Why I Quit My Job and Started My Own Business
“Your life is the sum of the choices you make both consciously and unconsciously, if you can control the process of choosing, you can take control of all aspects of your life, you can find the freedom that comes from being in charge of yourself.” – Robert F. Bennett
Three years ago while sitting in my work cubicle, staring out at the busy streets in the Queen Anne neighborhood in Seattle, I realized that I was in a dead end job and had to do something about it. I made the decision to start my own business, instead of simply running a similar business for someone else.
"If you aren't where you want to be, the problem is your choices, your circumstances are the symptoms of those choices." - MJ Demarco
The cumulative consequences of your choices.
This quote describes a very important lesson I've learned in the past few years. Recently in reading The Millionaire Fastlane by MJ Demarco, I was able to take a look back and better understand why we do the things we do and how we can make small subtle changes that will ultimately end up improving our lives in a major way.
MJ discusses in the book the consequences of our choices and how as we get older, each choice we make has permanent long term consequences by slowly changing our life's path. As an example, if you were to sit in front of a 747 and just tap the nose of the plane 1 degree to the right every 10 minutes, after 5 hours you would end up in a very different location than the planned destination. This is also true with the path our life travels and how we end up where we do.
MJ also discusses how as we get older the "horsepower" of our choices begins to dissipate. He states that when you are younger, your choices have more firepower and simple choices can make incredible changes when extrapolated out 20 years down the road. Choices that are made in an instant can have profound effects for the rest of your life. When we get older, our choices lose some of the effectiveness or potency they once had.
What is really interesting and quite coincidental is that MJ and I have traveled a very similar path in life. In his book The Millionaire Fastlane, MJ tells the story of how he created his first business after working as a limo driver in Chicago, hating the cold winters and longing for something better while transporting wealthy visitors around town. He made the decision to save up what he could and move to Phoenix and also decided he would start his own limo booking website, enabling his customers to book limos in cities around the country. Fast forward to today MJ sold his company (twice, read the book to learn more) became a millionaire and often on the fastlane forum, MJ discusses how moving to Phoenix was one of those choices that has had the most profound impact on his life.
My first month after quitting my job I made $300 and while that sounds pretty depressing, I was excited. I knew that while $300 wouldn't do much for me in the big picture, however the business I had created had nearly unlimited upside and I could replicate my success over and over again while being my own boss, setting my own hours and running the business the way I saw fit.
A month later I pulled in $2200 and at that point I realized that I could make this business a full time job that could grow to support me and my family. Fast forward to a year later and I had grown the business to a gross profit of over $15,000 that July. I made the decision to start a new business, to work for myself and to not quit when times got difficult and go back to relying on someone else for employment, but rather to create my own employment.
Even better, I specifically designed the business with my future in mind and the freedom of lifestyle as the most important factor in how I setup my processes. I decided that I would no longer complete any task in my business that required my physical presence. That is, I had to be able to run this business from my laptop needing nothing more than a wifi connection, any other task needed to be outsourced and delegated to other people.
While this caused extra work, more hassle and added costs in the early stages, soon it had forced me to develop more efficient systems that now run my business seamlessly. On a recent 4 day trip to Mexico I spent a total of 5 minutes forwarding emails while the systems I have set up ran my business without me doing a thing.
I made another choice once my business had taken off and decided with my fiancee and our daughter to move our family from Seattle to Scottsdale. This choice has had a profoundly positive affect on our lives and the lower cost of living and higher quality of life has completely transformed our lives, my business and our relationship. In April of last year we got married and recently celebrated out 1 year anniversary, and marriage has been absolutely amazing.
Just two decisions that most people are not willing to make are what completely changed my life for the better. The horsepower of these decisions was massive. Making the decision to make these changes drove me down an entirely different path and while it wasn't always easy or comfortable, I had confidence that it was the right thing to do which allowed me to persevere through difficult times.
Take a minute to think about the choices you are making on a daily basis.
If there is something you are longing for or a lifestyle that you are dreaming of attaining, how are the choices you made today driving you towards that goal?
Would a change of location provide better weather, less traffic, more career prospects or give the mental clarity necessary to start your own business?
Would venturing into a new career, starting your own business or changing the way you run your current business send you down a different path?
I would venture to guess that for all of us, there are many small decisions that we can start making on a daily basis that will tip the needle in the right direction, driving us toward a better life and helping us to avoid the stagnate and mundane everyday routine that is in fact driving you to this blog. A blog where I discuss how you can positively change your life. I don't think you would have read this far if the urge to make a change wasn't already within you.
What I am hoping is for someone, this might just encourage you to start making choices that will ultimately drive your success and happiness. I say that not trying to be Tony Robbins, just as someone who had transformed my own life by making better choices, something I continue to try and practice today.
Take a paper and pen out and think right now about choices that can dramatically improve your life. Write down the steps you need to begin taking on a daily basis to move toward your goal and just start taking action.
Start moving in your new direction, it is amazing to me just a few years later how dramatically different and better my life is today. I can only wonder now how much I would dread going back to that depressing cubicle after fighting through an hour of traffic and getting drenched in rain on my walk into the office.
Instead I'm getting drenched in waves from the sea of cortez while soaking in the sun, hand in hand with my wife on the beach in Mexico, drink in hand, smile on face and worries left thousands of miles away.