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Ask Dave

Find The Third Option

Douglas thinks he's going to lose his job and has two options. His dream job is in another state and pays $10,000 less a year than what he makes now. Dave thinks there's a better way to get to his dream job.

QUESTION: Douglas in Spokane works for the state, and it’s broke. He thinks he’s going to lose his job, and he has two options. One is in another state and pays $10,000 less a year than what he makes now, but it is his dream job. The other option would be a $6,000-a-year increase, but he’d have to live away from home four days a week. Dave thinks there’s a better way to get to his dream job.

ANSWER: I don’t like either one of these options. I don’t like doing stuff just for money, and I don’t like you calling your dream a pay cut. That’s not my dream. It just occurs to me that a great hunting guide with a conscience would make about four times what you’re talking about.

I think you take the elements of what you love and find another way to apply them where you can make a better living than what you’re talking about or a different place to apply them—a place that pays more than Montana in this case. In your case, you’re talking about a $16,000 swing and more than that because your wife is going to be underemployed. There’s no part of this that sounds like a dream come true to me except what you physically get to do every day.

I’m of the opinion—and I’m right—that you can live your dream and get paid for it. You’ve just got to figure out a different methodology—a different vehicle—than the one you found. I don’t think you’re through looking. I wouldn’t accept either one of those. I don’t want you working just for money. You’ll burn out on that in a heartbeat. Plus you’re talking about being away from home four days a week. No thank you. Then you’re just going to hate that job every minute of it, almost from the day you start. And the other one, your wife’s going to hate the job because you’re going to be freaking broke all so you can play game warden. No. It doesn’t work for me.

I’m going to send you a copy of a book. It’s called 48 Days to the Work You Love. And I’m going to send you Jon Acuff’s book Quitter. I want you to reset your mind on how to pursue your passions in a career that pays well. There’s the third option, and that’s the one we need to find. In other words, I do a lot of things that don’t pay well, but the way I do them causes me to get paid very well. I’m a teacher. I’m a radio host. I’m an author. You can find people in all three of those categories who are broke, but I found ways to do them where I’m not.