I have been reading Barbara Stanny’s book, Secrets of Six-Figure Women: Surprising Strategies to Up Your Earnings and Change Your Life, and her message so far is that successful high earners know their own value and have a solid work/life balance. Underearners, in her estimate, tend to complicate their lives by doing multiple jobs thinking that they’re doing the best thing for themselves, but ultimately they are not making the income that meets their potential.
As a veteran Level 3 teacher in New Mexico, I am in the upper bracket of my earning potential. By working at the hotel I have been able to gain quite a lot of perspective on that, but also on my desire to make more money, along with my frustration at stagnating in my professional salary. Stanny addresses that at one point in her text by talking about how people who are underearning are essentially grinding down their hopes (and energy and time) and therefore, their ability to make more. Success is relative, to be sure, but contentedness comes from our own attitudes. The biggest question to ask is, "where is my time best spent?"
The growth process I've undertaken has also given me the opportunity to better understand my relationship with money. I sometimes take on debt as a challenge. That’s not healthy. I'm good at paying debt down, and at being smart, for the most part about what I purchase, but I definitely like to spend money on experiences and adventures. Until I make more money, or until my son is responsible for his own life, health, vision, dental and auto insurance, I probably should scale my experiences back a bit. (Kids aren't cheap, folks.)
I am currently looking at other professional jobs, but that doesn’t mean that I’m ready to leave the one I am in right now. It does mean that if I am offered a job that would pay me $20,000 more, I really need to consider taking it. I’m seven years away from retirement, and most people look at me like I’m a fool when I suggest that I'd like to do something new. Teaching is getting harder, but it’s also my own inflexibility that tends to grow as I as I get older. My frustration comes more readily. That’s not a fair translation for the students who need more from me.
Being successful as a teacher also means knowing when to stay and when to go. I don't know yet if I've hit that point of awareness. My advice to myself? "When in doubt, do nothing." But I don't want to just sit around and wait for something to happen, either. I want to know it before it hits me in the face. So, for now, I will read this book, evaluate my thoughts, grow as a person, and one day soon, I will know what needs to happen next.
I'll keep you posted, homies. Love ya.
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