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What Do You Do?

What do you do?

What do you hear and feel when someone asks you,


"What do you do?"

For years, I heard the question as a test to see if I was a loser in their eyes. So, my response immediately went to subtle mentions of career accomplishments.


And being asked, "What do you do?" is one way of asking, "What do you make?" I was worried I didn't measure up, particularly when I said I was a teacher. Making matters more complicated is that I needed to be the breadwinner because of our family dynamics, so ironically, teaching wasn't "enough." I had always worked for other income streams.


The irony is that as a personal finance teacher, I was not motivated by money. As cliche as it sounds, I felt I was making a difference, which motivated me. I can't tell you how many times I watched the viral slam poem "what do you make" about what teachers do to reinforce my passion.


Anyhow, when I was asked, "What do you do?" I wanted to make a good impression because I wanted to be accepted. I didn't want to talk about it, but I wanted to talk.


We hosted Manisha Thakor, the author of Money Zen: the Secret to Finding Your "Enough" and I learned I wasn't alone. And identifying who we are with our career can have particularly pernicious effects on our lives.



It was not uncommon for me to be in the room with my family by being more present in my mind with my work. I regularly checked my work email on my phone when I was supposed to be with my family. I was married to my laptop. I couldn't stop.


As Manisha was sharing her personal story and challenges, I couldn't help but connect them with mine, and I learned that I'm not alone because most people I meet for the first time lead with "what they do."


In the episode, Manisha addresses why some of us have work addiction issues and unpacks how to find enough in our lives.


Modern Husbands Podcast

A conversation with Manisha Thakor



Manisha Thakor has worked in financial services for over 30-years and is a nationally recognized thought-leader around the issues of financial literacy and education. Manisha's work has been featured in national media such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Barron’s, CNN, and CNBC. She has written two personal finance books for young people in their 20s and 30s. 


Manisha earned her MBA from Harvard Business School, her BA from Wellesley College and holds the CFA and CFP designations.


We discuss the lessons from her latest book MoneyZen: The Secret to Finding Your “Enough.” We tackle the tough questions we ask ourselves as we try to balance our career ambitions, our family obligations, and our self worth. 


Questions Answered in the Podcast


0:00:00 Introduction

0:01:15 In your book, MoneyZen: The Secret to Finding Your “Enough,”  you talk about being trapped in the “Cult of Never Enough” and how this cult nearly destroyed your relationships, your health, and your self-esteem. Tell us more.  

0:06:20 You spent two years researching the causes of a never enough mindset. What did you discover?  

0:20:58 Manisha shares the difference between workaholism and appropriate devotion to work

0:23:37 What is the key to finding your “enough?"

0:35:13 What is the difference between money "problems" and money "worries?”

0:40:02 Where can our listeners learn more about you and purchase your book?

0:41:19 What are one or two things listeners to this podcast can do right now to help get closer to a life of MoneyZen?


Purchase MoneyZen: The Secret to Finding Your “Enough.”


Click here to purchase the book.


Follow Manisha on Social media


Linked In: Manisha Thakor

Twitter/X: @ManishaThakor

Facebook: @ManishaThakor 

Instagram: @ManishaThakor

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