I get questions all of the time about how I quit my job, how I started out as a Success Coach, how was it possible to quit my job when I had a baby at home and no clients yet.
So let’s get down to it… the short version. If you want the long version, with a littler more detail, you’ll have to sign up for the Free Audio Series: How I Quit My Job and Started Doing What I Love. The audio will be ready in less than a week, and you'll want to be the first to know!
Here’s the deal. Leaving my job, actually leaving my Career in marketing, was a tough decision. I stressed about it for months and months. It wasn’t a decision I took lightly, and I did a lot of work to make sure I had a Plan B, for lack of a better term... and I still made some mistakes. Don't be afraid to think through the decision beforehand, because it is a big decision.
At the same time...
Don't wait for everything to be PERFECT.
Because it never will be perfect. That's because we're all perfectionists on some level. Ya dig? I have a whole lot of experience with beating perfectionist tendencies that hold you back from making decisions, because I used to be a perfectionist myself (like, big time. Totally indecisive, didn't start projects I cared about because I was afraid I couldn't do them perfectly.) If that sounds like you, SIGN UP for a Free 30-minute End the Perfectionist Paralysis Call with me. Let's explore your perfectionism and begin to get you on the road to living with a little less anxiety. Sound good? (It's free, so why the heck not, right?)
There are some things I would do differently, and some things I will recommend. Before we get started…
If no one has told you yet:
It is possible to do something you love, to have a soul-fueled business, and still make a damn good living.
People do it every day! It's the soul purpose behind my business.
So why not you?
IT IS WORTH IT TO GO FOR IT. If I could do it, you absolutely can.
So without further ado… let’s get started on some of my lessons learned and best tips for you on how to quit your job and do something you love.
1. Evaluate first WHY you want to leave your job. Is it your job that you want to leave, or the career you've had? Here are a couple of questions to help you:
- Did something happen that, if fixed, you'd feel great? (Say - a disagreement with a colleague, or a difficult project that will be over soon...)
- Are you happy less than 70% of the time overall with your work and your career?
- Are you sticking around just because you like ONE part of what you do (maybe a specific task, or you love your colleagues, or specific skills you get to use?)... but you don't really like the rest of the job? I have always loved my team, and I've always had amazing mentors. Sometimes, that just doesn't make the job as great as it would be if it was the right fit for you.
- Is it a longtime, lingering feeling in the pit of your stomach - that you just don't feel fulfilled in your career or your work? Are you constantly feeling that something isn't right, and that you wish you could do something more fulfilling?
- Are you waking up each day excited to go to work... or dreading the day ahead?
For me, there was a lot involved in the decision... but mostly, I had always known I was meant for more, and I had always believed that I could change the world, help other women build businesses WHILE building my own... and that I could do it all with the ease and freedom I desired. After all, I didn't want to be one of those entrepreneurs who quit the 50-hour corporate grind workweek just to end up in an 80-hour workweek. EW! No! Not for me.
But I wanted that freedom. I didn't want to ask permission to take my son for mom and tot class, or to head up to the mountains to hike or ski for a long weekend, or to visit my family in Chicago, or to travel to ITALY (which I will for my 30th birthday in October! Because I can do that now!)
2. Believe that you are enough. You alone are worth whatever it is that you desire. Yes, I know it sounds all fluffy, but being in the right mindset is really the best thing you can do for yourself when you are preparing to go through a large shift in your life. You are worth the difficulties, the doubts, the wins and loses. You’re worth the effort and the risk. You alone - you’re enough. It’s possible for you to start a successful business. It’s possible for you to have a career you love. If I could do it at my lowest of lows, you can do it now. Whatever you want, there is someone out there who has it. That means it’s possible for you. Believe me - I didn’t think I “had it”… and actually people told me I didn’t.
3. Get into a GROWTH mindset. What this means, essentially, is that you have to constantly look for ways to expand - in knowledge, in skill set, in openness, in understanding… just expand yourself. Let’s break this down a little further. Growing in knowledge is most useful to you if you think of information as your friend, and if you look for ways to learn as much as possible about the areas that interest you. Same for the skill sets you want to expand. Do you enjoy practicing that skill? Is it essential to what you want to do? Then cultivate it! This is one of the things I talk with my clients about all the time.
4. Figure out what you want to DO, and who you want to BE. I have a whole process to get career clarity in my new group program that's accepting members now. It's called the 90 Day Roadmap to Career Clarity LIVE group. There is a lot of focus on clarity and figuring out what you want to do next and how to get there, but I'll touch on a bit here.
The best way to get super clear is to ask yourself this: What is one thing you would do - spend all of your time on - even if you weren't paid for it?
But even that question can be a bit big for some people to start with. Here are a few more. Sit down in a quiet place with a pen and notebook, and journal out answers to the following.
- List out the qualities you value most. You want to LIVE and WORK with purpose.
- What activities do you enjoy now? If you had to pick THREE?
- What did you enjoy when you were a child that continued with you in ways? For example, I used to love to listen to stories, to write and to draw. I still love doing those things which gave me a hint as to what I should be doing in my career - integrating those things in.
- Think about how + where you work best (in an office? with a lot of people? alone? at home? Solopreneur? Team member? Giving direction? Or Taking direction?)
- Think about what topics interest you and which ones would be worth exploring further into a career - write down 10. Then pick the top THREE.
Focusing on what you enjoy learning about and doing is the cornerstone to having a career you love. That is always the starting point.
5. Get your Plan B in place long before you quit. It may feel impossible to get on the road toward starting a new business or looking for a new job when you’re still working at your old job. But, there is definite upside in having the income from your old job. You can use many of the previously mentioned steps as things you can do while you're still at your current 9-to-5.
Here's a little bonus... TBH, once I decided I was going to quit my job, it actually made it EASIER to go to work. I started looking at it like, “well, i’ll make the most of this because hey, I don’t have to continue doing it that much longer!” I went back to being myself just a little bit, by knowing I had control of the situation.
Extra Tip: This may seem like rocket science... but whatever you do, DO NOT start slacking off or "saying your piece" at work. You will likely want to have those work contacts after you leave. It's always great to leave on the BEST terms possible, so continue to be your kind, wonderful self, go into work, finish your projects on time and be the best colleague possible.
6. Start planning financially. You have to take a good hard look at your financial situation before you leave your job. Do you have an emergency fund? What do you need to cut back on? How much do you need to save per month? What’s the budget you MUST have to make this change happen for you?
Most importantly - what are you willing to do financially to make this dream happen? For us, we bought a 1-bedroom 650 square foot home AFTER we had a baby. Why? Because we knew I may eventually leave my job, or take a break at least, and we wanted to still be able to travel and put our son in school, and go out to eat, and go skiing... all things we love. So we bought a smaller home to begin with. I’m not saying you have to make the exact same decision. Some people need more space to spread out, and if you live in the burbs you may be able to get more house for the same amount we paid in Denver. This was the area we were willing to give a little in… and actually there is far less to clean, and we have less crap now. It’s a win-win for me.
So decide what you need to do to make it happen - and just know that if you’re truly going after something you love - you probably won’t really miss whatever you compromise on.
7. Set a deadline for your last day... even if it's months in advance and you don't tell your boss until 2 weeks beforehand. Then mark it on your (personal!) calendar so you stick to it. Believe me, it’s easier to have a feasible deadline if you know about your finances, and visa versa. It’s easier to go to work if you know your end date is approaching, too. I felt lighter once I knew I was leaving. My one regret was that I let the deadline linger a bit too long, which made it more difficult to tie up projects and feel good about where things were at.
Counting down the days until FREEDOM (from any 9-5, anywhere) for me, was like CHRISTMAS. And if you know me, you know I LOVE CHRISTMAS!
8. Get your Tribe together. I knew I wanted to get into a career path where I would help people, and I’m super passionate about helping women live better and do what they love. So the natural fit for me was coaching of some sort, but I didn’t know this right away… and even after I quit my job, I had no idea how to get started as a coach or how to start my own business. (I recommend you start getting some more pieces in place than I did BEFORE you quit.)
So immediately after I quit, I hired my own Life Coach, and then joined a group program for women, like me, who were ready to be coaches after that. I had to do the mindset work, quite frankly, to get into a good enough place mentally to be able to help other people and to be in business for myself.
And that’s when everything turned around. I started refining what type of coach I wanted to be and how to help my clients. I started getting more clients because I was actually doing a better job helping them, and because I was more confident.
I started truly believing that the things I wanted were possible for me. I don't know if I had ever done that before.
This experience in the group program I was (and am still!) a part of, is the reason I created my own signature group program for women who are ready to make a major career change, quit their job or become entrepreneurs. It’s called the 90 Day Roadmap to Career Clarity LIVE group program. I highly recommend joining a group, like this one. You NEED a group of women to help you through the immense change you're going to experience - to keep you on track, and to lift you up when you have skeptics in your life who put their doubts on you.
9. Take care of yourself. It’s all wonderful to do things for your family or your friends, or your job, or whatever other obligations, but honestly, if you don’t practice any form of self care, if you aren’t in a mindset that you must constantly grow as a person, if you don't believe that what you want is possible… you’re actually doing everyone around you that you care about a disservice.
So I chose to get the guidance I needed...
And I’ve never been in a better place because I finally got the courage to quit doing something that was wrong for me.
Those are the major steps.
I want you to feel this good, I want you to have a career and business that's right for you. I don’t want you to spend your life in a career track, corporate grind, 9-5, on everyone else's schedule type of thing... that isn’t fulfilling or exciting for you. You should be happy and excited to get up and go to work every day. No, it’s not all sunshine and daisies all the time, and having your own business can be a lot of hours… but it should be fun and light you up at least 70% of the time.
If you want more in depth info on how I quit my job, sign up for the free audio now! PLUS, I'm scheduling a LIVE call with me, going more in depth on how I quit my job and got everything in place, and the mistakes I made. You'll get to ask me specific questions and get some juicy details... so SIGN UP for the emails today, because the LIVE call is happening soon.
P.S. The group program (90 Day Roadmap to Career Clarity LIVE) I mentioned earlier is filling fast, and it’s probably because this tribe of women is already amazing! SIGN UP before the price goes up on September 20, 2015!