Do you ever ask yourself “is this all there is to life?”
Have you ever dreamed of getting out of all the mediocrity in life to pursue your own bliss and start a new adventure?
If you answered yes, welcome to the club! I was in a similar stage more than year ago…and what I can tell you looking back, pursuing the new chapter in my life is one of the most exciting, most fulfilling adventure I’ve had in years. I’m glad I took the leap of faith and pursued my own bliss.
But it didn’t start out that way.
When I started working I was contented. My idea of a simple life back then was that I was able to feed myself, had a nice place to sleep in, and had a work to go to every day. I didn’t mind riding on a raging tricycle going to work which was always zig-zaging on a busy street, driving against traffic. I was scared of course, but still contented.
When my company sent me to the US, I enjoyed riding an airplane for the first time. For the next 6 months, I enjoyed a very very comfortable life. For the first time, I was able to drive my own car to the office, swim in a jacuzzi every night with friends, have my own TV inside my room, and to top it all have an stay out house cleaner who came by once a week to clean the house. My situation jumped from being contented to being overwhelmed in an instant. I didn’t know a life like this was possible.
I wished it were like that forever. But after 6 months, my stay in the US was over. I went home to the Philippines and suddenly something changed in me. Now, I felt like I have been short changed. In my mind, I was practically doing the same thing when I was in the US as I was back home in the Philippines, but the pay was not reflecting the same. Suddenly, I felt like it is no longer OK to have the kind of results that I was getting from my job. The irony was that my work back home in the Philippines was even more exhausting than when I was in the US. It dawned on me, I had to do something about my situation if I want to have a chance of experiencing the comfortable life I’ve had in the past 6 months again.
It’s true. Until you feel you are losing out on something, you will not feel the urge to do something about your own situation.
It took me around 3 years before I realized this is not the life I wanted to do.
It’s been a year since I quit my job of almost a decade working for a multinational financial services company. Looking back, it’s one the single biggest decision I’ve had to face in my career. I’m glad I took the plunge for I have been having the best time of my life. I feel I have grown more as a person mentally, emotionally, financially and with a deeper appreciation of all the blessings that life has to offer.
Many people ask me how I came up with the decision to give up my comfortable job in order to pursue starting my own business. Most often than not, I end up seeing more confused faces after telling them my story. I can’t blame them. They haven’t gone through the same experience I’ve had. They didn’t go through the same seminars that opened up my mind. They have different goals than mine at this point in their lives.
Perhaps one of the greatest realization I’ve had over the past year, is a deeper appreciation on how unique each one of us really are. We have different hopes and dreams. But we are also very similar. We all want a better life.
Here are some of the realizations I’ve had that has helped me get through all the challenges and appreciate the blessings along the way.
1. There’s no perfect time to quit your job
I’ve waited for years to get the green light before finally tendering my resignation. There were countless hours in the wee hours of the night I’ve spent with my wife, trying to gather the courage to do it. In the end, I realized, the lights on a street will never go green all at the same time. Something will come up. Something will change your plans. If you don’t do it, it will never be done. There’s no perfect timing to doing something worthwhile. All you need to do is trust that all the dots will somehow connect when the time comes for you to look back. And when that happens, almost always, it will point to a decision you made years ago that has changed the course of your life.
2. Having an emergency fund helps
The key to quitting your job is to prepare as much as you can, hold your breath, dive in and plunge into the unknown. It is risky but in order to manage the risk, you should have an emergency fund equal to or more than 6 months of your monthly expenses. If you ask me, 6 months may not even be enough. So prepare as much as you can. The more emergency fund you have, the better, especially if you’re burning your bridges from employment. The 6 months emergency fund was designed that way because it normally takes 6 months for a normal employee to find another job in the event that he loses his job. But you are different. You quit. You are not going back to employment. You have to be prepared to have other sources of income apart from your job because it can take a while until you get the time or financial freedom that you dream of.
3. It’s best to get a loan before you quit your job
Getting a loan from the bank as a business man is a lot harder than being an employee. When you are an employee, the bank is essentially approving your loan based on the stability of the company and in the hope that your company is stable enough that you will have a steady source of income to pay off your monthly payments. Even if your business is earning twice than your pay from your current job, it is possible that the bank still won’t approve your loans, because now they are essentially taking a risk on you, not on your company’s earning capability. So if you can, much better to get a loan before you quit your job for big ticket items like house or car (after assessing your own financial situation of course.)
4. Master your emotions instead of the other way around
They say you should never make a decision while on an extreme state of emotion. If you’re very sad, don’t make a rushed decision. When you’re very happy, don’t make a decision you will regret after the excitement subsides. The thing about extreme emotions is that it can cloud your judgement. Getting a decision to quit your job or not is not a spur of the moment kind of thing. It is a deliberate process of preparing yourself mentally, emotionally and financially until the day comes that you say you are ready. It takes a lot more courage to get through the state of mediocrity. They say companies pay just enough so employees won’t quit; and employees do just enough so they don’t get fired. I think there’s a certain degree of truth to that, that’s why it’s harder to quit when you can still convince yourself that enduring is better than quitting. Understanding your own emotions helps prepare you to the challenges ahead.
5. The hardest part is not financial
The hardest part of quitting your job is inside your head. It’s not the money that will get you. It’s the thoughts in your head wondering every second of the day whether you made the right decision or not…whether clinging to a steady paycheck is better than risking it all to pursue time and financial freedom. The hardest part is breaking through the decades of mind conditioning from families, friends, and schools that earning money by getting a safe secure job with benefits is the way to go. It’s normal to cling to job security. Unfortunately, we all know job security is no longer possible at this time of information age. It is in finding yourself against what is normal sometimes that you get a chance to discover enough courage within you to venture out and pursue the taste of freedom.
It’s been more than a year since I’ve last held a job. There were a lot of challenges. There were a lot of blessings. One thing is for sure, if I had to do it all over again, I would do exactly the same thing. No one truly knows what will happen after the decision is made, we only make the best out of it with all the available information we’ve had at that moment. That makes life very interesting and full of exciting surprises.
Living your dream takes a decision. It is not luck. It is pursued.
The easier route is to do the same thing you’ve done for the past x number of years. While it is certainly up to you whether to go that route or change course, I definitely agree with Albert Einstein that doing the same things over and over again and expecting a different result is insane. You need to do something different to achieve something different. You need to do something out of the ordinary if you are aiming a life that is better than what you have right now. And for that you need guts more than anything else. God is an abundant God that has blessed your heart with that dream to pursue and see you through to its completion. All you have to do is take that first step in faith.
P.S. Are you tired working for your job? Do you want to quit? Looking for other options? Click here to contact me.
Powered by Qumana