When my friend Mashon first landed in Medellin, Colombia in 2017, she was 34 years old.

She’d recently been let go from her job (as a copyeditor, barely making $30K/year). And she had no money to her name.

In fact, she was $30,000 in debt.

In her 20s she’d spent seven years as a middle school teacher. But frustrated by the bureaucracy and low pay, she quit teaching and spent a few more years bouncing between whatever jobs she could get.

Then, in 2017, she got fired.

It came as a shock. And she was pissed. Not just at the company that let her go, either. She was pissed at herself.

“This stability that I thought I had just got ripped out from under me. I felt like an idiot for putting myself in a position to let that happen.”

Now fast forward to 2021.

Mashon has been traveling around South America for four years. She’s making over six-figures a year. And she’s doing it all while creating her own schedule and working far less than she ever did at her 9-to-5 job.

One of the lessons I teach in Success OS is that the only true security you have is the security you provide yourself.

There’s a saying: A bird sits calmly on a branch not because it trusts the branch, but because it trusts its wings.

When Mashon got fired, it was as if the branch she was sitting on broke beneath her. She thought she was secure. But out of nowhere, that security was taken away.

For the record, it’s happened to me, too. When I lost my last job, I had almost no money in the bank, and three kids to feed. I was relying on that job for security. But then it was taken away.

In one way or another, we all go through this.

A lot of people in that position would have instantly started looking for a new job. And it makes sense. Your source of security disappears, so you scramble as fast as possible for a new one.

But that is how you get stuck.

Mashon was successful because she did what most people wouldn’t do.

She paused. She stepped back. She re-evaluated her life and realized where she’d gone wrong.

Instead of chasing another job for security, she decided to create it for herself.

Within one year of getting fired she’d made more than double what they’d paid her at that job. By her second year she was making 4X as much and working fewer hours than ever.

Her dream has always been to travel. And now she has the freedom to pick up whenever she wants and move – to a new town, or a new country – or to take time off to go exploring or learn to roast coffee. In November, she’s visiting Antarctica!

We talked recently, and she told me:

“I don’t know if I’ll ever want to make a million dollars a year. I [could] make double what I’m making now [with just] a few little tweaks. But I don’t want to right now. I have the money and the means to live the kind of lifestyle I want.”

And I’m happy for her. She isn’t the richest person in the world, but she isn’t controlled by money either. A lot of people make way more money than her, but hate their lives.

So you’ve got to wonder: who’s really winning?

In my opinion, it’s Mashon.

Success is different for everyone. For her, it means making a couple hundred thousand a year while traveling the world and going on adventures. For me, it’s about building a legacy for my kids. For you, it’s going to be something else.

So here’s the question I’ll leave you with…

If you’re making millions per year but don’t enjoy your life, is that really success?

Until next time,


Abe