Quitting your job can seem like a Cinderella fairytale.
I imagined rainbows, unicorns, and my boss kneeling on the floor begging me to stay. None of that happened.
We all have a boss even when we quit a job.
My boss has been all the tech platforms I rely on to run my online business.
A more interesting idea for a type of boss came from LinkedIn. I posted that my wife is pregnant with a picture of the baby. All the comments were lovely — except I noticed a trend.
Quite a few people said “Your baby is going to be your new boss.” It made me laugh and it’s probably true. But I’m going to love my daughter just the same.
So a lot has changed in a year. It’s worth me sharing these lessons in case you’ve ever thought about quitting your job.
Working from home with no work colleagues can be lonely
The part of my job I miss is my work colleagues.
We became friends. We’d hang out after work. We’d drink bottomless cups of coffee at our employer’s expense.
Then there are the customers I used to love building relationships with and trying to defy their expectations. So many customers in my last job hated my employer. I managed to get many of them to change their minds.
Now I don’t have a job, I work from home. I’m not going to lie — it can get pretty lonely some days. Thankfully my wife is home too, although she’s expecting to return to the office soon.
It’s not all doom and gloom. There is a solution.
I find I now have to intentionally network online to fight off the loneliness. The relationships are awesome, but not quite as good as an office full of hundreds of employees, where every person knows each other’s name.
People will laugh at you … until you succeed
I love being an underdog.
So many people doubted my choice to quit my job. Critics behind the scenes said horrible things about my decision and made dire predictions.
Turns out they were wrong. It’s funny how some of these critics have now hit me up on LinkedIn wanting to chat about how I built an online business.
People think you’re an idiot until you defy the odds … then they want to do the same.
Lesson: Don’t be a knob. Share your success and how you did it.
All it takes is a few mistakes to end up back at a 9 to 5 job
This may seem like a terrifying warning. It’s not meant to be.
I find the reality that a few mistakes could send me back to a 9 to 5 job deeply motivating. There’s something at stake every day.
While it’s unlikely I’ll make loads of dumb mistakes in a row that send me back to cubicle life, it’s always possible. So I have to remain humble, on the ball, and aware of the risks of writing online.
Remember: Don’t get cocky when you quit your job. You might need one again. Let that motivate you.
You can make a lot of money online if you (really) want
Let’s get back to the optimistic side.
I’ve made more money NOT working a job than when I had one. The reality is when you’re in full control, it’s easier to take what you learned about business from your job and implement the strategies on your own.
Once you break into the making money online world it rewires your brain.
You start to realize there are infinite opportunities only limited by the number of hours in the day. You start to see the internet is still growing and there are a lot of people who haven’t come online yet. And you see that there’s infinite leverage you can create.
This means the effort you put in every day starts to compound over time, so you don’t need to put in as much effort in the future. It’s a whacky formula only Einstein could make famous — and did.
Being accountable to no one but yourself is hard
There’s no one that wakes me up in the morning. I can sleep all day if I want.
This might sound like a dream but it’s scary at first. I have to be self-motivated to keep living this life. Nothing happens without me. My income is dictated by the actions I make today.
While it’s not easy, you can get used to it. Thankfully I’ve always been a self-starter and never waited for someone to tell me what to do.
If you’re someone who needs lots of direction, it’s best to try working for yourself as a side hustle first. Otherwise you might crash and burn.
If I didn’t take a career risk I’d have regrets for the rest of my life
Let me be honest again…
If I didn’t try to quit my job, I’d be wondering whether I should have for the rest of my life. Too many people stay in safe, boring jobs out of a fear of all the things that could go wrong.
Things can go wrong with a job too.
I learned the hard way when I got fired in 2019 from a job I loved. My former colleagues learned in March 2020, too, when many of them got fired from their jobs so big companies could cut costs.
The risks between a job and working for yourself aren’t as different as you might think. But if you never try working for yourself then the chance of major regrets later in life is high.
Try it. You can always get another job if you have to.
It’s easier to make money online with a partner
I tried to live this kind of life before by myself. It didn’t work. This is my fourth attempt that finally turned out to be a success.
I learned this time around it’s easier to build a business with a friend. The partner I work with is my friend Todd Brison. Our partnership works because we have different complementary skills.
I understand blogging, entrepreneurship, financial markets, and marketing. He understands traditional writing, grammar/spelling, book publishing, copywriting, and email marketing.
With a partner you’re stronger.
Keep a quote by your desk to inspire you
I love quotes and one has guided this whole no-job journey. The quote comes from Jim Carrey who said…
“You can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.”
It’s worth keeping a quote like this close to you for times when you stop believing in yourself. A good quote reminds you of why you do what you do.
Burnout can cause you to make dumb decisions
In my first year without a job anxiety kept me going. I overcompensated and became overly cautious to avoid disaster.
The anxiety caused me to overwork, too. That led to burnout last year. Late one night an accidental click of my mouse cost me a lot of money. I felt stupid and blamed myself for days.
Then once my mind healed I realized the issue wasn’t me being stupid. It all happened because I became burned out.
Don’t let your fears cause you to overwork and burnout.
Building your own thing is incredibly rewarding
Let’s finish on a high.
So here I am after quitting my job 12 months ago. I wasn’t sure if I’d make it. The journey has been one hell of a ride.
The biggest lesson I’ve learned is it’s incredibly rewarding to build your own dream rather than build someone else’s dream. Sure, it may not get as big as something you build while working for someone else. But it’s all yours.
No drama. No office politics. No one telling you what to do. No compromises.
That kind of fulfillment is worth quitting a job for.