During Lifebook I realized I need to break up with my career.

Sort of.

As you know, I am a bag and jewelry designer but my purpose lies in helping people design lives with intention. It’s why I write here on MML. It’s why I speak across the country from time to time I speak across the country. It lies in the deepest part of my being. It just IS a part of me. One of the deepest parts of me in fact.

And I have been blessed (and brave enough) to work to make that purpose a part of my career as much as I can. It is a driving force in my life, and most of all in my career. My business is about “design with intention,” I consult with people to build businesses with intention, and I write here on MML about designing an intentional life.

My personal life is also guided by this purpose as I bring intention to (almost) all areas of my life – I eat and move with intention, I pray with intention, I have relationships with intention, I build my character with intention, I read with intention, and I certainly design my career with intention.

Intention, intention, intention.

But as I started to forge a career from my purpose through blog ads, consulting, and soon to be freelance writing(!), I started to lump my career and purpose into the same Big Beast.

Though Big Beast might sound like an overstatement, it’s not that far off. During Lifebook discussions I started to notice that I would use the words “career” and “purpose” interchangeably. In my mind’s eye they were one in the same. “My career IS my purpose” was the belief that I held tightly.

Here is a huge problem with that thought – while my purpose permeates all aspects of my life, my career is just one aspect of my life.

My purpose is the thread running throughout my life, but my career is not.

So I have started to break those two words apart, started to look at my language and put more space between those words.

I’ve started to realize that the energy I put towards my Big Beast has also led to the disintegration of other areas of my life. My biggest strength truly became one of my biggest weaknesses.

And now I’m working to change that.


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  • Bravo! While I know in my head I need to separate my career from my purpose, I’m having trouble breaking away from it. I’m making some progress, but it’s taking a little extra time.

  • Cathy, I totally agree, I’m so exicted to see where your career and purpose (separately) take you!

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  • Crickets, huh? 🙂

    Actually since I read this post yesterday there has been anything BUT crickets in my mind. I didn’t comment because it’s a pretty deep situation to figure out and to be honest I think most people never achieve this in their life. I often wonder if I will or if our society is even set up to allow the average person to achieve this. I struggle with the fact that if I acknowledge that my work/career isn’t my purpose – then there is this canyon of emptiness and fear of what my purpose is. Hmmmm…. this is definitely worth ruminating on more.

  • Proud of you for this, Jess. And such a delight to see this realization blossom over the 4 days at Lifebook. =)

  • No, it’s not crickets … It’s just that this requires some real thinking before commenting. I agree … and I’m thinking!!

  • I hadn’t read this when you first posted but if I had I would have definitely commented!

    This is something that I have noticed we can easily get lost in and unhappiness soon follows. It is very easy to take all other aspects of our lives for granted, because they’re there. Equating happiness solely with our career’s success is so dangerous because at the end of the day what else is left? It’s something I often have to remind myself because my purpose and my career are two different things.

    Great post!

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