Should we leave money on the table?


Hey friends,

Greetings from LA, and another apology for sending this not-on-a-Sunday – I hope not to make a habit of it 😂

Two weeks ago, I wrote about how I’ve been pondering the question: “What would you do if money were no object?”

I’d been feeling the effects of burnout, and was trying to re-centre on what brought me joy and fulfilment in my work.

Firstly, thank you to everyone who sent lovely, thoughtful replies. Sadly I haven’t had a chance to reply to everyone, but I loved reading your messages. This week, I wanted to highlight something that April Perry, a fellow entrepreneur who runs LearnDoBecome, shared with me in an email reply.

I have been working online (started slowly with a mom blog—just out of the love of writing and connecting) since 2007, and my husband joined me full time in the business in 2015. We have grown an awesome community with more than 100,000 individuals and are now to a point that we don’t “have to work,” which is a blessing.

But April’s been in lots of mastermind groups with highly driven well-intentioned entrepreneurs who convinced her she needed to hire, and go bigger, and multiply her revenue goals each year, in order to live her purpose.

She tried that course, but ended up feeling the exact pressure I described in the previous email – a sense of meaninglessness, stress and burnout.

Two months ago, April and her husband decided to create a totally asynchronous business. They now record their YouTube videos and podcast when they feel like it, prepare their membership resources once a month, and handle all “meetings” through email, voice memos and Slack for their team of 6.

My calendar has NOTHING business-related on it, for the first time since 2007. We have taught over 650 live webinars, gone live in our membership every month for 2.5 years, taught 5 high-level coaching sessions, and done numerous live video trainings for free. Each day now feels like an open canvas, and we spend more time hiking, being with friends and family, reading, and enjoying the day. I can’t even tell you what a difference it has made.

Here were some more reflections that April kindly shared from one of her recent journal entries.

People always talk about “leaving money on the table” like it’s a terrible thing. Why don’t you sell another digital product? Why don’t you do a mastermind? Why don’t you sell physical products? But no one ever speaks about the mental and emotional costs associated with managing all of that. I think we need to shift our perspectives.

– Why are you leaving “peace of mind” on the table?
– Why are you leaving family time on the table?
– How about mental health and being “enough” with what you already have and do?
– How is your connection with God?
– What’s the quality of your marriage?
– Can you sit and “just be”?
– Can you laugh and sing and truly relax with loved ones?
– Can you look at your relationships + natural + all God has given you, and sit in awe for a moment?

It doesn’t have to be “either/or” but out of all of that, if I have my family’s financial needs covered, the FIRST thing I’ll leave on the table is money.

This email brought enormous joy and peace of mind to me. I love hearing stories of when people decided “enough is enough” and stopped hustling for the sake of “growth”, and instead decided to prioritise balance, health, hobbies and family life.

Somewhat relates to an Alex Hormozi quote I love: “When I was 20, I wanted to be a millionaire. But when I was a millionaire, I wanted to be 20”.

The lesson I take from all this is that whether you’re financially free or not (yet), focus on following the river of joy in your life, and find a way to enjoy whatever you’re doing. And if you need a few pointers on exactly how to do that, my new book Feel-Good Productivity: How to Do More of What Matters to You has plenty of science-backed ideas 😜

Have a great week!

Ali xx

❤️ My Favourite Things this Week

  1. Video Game – I’m continuing to absolutely love the game Baldur’s Gate 3, which I’m playing on my Macbook. It’s made me very tempted to get a dedicated gaming laptop and lug that around on my travels. I’ve also been watching lots of spoiler-free reviews of the game, all of which are basically saying “this is the best game of 2023”. So if you’re into gaming, you might like to check it out.
  2. Sling Bag – I’ve been on my digital nomad travels for nearly a month now, and a bag I find myself using almost everyday is my Peak Design Everyday Sling 6L. It’s a great “personal item” to use in addition to my Nomatic x Peter McKinnon backpack to carry on planes. It’s also a great, lightweight sling bag to carry around during the day, and fits my iPad Pro (11 inch), a physical notebook, a physical book, sunglasses, suncream and a powerbank. If you’re looking for a solid sling bag to carry around instead of a “proper” backpack, you might like to check this out. And if anyone at Peak Design happens to read this, I’d love to partner with you guys 😉
  3. PowerBank – Another device that’s come in super handy on my travels is this enormous Anker 140W Power Bank. It’s like carrying around a whole extra battery for my Macbook / iPad, and it’s meant I’ve never once run out of juice while being out and about. This is now a permanent addition to my backpack setup, although it’s a bit too beefy to comfortably carry in the sling.
  4. Book – I re-read the first half of the incredible book The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. I first read this a few years ago, but it didn’t quite resonate at the time. This time, I feel more of a sense of “ohhhh I get what he’s talking about” and everything made much more sense. Main takeaway (which is going to sound trite) is that, of course, the present moment is all we have, and worrying about the past or the future, at the risk of staying in the present, is a suboptimal way to live.

🎬 My New Videos

😥 An Evidence-Based Guide to Overcoming Stress & Anxiety – I’ve been struggling with stress and anxiety at times recently, so I spoke to psychologist Dr Julie Smith on my podcast Deep Dive. In this video I share 7 of my favourite tips from that conversation.

✍️ Quote of the Week

“Most events in life can be categorized in one of two ways: a good time, or a good story.”

From Long Story Short by Margot Leitman. Resurfaced using Readwise.

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