I wanted to quit my job the first day I got one.
Kissing the ass of leaders to get a job and keep it has never been something I’ve loved. It’s always felt so fake.
My career felt more like a Hollywood movie than reality. I could act better than Leo in Catch Me If You Can featuring Tom Hanks.
“Oh yes boss I can certainly do that for you by 5 PM. This customer is going to absolutely love us. You wait until you see the revenue in your monthly report. It’s going to be huge, I tell ya.”
God, I was so full of crap.
In the last 12 months my career has taken a 360. It’ll inspire yours. Here’s what I did to create the change.
Get comfortable not knowing
I quit my job in the middle of last year.
I know you don’t care or think that’s cool. Me neither. The point is when you quit and decide not to work a job again it scares the pants off you.
I was sweating bullets for days beforehand. What I learned to do is get comfortable not knowing the future. A job gives you a fairly predictable future. Working for yourself has a lot more risk.
There’s no way to know for sure if it’ll work out. I had to learn to accept that I didn’t know what would happen and that’s okay.
The career moves you make in discomfort change your life. It’s when huge personal growth occurs.
Lean into career discomfort.
See financial incentives for what they are (BS)
In my last few weeks of work I closed a $10M+ sales opportunity.
My sales target was $1M for the year. Can you guess how much of the sale I got as a commission?
$0. Nadda. Nothing.
The fat cats got it all.
Now, I had my commission structure built into my employment contract. But it took me years to understand that bonuses and financial incentives in jobs are mostly BS. Yes, you can achieve them.
But you have zero control.
A bonus is up to your boss to approve. If revenue is down company-wide or your boss has a bad day, they can simply reduce or remove your incentives at the end of the year.
One year I lost a large part of my remuneration because of a “multiplier.”
Publicly listed companies have a condition with their incentives. Once your payout gets calculated they multiple the number by the company’s overall performance.
If you’ve had a great year and exceeded all your obligations but their stock price is down, then they get to multiply the money you rightfully earn by a number of their choosing.
Basically, everyone gets a mass haircut on their remuneration.
Let me break it down…
I spent two years chasing this $10M+ deal for my employer.
If I had invested those same hours in my online business, I’d have made over $1M. That’s the harsh truth I came to realize that changed my career.
Bet on yourself. Keep all the upside for your hard work. Have control.
Work on something after hours
I had my day job that paid the bills. Then I created a second job that I worked on before and after work hours.
As the transition in my mind occurred I even started working on my after hours side hustle during work hours
These projects you work on may not succeed. What they do, though, is open your mind to another world of possibilities.
You start to think about work differently. The power of the internet and what it can do starts to infect your brain and speak to you in meetings.
Eventually, you hit a tipping point and the opportunity begins to make sense. I had to hear it screamed in my ear from podcasts before it knocked some sense into me. Repetition of ideas is the mother of breakthrough insights.
Infect your brain with an internet side hustle.
Build relationships outside of work
Otherwise you get stuck in a bubble.
Those who made money online didn’t work in my workplace. My colleagues only ever said “affiliate marketing is dead, the internet is too crowded, writers don’t make money, don’t be a damn fool!”
I had to get new voices in my head.
Voices that said “why not you?”
One of those voices showed me their PayPal dashboard. More than $1M made online in 12 months. You’d never have known it — terrible website, small social media following, average skill stack.
So what I started to do was follow people who made money online. I didn’t hassle them or suck up their ass. I watched. Then occasionally after I knew what they were doing well, I’d reach out and start an unselfish conversation.
This built me a business network outside of my job. I started listening to them, and stopped listening to my institutionalized work colleagues.
Best decision I ever made.
Get around people who understand how to make wifi money.
Say yes to your wildest fantasy
My wildest, naughty fantasy has always been full autonomy.
I never want to be told when to work or what work to do. For years I rejected this fantasy and complied with the corporate world. I hid my secret.
I pretended to like being an employee.
The harsh truth I finally reached is that if I spent all of my 30s without fulfilling this fantasy, I’d one day have enormous regrets.
So I said yes to the fantasy for the first time in my career. One idea made a huge difference. It’ll help you too.
You can always get another job. Read that again.
Even if the worst thing happens and your fantasy fails, endless jobs will always be advertised.
If anything, fulfilling jobs is harder than ever as more people like me turn to the internet to make a living and choose different forms of work — consulting, freelancing, self-employment, solopreneurship, content creation.
Lift the muzzle slowly off your face
Saying the wrong thing at work can get you fired.
For most of my career I muzzled my online voice. Yes, I wrote online, but I never told the full truth about my career.
One leader told me that I might get in trouble by writing on LinkedIn.
I ignored them.
Turns out it was their fear and not a reality. As I got closer to the epiphany that I would quit my job, I stepped into the light. I started sharing deeper career lessons.
One of those was about getting fired. When you have 300,000+ LinkedIn followers (not to brag) people think you’re some guru and everything you touch in business turns to gold. Hardly.
I wanted to tell the real story. So I did. All of my colleagues saw it.
Tens of millions of people read it.
What’s strange isn’t that the story was so great. It was that people rarely share a story so raw and fresh like I did with zero personal gain. Especially while they still have a traditional job that could be affected.
I started to come alive in my career. I gave myself goosebumps.
Inspiration you give to other people without expecting anything back is an incredible gift that will change your career forever.
What looks like a career detractor in the traditional business world is a career amplifier in the online world. And in the Web 3 world, where everybody has an anonymous identity, the sky is the limit.
Respectfully speak your truth.
Have a go mate! is the slogan of Australia.
It applies beautifully to your career. Your career changes in a year when you try new experiments, back yourself, inspire others, and learn the online money-making game.
On the other side of career fear is enormous growth. Take the first step.