Strolling around Windsor Castle before recording this podcast and doing one of the things that help us make decisions.
Today on the show, we break down how we made 3 recent big, scary decisions in our Worth Project. Including, Jordan making the leap to leave his job.
You can download this episode from Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn Radio, and Spotify – or listen to it below! Welcome to the Show Notes! Check out this page for any links, notes, or photos we referenced in the podcast.
Guys, this episode make me very nervous. Even though we’ve thoughtfully made some big decisions over the past few months, I still get very scared. Change can be very hard! And the idea of leaving the safe cocoon of the life we’ve built in the U.K. over the past five years gives me minor panic, even though I know it’s the right decision.
Here’s the quick update in our worth project: we’re leaving the U.K. and Jordan is leaving his job. This all goes down on August 12th when we have a one-way ticket booked for the long journey home. We’re spending six weeks in California visiting family and friends before our journey continues even further west, landing us in Hawai’i at the end of September.
I’m continuing writing, cutting back my consulting work, leaning harder into The Worth Project, and rounding out my CPA by studying for the Accredited Financial Counselor exam. Jordan won’t be a beach bum, but he’s taking it slow with transitioning to a new career. He wants to find business opportunities in the green space and spend some quality time with Henry. He’ll also become our family’s resident photographer and videographer, as he makes some videos for the memory books.
And if that change wasn’t enough, we’re selling pretty much everything we own and packing our life into a few suitcases. Financially and environmentally, we can’t really ship everything half-way around the world. And, we’ve seen that we’re really happy living on less. So this is a chance for us to live on a lot less.
Writing this all out, it kind of feels like these decisions were easy. But, they weren’t. Not even a little.
So how do we make these hard decisions?
In this episode, we give you a little glimpse into the things we considered to make these difficult choices a little easier.
What big decisions did we make?
Big decision #1: Jordan is leaving his job
This decision was difficult for so many reasons, aside from just you know, needing income to support ourselves. But, surprisingly, this was the easiest decision to make in the end because we had intentionally worked towards this point for years.
Big decision #2: We’re selling our piece of land
This was the most challenging decision to make because there’s a lot of dreams and emotions wrapped up in the life we thought we’d have by building a home on this piece of land. But we took a rational (and written) approach, that made the right decision for us, crystal clear.
Big decision #3: We’re not moving home to family and friends
This one felt really counterintuitive. We’re making these changes to spend more time with family, yet we’re not moving back to the bay area? Finding the balance between leading our own lives and wanting to be with our family was tough, but we made some intentional decisions that help us feel like we’re getting the best of both worlds.
Plus, we share three other strategies that we use every single time we make a difficult decision:
We’ve created three pillars that represent our values
This is probably the cheesiest things we did, but guys, it works. Coming out of our three questions from George Kinder, we knew what kind of life we wanted to have. We had a vision for what a great life looked life for us. But how do we translate that vision into something that we could use to make day to day decisions? If a decision is going to help us develop in one of these areas, we’re probably going to do it. If it’s not and we’re on the fence about it, we’ll likely pass. Our three pillars are:
- Courage: One of our favorite questions, borrowed from Jim Koch, is “is it scary or is it dangerous?” There’s so much to be afraid of, but we don’t want to live our lives in fear. We want to have the courage to do things that may seem scary but aren’t dangerous.
- Community: A community is only as strong as it’s weakest link and we’ve wanted to spend more time being active and engaged in building a strong community. We’re excited to make this a priority.
- Conservation: Nature, the environment, and sustainability are truly the things we are most passionate about in life. We want to learn more about the natural world and help create solutions to protect it.
We take small steps
When decisions feel overwhelming, we break them down into the smallest tasks. The idea to sell everything didn’t come from one day wanting to sell everything. It came from the seed that was planted the first time I Kon Maried my closet. That small step has led us to this point three years later, where we’re diving into living with less and embracing that lifestyle change. But had we not taken baby steps toward this point, we never would’ve done it.
We talk…a lot
My favorite activity is going on long walks in the English countryside. And on these walks, Jordan and I will usually talk about our dreams, goals, and big decisions we’re making. Talking helps to break things down, helps us to see solutions where we once only saw roadblocks, and helps us eventually make scary decisions. But warning — talking to someone who is going to give you advice based on what they want to do in life, isn’t going to help you.
Erica Gellerman, CPA
Erica Gellerman is a CPA, MBA, personal finance writer, and founder of The Worth Project: a weekly money newsletter you actually want to read. Her work has been featured on Forbes, Money, Business Insider, The Everygirl, The Everymom, and Lifehacker. When she's not writing about personal finance you can find Erica exploring Europe from her temporary home base in London.
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