I want to prove that you can make money online, from home without compromising your wealth, health and happiness.
That is the whole ethos behind Well and Wealthy.
That you can earn good money in a way that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your time and freedom.
Time and freedom to build your health, be with loved ones and do things you actually enjoy doing.
I don’t believe the 9 to 5 is a good working model for the majority of people. In fact I think it’s kind of insane (unless you love what your doing of course, but even then the confines of the 9 to 5 still make no sense to me!)
I started Well and Wealthy to prove that it is possible to earn an income, a good income, on your terms. And as a platform to share that knowledge with you.
So you don’t have to be stuck in a job and lifestyle that compromises your wealth, health and happiness.
My Story (the long version):
Because there is a lot more to me, and how Well and Wealthy came about, than fits in a nice <200 word blurb.
Everything I wrote above is true of course, it’s just not quite as simple as I made it out to be (nothing ever is right).
Warning: This is long and personal.
Where to start?
I honestly have no clue so I’m going to start at the very beginning.
I was born in the early 90s in the UK, female, nicknamed Sammy.
I had a pretty great upbringing, as a basically only child (my Dad has a son from another marriage but he was quite a lot older so didn’t live with us) I received undivided love and attention.
I was a bit of an emotionally unstable child (possible understatement of the century), I developed migraines aged 7/8 (nothing to do with my emotional instability) and binge eating disorder at I don’t know what age because I cannot remember a time when I haven’t had it.
Although I didn’t fully accept that I had an eating disorder until about three years ago, good one Sammy.
As I became a teenager my emotional instability became more of an issue. I also became a grade A student, chronic over achiever and very passionate about chicken keeping and farming.
Yes I know what you’re thinking. What an odd thing for a teenager to be passionate about when they come from a non-country background. But I was. So much so that I left school at 16 to study agriculture at a local college and then went on to get a first class honours degree in it at university.
I’ve actually started a second blog to try out some new things I’ve learnt, but also to write about my passions: chicken keeping and good ol’ country life. But I digress!
You may have gathered by now that the plan had always been to work in agriculture in some capacity, and clearly that didn’t quite work out (I mean I’m here blogging instead…)
First year of university was where it started going a bit wrong.
I freaking loved university. I made amazing, life-long friends and met my lovely boyfriend (we now live together woo). If I had to do it all over again I would in a heartbeat.
However I became quite ill. I was so exhausted. But not exhausted like when you’ve been partying at university and need a few days downtime back at your parents.
No, exhausted like I needed a good 12 hours sleep, but then still needed a another few hours of naps during the day. And I would just fall asleep if I tried to power through – think at dinners, lectures, etc. There is even a picture of me at a friends house napping during a party, not because I had been drinking or anything. I was just so tired!
I couldn’t even drive all the way back to my parents house (only three hours away) without napping once or twice.
It was a classic case of chronic fatigue syndrome.
Luckily it improved somewhat after about a year, to the point where I didn’t just fall asleep. Now finally five years later I’m really starting to feel like I have some energy, but things like long walks or whole days out shopping still wipe me out.
In my first year of uni I also started to develop IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).
Then in second year my binge eating disorder reared up along with very severe depression and anxiety. At the end of second year I had a breakdown.
By third year of university I was in a pretty bad state. I had chronic headaches and migraines, binge eating disorder, chronic fatigue syndrome, IBS (which by now was awful, I had diarrhea multiple times per day), severe depression and anxiety and to top it off I developed Raynaulds disease, which while not a big issue in itself just felt like another thing to deal with.
During my time at university I also received a very large inheritance of over £300,000. Let’s be cleared I was very shocked to receive this amount (and would much rather those that had passed were still here) but my family was not poor. We were more than comfortable. No we couldn’t have brought a super yacht and a bugatti veyron. But we could have pretty much what we wanted within reason (we are not crazy with our wants…)
I feel like I’m the original poor little rich girl. All that money and the best life, and yet I was so sad, so depressed and so sick.
Let me tell you money certainly can’t buy you happiness. (But it can buy you time and freedom, which as it turns out is pretty close to happiness.)
So I graduated university a mess, but outwardly no one would have known (people don’t expect the top student to be having days where they can’t get out of bed because their depression is so bad, but they have to because their IBS is even worse…)
At this point everyone expects you to get a job. I mean now you’re an adult etc it’s time to support yourself and all that jazz. My parents were begging me to stop, have a rest and try and get better, but I just felt like that would make me a failure.
And I guess for some reason I already felt like a failure for being unwell and staying that unwell for those three years. I felt that if I was that clever I should be able to figure out what’s wrong and fix it, or at least find a doctor who could help me fix it.
But I couldn’t fix me or find a doctor that could actually help me (I tried so. many. different. things.) I couldn’t handle being more of a failure in my own eyes. Mainly I couldn’t handle people asking me why I wasn’t working and having to explain. Stupid really.
So I decided to start a PhD (LOL because that’s a great idea when you’re super sick). I figured I could just continue studying and do well whilst figuring out what to do with myself and my life.
Everyone would think I was super successful because hello PhD, I liked learning anyway and I would probably end up with a better paying job at the end of it (I was rapidly learning the reality of paid work in my field, or rather how low the pay was, and how much I would have to work for that measly amount).
My depression had other ideas. I had thought it couldn’t get much worse but it did. I ended up quitting the PhD and had some of the worst times of my life. Entire weeks and months of just blackness. I started to have suicidal thoughts as well, something I hadn’t experienced before.
Obviously I was living off my inheritance, very frugally though. In my head I didn’t want to spend it in case I needed it. What I meant was in case I never got better and needed to live off it for as long as possible.
My parents really wanted me to buy a house with the money and my boyfriend suggested I look into investing in case the return could cover my living expenses (full disclosure, I asked both my parents and boyfriend for their opinions, they weren’t trying to make me do anything with the money, just giving me their ideas).
At the time investing seemed crazy complicated (spoiler alert, it’s not) and super risky (also not), so after chatting to a few different investment companies (I now DIY invest because it’s all round better) I decided buying a house would be the best idea. After all, we were renting at the time and renting is just throwing money away right (another spoiler alert, it’s not, read why here).
Anyway we fell in love with a house so I spent the next four-ish months project managing a complete eco renovation (walls came down, new electrics, new heating system, we had no floor for ages, you get the idea). In hindsight I did so well. I still had severe depression, and I had never owned a property before, let alone renovated it, yet I got it liveable in four months. Pretty impressive.
But at the time all I could see was that money that I thought might have to last me, well, forever, suddenly disappear. Sure it wasn’t gone, but most of it was no longer available (I did still have £50,000 left). I decided to get a job.
I thought, seeing as I was clearly not well enough to do an active job working in agriculture, and all the other jobs in farming that were less active either paid abysmally or meant compromising my ethics, I would try a local office job.
I began working in the debt department of energy company five minutes away from where I lived and I hated it. But more importantly I had finally discovered something that helped my depression.
5-HTP. I’m not going to talk much about it here, but suffice to say that that little supplement is the only reason I managed to work full-time, and why now (just over 18 months later) I would say I’m ‘in recovery’/ better from depression, mostly.
Which feels incredible!!!!!!!!!!!!
But it took an entire year on the supplement to get me here, it certainly wasn’t a quick fix.
Any way, back to the fact I hated my job. It was awful. I had to call people up and try and get them to pay their overdue bills. I’m a massive introvert so picking up the phone was bad enough, let alone that the people on the other end often screamed abuse at you… It was not a good job for someone with mental health issues.
The company also had a policy that if you were off sick on more than three occasions they could fire you. With migraines, depression and IBS I was literally waiting to be fired.
Then I rediscovered Mr Money Moustache and realised how possible early retirement was. I would spend my lunch breaks scrolling through Pinterest reading posts on early retirement and how others managed it. I learnt how to invest and put my remaining money to work, bar an appropriate emergency fund of course. I immediately started looking for a new, better paid job that could help me reach that FIRE life sooner. It was like I had hope again.
I thought if I could just work really hard for ten years, and save really hard for ten years then I wouldn’t have to work. Here was my answer. No I didn’t have to work for the rest of my life while chronically ill. There was another FIREy way!
I applied and got a new job, only slightly better paid, but with guarantee pay increases over the coming years. I could see my early retirement plans would work.
Except the depression, while improved, was certainly not gone, and was not keen on my plans.
I think I had been so focused on this early retirement plan that I didn’t consider the implications of forcing my sick and sad self to work in a job I didn’t care about for ten. whole. years.
One week into the new job it crossed my mind that I would be unable to sustain this for ten years.
Three weeks into the job I was in a bad way. Already exhausted from my new responsibilities I didn’t have time on the weekends and after work to be recovered enough for the next day. It’s not that I was working much longer, I was just unwell and needed every free second possible just to recover enough to make it through the next working day.
The thought of seeing friends or just doing anything in my spare time caused panic attacks because I knew I wouldn’t be well enough to work the next day.
My mental health was going downhill rapidly because my carefully laid early retirement plans looked like they weren’t going to work. And I was not qualified to get a better job than that one, so how was I ever going to reach early retirement or even support myself in the long term.
It all culminated one night where the suicidal thoughts no longer seemed something to be scared of and needing to be dealt with. But instead a viable option to a scenario where I could see no way out. I knew then I would do it, these were no longer thoughts but plans instead.
Luckily I told my boyfriend. (I still wanted to live I just didn’t know how.)
I quit my job and never set another foot in there again. It was too painful. My Mum came and looked after me for a bit, and gave me the permission I needed to not follow the traditional 9 to 5 life.
I finally accepted I wasn’t really well enough to work, at least not in the traditional sense of the term. Nor did I want to.
I had always wanted to work for myself but had never considered it an option (what would I do, I had no ‘sellable skills’).
I remembered how when I use to obsessively scroll through Pinterest that I would come across people like Michelle making thousands of dollars each month from blogging.
I knew I could do that in some capacity. I could write well enough and I wasn’t too bad techy wise.
So Well and Wealthy was born.
I realised that there were undoubtedly thousands of other people out there like me, who maybe despite a seemingly wonderful life were actually sacrificing their wealth, health and happiness by living within the confines of society’s expectations and the lack of resources available to help you break away from that lifestyle.
I will figure out how to make a good income online and from home that won’t compromise my wealth, health and happiness.
And I promise I will help you do the same.