How To Balance a Happy Life & Financial Achievement + Pros & Cons of Quiet Quitting w/ Jason Vitug

Episode Number: 305

Episode 305- How To Balance a Happy Life & Financial Achievement + Pros & Cons of Quiet Quitting w/ Jason Vitug

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How To Balance a Happy Life & Financial Achievement + Pros & Cons of Quiet Quitting w/ Jason Vitug

 

(This post may include some affiliate links)

Jason Vitug, award-winning, best-selling author, speaker and entrepreneur joins the Journey to Launch podcast to discuss why money is a path to happiness, but it doesn’t embody it.

Jason, once a corporate ladder climber, found himself stressed out, burnt-out and living a life he was no longer aligned with. Through trial and error… and rest, Jason discovered the intrinsic connection between mental health and money and how people can move forward to a healthier, happier path on their financial freedom journeys. 

In this episode, we also discuss:

  • Quiet Quitting: what it is, why you need an exit plan and taking advantage of ALL your work perks
  • What happiness dimensions are, why you need to implement them in your day-to-day life + actionable steps to make that happen TODAY
  • The reality of knowing yourself and what makes you happy outside of a financial number or achievement 
  • Why we need mental breaks, buying happiness by spending on wellness, stepping off the hamster wheel + more
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Jason Vitug 0:02

So it's not just about okay, I'm going to sacrifice and deprive myself of the joys until I reach this goal. incorporate these treats and these joys along the way.

Intro 0:16

Welcome to the journey to launch podcast with your host jameelah. So frogs as a money expert who rocks her talk, she helps brave juniors like you get out of debt, save, invest and build real Whoa. Join her on the journey to launch to financial freedom in three.

If you want the episode show notes for this episode, go to journey to launch.com or click the description of wherever you're listening to this episode. In the show notes, you'll get the transcribed version of the conversation, the links that we mentioned and so much more. Also, whether you are an OG journey or are brand new to the podcast, I've created a free jumpstart guide to help you on your financial freedom journey. It includes the top episodes, so listen to stages to go through to reach financial freedom, resources and so much more. You can go to journey to launch.com/jumpstart to get your guide right now. Okay, let's hop into the episode.

Jamila Souffrant 1:25

Hey, derniers Welcome to the journey to launch Podcast. I'm excited to be speaking to today's guest. His name is Jason V tug. He is the award winning creator, author, speaker, entrepreneur and producer, founder of the personal finance website frugal.com. That's frugal with a pH. And he is the creator of the road to financial wellness. He's written a book called Happy money, happy life. And he's going to talk all about why money and mental health go hand in hand. So welcome to the podcast. Jason.

Jason Vitug 1:55

Thank you so much, Jamila. So happy to be here.

Jamila Souffrant 1:57

Yes, yes, Jason, I know you are really invested in talking about why money and it's more than just like dollars and cents. I know, it's all about general wellness, and how we can actually live complete lives like that is what I find when I follow you and I see some of your work. You're doing yoga, you're, you're doing poetry, like I feel like it's very much what we need to talk about more when it comes to money. It's like that internal work. And so I'd love for you to discuss and talk a little bit about what it means to have happy money and a happy life.

Jason Vitug 2:33

I love that because I think it's so important for us when we're when we have these financial goals, financial independence, financial freedom, what have you, that there has to be much more than just the financial aspect of it. We all are striving and working hard, earning money setting goals in order for us to live a happy life. And I think we don't take a moment to describe or envision what that happy life is. I have been on this journey, I think my whole entire life. And I have pursued kind of titles and salaries and realize that isn't the path to joy and happiness. And so right now we have people that are quite quitting, we have people that are quitting their jobs and resigning. And I did that 10 years ago. And I found myself backpacking around the world and coming back and realizing Okay, well, it's not about titles and salaries. It's about much more than that. And it's about joy and happiness. And so when you see me doing things like yoga and breath work, and you see me posting about poetry, I think that's what wealth is supposed to allow us to do, we should be able to do more of the things that bring joy, we should be able to experiment. And we should be able to kind of like dive into like interest really explore these curiosities. And when they find them what they like to us to push back on. It's this idea that everything has to be quantified financially. And so I followed your journey for so long. And we have talked incessantly about certain specific things when it comes to joy and happiness and kind of professional pursuits and goals. And I want to remind people that when we do have these financial goals and professional goals, there's much more to life. And we really have to take a step back and assess, well, what are those other aspects of our well being? Do we want to funnel our financial resources to? And early on in this I've had really great relationships with a lot of the fire folks. And but privately, it was so interesting, they would tell me how achieving that financial number didn't necessarily make them happier. And they were left with a lot of time. Time was kind of one of these things that was just eating them up like before, they didn't have time, and they're like, I want this financial independence, because I get to own my time and I get to do the things I want to do. but then they forgot that on their path to financial independence, you have to figure yourself out during that time period, you cannot hold your life for 510 years. And believe that the moment you reach that financial goal, that financial milestone, okay, I know who I am. And so I've been loving your journey, I've been loving your health cake where you're running, and you've said, You are the reluctant runner, I'm the same way. I don't run, I jog or I do some really fast walking, because for me part of happiness and part of wellness is physical health. And I've run into this issue where I kind of sacrifice my physical health and my mental health, for financial professional goals. And I did a repeat. And so I really want to talk about that, too. It's just sort of like, we become financially secure, we quit. And then we become entrepreneurs. And we're back in the same hamster wheel.

Jamila Souffrant 5:59

Yeah, oh, my gosh, so many points right there that I can like go in different directions with but what I love about the firemen with the financial independence, retire early movement, is that and I talked about this in my fin con speech, which I did here on the podcast, I'll link that is that when you are getting into the personal finance space, sometimes you're just the observer, like you are literally just taking in the information you have no desire to join in. As someone who is going to publish content, you're just getting the information, I'm using the information to your benefit, and maybe sharing it with personal friends. But then after a while, sometimes what happens is you then become like inspired to say, oh, I want to quit my own blog, right? I you start to be a participator in this space, and you kind of grow from there. And with the fire movement, I feel like there's some people who are just in it to like, understand what they need to do for their personal finances to reach financial independence. And that's it. And then some people who see that this could be a viable way potentially, to help them gain more freedom. For those people, either one of them, you can get caught up in like this false sense of setting goals and thinking that achieving them on your financial journey is it but like you said, you know, real people, since you've been in this game for so long, that really like they present like they're happy, and they're not, which is why I try to always be honest with my journey and how I'm feeling because I just feel like then it creates this false sense of, oh, yeah, that's what it is. I just, if I quit this job, if I save, you know, Max up, get to a point where I'm maxing out my retirement account, or I pay off all my debt, then there'll be happiness. And it's like, no, that's not the case, half the people who you follow are really not happy. Like there's more to that.

Jason Vitug 7:40

Absolutely. And a lot of that has to do with this idea that achievement equals happiness and success. And that certainly is a component of it. But we're all we're human beings. So our goal is really to feel this this fulfillment, it's that sense of fulfillment. And yes, when we achieve a goal, we might be fulfilled. But there's a lot of different aspects of it, when we're sacrificing our time with our family and our friends, when we're sacrificing other aspects of our well being. Well, yeah, that's going to impact our happiness and our ability to enjoy the actual financial milestones. So when you say that I know a lot of people in this personal finance space. Absolutely. And what I love, and they used to joke around because I was the guy who liked to talk about health and wealth when everyone's talking about financial numbers. And I'm like, Okay, listen, money is financial numbers. But money is also about feelings. And I am that guy who talks about feelings when it comes to money. Because at the end of the day, it really is about how we think and feel about our situation. I always like to encourage people, and I always like to push against the narrative, that all our problems are going to be solved. And we are going to be happy once we achieve financial numbers, because that's just one piece of it. And now I think through the pandemic, and through what we've been through in the last two to three years, there is this big realization that there is more than anything in everything, the best financial plan is realizing that we can't account for things we just don't know. And yes, being financially secure, allows us a buffer zone. But what I learned from some of my friends in the movement, or those who are just considering financial independence, is it they told me before the pandemic, they were sacrificing time with their family and their friends, to save an extra $20. And I wrote about that in the book, and he realized that when it's no longer a choice, and he was at home alone and unable to say no to friends, because no one was hanging out. It was affecting him mentally and emotionally. And he goes, I would have preferred to spend that $20 having drinks with my friends, then believing that $20 was going to make a big difference in And my financial kind of his goal, his big goal. And that go yes, it is really about balance. And seasonality there is a period where, okay, you're gonna go gung ho when it comes to some of your financial aspects of it. And then you need to kind of take a step back and enjoy, like these little milestones.

Jamila Souffrant 10:18

So how does one know what season they're in that they should go hard for their financial goals versus indulging and enjoying the fruits of their labor?

Jason Vitug 10:29

I love that, because I think it has to do with, when you're building these financial goals, you need to be intentional about setting these little markers throughout the financial goal. So let's say your goal is to reach $100,000, your first kind of big, awesome financial goal, well make sure that when you reached your first 10,000, that you treat yourself part of that budgeting process, and then I don't tend to go through this whole budgeting piece of it, because that's not me. But I'd like people to understand when you're setting financial goals, you have to incorporate aspects like the money part of it to treat yourself. And so it's not just about, okay, I'm gonna sacrifice and deprive myself of the joys until I reach this goal, incorporate these treats, and these joys along the way. So again, kind of wrapping it up, where you're going, Okay, I have a million dollar financial independence goal, you break it down to 10 markers in this. And then once you reach that 100,000, you can you can treat yourself with a trip to Costa Rica or Colombia, or, you know, when you reach that $10,000 goal, you you go and you enjoy a nice dinner out with a friend to celebrate that mile, because that's also part of the motivation aspect of it. And truthfully, that's going to help with the emotional, the mental, the social aspects of our well being.

Jamila Souffrant 11:48

And you've mentioned quiet quitting before. It's okay. It's funny, because when I saw it, I was like, Oh, this has been around forever. But can you explain what quiet quitting is? And I want to talk a little bit about what's happening now as trends we're seeing happening in the workforce.

Jason Vitug 12:02

Yeah, I think this is really important, because it is a trend where people are quite quitting, meaning that they're staying at a job, that they don't necessarily feel appreciated, they're not being paid the amount that they deserve. And so they're disconnecting, they're disconnecting from their co workers or disconnecting from the work. And what that is, is that you're doing kind of what you're asked to do, and saying no to anything else, which is good, I definitely don't think that you should be doing more work than what you're paid for more work than what your, your kind of job description is. But they also do caution, and I'm curious about your thoughts on this, because I do caution people, that you are affecting your future potential as well. Because when I did, too, there were moments there were jobs, I've had many jobs, and, and I realized there were jobs that I quite quit as well, waiting for my opportunity to actually leave because when you're invested at work, and then your boss does not recognize the hard work that you're doing. And all he's doing. And I remember this one particular moment, he just kept giving me more work. That was the prize of being such a great worker. And when I asked for more money, he looked at me and he says, I understand you work really hard, but how would other people feel? And I go, Wait a minute, you just told me you paraded me in front of the whole entire company and say I am the model employee, we need more of you. And the moment I said, I just need a few extra $1,000 per per year. You put me down you said well, it wouldn't be it wouldn't be right. I was making $40,000 a year, all I wanted was make 45,000. And they pushed me down. And so I quite quit. At that point. I'm like, I'm gonna sit back, do the minimum amount of work and figure out my next step. And that led to me quitting.

Jamila Souffrant 13:55

Yeah, well, it's so interesting, because I felt like, I feel like when I was working, I don't know how interested I was. And I feel bad saying this, like, I must have quiet quit like from day one. But you know, and I think it's relative, because I will say this is what I want for everyone is that at least if they're going to spend their time working, that they're working, doing something they are enjoying, or they're going to work to a position or a place an employer, they're going to find their way to a space that they are feeling like they're contributing because there is nothing worse than not feeling like you're good at what you do or connected. If it's mostly part of your day, right? Like we spent how much percentage of our time at work if you're working in a corporation or even for yourself, right, like definitely spending more time so I do feel like you should be putting your best foot forward. Because whatever you're saying that it's why you're not doing a good job or why you're just giving the bare minimum. I feel like kind of be applied to other places just like finances Right? Like, oh, you say once you get the other job, you'll do more work and you'll care more. And then this is like but I do think it's almost It's like training yourself to be good no matter what you do. So when I say that I was quiet quitting from day one, it was more like, I felt like I just naturally just, I just did things well. But did I go above and beyond like necessary? Like no. And I think what's happening for people nowadays is just, they want to enjoy what they do. And they don't they want to work, but they want to work with people who respect them, they want to work in grid, good environments, they want to be paid well for it. And then the pandemic just exasperated, like, what that meant for people because now what's happening is people are being asked to come back to work, or to commute if they had the chance to stay home. And it's just like, they don't want to do that. And so, now more than ever, it's important to while you're on this journey, like you said, like it may take you years is to figure out, what can you do that you can pour into yourself so that when you do show up at work, you're a happier person, or you are doing your best?

Jason Vitug 15:56

Yes, yes, absolutely. So one of the key things that I like to tell and remind people who are working is that when you disconnect completely disconnect from the work that you're doing, and the amount of time that you're spending at that job, you're actually doing some detrimental damage to your brain, your cognition, because that is mental stress, like the fact that you're, you're not engaging with your coworkers, that you're not engaging with your job. And you're saying to yourself, oh, yeah, I'm quite quitting, I'm only going to do the bare minimum. If you don't have boundaries. And what you you had was boundaries, you created boundaries, you're going to do the best job possible. But you're not going to do more of them than what you're you're asked to do or what your job description, I think that is really important. And the conversations I'm having with people who are quiet quitting, they're like, Well, yeah, I don't, I don't like my job. I don't like my boss, but I'm gonna, I'm gonna stay here. And I'm like, You're You're, you're mentally and emotionally abusing yourself in this situation, you need to make a better response. And the response would be, I am going to quit, quit. But I'm going to create a plan to get myself out of here. And so it's not about just coasting by because that is just going to continue to add on to the mental stress. And that's not what I want you to have.

Jamila Souffrant 17:08

Yeah, you know, and it's important about intention and plan, because I will say that if you are working like somewhere, and your plan is to work there for the next 510 15 years be in the workforce, we talk about increasing your income and the potential that income is limitless, while there may be some caps if you're working for someone else, but in general, like that means you should be good at what you do. And so if your plan is then to stay for a while, like just coasting and doing the bare minimum, like you said, it's almost like, I think I saw somewhere where it's like planting like a weed inside of yourself. And eventually, like weeds, right? Like, they start to contaminate everything like right, they grow around things that were at once like thriving. And so again, it's different if you have a plan, like at some point, I created a plan that said, I have an exit strategy. So I knew like that was the light at the end of my tunnel. Versus there may be some people who was like, Well, I don't want to quit a job and be entrepreneur. And if you know that, and you know that this is where you're going to be for the next 1015 20 years, that you need to figure out a way to make that work, whatever that means for you.

Jason Vitug 18:07

That's absolutely right. And I hope people who are thinking about they're going to be quiet quitting for the next 1015 years, really, I challenge you to to create a plan, because you're gonna make more money, when you switch jobs from when your job when you're jumping from one company to another, that's just a quick way for you to increase your income. And also, you want to take advantage of the resources and the tools that's available with your current company, your current employer. So when I was working for this one financial institution, and I was denied that raise a small raise, and that affected me, I took advantage of the tuition reimbursement program, and they said, I'm going to go and take, I'm going to go and get my master's. So I went for my MBA. And yeah, they paid 5200 Whatever the the maximum is the tax part of it. But that MBA allowed me within a year to go from a branch manager to VP of marketing and business development and they traveled 3000 miles away. So yeah, I did quite quit. I said, Okay, well, you know what, I'm not gonna be paraded around, I'm gonna stop doing more than what you ask. But I'm gonna take advantage of these resources and tools, I'm going to educate myself, I'm going to grow my mindset, and that's gonna propel me forward. And that did

Jamila Souffrant 19:21

such good points. I remember at my last job, my where I left, they had actually someone come in and do you can get massages, and they had a gym where you they would have classes and for me, right, like, even though I was at this job that I, you know, wasn't totally in love with. I was like, Well, I'm gonna use whatever resources that they're giving me to the best of my ability. Now looking back, I wish I would have did more massages, you know, like, I didn't like I didn't take advantage of that as much. But really, like you said, looking for the positives or the things that will help you outside of just money that can at least help you enjoy your day and or the position that you're in.

Jason Vitug 19:59

Absolutely. I remember like my direct manager wasn't that healthy for me. But his managers and his managers, managers, the executives are actually really great. And so by me volunteering in like different outside of the department. So like doing these cross departmental projects, allowed me to connect with other people. And so that's another way for you, when you're thinking about your career. And you're thinking about how do you exit out of this specific position, and go into something else, or also work with someone that's a bit more inspiring and enjoyable. That's one way it's sort of like really take advantage. And that's why like, when we think about quit quitting, I totally understand I think it's important for us because this whole grind set that this focus on grind set, right is not the right mindset. And I keep telling everyone grind set is not the right mindset. And interestingly enough, and I kind of want to jump on this because I was grinding, climbing up the corporate ladder, and you know, that part of my story, and then I quit, and I went backpacking around the world. And I became an accidental entrepreneur. And during the Great resignation, people were quitting their careers, and jumping into entrepreneurship. And I'm like, no, no, take time off, please take time off. And so what I realized I wasn't very detailed in my journey. So it seems like I quit my backpack, and I started a business. But that's not the case, I really thought I was going to jump back right into corporate America, because that's the path that I was on. But I just needed a mental break. And I was very secretive, that I was mentally exhausted. And all the mental gymnastics, I was doing no longer could compensate for the physical illness I was experiencing. So I was having I had like red bloodshot eyes for two weeks, I couldn't get out of bed, I developed vertigo. And I went through all these tests, and, and my doctor was like, Jason, listen, it's it's all stress, like all your vitals are healthy, it's stress. And there's nothing really that we can do that, to figure that out. So. So that's when I was like, Okay, I need to make some lifestyle changes. But the one thing I want to stress, and it's because it's important, because when we're programmed to be high achievers, well, that doesn't disappear overnight. And so you know, my story, I was climbing up, I was all over financial media, and I wrote my first book, you only live once. And all of a sudden, like, disappeared in the last few years. And that had a lot to do with realizing that that grind set in corporate America, I incorporated that same grind mentality in my entrepreneurial journey. And they found myself burnt out. And I wrote recently that my boss is quite demanding. And I'm my own boss. I was like, I had to change that.

Jamila Souffrant 22:57

Yeah. Okay, so let's go into your story a bit, because I think that would be helpful. And I love how you you said, again, not fixing the things that you're seeing with wherever you are right now. Whatever things you know, are holding you back, or the attitudes that you have, like, you know, some people may say, like, Oh, you have, you might be a negative person, or you have a negative attitude. And you're, you're not trying your best. And it's just like you can you think that's all gonna change. Or maybe you work too hard, right? Like you just said, or you stress yourself out, and you worry about too many of the little things. Those things were not just go away with the change in environment. Now environment, and people do do impact kind of how you respond. So I'm not saying it's totally not going to be changed if you have a better environment and better people, but most likely that you'll carry that with you.

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Jamila Souffrant 24:36

I'd love for you to share a little bit more about you were climbing the corporate ladder, quit your job, then started traveling the world but then created this business and was and was going gung ho with that. Can you talk a little about that journey of transitioning and when you realize that okay, I cannot continue on this way.

Jason Vitug 24:55

Yeah, definitely. So I think all of us are taught to this path to system and happiness, graduated high school, go to college, get that corporate job, climb up the ladder. That's exactly what I did. And then when they started asking people, hey, when am I supposed to start feeling happier, or feel successful? And they're like, Oh, you're you're so entitled, How do you How dare you think you'll be happy and successful. And I'm like, I followed the path. And that's when I realized I needed to kind of change and get away from that. And one of the key things that I mentioned to everyone was, when I was offered the successor CEO route, I declined it. And instead of becoming the next CEO for the company, I chose the the path less traveled, but they didn't necessarily know what I needed to do, I just needed a break. And so that break landed me around the world, Southeast Asia, Central America, Western Europe, I was having all these conversations, and I didn't grow up with a lot of money. And people have this assumption, I had it very easy. I live in 17 different houses, my parents were barely making by, you know, they got bouts of like, getting close to bankruptcy. And they were really struggling. And I had also imparted these financial habits, and to myself, and I was in extreme amounts of debt. And I like to tell people, I became a high functioning, highly successful financial mess. And that's because I just didn't really understand my mental, my emotional state, and all the other aspects that affected my relationship with money. And so leaving the rat race, the corporate rat race allowed me to have different experiences, when you talk about that change of situation, change of environment, that was necessary for me. And that one year journey was actually a little bit more than one year, expose me to all these new experiences, new conversations, and it gave my mind different data inputs in order to change my perception, and how I perceive the world. And so when I came back, I said, Okay, how did I get from where I was with a person that struggled to where I am today, someone that's enjoying life, and that had a lot to do with financial access, financial knowledge, and a community of people. And that's where I started for google.com. And then all of a sudden, I started joining these mastermind groups and these mastermind groups, were talking about growth projection year after year changes. And at that point moment, I was like, Okay, I know this. I love these conversations. And then I caught myself, because I realized the conversations that I had in the boardroom, were the same conversations I was having in these entrepreneurial mind sets. Yeah. Well, so

Jamila Souffrant 27:31

I just want to clarify, so the masterminds you were joining, were other entrepreneurs talking about growing their business.

Jason Vitug 27:37

Correct. Okay. Yeah. Other entrepreneurs. And I think it's important, right? That's part of our community. In order for us to get our business in one place to the next. We need to join and have these conversations with like minded people. But then I realized I joined the wrong masterminds, because they were all just so focused on financial numbers, and year after year growth, and then they would stress me out. And they never shared this, they were stressed me out because I wasn't growing on social media. And I was content with the slow growth of my company, because I was like, Okay, I want to enjoy myself. But then they also got caught up, because that's how I'm programmed. So I was like, okay, yeah, you know, what, you grew 20% I'm gonna grow 25% And, and their next mastermind meeting, I'm going to share how excited I am and all this stuff. And eventually, I was burning out. And I felt it and in 2018 and this gives you a framework where we are because my first book came out 2016 I was all over the place. 2018 I'm a sought after speaker, I'm making a ton of money speaking. And I'm doing a lot consulting gigs with FinTech companies and credit unions. And I couldn't get out of bed again. And I was so exhausted. And then I went to my doctor, and he did this blood test. And he goes, this is not a diagnosis, but it looks like you have adrenal fatigue. It's like your adrenaline that's pumped up and, and I'm like, does this is this why when I'm talking to friends, I want to go to sleep. It's like, I'm having a conversation, and I couldn't keep myself up. And then I go, but they don't understand late at night, I'm wide awake. But during the day, I'm just so tired. It goes yeah, that that's a sure sign of stress and adrenal fatigue and, and you really got to slow down and I go, Oh my god, I did it again. I did it again. I'm repeating. So it was like, I was back on the hamster wheel of my own making. And that's why you've noticed I disappeared and I needed to reassess.

Jamila Souffrant 29:34

I love that you're sharing that because I can relate and do you think okay, I want to get a bit more into like what you did when you disappeared and how you felt comfortable to do that because and I don't know if this is gonna be like fat for everyone. But I do feel like in the beginning when you're excited, like you know, when you join, like going not just younger, but when you're younger to the thing. So if you're if you're a newbie entrepreneur, you're new in the workforce, and you have more energy or your maneuvered into financial independence. For me at least this was true that when I was excited and new to these things, and I wanted to see results, I grinded harder. Like, I was so much more intense. When I first found out about financial independence, it was like, How do I save and invest as much as possible? When I first started joining to launch, it was just like, go, go, go go. Same thing, like, I'm taking every interview, I'm answering every email, I'm on social media doing all the things. And similar to kind of the way I did with like work, but then it gets to a point where you run up that hill really hard. And like you're getting to the top and you realize like, oh, like, this is what it is, and then you're tired, and then you slow down. And for me, that's what I feel like I'm in the space of where I know, I still have a lot more to accomplish and do. That's what I feel like a lot of more impact to make. But I just don't feel as motivated as I did when I first started. And so for you like, how did you get comfortable then with what you had built to step back? financially? Were you okay, with then making less? Did you have a fun setup so that if you did earn less, you will be okay. Like how did you financially and mentally get okay with slowing down and stepping back?

Jason Vitug 31:12

I am getting goosebumps as you're talking because oh one of the key things that that I realized, again, become being a high functioning financial mess, I realized that my focus and my drive for professional entrepreneurial success was making me make bad financial decisions. So I had a finance manager that was managing my money. And I was doing all the things I needed to do right to appear that we were doing really well. And my money was being mismanaged. And that was one of the clear indication. But again, having this mindset of going, Yeah, I'll get through it, I'll get through it. And then having my parents having physical issues and medical issues having to deal with that. And then my own, everything was compounding together. And it wasn't really at the moment where I realized I was being sued. I got to a site, someone appeared at the door. And I was like, Oh, what is this? And that was like, What is going on Jason. And I'm talking to myself as a third person, because it's like, as I'm talking about, I'm reliving that moment. And I could still feel it because I was like, We I've done so many amazing things. And here I am kind of back in the same situation. I mean, like I'm repeating this wheel over and over and over again. So for me at that point, it was like I really needed to take a step back. And I really needed like, so they're all the signs. And I think when we are in that grind mentality, we don't see the signs of the wear and tear in our physical body and our mental health and our social relationships, until it becomes too late. And so when you you're talking about you're walking up that hill, and then you started slowing down, that is a big piece of self awareness. And I think that is important. And I, I really believe people we need to grind. But if gears that grind for too long, they get worn out and then thrown out. And we don't want to be thrown out. We're here for the long game. And so yeah, so financially, I had to kind of restructure everything, and I restructured my business and and then I said okay, well, this is an opportunity for me to kind of restructure my life once again. And yes, stepping away from like, the public aspects of frugal and, and the persona that I created. Yeah, that that was very difficult, because there is this like connection and community that you grew. But I said, if I want to be here for 1020 years, serving my purpose, I needed to take care of myself. And I need to make sure I have a true solid foundation. And I'm very clear about the boundaries that I set. Now to when I when I hear all these really young and very ambitious entrepreneurs out there, or even people just working in corporates and companies. And I go, that's awesome, because, but I want you to just be aware of what you're learning. I want you to be aware of the people that you're meeting, and understand that that you can grind for a period. But like learn to listen to your body, learn to listen to the comments your family and your friends are saying and it brings me back to someone I know who makes $600,000 a year and has a chef has an au pair has all the things that people dream about. And she shared with me that the one thing that she wishes was to spend more time with her kids and I was like, Okay, well how can we make that happen? And then she said to me, it's like, well, it's like her love for her job. Her work. She works in corporate banking. It's just really intense and I go okay, that's being productive. Productivity is a big part of my wellness and well being it's a big part of everyone. That's part of the happy dimensions. And that's understandable. But no when you're focusing too much on work, it is going to hurt other aspects of your health. And now when your kids are saying, Hey, Mommy, like, why aren't you spending more time with us? Yes, that's gonna hurt your heart. But then you gotta, you got to figure out that balance. And it's okay to say, okay, you've, you're now the SVP of this big financial institution you're making with all your bonuses over a million dollars. But then you realize you're not even doing the things that you want to do. And so can you take a step back, make less in order to do the things you say you want to do?

Jamila Souffrant 35:26

Yeah, I don't know why this popped in my head. But I saw a tweet from Korea. She's from she's a rapper, and she's part of the city girls, also known as young Miami, and she had tweeted, she bought like her dream house, but she hasn't been able to like to go to it yet. And I thought that was so sad. Like, I mean, I know she's living a very fabulous life. And, and is can buy whatever she wants. But literally, she just wrote, like, I bought my dream house, but I haven't even been able to sleep there yet. And I don't know when she bought it, but it just feels like that's that thing where, like I get it, do you think it would have been possible for you to reach the heights that you grew frugal to, or even what I've been able to do with any talks without the grind, right? Like I feel like part of it is just isn't that just part of the cycle. And then what we need to realize, though, and what everyone should realize is that while that may be part of the cycle, like you said, when you get to the point where you feel done and fed up, you have to notice it. And you have to embrace all the feelings that come with that. Because it's normal.

Jason Vitug 36:30

You really, and that's why it's important, I do want to stress that there is a period for us to grind, and stressing to others as well as that if you grind for too long, you're gonna be worn out and thrown out. And so there is a period of grinding, but understand that when we're not when we're not in flow, and then flow means like, everything is kind of working in your favor, and there are going to be speed bumps are going to be rocks, or if you're thinking if you're envisioning water, a stream or river, there are going to be these different barriers. And it's and what you're the water is still flowing. And so you don't want to have to swim upstream, allow yourself to kind of relax and flow downstream, because that really is like life is a flow downstream. And so once you realize that, everything kind of falls into place. And so part of it too, right, when we're swimming downstream, there are periods where we're gonna, we're working, we're moving our hands, we're moving our feet, we're working, but then there's periods that we say we can relax. I think that's part of the awareness and, and so wherever you are entrepreneur or climb the corporate ladder, or trying to figure your life out, you have to look at the period and say, Okay, I need to grind to a point. And again, this is part about setting boundaries and setting markers. When you're looking for goals, to say, okay, then I need to go and calm down. So there are three things that I like to share with people when it comes to entrepreneurs, or anyone that's striving for big goals, si P r, right, we know what TPR stands for. But for us as it comes to, like professional entrepreneurial success, I look at is as a period of creation, a period of promotion, and a period of relaxation. So we need to do CPR on ourselves in order for us to continue doing the work. And so it's okay that you're grinding for a year to create to write your book. And then it's okay to grind for a year to promote that book, because it's part of the contract. But then you have to schedule in the relaxation, and you have to be okay, that your name isn't going to be out there, you have to be okay that your boss isn't like singing your praises. And that has a lot to do again, too. And you think about CPR, okay, this is my period of creation, then there's a period of promotion where I'm gonna go out there, and I'm gonna be very public, and then the period where I'm going to retreat back. And this only came to me when I started talking. And I said, like, I'm a producer, and I started talking with people in Hollywood and filmmaking. I was like, how do these actors and these directors and these producers create some awesome stuff. And they're like, Jason, the key is, you can't create 24/7. And the best ideas usually come from periods of relaxation. So yeah, so when we're building when we're doing a film, everyone is on deck like 24/7 for the next seven to nine months. And then all of a sudden, like, there's a period of quiet time, then there's they're ramping up for six months of promotion, then all of a sudden, everyone disappears. And you know, you don't hear from them until they release a new album, or, or they release a new movie. And that's because it goes through this process of CPR. And I think we can all take advantage of that. And so for those of you still working, and I want to stress this, this isn't just for entrepreneurs, when you're working, there is a period of that grind, where you're going, Okay, I want to become the manager of this department, then realize that there's a period that you can start talking about it everywhere, like promoting yourself within your company and on LinkedIn, and then the period to be like, Yeah, you know what, I'm gonna quit quit for a year and then decide what my next move is.

Jamila Souffrant 40:00

such solid advice that you mentioned, productivity is a happiness dimension, can you just share just what happiness dimensions are, and then a few more examples that we can relate to, or you start using in our lives.

Jason Vitug 40:12

Awesome. So one of the big things that I like to tell people and what I've wrote about in this book, happy money, happy life, this is a book about my journey, and then expands on it. But it's not just about me, it's about 12 other people. So a lot of high profile folks and a lot of people that you might know in the financial industry, but also in the entertainment industry. And we all kind of learned from this journey. So the happy dimensions is my take on the wellness wheel. So the wellness wheel talks about emotional, physical, mental, occupational, social health. So there are eight dimensions, meaning that there are eight aspects of our well being that needs to be addressed in order for us to feel whole, I look at this about how can we become happier and bring more joy into our life. So I turned these wellness dimensions into happy dimension. So there's happy mind. That's, that's mental well being there's happy heart that's emotional, happy, body, physical, happy, social, social, happy work is occupational, happy space is environmental that you talked about? Happy financial is I mean, happy money is financial. And happy spirit is a spiritual dimension. So there are these eight aspects of who we are. And so for us to when we think about mental health, and that's kind of the big issue that that I'm hearing. And I think it's been it's been an issue. And it's the reason why I wanted to write this book. And before I was offered, and not many people know this, I was offered three book deals after my first book came out. And I said, No, because I said, I wanted to write about mental health. And I wanted to write about the money aspect of it. And they're like, no, no one talks about mental health. And now because of the pandemic, it's opened up, and they're like, hey, remember that book that you wanted to write? There's a need for it. And so I go, okay, but I want to let you know, I'm not going to it's not a sad story. It's about hope. It's about the journey to joy and happiness. And so that's where my take is. So I, we've money through these dimensions. And so for instance, happy, happy mind, mental health, people are talking about their mental health issues. Through the research, and I've done a lot of psychological research and studies, I learned is one way for us to improve our mental health is through education. It's gaining knowledge, it's called the growth mindset. So when you have this growth mindset, you're actively learning and to kind of bring back to the beginning of our conversation, if you are at work, take advantage of the opportunities to grow your mind. And so because yeah, if you're feeling mental stress, the one way to fight back, is to learn something new, improve your skill, and you think, Oh, wait, that's more work? Well, yeah, it's actually going to improve your chances of leaving that job. And emotional, like, there's a lot of talk about, okay, my emotions, you know, I want to be me, I want to be me, I'm going to tell you what, what it's what it is, and what it's like. But there's something called Emotional Intelligence, emotional intelligence is perceiving your own emotion, and also understanding other people's emotion, and then being able to convey and, and communicate effectively. And so when people think about their emotional health, and it's just about me expressing my emotions, that's only one aspect of it. But do you understand your why you're having these emotions, and most of the time to bring it back, it's your situation, your environment that plays a role, it's the people you're surrounded yourself with, or even the physical spaces you inhabit. I mean, that that is all affected. And, and important. That's what the happening dimensions is. And to kind of wrap it all up, I believe people can buy happiness by spending on wellness, and you spend on wellness by using your financial resources. In order to do things such as if you're unhappy at work that is going to affect your happiness. What you do is you figure out how do you save X amount of money in order to buy back your time, so that you have a choice to kind of step back for a few months, or leave that toxic job? Or if you're looking at my environment stresses me out, because I'm living with roommates or I live at my parents house? Well, what can you do to take your financial resources to enable you to get your own place, and most of the time people go and they buy things that don't necessarily improve their their happiness long term. It's just a short term gain. And I tell everyone, I go once you understand the happy dimensions, you're going to be empowered to use your financial resources to buy the things that actually effectively and long term improves your joy and happiness.

Jamila Souffrant 44:45

Yeah, and so with the long term improvements, right, like that may take some time to build up but I know you talk a lot about things you can do in the now. And you mentioned like breathwork yoga. So what are some things while people are on this long journey? or what could feel long that they can do in the moment today, like right now after they listen to this podcast that they can do to start to center themselves or to, to bring wellness to themselves on the path? This seems

Jason Vitug 45:11

like a really easy question, or a simple answer. But it really is about envisioning the life you want to live. And I don't think we take that time to really envision the life we want to live, we think about the financial goals and the milestones. But we don't think about how we're going to think, how we're going to feel, what we're going to do, who we're going to be surrounded with, where are we going to live? So those are things that we need to think about. And so when I ask people, one thing for you to do right now is to envision the life you want to live in the context of the happy dimensions. What what are you thinking about? What are you feeling in this place? How is your body doing? Are you are you capable and able, how are you socially interacting? And who are you socially interacting with? Where are you living? What location? What work are you doing? So these things are really important when you're envisioning that life? So it isn't about like, oh, yeah, I have my dream house and I'm doing this, we got to look at it holistically. And that's going to empower you. And that's going to be your guide, when you're making decisions that may bring you closer or further away from it. Yeah, sounds like

Jamila Souffrant 46:29

you should be like daydream. It's okay to daydream. But dream dream in color, like not just like, okay, like a big summary, which is fine, but no, like, go deeper into what your life may be. And you can close your eyes and do that you can write it out in journal, it can meditate on it, you can pray about it. I just think there's so many things in the moment, right, and with no money involved, that you can do, no matter where you are. So I hope this will help someone do that. Now, Jason, please tell everyone where they can find out more about you and your amazing book.

Jason Vitug 46:58

Yeah, I would like to encourage everyone to to meet me on social media. I'm pretty active on there. But just understand that just don't talk about money. I talk about health and mindset and breathwork. So that's a one way for you to learn some tips and tools in that arena. So you can find me at Jason V tug, and also at frugal, and that's PHR o g aol.com. For all resources related to health and wealth.

Jamila Souffrant 47:22

Yes, and I will make sure to link all of that in the episode show notes. Thank you so much again, Jason.

Jason Vitug 47:28

Thank you so much. This was fun.

Outro 47:32

Don't forget, you can get the episode show notes for this episode by going to journey to launch.com. Or click the description of wherever you're listening to this. And you can still grab your jumpstart guide for free to help you on your journey to financial freedom by going to journey to launch.com/jumpstart.

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