“You’re just going to have to work unpaid for a minute.”
I was filled with disgust at her words. Not just disgust; there was some rage.
I saw it so clearly in that moment: The journalism industry is a collective defined by poverty mindset. And this was a former professor of mine telling me I’d have to accept unpaid work to “make it.”
She’d given me this “lead” of a local online publication that she thought might hire me. Apparently she hadn’t vetted this “opportunity,” or perhaps worse, she knew they didn’t have any paying jobs and thought I’d just “take it.”
I was a graduate at this point. I’d written, paid, for nearly 5 years. And I lived with my boyfriend and our roommate in an apartment where rent was due the 1st of every month.
(By the way, I still, clearly, write. And you can get my Daily Truthletter. Sign up here >)
OUT OF TIME. I had no more minutes to work unpaid.
And in that moment, as I lost respect for this faculty member selling her former students into a modern version of indentured servitude (except nobody’d bought my passage to the New World before expecting me to ‘work it off’), I rejected this lack-based mindset with every rage-filled fiber of my being.
“THIS ISN’T OK. THIS IS NOT HOW IT WORKS FOR ME.”
(HINT: YOU GET TO DECIDE HOW LIFE WORKS FOR YOU, TOO. A LOT OF THIS CAN BE ACCOMPLISHED WITH THE RIGHT “SPONSORING THOUGHT.”)
Long story short: I moved out of the world of journalism.
I could no longer resonate with these brilliant writers selling their souls for low-paying assignments and checks that take 6 or more months to come. I could no longer resonate with these minds critical of governments and systems, who also probably needed food stamps to eat or (as another journalist advised me to find one of my own) ‘a rich husband.’
I wanted to be my own rich husband. I wanted to do work I LOVE, that feels purposeful, and be paid well for it.
We could say that after that I followed the money,
but what I really followed? Wealth consciousness.
I looked for it everywhere I went, and in all the online spaces I could think of.
While I continue to shed layers of this deeply ingrained poverty mindset, I’ve also come a long way. And I see this in little details of my daily existence.
MY LIFE BEFORE I REJECTED THE EXPECTED PATH TO SUCCESS AS A JOURNALIST
At the time when a former professor told me I’d have to work “unpaid for a minute,” I was:
- Taking a shower every 4-5 days to save on water bills & on shampoo/conditioner/soap
- Rarely, if ever, buying paper towels because they felt like a luxury (we did have a roommate though who bought them, thankfully!)
- Afraid to sign up for Netflix because $10 a month felt like Rockefeller money
- Washing clothes maybe 1x/month, also to save on water
- Buying the cheapest of any food at the grocery store, even buying margarine to save a bit on butter. Many days what I ate were noodles & margarine (or butter when ‘fancy’)
- Sometimes not even having money for food
- Experiencing Dunkin iced coffee maaaybe 1x/week and certainly NEVER having Starbucks (lux.u.ry I couldn’t allow!)
- Downloading only free books (not really because I wanted to read them but because they were free) to a Kindle my Dad gave me for Christmas one year
- Wearing underwear I’d had for 5+ years
- Hardly ever shopping for anything other than food
- Our biggest expenditure when we had any money: ordering food delivery
- Denying our desire for a pet because we couldn’t afford another mouth to feed
Now, I see improvement everywhere (when I remember to look for it and sometimes I forget and still feel broke even though I’m clearly doing better than I used to).
MY LIFE NOW AFTER SAYING ADIOS TO JOURNALISM AND CHOOSING A DIFFERENT PATH TO ENTREPRENEURIAL SUCCESS
Today, my wealth consciousness work empowers me to:
- Shower daily, thank you very much, using actual shaving cream to shave my legs
- ALWAYS buy Kerrygold butter ($3.99/8oz), not even “plain” butter ($3/16oz at Aldi’s), because I prefer the bolder taste and color of Kerrygold
- Keep Dunkin grounds for Chris, Lavazza grounds for me when I want hot coffee, and Starbucks Cold Brew packets for when I want cold brew at home
- Enjoy a weekly Starbucks solo date
- Spend $23 to try Keto-approved cookies called Fat Snax (when they get here Sunday, I’ll share how I like them)
- One time spend $100+ on shampoo/conditioner/other stuff from Monat (though honestly I don’t think I’d ever buy it again)
- Spending $10-15 each on books I WANT to read on a Kindle I bought 5 years ago that still works well! lol
- Wearing underwear I ordered on Amazon just a couple of months ago with free 2-day shipping LOL
- Loving our pretty kitty, Tootsie, and giving her picky-eater-ass the food she likes LOL
Seriously, there was a moment today when I spur-of-the-moment decided to pull the trigger on ordering myself $30 Sam Edelman rainboots (name brand, baby!) from Amazon [affiliate link].
Old, poverty-conscious me whispered, “Maybe you shouldn’t’ve,” and I was like, “Nah, we’re done walking around with wet feet every time it rains.”
Because I don’t need to work unpaid for ANY minutes, nor do I need to let my wet tootsies freeze for one more minute!
What do you no longer have any minutes for?
Intentionally run out of time for the same old bullshit to
Create a Life Beyond Belief!
December 6, 2019
Other incredible blog posts by me, Rosella LaFevre: