I am one of those who was burned because I believed at the time that
JWs had "the truth" and I lived accordingly - as if the end of the world
were imminent and billions of lives were at stake. Did you ever
Magnum - I was born-in but left as a teenager, so the years I most fervently 'believed' were the pre-teen years; not too many life-altering decisions (sans baptism) being made then.
As a teenager, I started asking myself just HOW MUCH I was personally convinced of this belief set, and HOW MUCH I was going along with what my parents/grandparents wanted...
There were plenty of examples around the Kingdom Hall of devout JWs who spent their lives in service to the 'religion' at great cost to themselves. I saw very sincere people forego children, homes, & even the smallest sliver of financial security in deference to what the WT asked of them.
Growing up rather poor exposed me to the reality that it wasn't really the blessing it was made out to be, and I couldn't see myself being happy to scratch out a living for whatever decades I had left to my life. I live in a relatively affluent area, and I could plainly see the comforts that a decent career brought and I wanted those comforts for myself and my future children - no apologies offered. Not everyone who was financially successful spent all their time lusting after every dollar - that was just more WT nonsense.
Once I stepped off the JW hamster wheel, I had more time to spend doing what I wanted! Some of this time was spent in professional pursuits, and some was not, but either way, it was now my choice to exercise.
Those of you who did get 'burned' by the Tower's advice can now do the most good by using your experiences, telling others, and helping to starve the WT Cult of future support - I applaud your efforts!