“Don’t you want to take a leap of faith? Or become an old man, filled with regret, waiting to die alone?” —Saito (Inception)
It’s been about a year since I left my job without anything lined up. During that time, several off my friends have left their jobs or contemplating it. Since I took the leap of faith into uncharted waters, some friends have asked me for advice and I thought I’d share it.
Quit your job.
Now, if you love your job and like working as you are, that’s totally fine and I really respect that. These thoughts are more about those who have dreams of starting their own business, freelancing, or just trying something new.
Here are some of the concerns about quitting and taking the leap of faith:
I’m worried about not enough money coming in to make ends meet.
That is definitely a huge concern, especially if you have dependents. I can tell you no job is worth getting your soul crushed day in and day out. I would rather have a small income coming in for peace of mind—seriously.
I don’t know if I can find enough clients or make it a full time job.
You can’t have the clarity you need while you’re working a full time job. Imagine if you had 10-12 hours a day to work on your own thing? Now, you can’t be lazy and do nothing, but the quality of hours are more concentrated when your focus is 100% your projects.
What do you really have to lose?
What’s the worst case scenario? If it’s “If things don’t work out, I’ll have to look for a job and do something else” then do it, man. My worst case scenario was I would have to find another job, and if I didn’t find one in the field I wanted, I’d eat a huge piece of humble pie and take a job to pay the bills. If that didn’t work out, I’d have to move back with my super loving parents. I was okay with taking that risk.
Don’t tell me about the worst case scenario, what’s the best case scenario?
Ah, the balance. yes, you have to think of what might happen if you fail, but really take a lot of time and think about what could happen if you succeed.
Are you going to regret NOT doing this?
First, that’s what she said. But seriously, are you going to look back later on and wonder what might have happened if you tried? Sure, you could be totally happy with the current life you’ll have, but you’ll always wonder. I don’t remember The Notebook that well but it’s kind of like that chick’s mom who regrets not marrying the dude who’s building a house, or something like that. I’d rather fail and find out.
Are you ready to be accountable for EVERYTHING?
Just remember: when you’re the boss of your own company, it’s not good to complain about your boss. Everything is on you when you work independently. Everything you do will be a reflection of you. There is no more company shield protecting you. Are you ready for that?
If your heart is pounding a mile a minute and scared shitless, that’s a good sign. Nervous is good. I’ll tell you right now I think every night and give so much thanks that I jumped ship in the midst of fear and uncertainty. I am writing this post while working from Palm Springs as I prep for Coachella.
Be a little bat shit crazy and give it a shot!
Disclaimer: I take no responsibility for those who splat on their leap of faith. As Omec from Legends of the Hidden Temple said, “The choice is yours and yours alone”
Note: I used to work at ExactTarget and left to pursue independent opportunities. Probably the best way to part ways ever. These thoughts are not necessarily based on my experiences.