you, Nichole! What do you do, if you don’t mind me asking?

  • C. Elleanor Miller

    I love this post! I knew as a child that I wanted to be a psychologist. My family gave me a lot of stress about picking a field that didn’t bring in a lot of money with a bachelors degree. After taking abnormal psych I quickly changed my major to become a Family Life Educator. I decided to get a MBA and remembered why I was in a social science field. Although I did really well in my MBA program I wasn’t passionate about all parts of business like I am with Family Life. Now I stay at home and really rock out as a family life educator through my blog and speaking engagements. I LOVE it! Proud of you!

    • Chelsea

      THAT. IS. AWESOME. oh my gosh! We have so much in common!! I’m so proud of YOU!!! You are a wonderful example of being successful by following your heart and being passionate about what you love!

  • Tiffany Austin

    I think it’s great that you had enough guts to try something new when you knew you weren’t on the path of your heart! Good for you and so glad it’s working out!

    • Chelsea

      Thank you so much, Tiffany! xo

  • I’m so happy that you found what you love before you graduated. So many times, people don’t realize a career isn’t for them until they are actually in the field and HATE it. I honestly really love biomedical engineering. Yeah, there are still tests that I fail because the class doesn’t click, but I am still learning how to cope with that.

    I wish that I could be superwoman and be both a blogger and engineer (:

    • Chelsea

      Aw girl!!! This made me smile so much! I remember reading on your blog that you are going for engineering and thinking, wow she is SO badass! Not many creative people I know are also great at science AND writing! lol.

      You can do both. I feel it in my heart :)

  • I learned this lesson later in life. At 29 I went to uni to study photography. I got a lot of stick for choosing a path with no clear career at the end and unstable financial outcomes, but I am happier than ever and actually have a degree now. Thank you for posting. x

    • Chelsea

      Good for you!! Actually it’s interesting you say that because I always told myself that after college a couple of years down the road, I would love to take some photography classes for fun. I’m so glad you are doing now what you love and are happier than ever!

  • Wonderful post – just what I needed to read today! :)

    • Chelsea

      Thank you! xo

  • I’m lucky enough to have followed what I love right from the start, but now I’m struggling to find a job that pays the bills with my degree (Wildlife Conservation). I just keep telling myself that I’d rather be struggling and love what I do than comfortable in a job where I’m not happy.

    • Chelsea

      Great attitude, girl. And might I add, awesome degree! I feel like there are so many options out there for what you could do.

  • Great post Chels!! I couldn’t agree with you more! Being passionate about what you do and enjoying your job and who you work with far exceeds your salary. In my career so far I have been on both sides, loving what I do but struggling to pay the bills to taking a job that more than pays the bills. Now I am at a happy medium :)

    xo, Laura @ Have Need Want

    • Chelsea

      I’m glad you are at a happy medium! I know it is easier said than done. It’s super tough when money is short…I know all about that!!! I wish everybody in the world could just love what they do.

  • I’m so glad you acknowledged those feelings and changed course! Unfortunately, I was already into my career when I discovered my mistake! If I could go back, I would definitely do things differently in college, internships, and starting my career. I started career as a Journalism major because I am so passionate about writing. Halfway through, I added Political Science. Toward the end I knew I couldn’t graduate in 4 years with both majors, so I decided to drop Journalism and pursue only Political Science. I definitely kick myself for that now!

    • Chelsea

      Aw I can definitely see you as a journalism major! That’s okay though….have no regrets! Think of all the things you learned with your poli sci major.

      I love what field I’m in, but sometimes I wonder where my life would have taken me if I would have chosen journalism. It’s something I considered for many years. So in a way, we are sort of in the same boat!

  • Such a GREAT post! I’m currently coming to grips with this myself (and it is a tough one… I’m 4 years into my career and know I need a change). It’s going to be a long hard road taking a step back and starting from scratch and I’m still working up the courage to endure the financial and mental backlash from it.

    deep breaths! Thanks for the advice :)

    xxox
    Laura @ http://www.cookwineandthinker.com

    • Chelsea

      Deep breaths, girl! May I ask what you are doing now that you are unhappy with? I am rooting for you!! Baby steps, and deep breaths :)

      • Funnily enough I work in business (specifically marketing) – It’s something I’m forcing myself to do vs. want to do. Working on it though :) Seriously loved this post.

      • Chelsea

        good for you. Best of luck in your future! You can do anything you set your mind to.

  • LOVE this post and it’s so important! Thank you for writing it. I know my passions but I’m still figuring out how to make a living out of them. I have always been a firm believer in passion over salary.

  • Becky @Disney in your Day

    This is great. Unfortunately my problem is actually figuring out what I love. I found things that I knew I definitely didn’t enjoy or want to do, but I struggled finding something I could do that I loved. Even now I’m not sure.

    • Chelsea

      That’s okay, Becky! There is always plenty of time to discover and re-invent yourself. And that usually happens through trial-and-error. :)

  • I am experiencing this first hand right now. What a huge difference it makes in your life!

    • Chelsea

      I would love to hear about it!

  • Sarah Spencer

    “Do what you love, and everything else falls into place.” YUP! Amen! <3

    • Chelsea

      :) xoxo

  • Uncreative Mommy

    This is why I blog! I was never happy doing anything but being a mom but even then, I was going stir crazy here at home, so I started my blog and now I feel fulfilled!!

    • Chelsea

      Good for you!!! I’m currently at my summer job and wont’ be starting school again until September, but that’s how I feel about blogging as well . :) I get ya!

  • Jenny

    Right now I’m a stay at home mom with 3 kids, but I am looking forward to the day when I get to pursue a job I love again.

    • Chelsea

      As long as you’re happy, that’s all that matters :)

  • I quit my job back in January because I was so sick of customer service job. My boyfriend was the one that told me to be a stay at home which is what I always wanted to be until both my boys are in elementary school (next year 2016) and to do what I want to do which was blog full time & do makeup on the side. :) I love it.

    • Chelsea

      I’m so happy for you, Jasmine. You are a rockstar at your beauty stuff…I always see your pictures and think, dang that girl needs to give me a makeover. lol! I’m so happy you have a man who supports you and pushed you in the right direction when you needed it :)

  • Another way in which our lives mirror each other so much! It took my doing the “wrong” career for 5 years to figure out that I was supposed to be doing something else. For me, I confused having a passion for education with having a personality that would do well as a teacher. I still have a passion for education, but my bigger passion is writing, and I’m so blessed to work with writers every day now. (But I took a big pay cut to do what I love now, and it was so worth it!) Also, you are going to make an AMAZING counselor! I think it’s so cool that even though I don’t know you in person, certain qualities shine so clearly through your blogging and writing that it just makes sense that this is the right field for you. :)

    • Chelsea

      Aw I could just cry reading that! I’m giving you a hug through my computer!!! lol. Thank you so much, Brittany! I totally get what you mean about having a passion for education but having personal qualities that fit something other than teaching. That’s completely how I feel about school counseling! I love education but teaching just isn’t for me. I’m so glad you figured this out and were willing to cut your salary for doing what you love. I think you’re an amazing writer and you obviously made the right decision!

      The last comment of yours just gave me the biggest, goofiest smile. Thank you so much for your kindness, support, and believing in me. <3

  • Rae

    You are so right on! I spent a fortune on law school to only realize I wasn’t passionate about the law like I thought I was. What’s in your bank account doesn’t make a bit of difference if you’re miserable in your day job. Do what makes you happy and you’ll figure out a way to survive.

    • Chelsea

      Aw so true. I hope you are enjoying whereever you work now, girl!

  • I SO agree on this! My parents lived with the mantra that it doesn’t matter what you do as long as you have a job. Of course it matters what you do, because an unfulfilling job can drain your energy and suck out your soul.

    • Chelsea

      This is so awesome. I’m glad you were raised on such wonderful principles!

  • Cynthia @craftoflaughter

    I love what I do, and would do it for free if I had to. Follow your heart!

    • Chelsea

      Good for you! What do you do? :)

  • This is a post I really needed to hear. I just had my Aha moment a few weeks ago. I agree with you, it’s important to do something your passionate about. I am glad you got your aha moment & you’re doing something you love.

    • Chelsea

      AW AWESOME!!! What was your “aha” moment?!

  • Hil D

    My husband has a hard time with his job and it really affects our family life. It is so hard to remain stress-free and happy when you are deeply unhappy with what you spend the majority of your time doing.

    • Chelsea

      Exactly. I remember my dad going through the same situation growing up as a child. I hope your husband finds happiness <3

  • What a rare and special friend to have in your life!That took guts and wisdom. Good for her (and you) that she spoke so directly to you. Sidenote: I was just listening to a story on the radio about a local 10 year old boy who has a chain of lemonade stands called Jack’s Stands (I think). He was talking about margins, and cost, and profit and all of those business terms that are largely abstract to me. He also has a buy-in option for other kids. For a fee he sets them up with the stand, the sign and a portion of the profits. They sell at various Farmer’s Markets. THAT kids needs to be an economics/business major! He’s made tons of money this summer! 😀

    • Chelsea

      OH . MY. GOSH!!!!!!!! That just made me chuckle. What an intelligent young boy! That kid is definitely going to end up a millionaire some day!!! Just wow.

  • Love this post. It can be so hard to find that passion, especially when you’re young. I have the problem of having too many passions to focus on just one. :)

    • Chelsea

      I can relate to them! I love education, but I also love writing, blogging, and photography. I wonder how my life would have been shaped if I would have went to school for journalism.

  • So glad you realized this! Sure, we need some money to live on, but as far as excess money. our passions are so much more worth while.

    • Chelsea

      So true :) Thank you, Kristin!

  • Shann Eva

    You are so right .I’ve had many jobs I’ve hated. Even though I was making good money, I was so unhappy. Now, I’m looking for something I can be passionate about because that’s what counts .

    • Chelsea

      Good for you, Shann! In the end, it’s all that matters :)

  • Great post – I love this topic. So many people these days grow up so consumed by the approved ‘plan’. Go to school, get a job, buy a house, get married, have kids etc etc etc. And there’s this preconceived notion that money and a high paying job = success. But who is more ‘successful’… the business woman who’s earning a 6 figure salary but can’t remember the last time she truly laughed, or the woman who does what makes her heart sore, regardless of the wage. I wrote a post called ‘Is career a dirty word?; not that long ago if you want to check it out :) great post

  • I am so happy for you! I feel like I’m at that point in my life. I don’t mind my job but I don’t love it. I didn’t finish school because I have no idea what to do. The things that make me happy, I know I won’t make money. Life is such a challenge, I just don’t know what to do. That quote is so perfect. Thank you for this post.

    • Chelsea

      What direction are you leaning towards, girl? Where you don’t think you’ll make money?

  • “When you do what you love, everything else falls into place” – So true! I feel so blessed to have discovered at a (relatively) young age where my true passion lies. I can’t imagine working a normal 9-5 just for the money. I have to be inspired every day. Money is nice and helpful, but it’s just a resource and it is secondary to me.

    • Chelsea

      Same here, Kara! Being inspired is so important for my overall health and well-being! I need something to get me out of bed, excited to start my day!

  • I’m glad your friend helped you realize your true career passion. I agree that it is very important to choose something that makes you happy over something you believe will be easier or make more money. I wanted to take business, too, but I realized it wasn’t for me even though my parents were pushing me in that direction.

    • Chelsea

      Thank you so much. I’m glad you can resonate! May I ask what you decided to go for?

  • Ariel Pingault

    This is SO SO true! I’ve been a college grad for just over a year now, have been working in fashion, and just got so bored with doing my side project (a mens clothing line), at night. My day job is great, but I wanted something to look forward to after work every day! So I started my blog, and I’ve been building my home baking business and I couldn’t be happier! You really do have to find where your true passions lie and strive to work towards them. So happy you’ve found what you love! It can be really tough to admit to yourself that it’s not what you want to do full-time, or how you want to be spending the rest of your days, but once you take that first step, you can breathe so much easier! Thanks for sharing this post!! :)

    • Chelsea

      Aw Ariel I’m so happy for you! That is totally, completely awesome! We are in the same boat, I have been graduated for about 8 months now! Best of luck in your business and your success!

  • I love this so much. I’m a teacher, but wrestled with times about not doing something that would provide more income or be more of a big deal job (silly to admit, but I definitely had those thoughts!). You’re right, it’s so much more important to do a job that uses our gifts and gives us a chance to love other people well than just to make money! Thanks for this reminder and encouragement

    • Chelsea

      For sure! I’m going into school counseling so it’s a very similar field, and I know what you mean. Our salaries aren’t that high for the amount of effort and time we put in our job! Especially for you teachers. I’m so glad that you realize this and utilize your gifts to give back to your students- our children need people like you.

  • It is so true that passion exceeds salary! Right now I’m working part time. Never before have I worked part time. But I’m so much happier doing what I’m doing now!

    • Chelsea

      GOOD FOR YOU, GIRL!!! I’ve thought of that idea myself.

  • So glad to hear you found what makes you happy! This is a totally inspiring post, and a valuable lesson. Thank you so much for sharing. :)

    • Chelsea

      Thank you so much for your kind words!

  • I love my Project Manager’s job, every time I finish some big project, that feeling of accomplishment is just priceless :) But I always wanted to be a flight attendant and I am still flirting with this idea. And becoming a full time travel blogger in the future is my ultimate goal.
    I liked how you started this article! Not many people can admit they go after money. Nice article, You go girl!

    • Chelsea

      Thanks Nika! Being a full-time blogger is my biggest dream of all! I love to travel as well. I have full faith in your dream- good luck in your continued success!!

  • I am glad you found something you love! So many don’t.
    Haley
    http://haleysvintage.com

    • Chelsea

      Thank you so much, Haley!

  • Go girl! Thank you for spreading the word. It was only a year ago that I left my corporate marketing job (and the salary, benefits, etc) behind to pursue what really made me happy – helping others be their healthiest, happiest, fittest selves. I got my personal training certification and became a personal trainer and group fitness instructor. And, I haven’t looked back!

    • Chelsea

      GOOD FOR YOU!! I love hearing stories like yours. I have heard of others leaving their corporate jobs before to pursue something a little more risky that they love. I’m so glad you had the courage to take the plunge.

  • This is so wonderful and I’m so glad you realized what you finally wanted to do and what made you happy! I was lucky and knew from the age of 15 that I wanted to be a journalist and I studied that in college and now I work as a freelance journalist and part-time grant writer for a not-for-profit and it’s great. And now I have my blog baby as well :)

    • Chelsea

      That’s sooo awesome! I love hearing stories about people who knew from such a young age what they wanted to do- and followed through and accomplished their goals!!

  • I love this. It’s such a hard realization to make, but it’s so important!
    xo, Caitlin
    And Possibly Dinosaurs

    • Chelsea

      Thanks girl!!

  • I love this! Doing what you love is a great way to be happier (and on the other side, not doing what you love can definitely make you depressed). I relate to the business thing – I did business school in college and it was not what I expected. Entrepreneurship and blogging and writing is more my area :)

    • Same here, girlfriend! Go YOU! So proud :) xo

  • I love this. One of my goals for 2016 is to change what I do because I don’t love it. Sure, it pays the bills, but the life is being sucked right out of me! This is a very inspiring post :)

    • I’m so glad I could inspire you. I hope you rock 2016! xo

  • A little late to the party, but I just had to tell you how much this article resonated with me. I’ve known for almost 10 years that the career path I was on (Industrial Psychology) was not what I truly wanted to be doing, and just recently started living my dream as a personal stylist! There’s no substitute for doing what inspires you.

    • That is so AWESOME!!!! LOVE hearing this feedback. Thank you for sharing your story with me!!!