Money is Symbolic

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We all know that work can be stressful. But did you know that it can actually kill you?

Workplace stress has been linked to a wide range of health problems, including heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. It can also lead to depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.¹ And worst of all, it can even lead to death—an article from 2012 reported that women in high-stress jobs were 40% more likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke.²

That’s right—those long hours at the office, those tight deadlines and “crunch seasons,” those berating sessions from your boss, they’re all adding up. And they may have lethal consequences.

So what can you do about it? Here are some tips:

1. Talk to your boss. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your workload, discuss it with your boss and see if there’s anything that can be done to lighten the load.

It’s no small task. For many, their boss is the source of the stress! That’s why it’s critical to prepare beforehand. Write down how you’re feeling and how work stress is damaging your life. Come up with a few ways your boss can help relieve the stress.

Often, these conversations go better than expected. Boss’s realize that pushing employees to the brink is a foolish strategy.

But know this—there’s a real chance they won’t get it. Worse still, they may blame someone else, or even you, for the problem. In that case, it’s time to consider a new opportunity.

2. Take breaks. When you’re feeling stressed, take a few minutes to yourself to relax and rejuvenate. Go for a walk—it’s the go-to strategy for great writers and artists. Download a meditation app and take a 10-minute breathing session.

The key is consistency. Taking routine breaks at the same time every day not only gives you something to look forward to, it also normalizes taking a break in the eyes of your boss.

Again, if your boss gives you grief for taking care of yourself, it’s time to consider moving to a new job.

3. Get organized. Make a list of your tasks and priorities, and try to tackle them one at a time. Break large projects into small components you can knock out piece by piece.

Why? Because feeling overwhelmed is a huge part of being stressed. You know the feeling—you see a reminder that you need to finish a large project and your heart sinks. Suddenly, all you can think about is how much you have to do in such little time. Often, it feels easier to shut those feelings down and procrastinate, which only makes the problem worse.

When you have a plan of action, it’s much easier to stay calm and focused. You know exactly what needs to be done and when, so you can put your mind at ease and get to work. And knocking out small pieces of the project motivates you to keep pushing forward.

4. Stay healthy. Exercise regularly, eat a balanced diet, and get enough sleep.

It’s tough to stay healthy when you’re feeling stressed, but it’s important. Exercise releases endorphins, which have mood-boosting effects. Eating nutritious foods keeps your energy levels up and your mind clear. And getting enough sleep helps you stay alert and focused during the day.

If you can’t seem to make time for your health, try this: schedule your workouts into your calendar, just like you would any other meeting. And set a bedtime alarm to remind you when it’s time to turn in for the night.

5. Seek help if needed. If you’re struggling with stress and it’s impacting your health, work, or personal life, it may be time to seek professional help.

There are many great therapists who specialize in stress and anxiety. They can help you develop healthy coping strategies, establish boundaries, and manage your stress in a more productive way.

In the end, workplace stress is a real threat to your health—and even your life. But by taking some proactive steps, you can protect yourself from its harmful effects. So don’t wait—start making some changes today.


¹ “Workplace Stress: A Silent Killer of Employee Health and Productivity,” Corporate Wellness Magazine, https://www.corporatewellnessmagazine.com/article/workplace-stress-silent-killer-employee-health-productivity

² “Work stress increases heart attack risk by 23%,” Christian Nordqvist, Medical News Today, Sep 14, 2012, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/250289#1

Your Boss May Be Killing You

It’s simple—workers are quitting because they feel taken advantage of. And it’s no wonder why.

Research from Cengage Group revealed the top three reasons behind the Great Resignation…

1. They want to make more money 2. They’re burned out and they feel unsupported 3. They feel they’re no longer growing in their position

Translation—workers feel underpaid, overworked, and unvalued.

In a word, exploited.

Is it surprising that workers are quitting in droves? Of course not! The real miracle is that people didn’t quit sooner.

So what are workers looking for? Again, it’s no surprise…

They want opportunities where their earnings scale with their effort. The more they work, the more they can earn.

They want flexibility in how long and where they work. No more being tied to toxic workplace environments.

They want mentorship to help their abilities reach the next level.

Translation—workers want to be valued, rewarded, and natured.

In short, they want to be treated like humans, not just cogs in a machine.

Like it or not, this Great Resignation is just the tip of the iceberg. Until employers realize the obvious, expect more and more dissatisfaction, and more and more resignations.


¹ “The Real Reasons Workers Are Leaving in Droves? (Burnout Is on the List, but Not at the Top)” Melissa Angell, Inc., Jan 25, 2022, https://www.inc.com/melissa-angell/great-resignation-burnout-workers-upskilling-career-development.html

The Cause of the Great Resignation Has Been Revealed... It's No Surprise

Every entrepreneur needs a problem to solve.

It’s more important than a business plan (though you need a business plan).

It’s more important than mentorship (though you DEFINITELY need mentorship).

It’s more critical to success than killer products, funding, or even skill.

All of those things are important pieces of the puzzle—some more so than others—but without a problem to solve, none of them matter.

Why? Because if there is no demand for your product, you’re guaranteed to fail. Almost no one will buy a product just to buy it.

In order to have demand, someone has to have a need that’s not being met. That’s why you need a problem.

Even the most outlandish luxury items solve problems—they make customers feel a certain way about themselves. They make people laugh, or feel successful, or feel wanted. And for many, that’s priceless.

Some businesses solve problems that people don’t even know they have. Did anyone before July, 1994 think that going to bookstores was a massive hassle? No! Well, except one person—Jeff Bezos. But it turns out his hunch was right. He solved a problem that no one was aware of, and has profited handsomely for it!

It doesn’t matter if you’re starting a side hustle or launching a startup. You must solve a problem. And the more demand your solution creates, the higher likelihood of success you’ll have.

So what should an entrepreneur do first? Find a problem! Ask yourself—or better yet, ask people around you—what kind of problems they have. What kinds of pains in their life do they wish would just go away? Is there a way to solve that problem with your skills and talents?

If so, congratulations—you’ve found a viable business opportunity.

What Every Entrepreneur Needs

The goal of this article is to empower you to take bold action.

You want to increase your income and be your own boss. Who doesn’t? You just need the practical know-how to overcome your fear and start the journey.

So turn off the YouTube videos and fire up Google Docs. Here’s how to choose the right side gig for you.

Step 1: List your hobbies. Passions make excellent side gigs. Why? Because they leverage skills you already have, and likely command your attention and interest. Those are critical ingredients for success.

It doesn’t matter how niche or strange your hobby might be. Write it down. In fact, the more oddball your interest, the more potential you may have more monetizing it.

Step 2: Evaluate the market. Simply put, can your skills solve a widespread problem? If so, then you have a potential client base at your fingertips.

Those problems may not seem obvious at first. But you will certainly be surprised by what people will pay for.

Not knowing how to play an instrument is a huge problem for music lovers.

Lacking time to decorate and organize is a huge problem for type A personalities.

Social Media illiteracy is a huge problem for older people starting small businesses.

All of those problems are opportunities to boost your income, if you have the skills to solve them. It just takes some time and creativity to identify problems.

Step 3: Size up the competition. But here’s the catch—there might be hundreds, or even thousands, of others seeking to solve the same problems as you. In fact, your competitors might have a stranglehold on your target market.

However, if your skills or niche are highly specific you could have a rare opportunity on your hands. You could eventually scale your side gig income to replace your day job!

This leads to a critical principle for deciding which side gig is right for you…

Opportunity lies at the intersection of high demand and low supply.

The more people demand a service, and the fewer competitors already providing it, the greater your likelihood of success.

There’s just one factor left to consider…

Step 4: Weigh costs against rewards. Starting a business requires a combination of time, effort, and money. No exceptions. The question is whether—and when—the rewards will outweigh the costs.

Starting a car manufacturing business? Good luck—you’ll require a huge amount of capital, and won’t see profits for years.

Refurbing curb-side furniture with tools and skills your grandpa left you? Hats off—your start up costs are almost zero, beyond some time and energy.

In summary, you want a side gig that…

• Aligns with your skills and passions

• Solves a major problem for many people

• Lacks competitors

• Offers high rewards with small costs

Which side gig fits that bill for you? Whatever it is, let’s chat about it. We can discuss what it would look like for you to start pursuing it today.

How to Choose a Side Gig

It’s official—Americans aren’t going back to work.

Even though there were 10 million job openings in June of 2021.¹

If you’ve been out and about, you’ve seen firsthand that jobs aren’t getting filled.

You may have noticed the signs at your local grocery store. Or the longer wait at your favorite restaurant. Or slower service from businesses you depend on.

They all stem from the same source. Americans aren’t rushing back to work.

But why? The COVID-19 pandemic caused mass unemployment and havoc for millions of American families. Wouldn’t they want to start earning money again, ASAP?

It’s not the unemployment benefits holding them back. For many, those dried up months ago, and the numbers still haven’t budged.²

And again, it’s not that there aren’t jobs. There are millions of opportunities out there!

Here’s an idea—many people have woken up to the fact that most jobs suck.

Most jobs leave you completely at the mercy of your boss. If they mismanage the business, your job’s in danger. If you want a bigger bonus, your job’s in danger. If another pandemic breaks out, your job’s in danger.

They give you no control over your hours, your income, your location, or your future.

Who would want to go back to that?

Instead, Americans are looking for a better opportunity. They want control of their future, their wealth, and their hours. They want to replace the insecurity of a 9 to 5 with more reliable sources of income.

If they see an opportunity that checks those boxes, they’ll be willing to re-enter the workforce.

Americans are looking for a better path. The million dollar question is, who will provide it for them?


¹ “Many Americans aren’t going back to work, but it’s not for the reason you might expect,” Paul Brandus, MarketWatch, Aug 14, 2021, https://www.marketwatch.com/story/many-americans-arent-going-back-to-work-but-its-not-for-the-reason-you-might-expect-11628772985

² “What states are ending federal unemployment benefits early? See who has cut the extra $300 a week,” Charisse Jones, USA Today, Jul 1, 2021, https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2021/07/01/unemployment-benefits-covid-federal-aid-ending-early-many-states/7815341002/

Why People Aren't Going Back to Work

Does retirement income sound like an oxymoron? It’s understandable—most people’s only source of income is their job.

But by definition, your job ceases to become your source of income once you retire.

Instead, you’ll need to tap into new forms of cash flow that, most likely, will need to be prepared beforehand.

Here are the most common sources of retirement income. Take note, because they could be critical to your retirement strategy.

Social Security. It’s simple—you pay into social security via your taxes, and you’re entitled to a monthly check from Uncle Sam once you retire. It’s no wonder why it’s the most commonly utilized source of retirement income.

Just know that social security alone may not afford you the retirement lifestyle you desire—the average monthly payment is only $1,543.¹ Fortunately, it’s far from your only option.

Retirement Saving Accounts. These types of accounts might be via your employer or you might have one independently. They are also popular options because they can benefit from the power of compound interest. The assumption is that when you retire, you’ll have grown enough wealth to live on for the rest of your life.

But they aren’t retirement silver bullets. They often are exposed to risk, meaning you can lose money as well as earn it. They also might be subject to different tax scenarios that aren’t necessarily favorable.

If you have a retirement savings account of any kind, meet with a licensed and qualified financial professional. They can evaluate how it fits into your overarching financial strategy.

Businesses and Real Estate. Although they are riskier and more complex, these assets can also be powerful retirement tools.

If you own a business or real estate, it’s possible that they can sustain the income generated by their revenue and rents, respectively, through retirement. Best of all, they may only require minimal upkeep on your part!

Again, starting a business and buying properties for income carry considerable risks. It’s wise to consult with a financial professional and find experienced mentorship before relying on them for retirement cash flow.

Part-time work. Like it or not, some people will have to find opportunities to sustain their lifestyle through retirement. It’s not an ideal solution, but it may be necessary, depending on your financial situation.

You may even discover that post-retirement work becomes an opportunity to pursue other hobbies, passions, or interests. Retirement can be about altering the way you live, not just having less to do.

You can’t prepare for retirement if you don’t know what to prepare for. And that means knowing and understanding your options for creating a sustainable retirement income. If unsure of how you’ll accomplish that feat, sit down with your financial professional. They can help you evaluate your position and create a realistic strategy that can truly prepare you for retirement.


¹ “How much Social Security will I get?” AARP, Jun 21, 2021, https://www.aarp.org/retirement/social-security/questions-answers/how-much-social-security-will-i-get.html#:~:text=The%20amount%20you%20are%20entitled,2021%20is%20%241%2C543%20a%20month.

Common Sources of Retirement Income

“Opportunity cost” refers to what you can potentially lose by choosing one option over another – even when you aren’t thinking about it.

Nearly every choice you make precludes something else that might have been.

Opportunity cost exists in everything from relationships to finances to career choices, but here we’ll focus on that last one. Over a lifetime, the cost of career decisions can be massive.

The math. For opportunity costs that can be measured, usually in dollars, there’s even a math equation.

Return on opportunity A / Return on opportunity B = Opportunity cost¹

Let’s say you have two career choices. One is to work as a mechanic at $50 per hour and the other is to work as a karate instructor at $20 per hour.

Opportunity A / Opportunity B = Opportunity cost

Here it is with numbers: $50 / $20 = $2.50

To translate that, for every $1 you earn as a karate instructor, you could have earned $2.50 as a mechanic. The ratio remains the same whether it’s for one hour worked or 1,000 hours worked because it’s based on earnings per hour.

Adding a time element. We can only work a certain number of hours in a week and we can only work for a certain number of years in a lifetime. Adding time into the discussion doesn’t change the math relationship between the opportunities but it does recognize real-world constraints. Sometimes these limits are by choice. You could be both a full-time mechanic and a full-time karate instructor, but most people don’t want to work 80 hours per week. Something has to give, and that’s where considering opportunity cost comes in.

If you only want to work 40 hours in a week, you’ll have to choose one career over the other or split your time between the two. But even in splitting your time, there is an opportunity cost. Think about it like this: Every hour spent in a lower paying job costs money if you had an opportunity to earn more doing something else.

The bigger picture. In our example using the mechanic vs. the karate instructor, the difference in annual income is over $60,000 per year ($104,000 minus $41,600). Over a 40-year working career, the difference in earnings is nearly $2.5 million, and it all happened one hour at a time.

Life balance. Your career choice shouldn’t just be about money – you should do something you enjoy and that gives you satisfaction. There may be several other considerations as well – like opportunity to travel, the kind of people you work with, and the greater contribution you can make to the world. However, if there are two choices that meet all your criteria but one pays a bit more, just do the math!


¹ “How to Calculate Opportunity Cost for Each Business Decision,” Brex, Oct 26, 2021, https://www.brex.com/blog/how-to-calculate-opportunity-cost/

Opportunity Cost And Your Career

Dealing with finances is a big part of any committed relationship and one that can affect many aspects of your life together.

The good news is, you don’t need a perfect relationship or perfect finances to have productive conversations with your partner about money, so here are some tips for handling those tricky conversations like a pro!

Be respectful. Respect should be the basis for any conversation with your significant other, but especially when dealing with potentially touchy issues like money. Be mindful to keep your tone neutral and try not to heap blame on your partner for any issues. Remember that you’re here to solve problems together.

Take responsibility. It’s perfectly normal if one person in a couple handles the finances more than the other. Just be sure to take responsibility for the decisions that you make and remember that it affects both people. You might want to establish a monthly money meeting to make sure you’re both on the same page and in the loop. Hint: Make it fun! Maybe order in, or enjoy a steak dinner while you chat.

Take a team approach. Instead of saying to your partner, “you need to do this or that,” try to frame things in a way that lets your partner know you see yourself on the same team as they are. Saying “we need to take a look at our combined spending habits” will probably be better received than “you need to stop spending so much money.”

Be positive. It can be tempting to feel defeated and hopeless that things will never get better if you’re trying to move a mountain. But this kind of thinking can be contagious and negativity may further poison your finances and your relationship. Try to focus on what you can both do to make things better and what small steps to take to get where you want to be, rather than focusing on past mistakes and problems.

Don’t ignore the negative. It’s important to stay positive, but it’s also important to face and conquer the specific problems. It gives you and your partner focused issues to work on and will help you make a game plan. Speaking of which…

Set common goals, and work toward them together. Whether it’s saving for a big vacation, your child’s college fund, getting out of debt, or making a big purchase like a car, money management and budgeting may be easier if you are both working toward a common purpose with a shared reward. Figure out your shared goals and then make a plan to accomplish them!

Accept that your partner may have a different background and approach to money. We all have our strengths, weaknesses, and different perspectives. Just because yours differs from your partner’s doesn’t mean either of you are wrong. Chances are you make allowances and balance each other out in other areas of your relationship, and you can do the same with money if you try to see things from your partner’s point of view.

Discussing and managing your finances together can be a great opportunity for growth in a relationship. Go into it with a positive attitude, respect for your partner, and a sense of your common values and priorities. Having an open, honest, and trust-based approach to money in a relationship may be challenging, but it is definitely worth it.

7 Tips for Talking to Your Partner About Money