I meet some of my favorite people in the most random and beautiful ways. In 2017, I was fortunate enough to meet Shanah Bell at a surprisingly emotional and wonderful dinner. I love talking to Shanah. In a world where I often feel like I’m walking a different path than everyone else around me–especially those my own age–her words make me want to celebrate this fact and all the rich experiences that come with it rather than allowing myself to feel isolated.
Today I want to share her words with you! Shanah recently released a great book called The Art of Being a PITA, which addresses the financials of living a nontraditional life. It’s super rad and you should pick a copy up today!
Without further ado, here’s Shanah to give you a little background on her own story.
Most people might consider being a P.I.T.A (pain in the ass!) a negative quality. In reality, that isn’t necessarily the case.
My mother gave me this nickname when I was growing up because I refused to do anything the traditional way. I am stubborn! And things haven’t really changed so much for me — I still fit into that category today! So, I suppose, if you want to call me a P.I.T.A for not always going with the flow, then so be it. I am a P.I.T.A.
But being one only means that I do things my own way, instead of how most people think I should do them. This primarily relates to how I have carved out my work-life and my career, going the non-traditional route and dumping the corporate 9-5 ideology. And actually, if anything, it has only aided me in being as successful as I am.
When I was growing up, I was told that success equated to getting a good, corporate job, and that was the ONLY way to experience life-long stability.
This never felt right to me, though. I felt that there had to be a better way, because corporate jobs just don’t suit every personality. This is especially true of us P.I.T.A’s! We like to buck the system and think outside the box, which does not typically translate well into a corporate environment.
Even so, there were a few times that I tried to make it work. Oh, how I tried! I wanted to be considered stable and successful, and more than anything I wanted to make my family proud. But I never felt at home in a corporate job. I felt like those jobs sucked the life right out of me.
Why I Left Corporate Jobs Forever
Whenever I worked at a corporate job (and I’ve had a few!), I spent a decent portion of the day not doing anything productive because I had already completed my tasks. I really HATE being bored, sitting around and doing nothing, even if I am getting paid for it. I would much rather be busy, working my butt off the whole time than sitting around, twiddling my thumbs, trying to find things to do, or waiting for new opportunities to crop up.
To me, that is just ridiculous!
Then, after spending most of the day doing nothing, I would have to go sit in afternoon traffic for another hour, and once I was home it was time to decompress, which took at least another hour, if not all night.
For me, working a corporate job meant I was on someone else’s clock for close to 12 hours a day, yet only getting paid for 8. And the 8 hours I was getting paid, I wasn’t being nearly as productive as I could be on my own.
It became clear to me that leaving corporate jobs for good could not only free up my own personal time, but also potentially increase my income! I am much more productive overall when left to my own devices than I ever was when I was restricted by the constraints of a corporate job.
Tips to Being a Successful P.I.T.A
As a life-long P.I.T.A, I have learned quite a few tips, tricks, and lessons about success along the way. Some of these are:
- Think outside of the box
- Increase your problem-solving skills
- Apply skills from previous jobs to new and unrelated fields
- Never stop learning
- Bust your ass at every job to prove that you can do anything
- Keep lines of communication open with old co-workers, because you never know what future opportunities may lie there
- Live your successful life — it’s different for everyone, so don’t let someone else determine what success looks like for you
- Keep a budget and check it weekly
- Don’t forget to save a little bit each week and put it into a high yield savings or retirement account
Because I chose to live my life authentically, on my own terms, and in a way that I can be proud of, my income has the potential to be limitless. Every hour that I work is productive.
Therefore, I am able to work less hours and enjoy my life, while still continuing to learn and grow and increase my income. What a win-win! To me, this is the only way that I can live my life successfully. It took me a while to learn, but now there is no going back.
While being a P.I.T.A takes work, creativity, drive, and critical problem-solving skills, it is the only way that I get to live my life happily and successfully.
In what ways have you found being a P.I.T.A a good thing?