Career Decisions Based Only On Money Are Boring, Uninspiring, And Ultimately A Mistake


A real interesting, and rewarding, development in my life is that people will often come to me to talk about career decisions – particularly people who are interested in making a change.

I think this is because I am a very safe sounding board for feedback. I will not judge even the kookiest idea.

Look at me – I left law to sell candles, pursues and chocolate, in a direct sales organization, with my wife, and to build a career as a writer. 

I’m about as safe it is gets when it comes to giving feedback for career changes

There is one thing that you will always get from me, if you ask for my advice on a career move.  It is a question:

Are you wanting to change because of money or some other external reward?

In my opinion (and again it is just my opinion), if you are, you are making a mistake.  In a matter of time, you will find yourself, again, discontent in your job.  Money is not a good long term motivator.  There are many studies on this.  If you want to learn about some read Daniel Pink’s wonderful book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

I went into to law for two reasons (both of which were bad):  1) because I thought it would give me financial stability (which it did) and 2) because I was insecure and I wanted people to think I was smart.  I have no problems admitting both of these.

What happened could have easily been predicted.  In a very short period of time (for me 5 years) I became extremely disenchanted with the practice of law, and depressed in my day to day life.  Money didn’t mean anything to me, and I figured out the hard, but incredibly important lesson that what people think about me doesn’t matter either.

Although at times I wish that I hadn’t gone to law at all, I am happy that I learned these lessons, as hard as they were to learn.  However, I feel very strongly that if you want to have long term satisfaction in your career.  It has to be about something else, other than money.

This blog post is my 186th post.  I have easily put 200 hundred hours into this venture.  I have never made a penny on the blog.  I hope one day to make money as a writer, but not for the purpose of making money.  I want to make money just for the simple satisfaction of being a professional.  If I only make a little that is fine.

What drives me to write is YOU.  I want to add value to people and lift them up

I was contacted today by a friend who told me that my blog was inspiring to him.  I have been contacted many times in the past with similar messages. I believe what makes it inspiring is that it isn’t about money.  I’m not trying to make any.

If you want to inspire people –  get off money.  If you want to lead people – get off money.  If you want people to follow you – get off money.  If you want to create something special – get off money.  

We all need money.  However, money alone is uninspiring.  I don’t follow people who do things for money alone.  Money alone won’t give you the intrinsic drive necessary to create something great.  To do that it has to be about more than money.


2 comments on “Career Decisions Based Only On Money Are Boring, Uninspiring, And Ultimately A Mistake”
  1. Matthew Ottewell says:

    Your ability to put forward truth (the human condition version) in a straightforward manner is a real gift.

    I read and agree with nearly everything you post. Considering that almost all published non-fiction literature is garbage, that’s saying something.

  2. Thanks Matthew – that means a lot. I really appreciate that. I try to say things that will help people to live a life that is genuine. I’m really glad that you find what I write beneficial.

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