why i’m pre-retiring


Now that Jess LC has ended, I have decided to pre-retire.

In fact, I’ve smooshed the word together and shortened it to: pretiring.

Why am I pretiring you might ask? And what does it mean?

I am pretiring because I am now at a point in my career where I’m no longer balancing a day job with my dream job. Though Jess LC was a fantastic adventure and is certainly more my jam than many other careers out there, it was still a J-O-B for me. Even being self-employed, I wasn’t living my dream. I was paying my bills doing something pretty fun, but not directly related to my purpose and passion in life.

Quite simply: I am meant to help people design lives, homes, and businesses with intention.

I know this to be true deep down in my core and doing these things makes me happy to no end. And now that I have the opportunity to go down this path full-time, I want to live the experience to the fullest.

Don’t get me wrong: I still have every bit of financial responsibility that I had before with my J-O-B. But the difference is how I’m earning those dolla bills.

I get to do what I am meant to do and get paid for it. 

This new transition also gives me the chance to have more time to think, ponder, and explore. Before when I was balancing the blog, my shop, consulting, and workshops I was constantly at maximum capacity. I was always running on the treadmill of work trying to get it all done in a reasonable amount of time so I could have a life (which is equally important to me).

Now that I’m cutting a substantial chunk of my business time out of the picture, I will have actual down time to rest, research, and work on high-level aspects of the business that will move it forward in the future.

And at the same time I’ll have time to be worried and fearful.

Because when I step back from Jess LC into a still relatively young business full-time, I won’t have the 14 years of business growth to pull me forward. There could be slow times, lulls, and silent moments to freak out about how I’m going to earn enough money.

Not that those thoughts will be useful, they are purely an egoic and fearful reaction to the new and unknown. Experience with Jess LC for the last five years has taught me that things work out, life provides, and I will be fine despite any fearful thoughts that pop into my head.

In order to meet those fearful pauses head on, I’ve decided to pre-retire.

Instead of approaching my dream career as another self-employed J-O-B, I’m going to act as though I’m retired. Instead of bills motivating me to forge ahead, I am going to focus on the aspects that happily retired people center their lives around: contribution, service, and joy. 

Each day I am going to give myself permission to get up and do what I want to do. And if something eventually feels forced, contrived, or lacking the oomph to keep going, I’m going to turn it down. I’m going to do what I’d do if I didn’t have to make money.

I’m going to be internally driven to help people in a full-time capacity from a state of contribution and service first.

Sure there may be aspects of my business that I may not love, like bookkeeping. But it still needs to get done. So I will either hire a bookkeeper if I don’t like doing it long-term or I will find a way to set an intention that makes me internally motivated to do it with joy. For example, I do really want to know how this grand experiment of pretiring will pan out. I have hunch that it will bring me much more money than approaching it any other conventional way. And in order to find out if this hypothesis is true, I will need to know how much revenue and profit I’m making. Which means if I do the books myself, I’ll have an accurate picture of the financial landscape at all times. 

Boom. Now I have a motivated reason to track the books and do it without complaining.

By continuing to take the stress off the bottom-line and bring it to the service-side of my career (or non-career, as I’m looking at it), I will be able to keep the fear monster at bay. I’ll be too busy filling my life and days with contribution, service, and joy to pay attention to fear or worry. I’ll be operating out of faith.

Of course this isn’t to say that this is a lifestyle choice everyone should make. It’s simply for me, a more exciting and alluring way to spend my days doing what I love without the coulds, shoulds, and woulds floating in the back of my mind. I’m taking control, being proactive, and living life the way I really want: as a pretired Helper of People.

I don’t intend to “work” another day in my life.


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  1. Mary

    good for you! each layer we peel off as we discover our true hearts and souls is one that was worth all the work! All the best as this new layer unfolds!

  2. kelsey

    You’ve worked so hard for this, Jess, and you deserve it. So happy for you!

  3. Rian

    I love this idea. I’ve been working at turning the volume down on all of the “shoulds” in my own life. Really, you can work and be stressed and unhappy and torn in fifty directions or you can approach your working life with enthusiasm and intention. It’s just an emphasis shift. I’m sure you’ll see a huge difference in who is drawn to the calmer, more assured version of your business and how it grows as a result. Best of luck in your “pretirement”!

  4. This post rocked my socks, girl! I know you mentioned it in one of our sessions, but you put it so perfectly. And your outlook on things in general comes across to a T in this. Thank you for this post, it was fab and it helps me 🙂

    xx Jen

  5. This is amazing! I’m so happy for you, Jess. I have a feeling that living this way will have the ironic result of even more financial peace and security. Can’t wait to hear how it goes!

    Can not wait to join you in pre-tirement some day soon!

  6. Jess,

    Thank you for this post. I love the idea of doing what feels good and not worrying so much about the money. It is a true testament to doing what you love with the faith that when you live with intention, the resources and money will follow. Love this!

  7. Oh wow I love the bravery of this idea. But more than that, the feeling of “rightness” about it. It’s thrilling!

    I’ve been soul searching lately about what I should do next and I feel like some of the ideas in here will be really helpful.

  8. Carol in Mpls

    Great post, Jess! I can relate (well, except for the part about having a business and stopping it, etc… ). I’m heading back to school in a few weeks, for the next chapter in my life, and not sure where I’ll end up. In my gut I know it’s the right thing to do, even without that end in sight. And I’m drawn more and more to others who are also in transition in this fashion. It’s very exciting. Change is good, real good.

  9. I like this approach of looking at your dream career this way. It’s more fun and fulfilling looking it that way. I wish you the best and hope it brings you more joy, content, and fulfillment than you thought it would.


  10. 17 Perth

    Oh my gosh. I preretired about a year ago and didn’t even realize it. That is exactly how I felt—you put in words so beautifully here. I also thank you because so many times people would look at me like I was crazy. You did what? Why? They didn’t “get it”. I get it and totally respect and admire you for it. Beautifully written!

  11. Laura

    i’m so in amazement of your truth to self. it’s an inspiration to everyone who is lucky enough to have you as part of their world. wish you the bestest best that exists. keep in touch… promise!?!

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