As we were heading out on the road to Texas, we stopped for some road food and found a great local Family run grocery store. We interviewed the mom and son who have run it for years and even got behind the counter working for them. It’s a reminder of the good ol’ Family run businesses and community that thrives because of the American dream.
Earlier this year, we were contacted by the corporate world once again. From time to time they reach out and ask us to come back, raising the pay every time as an incentive. When they called this year, we were in a financially tight position for months on end and feeling unfulfilled in the work we were doing at the time – needless to say we we’re feeling vulnerable. The salary they offered would afford us a big house with lots of space and many doors, new cars, credit cards, infomercial addiction, material stuff, and pretty much anything we would want to buy without having to think about it. Just like it used to be. The money would be abundant and overwhelming at the same time.
All that and a move back to the Pacific Northwest, a place that we call our second home and have longed for in our hearts for quite some time. All of us had been dreaming of returning to the Northwest and this would not only afford us that, but the finances would make it beyond a vacation. For a moment Greg and I sat there thinking ‘this is one way to do it’. Standing in the bathroom looking out into the living room as we were getting ready to go out, I told Greg ‘maybe you shouldn’t say no just yet… Maybe we just need to sleep on it’. Greg had the same look on his face, but both of us knowing exactly what we were feeling at the time was the real answer. We knew that we’d feel some sort of weirdness if we didn’t at least think about it. Deep down I know we both knew we could never go back, that we couldn’t ever duplicate the good years that we had in in the corporate world there. But looking at the finances and the lack of growing accounts in a self run little Family business, it sure fucks you up when someone dangles that many g’s in front of you, no matter how strong your morals and ethics are. We knew we didn’t want to do the work that was being offered at all, we just wanted the freedom and opportunity that the resource would give us after months of being in a tight pinch. Then we’d be doing the work just for the money and sacrificing our Family time, name, and dignity, which is nothing short of corporate prostitution in my mind and goes against everything that feels good in my life.
Over the next few days it was hard thinking about turning them down considering we were at a place where the income would be more than a relief, it would have been abundant and could provide opportunity to turn out projects that we’ve had in the background for some time. Anytime we have taken a job it’s never been about the position or even the pay, but more about how we’re gonna use the income to fund all of our various ideas and projects for BareNakedFamily. And as much as our hearts longed to go back to the Pacific Northwest and live in the most beautiful place in the world, we knew we couldn’t go backwards. We had already done that and there was no going back and doing it over that way. Really, how would you respond to something like that?!? How do you not do something just because you’re feeling rather sentimental, how do you continue to keep your focus on the very things that excite you and make you addicted to accomplishment? When do you teach the kids practicality with wisdom? And when your personal common sense is screaming after school alert, they’re tempting you with goodies and money…don’t go with them! How do you honor that insight and still make the right decision? It literally made me sick to think of going back to a lifestyle where that stood for everything we’re not ~ time away from each other, long days in a cubicle, Greg traveling alone, being stuck in an office, burned out people, bosses, bitter housewives, cheating husbands, divorce, greed, cheesy corporate parties, and red tape ~ even if we only did it for a little bit. All those things that quickly occupied our life along with the abundance and money.
After a week of thinking it over, we knew we were too awake to go back. As good as the financial freedom sounded, we knew it was not like that from our experience. Ten years had gone by before we were able to escape the teeth of the corporate world and no longer could we be tempted by that American Dream. We were already living in our American Dream, even at the level we were feeling at the time, because it was us and the kids making decisions based on what made us happy.
Already proving to ourselves that we were capable of such important and creative work and that our time is far more valuable than anything they could offer us, we decided to turn them down and all their stinking money…all six figures of it. It became clear after spending some time with our conscious like that, we knew we needed to change the unfulfilled sense of work we were currently doing to avoid being tempted by such offers and the abundance will follow. So, Greg and I sat and thought about what we really wanted to be doing and came up with something that blew us away. Something that made much more sense for us and complimented our life and honored our Family name.
Working for the little guys is where it’s at anyway…