I know that sounds crazy but it really can prove true. Sometimes the best way to improve yourself and accomplish larger challenges is stop doing the jobs you really dislike; in essence turning down money.

About two years back I was doing some work for a group that became my “13th job” of sorts. I had just come off a campaign and I was doing mostly consulting and marketing here and there. It was mostly a collection of smaller projects and jobs than one or two large ones. But along with the other 12 clients, this job allowed me to spend some time traveling and it helped pay the bills.

The woman in charge of this particular group was starting to get on my nerves by the way she treated me, along with her constant passive-aggressiveness, (I think by far the most unappealing character trait an individual can have.)


Be honest with yourself

I felt myself dreading the work I was doing for her and more than once tried to work myself out of the equation by being kind about it. “I really just don’t have the time”… “I’m busy with other things and I think you’d do better with someone else”… “I’d recommend paying a staffer who can devote his full time to you”…

All of these things were true, but they weren’t the real reason I wanted to stop. Since I was trying to be kind about it, I never said flat out, “I think you’re rude, I don’t enjoy working with you and would rather pay the rent another way.”

But every time I tried to end the work relationship I was told, “No we want to work with you, we’ll do whatever we need to deal with your time availability.”

Eventually a dispute arose around the amount of hours I had put in for a project. I had my way out. Expecting the project to take a set number of hours, she claimed to be caught off guard when it took far more hours to finish. She refused to pay the full amount that was owed and I was left with the “bill” so to speak, having already provided my work but not going to be paid for most of it.


Weight off my shoulders

No one likes to be mistreated, but the money was the least of my worries. I accepted what she gave me, called it even and then ended the working relationship. I was glad to be done with her.

The next day the sun was shining and the birds were chirping. I’d be able to get money from anywhere else, but if I dreaded every hour I spent working with this woman, then that would be another hour of my life spent unhappy. From there I was much happier all day, every day. And the extra free time allowed me to look for another client I would enjoy working with more.

It sounds crazy, but it’s really not that difficult to do what you enjoy. When work opportunities come up, make sure you place a high emphasis on how it will impact you physically, psychologically, even spiritually.

Making an extra 5k a year sounds great, but if the job will make you sit in traffic for an extra hour each day, is it worth it? Place value on improving your health and well-being and you’ll be more refreshed and able to be much more productive when it comes to improving your finances.