Seriously, I really messed this up!
This isn’t my usual style of post, but it’s something personal I think a lot of us can learn from and relate to.
So here goes!
I currently run a webdesign / graphic design business (active, freelance income) as well as this website and others (for passive income.)
I work from home, I have for a number of years now and it is the best move I’ve ever made for my career. It’s made me happier, wealthier, and has given me a lot of flexibility.
But it took two tries to make it happen!
What happened with the first try? Everything about it was wrong and a massive mistake, so here’s a little insight.
My job was actually quite good.
Here’s the thing, when I just worked my job life was simple, income was consistent and my bosses were actually very relaxed and cruisey. If I needed time off, I got it. If I had a suggestion they listened. I was always told how good my work was and I got paid a standard full-time wage.
There was nothing wrong, hence I worked there for 12 years before I left.
As the say goes “It’s not you, it’s me”.
A fulltime income wasn’t enough for me, not being able to be in absolute command of my time wasn’t good enough. I’m super creative and much of the job, despite being focused around Graphic & Web Design, actually wasn’t creative at all.
I worked at a print shop called Zip Print (great place!), but there’s so much technical work involved in designing and preparing for print that you don’t get a good chance to be creative as often as you’d like.
I couldn’t take control of the situation so the joy slowly disappeared from the work and I was always struggling to keep up financially. So about 4 years before I finally quit, I did something stupid.
I got angry.
I got super stressed because I got married earlier that year and money was tough (after the expense of it all). The work was no longer enjoyable (nobody’s fault) so I miserable at work and miserable at home.
I started creating websites and earning some online income through passive income. But that stuff takes time, so it was literally just pocket money back then. I felt trapped in a perfectly fantastic job and I always put in the extra effort to show up early, do exceptional work and have a good attitude and I was even complimented on it from my bosses.
Then why they hell am I struggling? It was a mindset of entitlement.
Then one day I came to work about 10 minutes late and it was one of those days, everyone was just not in the best of moods. Normally, I’d pop my head in and apologize if I was ever late, but instead, I just got to it. My boss had a word with me about it.
I was furious.
All of a sudden my mind was screaming at me that “I’ve put in 8+ years of work and I’m being treated this! what the hell!”
I politely said OK, no smile, just got back to work and stewed ALL DAY.
Later that day I snapped, so I asked nicely if I could talk to them and I told them I was going to change career and wanted to leave in a few months (trying to be helpful with the extra notice as I was a core part of the business in my opinion).
They received notice, started looking for a new staff member while I started planning with my wife.
So, what went wrong?
I started saving, planning my business and began to realize what I was in for.
I had a mortgage and credit card debt and I was potentially throwing away half of our household income. I started taking on some work on the side but it wasn’t enough.
The end of the year was approaching and I had enough capital behind me to last a month, hardly any clients and the trajectory wasn’t good. I broke down, cried, got angry did all of the things before finally talking it over at home, and realizing that I needed to go in and undo everything.
The problem is that I made a decision while I was angry.
Some people make worse decisions but this one would have made life hell for me. I realized that I didn’t set things up so I knew that when I quit, I’d be in the position to make it work. I did no research, planning, or movement toward making this happen when I so hastily gave my resignation.
You need to be smart, don’t do that same stupid thing I did.
I crawled on back…
…I told my boss I’d rather not quit.
All the detail aside, they gladly kept me on board and I forgot about quitting for 18 months or so and just enjoyed the stability.
I stuffed people around at every angle, I felt like a failure and was even angrier than before – but I wasn’t scared anymore because I knew I could pay my bills.
The best part? I knew what was next…
This time I created a plan.
I built a portfolio website to put my work up, I created a social media page and I started building a presence.
I went to a handful of people I knew outside of my area who had businesses and networks, I offered to build them free websites in return for them handing my name out to their network.
I started saving.
I started on the free stuff. The free stuff lead to cheap stuff. The cheap stuff lead to profitable stuff.
My name started to circulate, all the while my passive income efforts were growing and getting me more money.
I worked from my waking moments until I went to sleep at night, slotting in martial arts training and tiny amounts of downtime on weekends and built a part-time business.
Despite money coming in regularly now, I waited until I had enough money up my sleeve to cover 3 months of pay, I gave 6 months notice (again, trying to be generous to my bosses who were generous to me for 12 years).
Then I left, and here I am. I wouldn’t change a single thing about the whole process.
The harder the fight, the sweeter the victory.
When you have a goal that seems so impossible to achieve, going through frustration and struggle helps you to appreciate it and become proud of what you’ve done.
I know many other people, maybe you, want to make this happen. Many others have made it happen. Either way, it’s something anyone can do if they want to be smart, create a plan, and execute without the cloud of emotion or anger fueling your bad decisions.
But mistakes can suck but they are such good teachers, as we all know!
What about you?
Do you intend on quitting your job?
Have you already quit your job?
Leave your story or your thoughts in the comments below and get the conversations started.
Thank you for reading, have a great day!