If you love your work, you don’t need “a number”

One of my friends in the financial industry recently said to me “everyone has a number”, meaning the amount of money in the bank needed to quit or retire.  For those who have been battling through tough corporate or other purely practical jobs, the “number” is part of their escape route from a job they don’t like.   Success would be getting to that number as soon as possible so they can retire or do something else.  

But, for those who are happy in their work, the “number” is rarely considered, except perhaps as part of sensible retirement planning.  I have not met a single person who loved their work that ever talked about their “number” in terms of an escape from work.   Their financial success includes paying their bills, funding college for their children, and saving enough for the inevitability of retirement.  But, they loved their work – why would they be plotting to leave early?