Want To Quit Your Job? Here’s What You Need To Know
It’s been 1 year and 3 months since I quit my job.
This past 15 months have been a roller coaster ride. I’ve enjoyed life in ways I’ve never imagined. Getting an annual pass for a water theme park and going there frequently with my wife and son on weekday afternoons when there is the least crowd, is the best part.
On the flip side, there’s also the uphill struggle of entrepreneurship.
The stress and workload on an entrepreneur is heavy. Not just heavy, but VERY heavy! There are no annual leave or sick leave. I did deliveries while recovering from illness. I did sales while running a 38 degree fever. I sleep 3–6 hours almost every night. Sometimes less, rarely more.
In fact, just last Saturday, I slept at 4am and woke up at 7.30am to do a delivery on a freaking Saturday morning.
It’s all worth it.
What I enjoyed the most as an entrepreneur is the feeling of being in control.
Control over time, income, the type of work I do, and the people I work with. All these are important but what’s important for me might not be the same for you. I value family time the most. You?
If you are thinking about quitting your job, stop for a moment and ask yourself what is it for? Who are you doing it for? Or are you simply escaping from hard work?
To me, control over time is the most important. I quit because I want to be with my family. Control over time means I get to decide when I work and when I rest. It means taking control of the amount of time I spend working, and the flexibility to change my schedule to fit my lifestyle.
In my day job, I had very limited control over the income I make. Yes, the better I perform, the higher my chances of a bigger pay cheque and bonuses.
I was promoted rather quickly (twice in 3 years). But I noticed something. To be promoted further, you need to gain ‘experience’. When an ‘inexperienced’ high-performer is nominated for promotion, there are often questions and scrutiny over whether the person is worthy of a promotion. Often, they get turned down until they gain more ‘experience’.
The other thing is, ranking usually follows a Normal Distribution (bell curve). What it means is that your chances of getting better pay is graded not against how well you did but against others. Sounds fair?
The problem comes when you are in a large organisation where there are others who are in the same pay grade as you but is doing something entirely different and has a different boss. It’s like comparing how well a dog guards the door to how many coconuts a monkey can pluck from the tree. Doesn’t make sense to me…
I’ve always been a jack of all trade. I’m interested in many things and often learn pretty fast. So, I don’t want to spend my best years being directed to what kind of work I get to do. I would very much rather have the flexibility to learn and try as many things as possible.
Maybe I’m just not the kind of person to sit in the cubicle for decades.
When you are in a job, you can’t control the people and the environment of your workplace. Even if your current set of co-worker rocks, they might still leave. A change in management might alter the entire company culture too.
Since leaving my job, I’ve met people I would never have been able to meet. I connected at an intimate level with people I would never have connected with. I formed relationships that I would never have formed had I stayed employed.
I get to choose who I meet and work with. I get to choose who to spend my time with.
One more thing – Support
Not much is being said about this: Entrepreneurship is a lonely road.
I’m glad to have my wife on the journey. She kept me motivated when I feel like giving up, gave me wake up calls (as in slap-on-the-back-of-my-head-to-stop-my-self-destruction kind of calls) when I needed it, and kept faith in me all the time. Often, she’s the one that comes up with great ideas too.
The other thing that kept me sane and social is my Mastermind group. Kim Sia and Zell are the other pillars of my sanity and success. Through our own blend of uniqueness and similarity, we form a rather amazing circle of trust. We recently added another awesome member, Karen, to the mix too.
As an entrepreneur, sometimes we appear to be crazy oddballs who are always dreaming, always chasing that weird and wonderful dream. And when we meet a like-minded person, even for the first time, it feels like reconnecting with an old friend.
Sometimes people ask me why did I give up a good career, especially so soon after getting promoted.
My answer is simple – Freedom and Control. I want to spend time with my family, especially my child. I want to control my income, my work, my time, and the people I work with or meet.
There’s nothing wrong with being employed. We choose our own paths. If you want to quit your job, start with your WHY and work towards it. Don’t wait for that magic moment. Choose your battle and start fighting now.
I will be sharing more about my own entrepreneurship stories on this blog so if you want to follow along, enter your email below.