Are You Making a Living or Making a Life?

I stumbled onto this quote over the weekend:
"We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give."—Sir Winston Churchill

Leave it to good ol’ Winnie C. to put it to us straight:

  • Are you making a living or making a life?

  • Are you focused on what you can get or what you can give?

Most people start with what they can get out of their career: the most money, the right job title, the maximum vacation time, the best benefits. (Usually with the least investment of which I'll offer: nothing sucks up more time than a quick fix.)

Many of these same people say they want more meaning and purpose. But the creeping fear around financial “security” (and let’s be honest, Keeping up with the Joneses) overshadows everything.

There’s no shame in this. I just ask that you do it with full understanding of what it will net you in the long run.

Because it’s a mistake to think that this approach will bring the [happiness, freedom, peace, relationships, confidence, security, respect, recognition, etc.] you really want.

All of those things—money, flexibility, title, time off—are stand-ins for the values, beliefs, and goals that are most important to you.

If you don’t do the work AND TAKE THE TIME to understand what’s underneath, you’ll only ever make a living.

Lest you think I'm talking about sacrificing your income, flexible work schedule, or other benefits, I’m not.

I’m talking about a different way to get there.

I help people create awesome careers. But my favorite part is helping them create the confidence, clarity, meaning, satisfaction, and all the things they want more of starting TODAY...and how that draws them closer to the opportunities that get them P-A-I-D.

The people that have real, lasting success are laser-focused on making a life. Their priority is not what they can get but what they want to give. The most important thing for them is how to use their strengths and interests to make the most impact. They lead with that.

Then we figure out all kinds of cool paths to get there.

They find the opportunities that are lucrative AND fulfilling because they know what they’re truly looking for. And they often do it faster because they don't waste time on the ones that don't do both.

Life is not a thing to be “balanced” with work. It’s not a trade-off. Creating a rich life is the goal. Work you love (and are paid well for) is one important piece of that.

Despite all of my clients citing money as a primary goal (and obstacle) in the beginning, I’ve never had a conversation about money when it comes to their ultimate decision about a job (except how to negotiate.) It just sorts itself out.

Because they're creating a Rich Life.

Regardless of where you are in your career, you have many years left on this planet. Do you want to make a living or make a life?

I have two more open slots for my Purposeful Careers one-on-one coaching program. If you’re serious about making a life and want to find out more, email me with the subject line, “I’m ready for a rich life.”

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Author Bio: 

Before becoming a coach, Caroline worked in management consulting and financial services. She's made it her mission to help people grow, contribute, and get wherever they want to go.

Caroline wants women to recognize how much power they truly have to define their careers. The life and career you want really is possible once you have the roadmap. Take the first step by downloading her free guide: 4 steps to take back your life and design a career with purpose.

She’s also a tennis fanatic, aspiring Minimalist, FIRE (Financial Independence and Retire Early) enthusiast, and Aloha Spirit seeker 🤙. She loves to share stories from her unconventional life and career focused on freedom, creativity, fun, health, family, and community. If she can do it, you can, too.