“There is truly nothing better than a simple lifestyle. Trying to keep up with the crowd is guaranteed to complicate your life.” ~ Edmond Mbiaka
There was a time when I looked out at my driveway and saw a Mercedes and a Cadillac. I opened my wallet – a dozen platinum cards fell out. I was on airplanes several days a week. I had an expense account. I had a personal assistant whose sole job it was to hand me what I needed 5 minutes before I needed it. I wore $500-$1,000+ suits. People called me lucky and told me they were jealous of my great life.
I had arrived. I had aspired to and had become a Jones.
Here is the truth…
We HAD to have those credit cards for gas and groceries. Our little house was falling apart because we had no money. I was on airplanes because I was trying to recover $10M through sixteen different lawsuits up and down the West Coast – for a failing company. I threw money at “things” because my world was complete chaos
We were not the Jonses. Not even “Jones-lite”. We were broken.
“Be careful what you wish for little girl, for you will surely get it.” ~The Big Chill
There is a philosophy in referral marketing – if you don’t get what you want or need from your networking efforts, it is all on you.
In the mid-2000’s my mindset started shifting. I was the only one who could change my personal dynamic. It started with dogs (traded in my Cadillac for a more dog friendly car) and my gastric bypass surgery. It culminated in two defining events that propelled me forward; my mom’s death in 2008 and my divorce in 2009.
In late 2006, my mom and I talked about how much we had changed since my dad died (2000). She said “Sometimes you can experience such a profound hurt that it changes you at an organic level”.
In the wake of my divorce on the heels of my mom’s death, I changed organically. “Things” that seemed so important just didn’t matter anymore. One day they did – the next they did not.
I spent the better part of 2 years post divorce repairing damage, both financially and emotionally.
That is when I realized that being a Jones wasn’t so great. It sucked.
Now when I look in my driveway, I see a Honda. I walk in my house that has been in a constant state of remodel for three years and feel peace. I carry no debt. I get on airplanes occasionally – for vacation (and fun business trips). My company is successful. If I wear suits 10 times a year, I would be surprised. I believe pajamas are (or should be) the new business casual.
In Glass Ceilings I wrote that if we do not like our ship, we should re-engineer its design or build a new one. When my ship hit an iceberg, I repaired, remodeled, re-engineered and rebuilt it. My ship is pretty cool now.
“Things” will never make us happy if we are broken.
If hurt can change us organically…so can happy,
When you like your ship, the Jonses have nothing on you.