Why Finance Shouldn’t Stop You From Doing What You Want

“When I hit my number, then I’ll do what I really want”, said the smart female executive to me.


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“When I hit my number, then I’ll do what I really want”, said the smart female executive to me.

“When do you expect to hit your number?”, I replied.

“7 years”.

A lot can happen in 7 years…

Her ’number’ was the amount of money she needed in her mind to leave her job and do what she really wanted.

Using this phrase wasn’t unusual in this large Fortune 50 company – colleagues would often privately compare where they were against their ‘number’ – just like inmates sharing when they were to leave the prison. Not exactly the kind of mindset I’d like my team to have if I were the CEO…

When I asked her why not go now, I was met with an array of excuses which mostly focused around apparent financial security.

But when we drilled into it, it mostly came down to fear.

Fear of the unknown.

Fear of not knowing they were good enough to succeed at something different.

Fear of leaving what they are comfortable with.

The ‘number’ or financial goal was really just a superficial excuse. A story they told themselves that made them feel better.

The problem is that it wasn’t true. They are never going to do what they ‘really’ want because deep fear has them in a bind.

Curious about this subject, I ran a quick poll recently on social media with the question:

What stops you from going for what you really want?

Finance was voted on by over 55% of those who took part.

Fear of failure got over 21%. (At least these people are in tune with reality)

Over 20 years of working with top performers across 50 industries, I’ve supported a few people in their transition to doing ‘what they really want’. This doesn’t always mean leaving a company – sometimes it means pivoting to a new role, sometimes it means changing the direction of the company and yes sometimes it means leaving.

But in every single situation, they will tell me afterwards,

‘I should have changed years ago’.

Any significant change doesn’t have any guarantees.

Any significant change will have challenges.

But so too does no change!

There is the risk of regret, disappointment, unhappiness to name a few and all of these can eat away at someone’s soul and state of mind. Not the best ingredients for a high performing and fulfilling life!

Making any significant change always involves dealing with and managing your fear.

That’s why it’s vital to:

Create a clear and compelling vision for what you want to create in your life

Understand your why around it

Connect with the real regret if you don’t do what you really want

Create a plan and list the benefits of doing what you really want

Mix with people who are doing what you ‘think’ you want to do (you may not when you dig into it…)

Take action now – any action is better than none!

Is there something you really want to do?

Do yourself and the people around you a massive favour and take it out of the ‘Someday’ pile and start on it today.

If you’re changing to something you’ve always wanted to do, you will wake up more days than most, more fulfilled than most.

I’m not sure if you can put a number on that but if you can, that’s the number that’s worth tracking.

***If you’d like a helping hand in creating more of the life, business and career you dream of, join me at my unique workshop this Friday 8th December in Dublin City, Ireland. BluePrint – Personal and Professional Planning at a higher level. 2 places left. All details here.