How Two Overworked and Burnt Out Teachers Created a Life of Freedom, Passion, and Purpose
After battling burnout and anxiety, we escaped our all consuming teaching jobs to find new passions and create a life that we are truly happy to be living.
We put our foot down. We stopped letting our own excuses run our lives. We stopped letting the world dictate what our work should look like. And we said goodbye to the 9-5.
We started believing that we could do anything we put our mind to, and started creating a new life for ourselves centered around our values, our passions, and our purpose.
We want to share who we really are, and the struggles we faced to create a lifestyle that many people think is too good to be true.
We’ve built ourselves up from nothing. We’ve faced the uncertainty of quitting a job with no prospects lined up. And we’ve struggled through years of poor work/life balance that tested our relationships.
This is our story, and we hope that it inspires you to overcome the beliefs that are holding you back from finding passion and purpose in your life and truly living a life that you love.
A ‘Smart’ Kid That Hated Challenges
As a kid, my parents made sure that I knew how smart I was. And when you are told something over and over, you start believing it. So being smart became part of my identity.
My family always had money, and I had anything I could ask for growing up. While this sounds great in theory, it caused me to struggle a lot throughout my life.
Being ‘smart’ and well off financially meant that I was rarely challenged. Because of this, whenever I did face challenges I would shut down and give up immediately. After all, how could I risk my reputation as the smart kid?
Whether it was learning to skate, swim, or ride a bike, I hated struggling. I wanted to be super smart and good at things because I was always told that’s who I was.
Since I was never challenged, I developed a bit of a mindset problem. And it would take me many years of struggle, a major career change, and a very wise wife to help me turn things around.
Choosing the Wrong Career for the Wrong Reasons
My parents also made sure that I knew how much potential I had, so there was a lot of pressure on me to be successful. Since I was ‘so smart’, I was pushed toward an important and successful career – whether I wanted one or not.
Teaching seemed like the right job for me because it met two important criteria: it was an important and successful career, and it made me feel smart. It was my dream job! Right?
So why did I quit?
Teaching is an insanely demanding job. The students are difficult, their parents are unreasonable, and the expectations increase every year.
Since I was always hustling to prove myself, I was finding it very hard to live a balanced lifestyle. I was always at work, and when I wasn’t, I was thinking about work.
I never spent time with my wife, and when I did, I would complain about how much work I had to do or how intense the job was. I was completely miserable.
But, as demanding as it was, my job made me feel important and successful. I had status! I wore fancy suits! I looked good! These things were really important in my family. I would do anything to make sure that I was important and successful!
But this all changed when I became a father.
My Big Wake Up Call
In addition to staying up all night preparing lessons, responding to stressful emails, and generally fretting about the day to come, I also had to somehow be a present and loving father. And I was already struggling with being a present and loving husband.
My big wakeup call happened at 3 am on a school night when I found myself in the middle of a complete mental breakdown. How was I going to be a father to a child knowing how absent I was? What type of father did I want to be? Would my children grow up chasing the same stupid dreams of success that I was?
Was this how everyone felt at work? Were there other careers that would allow me to balance my passions and my family values?
While I loved my work, I knew where my values were, and I knew I couldn’t ignore the signs that I needed to make a change.
But that didn’t mean quitting was easy.
I had worked really, really hard to get my teaching job, so walking away made me feel like a failure. And I hated failing.
Plus, I now had a new baby and was the sole income provider in our family. There was no reality where quitting made sense.
I was completely stuck in my life and I couldn’t see a road forward.
As you will see below, my wife has a few very important skills that make her an excellent wife, mother, and life coach. She helped me understand that my own happiness and my own family was much more important than whatever status and identity I was hanging onto from my childhood.
She helped me feel confident that I could find a job that I was passionate about, give me a sense of purpose, and also allow me to focus on what I valued most.
I originally chose a successful and important job instead of a job that I wanted to do. I ended up hating it and it made me miserable for 5 years of my life.
This is what many people do. We are forced to choose careers that we don’t want, and end up miserable because of it. And in many cases, it is a serious struggle to get out and find something that we really want to do with our lives.
Going through this experience first hand led me to becoming a certified life and career coach. My experience has made me develop a passion for helping people who find themselves feeling stuck in a similar situation.
Whether you are looking to quit your job or are struggling to find your passion, I know that I can help you!
Building Something From Nothing
My childhood was the opposite of Jordan’s in almost every way.
I grew up in a family of 5 that lived in a very small house in a rough part of the city. My dad was always working just to be able to put food on the table.
We went to a very low income school in the city where many of the kids had serious behavioral issues. I’m talking lighting things on fire here people!
Even being surrounded by all this chaos, I still knew from an early age that I wanted to be a math teacher.
Despite my family’s struggles, I managed to work hard, get into a good school, and land my dream job.
So how is it that I managed to take a different path? How was I able to overcome adversity and still find success?
I credit my successes to a few key skills that I have developed throughout my life that I can’t wait to share with you!
A Grateful Heart
Because we didn’t have a lot growing up, my parents worked really hard to teach us to appreciate the things that we did have.
Where other kids (like my lovely husband) were spoiled with expensive video games, my sisters and I learned to use our imagination to make fun out of pretty much anything. We knew just how much fun you could have by finding new adventures in your own backyard.
We learned that you don’t have to have a lot of stuff to have a happy life. In fact, having less actually makes you appreciate just how special the little things are.
Even though my family didn’t have a lot of money, I never once thought that.
Instead of being bitter about my family’s struggles, I see them as the reason why I have a naturally grateful heart. I am grateful for little things in life that many people take for granted.
This has given me the super power of making the best of really terrible situations. Instead of complaining about how hard things are, I always find something to be grateful for, and I believe that it is always possible to change your situation for the better.
And this doesn’t mean that I am one of those annoying endlessly positive people. I just find it silly to sit around wasting energy complaining when it is possible to find happiness in little things, even obstacles that would otherwise make us angry or annoyed.
One of the most important lessons my parents taught me was that I can do anything I put my mind to.
Because of this, I tend to get whatever I want! And I’m not talking about having things or being spoiled. I mean that when I have a goal or a dream in my heart, I will do absolutely whatever it takes to achieve it.
As a certified life coach, this is one of the most valuable skills that I have that allows me to help people create a life that they are proud to live.
I am lucky to say that the first person I truly helped with turning their life around was my husband. As you read earlier, Jordan had a bit of a mindset problem. He was raised thinking that his path had to be toward greatness. This belief ended up getting him stuck in a very toxic career situation.
I was able to use my own experiences to help him dig deep to the roots of what was keeping him stuck. And most importantly, I was able to help him make a change.
Everyone has obstacles that they face in their lives. What most people struggle with is how to overcome these obstacles without giving up.
Coming from very little forged me into a person with a lot of determination. There were so many times where it would have been easier to sit back and complain about how hard things were. But instead, I let my circumstances inspire me to do better for myself. And I am excited to help you learn to do the same!
Life is full of challenges. They are scary and they make us feel uncomfortable. But this just means that there is potential for growth beyond our personal comfort zones.
Jordan and I both believe that if you can dream something, you can do it, no matter how big it is. It’s easy to sit around and list all the reasons why you can’t do things. We do not believe in making excuses. We all have the power to change our circumstances. Whether we choose to or not is up to us.
Are You Ready to Create the Life You Want to Live?
Our combined experiences make us a unique and powerful team!
The experiences that Jordan had during his career change make it possible for him to help people understand the value of finding a job that lets them live and work with passion and purpose. Cassandra’s approach toward overcoming obstacles and challenges make her the ideal life coach to help people find happiness and joy through all that life has to offer.
Whether it is your job or your own beliefs about what you are capable of, we are excited to help you start creating a life that you truly love living!
We can’t wait to see what you will do with your life!