Apparently, A Soul is Worth One House.

I have only owned one home, for 7 months in Illinois.  My first night in it, I never felt more relaxed and satisfied.  Regardless of boxes to unpack or being strangers in the neighborhood, I had an overwhelming feeling of happiness.  I was in MY home.  It was luscious.

Soon after that we had to move again.  I cried for days.  While desperate to buy a new home in Texas, my husband and I decided to wait until we felt the economy (and thus his job situation) felt stable enough to make buying a home a safe idea.  That was a year and a half ago.  We continue to rent.

Since moving here, J and I have participated in “real estate porn”:  We look online at housing prices, we even got an agent and looked at used homes, and we’ve probably seen every new housing development in the county.  At some point, I couldn’t take the tease any more.  We would look, but J would say we aren’t financially ready.  So I asked: How much money would we need to have for him to feel comfortable?  His answer: double what we have in our savings.

Now for the reality check: J has a job but his salary won’t be increasing any time soon.  My book idea that could be an entire motivational products empire is still in draft form.  My brand design and marketing communications company is extremely quiet and needs to be revamped.

And then there is my sales job (and the point of this post).

Before I had my daughter, L, I worked for a Creative Marketing company.  I began as a leader of their focus groups but, on the great advice of J, I took on other responsibilities and made myself indispensable.  Until 4 years later when I was laid off.  I continued to perform some duties as a freelancer, but over time these duties were given to others.  When I announced to my boss that I was moving to Illinois, he offered a sales position.  Chicago is home to many consumer product companies (think, “Anything I can buy in a grocery store”) and since I know the business and his particular process inside and out, it seemed like a perfect fit.

I have been at the job for two years now (even after moving to Texas) and have only landed one project.  My problem is I hate cold calling.  I hate the nervousness before picking up the phone, having to be eternally grateful for having 30 seconds of their time and then having only 30 seconds to tell them why they should answer my call in the future.  I hate grovelling to them for their attention.  And I hate being blown off.  I feel like an idiot.

On the other hand, the money is goooooood.  Seriously good.  And I am fine once we set a meeting.  And I love working on the projects.  I get to be a part of a project, do a little creative work, go to meetings, get out of Mommy mode.

If I sold four projects, we would be at our savings goal (that includes withholding for taxes).   Doesn’t sound like a lot, right? But I have only sold 1 in 2 years!  Sometimes we gain momentum with contacts, but no momentum in selling.  So it takes a lot of cold calling, or extremely luke warm calling.  I already mentioned how much I hate that, right?

I find other things to do, knowing I am breaking my promise to myself, my husband and my boss.  I write my book, I work on my blog, I clean the bathroom.  And yet, I complain about what I don’t have.  I said I was going to give the job 3 months after the holidays and then, if no momentum is building, quit.  But how can it build momentum if I don’t do the work?

Here’s what I want to know: have you ever, in your deep, dark past, done a job you really didn’t like for a bigger long term goal.  Is it worth it?  What have you done that didn’t itself bring you joy in order to achieve joy later?


5 responses to “Apparently, A Soul is Worth One House.

  1. I totally know what you’re going through. Momentum requires dedication, at the expense of everything else. But how is that possible?

    Check out this website and blog…he managed to do it but it took 6 years.

  2. Ohlala. I am totally going through the same thing. My sister and I started a company, and to get it off the ground, she wants me to do sales calls.

    My sister is a brilliant salesman. I however, have all the yuckiness and anxiety that you mention built up around it.

    I’m still trying to get out of it, by doing other things that need to be done, and convincing her that if I’m doing sales, then who will do these OTHER THINGS that NEED TO BE DONE too?

    It’s a very anxiety-ridden time for me. Nice to know I’m not alone.


  3. Here’s what I want to know: have you ever, in your deep, dark past, done a job you really didn’t like for a bigger long term goal.

    – Everyday I get up and go to work in my past and current present day of life.

    Is it worth it?
    – It’s a means to an end – mortgage, food, repayment of student loans and other necessities/non-necessities of life.

    What have you done that didn’t itself bring you joy in order to achieve joy later?
    – I’ve been doing work/things because I had/have to for so long that I’m unsure what it is that truly brings me joy (outside of my volunteer work). I’ve been on a journey of sorts to rediscover the “me” before I became fully immerse into all of the trappings and responsibilities of being an adult. I’m not there yet, but I’m hopeful that I will arrive to the destiny that my soul ultimately seeks. That mysterious portion of my life will soon be revealed to me.

  4. Some years ago I left a job I enjoyed very much in academic research for another job in defense contracting that I knew I wouldn’t enjoy nearly as much, nor feel as good about doing (defense=yuck). But the pay was double and there were also personal incentives related to the move to a new city. I rationalized the choice a bit with myself using the the lure of learning the ins and outs of an industry I knew nothing about. I also really needed the money because of my financial situation at the time.

    I didn’t enjoy the job much (as expected), but after two years, I had a much improved financial situation. However, virtually everything else in my life had taken big turns along the way. I got into meditation in a major way during that period and it radically altered many of my views as well as lifestyle. Ironically, the predictable 9-5 hours of my job made that lifestyle transition very easy. Another irony was the lesson I learned about my value as a worker when I saw how the government spends its money. Today I would never work for the low pay I used to endure. Eventually I ended up getting an equally good paying job back in academia, but also a divorce, a life in yet another new city, leaving essentially all my money and possessions behind, and starting over completely.

    The main point I’m making here is that you can plan for a lot, but often life will find a way of making new plans for you. Today I can’t tell you how grateful I am for everything that has happened to me since. Whatever choice you make, I’m sure you have the capacity to make it a good one, whatever twists life may send your way. Nothing is forever.