Three years ago, I spent my last day as an employee. I haven’t received a paycheck since that final direct deposit hit my bank account.
Not getting a paycheck in my late 40s is a B.I.G F.R.E.A.K.I.N.G D.E.A.L. I’ve received paychecks since I was 16 working at Orange Julius in the Oakdale Mall in Johnson City, NY.
To be clear, I make money. My clients pay me to help them get the career and life they want. I get hired to speak. People buy my book. But it is not the same as knowing that a certain amount of money is going to hit my bank account every two weeks.
Not getting a paycheck can be pretty scary. It’s the number one reason why people stay in jobs they hate.
Luckily, I have a wife who is able and graciously willing to pick up the financial slack during slow times in my business. But that hasn’t been easy for me. Asking my wife for money is really hard on my ego and punches my vulnerability buttons.
I’m sharing my story with you because I want you to know that reinventing yourself means you have to be willing to be vulnerable.
Whether it’s not getting a paycheck (in the short-term), spending money on a coach, overcoming your fear of speaking in public or giving up your fancy professional title, you will have to open yourself up to your own fear in order to embrace what is possible.
And that’s not easy.
Google says, vulnerability is the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally.
That sounds HORRIBLE! Why would anyone do that?
Because IT’S WORTH IT.
Brené Brown, the queen of vulnerability, says, “vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.”
Through my experience of not getting a paycheck, I found a way of showing up in the world that fits me.
It took me months (years?) to allow myself to say to my wife and friends, “I need some time to build this thing that I’ve been dreaming about and I need you to hold me up for a while.”
But when I did, everything changed. My relationship flourished, my stress level improved and I was able to better help my clients because I viscerally understand what they are going through on their own paths to creating their next act.
Will you do me a favor?
If you know someone who is sitting in a job they hate or someone who is sitting on an idea to create a new career, business or nonprofit that does good in the world, forward this to them. Help them get past their fear of vulnerability. They will thank you. I promise!