I remember setting a very specific goal for myself: I wanted to earn a 6 figure income. I can’t recall at what point exactly I made said goal, possibly around my college years.

I also remember not speaking that goal out loud to anyone, because I was ashamed to be driven by money. Society had informed me that chasing money was shallow. It lacked meaning. “You can’t take it with you when you go.” So make a living doing something that you care about, that you have a passion for. That helps others. And accept whatever money comes along with it.

Boy did I have an issue with that. I’ve said before, I am a both/and person, not an either/or. I kept having this thought – why can’t I have both an impassioned career as well as make good money?

I was raised in a 6 figure income household. I saw the life that that money allowed for my family. From sports activities, academic pursuits and my equine passion, I was able to not only try new things but truly explore my talents. At the same time, my parents demonstrated financial discipline and set an example of responsibility, caring for what the money bought and knowing when to splurge.

To me, it wasn’t so much the specific number that was driving my 6 figure income goal, it was what I knew the money could do. I wanted my own future family to have the opportunities that I did, and I wasn’t going to wait for a husband to provide that for me. That goal led me to a career I thought I’d stay in indefinitely: management.

I hated everything about being a salesman, and in my heart I did not think I had what it took to have my own business, so management seemed a good option. With enough experience and with the right company, I could eventually get to my 6 figure goal. I also knew that this meant working 50-60 hour weeks, but I’d watched my father do that at times and he still made time for the family, so I could do that too.

Scary to think about how many decisions I made because I didn’t know there was another way.

Fast forward to today, where I’ve found my both/and. I have the opportunity to earn any income I choose, while also doing some of the most meaningful work of my life (to date).

Don’t ever settle.

Don’t ever be ashamed of your goals.

And don’t underestimate what you can do.

I didn’t think I had what it took to have my own business. Turns out, that was just fear talking. As well as my own ignorance that having my own business had to look like what’d I’d seen from my previous jobs. Like what I was taught in school.

If you too want to design your life, or even just alter its trajectory, let’s chat. My world got a whole lot bigger when I educated myself. After all, knowledge is power.