Found this old draft in my inbox, and thought it was worth polishing up to better contrast Friday’s “everything is great for people!” post ;)
We all have our wins, but we also have many fails along the way too – and it can 100% suck!! Especially when people go out of their way to tell you so! Haha…
Here’s the post just briefly edited which should help balance things out a bit more… It was originally written in the thick of our M.O.N.E.Y. podcast back in 2016 that I used to co-host with Paula Pant and which has since exploded as “Afford Anything” now. Probably because *I* left it as some like to believe! ;)
We all struggle – don’t let anyone fool you….
If you’re feeling down about your finances or career or anything else going on, today’s post is to assure you that you’re not alone :) And that no matter how successful you are, problems (and haters) will still find a way to get you.
I literally got this email a few hours ago which sparked today’s post:
Hi J. Money,
Just one question – how are you so happy all the time?
I’ve been listening to your podcast and keep wondering this.
Anyway – thanks and have a nice week. And the podcast is awesome!
How many times have any of us felt/asked this about someone else? I do it at least 13x a day, and that’s an improvement over the 36x I used to ;)
I assured him that I certainly have my down times just like anyone else, and that perhaps one day we should do a “10 things that suck about our money/life” episode, haha… But as much as I feel like I’m good at divulging all my fails here on the blog, admittedly the podcast itself skews overly optimistic/fun.
Still, it’s important to remember that we all suck at times, and often others will tell you just how much whether you like to hear it or not ;)
Here are a handful of comments off my “Hate Mail” doc that continues to grow as the years pass…
“Today’s post was so worthless and a waste of time”
“I listen to your podcast with Paula. Love her, but you sound like a clueless 16 year old valley girl. Sorry, but to these old ears you sound childish.”
“To be honest, I don’t appreciate the way you come off in your posts. You have an error of arrogance that rubs me the wrong way; there is a fine line between confidence and cockiness and you cross it. And you use language I find inappropriate for a budget/life blog.”
“The content is good, but I’m unsubscribing because I have a difficult time with the grammar style of this blog. I feel like I’m reading text messages, not trying to save for retirement.”
“I don’t really care to read about your life for the few nuggets of financial advice you give. My time is too valuable.”
“Tired of the awesomely awesome hyperbole. It felt like I was listening to a used car salesperson”
“Not the most professional blog.. way too many smiley faces on everything. I also cannot believe you rent! You did introduce me to Rockstar Finance though, so thanks!” (Little did they know I was the one who created it!! Muah ha ha…)
“He says really nice things but looks like a weirdo. But I guess that’s why people like him. He’s like the Miley Cyrus of Finance.”
And then the most recent which concerned me in more ways than one:
“I learned nothing from that article except the writer is a bragging c*nt who is rich and should talk less before the rest of us kill and eat him”
(AND THIS IS EXACTLY WHY I REMAIN ANONYMOUS ONLINE!!! Haha….)
So basically no matter how it looks on the outside, we are ALL dealing with stuff on the inside ;) Not to mention the *actual* stuff you’re going through alongside the colorful commentary!
Here are a few things weighing on me in “real” life presently:
#1. It’s getting harder and harder to keep my projects afloat. The more they grow the more attention they’re demanding, and it’s starting to effect my work/life balance as great as the problem is. I told myself when I had kids that I’m going to stop working nights and weekends, and while I’m a lot closer than I used to be, the work is overflowing into them again. (UPDATE: we’re now on a 20-month-in-a-row record of not opening up my laptop on weekends!! A blogger miracle!!)
#2. It’s getting harder to pay attention to the money-making side of these projects. The more I blog/podcast/build things, the less I want to deal w/ making money off them because all of these have always been hobby first, business later. But seeing how I now have a family of four to support, I can’t exactly ignore it ;) (UPDATE: I’m still ignoring it… with a family of 5 now, hah.)
#3. I feel like I’m not using my full potential. Maybe I’m just not thinking of things the right way, but for the past 6-12 months I’ve felt like something is missing and I can’t put my finger on it. It was just a small feeling at first as I know we’re all trying to “figure it out,” but as the months continue to pass the pangs of unsettledness has grown along with it. (UPDATE: I still feel this way many days and haven’t found a good solution to it yet…. Part of me is proud for how much I’ve unhooked from the hustling world, but the other feels like it’s squandering all the potential for really doing something GOOD in the community together, and I often miss the days of Love Drop and working towards something bigger than myself. Plus, it would be amazing to include my kids now in doing something powerful for others!)
#4. My wife is having a horrible time getting back into the workforce. It’s now officially been a year since she got her PHD, and outside of a few leads and interviews here and there nothing major has panned out. On the plus side she’s spending gobs of hours hanging out and loving all over our kids (we pulled them out of daycare last year to save $2,000 month – crazy!), but I can tell it’s starting to get to her which of course effects our family in turn :( And only adds to the importance of me making more money from my projects! (UPDATE: She’s now been in the workforce going on 3 years with multiple raises and back to feeling her confident self again! Go wifey!!)
So how does one cope with it all? The feeling of failure and struggle?
Well, I obviously haven’t figured it out yet, but here are a few things that DO help keep me a little sane… Maybe they’ll work for you too? :)
- I keep a list of all the NICE things people say about me too. I literally have a google doc where I copy and paste all the kind words people have said about me or my projects over the years. Anytime I’m having an unusually hard day, I open it up and try to make myself feel better! Doesn’t always work, but it definitely helps lessen the sting…
- I keep a list of all the accomplishments I’ve done. I featured some of them at the start of my 100 things list the other month (still at #26 – another fail!), but the beautiful part about these guys is that no matter what someone does or says, no one can take them away from you. Once you’ve accomplished them, you’ve accomplished them, and you can forever be proud of yourself! (This helps with the “potential” problem too since you can at least see how hard you’ve been working :))
- I remember how happy I am just *to be alive.* This is probably the biggest reason of all why I tend to be happier than not: any morning I wake up “with breath,” as a friend likes to say, I can’t help but be thankful! Incredibly cheesy, but incredibly true!! Because even on our worst of days it’s better to be FEELING $hitty than feeling nothing at all! It means we’re alive!
All this to say, everyone struggles. What makes the difference is how you cope with it. Sometimes we’re better at it than others, but please by no means think you’re alone in this or that it’s not normal!
You have to have the lows in order to have the highs!! They wouldn’t be highs if they were all that way!! :)
I also find it’s helpful to “stop comparing your raw footage to everyone else’s highlight reel” as my friend Shannyn likes to say. Because rarely do you see the entire picture when it comes to blogs or Facebook or any other forms of social media that’s cropping up. No matter how awesome or happy someone looks on the outside, they’ve all got their issues just like anyone else.
So remember that you’re never alone in this. Everyone struggles!
Do your best today and start a fresh new one tomorrow!