Step 0: The Key To Quitting Your Job For Good

This is a guest post by A-ron who quit his job over 2 years ago because he decided that cubicle life was just not right for him.

I’d like to think that everyone on this planet has the ability to thrive running their own business. That everyone in existence, especially in the US, has the capability, resources, creativity, and energy to start and run their own business in a capacity that aligns with the lifestyle they wish to live.

To date, this isn’t the truth, it’s just a pipe dream. Everyone knows and feels that working for someone else sucks, but that’s where most people leave it, accepting their “fate” of being an employee for life.

That’s why we’re here, to change that, to break free from the doldrums of working a job we don’t really care for and untie ourselves from a system designed to keep us all safe and happy. We know that working a job for someone else sucks, but we’re not willing to just sit back and accept it. We want to build our own business, set our own hours, live in unlimited income, define and live our own lifestyle, and enjoy the fruits of our labor without filtration.

So what’s the hold up?

Make The Decision Right Now To Quit Your Job

The very first step, before you start worrying about what you’re going to do to make money or thinking about what kind of business you want to build, is what I like to call step 0: decide to quit your job. Nothing else has to happen at this point, not even the actual quitting of the job. Simply making it your intention to quit your job in the near future gets you asking the right questions. The questions that propel you towards a more desirable existence, however you’re going to define it.

If you’re still working a job, you probably wouldn’t be reading this blog if you loved it. And you probably aren’t reading this blog hoping to find “career” planning advice (i.e. trying to find another job). Why? Because another, better, higher paying job is not the answer, and you know it. You’ve already been down that road. You know that the emotional high from getting a “better” job is short lived, and soon you’ll return to the rut, the routine that keeps you stuck wanting more.

That’s why it’s important to decide, right now, this minute, no delay, to quit your job for good. In your mind already be gone. Pick a date. Calculate how much money you should save to cover living expenses. Start asking questions that matter. Start taking small actions. No more waiting for the solution to appear. The solution is in choosing to take a different path. An unknown path, no doubt, but one that could possibly lead to a more rewarding lifestyle.

Do it now.

Money Is Not The Answer

A lot of folks have the lottery mentality, which is believing that acquiring a large amount of money, without much effort, is the key to escaping the job world. This is certainly one path, but the odds are against you.

The fallacy here is that money is the solution, the magic bullet that’ll free you. While money is important, it’s not the answer. Money is only a means to an end, not the end. Those who amass and chase money are slaves just like those exchanging their life for a measly paycheck.

The key to eliminating the focus on money as the one obstacle keeping you in a job is to define your number. By your number, I mean how much would it take for you to quit your job right now? How much money do you think you need in the bank in order to feel comfortable quitting your job? This doesn’t mean how much you think you need to retire into a life of luxury, but how much you would need to sustain your current lifestyle for 6 months to a year, long enough to fire up that business or other venture you’ve been putting off. Until you exchange the vague “I don’t have enough money to quit”, with “I need $25,000 to feel comfortable quitting”, the lottery mentality will prevail and you’ll continue chasing an arbitrary moving target that impossible to hit.

Yeah, But…


If you got the “yeah, but…” attitude, then you should stay an employee. Keep reaching your hand out and depending on a master/king to provide your sustenance. Keep reading this blog and others looking for “the answer”, the one thing that will get you off your butt and into the game. Keep waiting for that stupendous idea to strike you over the head, the one that’s going to propel you to millions over night and change the world, the one that can’t fail because it’s so brilliant.

Good luck finding it.

I think that most people who have become successful on their own will tell you there is no magic formula, that everyone has to define their own path. It’s impossible to reduce your risk down to zero, which is where most people want it before they’re willing to take action. That’s why most settle for searching for a better job instead of building a profitable business. The former requires no risk whatsoever. The latter requires a little risk, but offers a much greater reward. Not just a monetary reward, but a life altering reward.

Excuses are just a means of avoiding fear and anxiety. Any new venture is going to be a least a little frightening, even starting a new job. But if you avoid the fear, you’re just going to end up exactly where you are right now. Face the fear, don’t run from it.

One of my favorite quotes is from Ralph Waldo Emerson: “When a resolute young fellow steps up to the great bully, the world, and takes him boldly by the beard , he is often surprised to find it comes off in his hand, and that it was only tied on to scare away the timid adventurers.”

It’s Going To Be Scary, But That’s OK

When I finally worked up the courage to quit my job about 6 months ago, I was trembling. The moment arrived to tell my boss and my hands were sweaty, my heart was racing, and I was stammering my speech a little. I didn’t think I was going to be able to go through with it.

I stumbled through it though, but for the next couple of days, that anxious feeling persisted. I didn’t have any other source of income. I didn’t have any prospect of income on the horizon either. I had a ton of ideas, but they were just ideas at the time. I was filled with fear and began wondering if I was making the right choice. I knew logically and emotionally that it was, I couldn’t take working in a cramped little cube any more, no matter how well I was getting paid. But the prospect of being out on my own scared the crap out of me.

After a few days of practically living in panic and almost retreating back to the safety of my job, a wonderful thing happened to me, and I hardly recognized it. My focus shifted from “holy crap, what am I going to do now?” (panicked, emotionally charged, anxious) to “OK, where am I headed now?” (somewhat calm, focused, intentional). The panic had subsided and I started focusing on bringing all those ideas I had to life.

Now, I feel a sense of freedom I’m not sure I’ve ever felt before. I see the world filled with opportunity, almost to the point of being overwhelming. When I was mentally stuck in a job, my view of the world was limited. I was living in a scarcity mindset, clinging to any scraps I could get my hands on. Now I see the world is full of abundance. I just needed to open my eyes and become receptive to it.

It’s Time For You To Do The Same

It does you no good to sit around hoping something will change and you’ll be able to take the plunge. Trust me, that moment is never going to come unless you decide to make it happen. No one is going to save you. You’re not going to win the lottery or stumble into an unexpected inheritance (OK, it is possible, but highly unlikely). The planets are not going to align in your favor. Risk is never going to be reduced down to zero. Nothing is going to change in your life until you make the decision to change first.

Once you make that decision, taking step 0 and taking small little actions, defining where you want to go, you’ll see that it’s not so bad. Once you remove trying to go from the bottom of the mountain instantly to the top, you’ll begin to see that you might not have to climb the mountain at all. Shortcuts exists if you’re looking for them, people are out there who want to help you, and opportunity is all over the place, just waiting for you to seize a piece of it.

You don’t have to settle for an unrewarding job. You have a choice. Exercise it.

If you are unable to take step 0 right now, which is simply deciding in your mind to quit your job and start your own business, then it’s never going to happen. Might as well pick out your casket and head stone, which will read something like “This guy/girl lived an ordinary, uneventful, less than fulfilling life stuck in a job he/she hated because he/she was too afraid to simply exercise choice. The End.”

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18 thoughts on “Step 0: The Key To Quitting Your Job For Good”

  1. This is an excellent ideas and suggestions! When will one be ready to become a successful online entrepreneur? I think the only answer is NOW!

  2. You wouldn’t believe how relevant this article is for me right now, my ‘yeah but…’ comes from other dependants but still working on it. Great article with some great advice, thanks.

  3. A-ron, I would have printed out and stick this somewhere visible, 5 months ago. SO true, there are so many things we need to consider before making the big decisions. We can’t change that, just the matter of how big is the will and faith to really go for it. It gave me 6 months to think about quitting and finalized the decision.

    Steven, I hope all things will go well for you, so one day you can achieve the dreams you want. All the best!

    @wchingya
    Social/Blogging Tracker

  4. Brilliant, A-Ron! I especially like “If you got the “yeah, but…” attitude, then you should stay an employee.” You hit it right on the nail. Too many people are just thinking and thinking and thinking but never make a damn decision because they’re so afraid of risks that they conjure up all sorts of excuses to justify their inaction. I hope this article helps to wake them up.

    Tweeted and posted to my FB! :)

    Cheers~

    Mark

  5. For me, quitting my existing job is risky, frankly speaking I don’t like my existing job much. I have to maintain my steady monthly income for my living. Perhaps you are right, we create open ended opportunities when we force ourselves to quit & take the risk.

  6. Excellent post! I agree not only does the reward come from a monetary standpoint, but more importantly like you say that fuffilment is so much greater, because just the feeling of doing what you love, and sharing this gift with others makes for a great combination. I believe too that it is just a mindset shift. Excellent.

    Baker

  7. @Phillip

    There’s nothing stopping your employer from firing you. The “I have to…” thinking is the same as the “yeah, buts…”. There’s nothing forcing anyone to continue showing up to a job they hate. You don’t have to quit your job on a whim, under an irrational mindset, but if you truly don’t like it, then what are you doing about it right now? I think that once you take the “risk” of quitting, that you’ll find out it’s not so risky. You can always go back. Have you made the decision, or you are just accepting your fate?

    @everyone

    Thanks for the great feedback.

    A-ron

  8. Leaving the security of employment is scary for so many reasons. Getting past the fear is definitely the hardest part. But if you focus your attention on opportunities rather than risks, the possibilities are endless.

  9. Regardless if you work for someone else, or for yourself, you will always have obstacles in your way. Working for someone else means you can be fired/laid off/downsized anytime without warning. Working for yourself can bring up benefit/health insurance challenges, especially when a chronic condition leaves you with very little options outside a group plan.

    There is no guaranteed safe way to go. You just have to decide whats best for your situation.

  10. Dana says:

    Loved every word!!!!
    Well Said!!!!!

    Cheers,
    Dana

  11. I totally agree. When Jocelyn and I decided to quit our jobs in September of 2013, we had no CLUE what the future would hold.

    But we were sick of building other peoples dreams and we wanted to build our own.

    We quit KNOWING it wasn’t the perfect time, we didn’t have the perfect income (we had a few HUGE five figure months, but were still striving for consistency) and we didn’t have all the answers.

    But we made the decision to quit, line in the sand, gauntlet on the ground.

    We both walked into our principals office and resigned. Talk about shock! haha

    We still don’t know what the future holds, but we know we are better off on our own!

  12. When you change the way you look at things : the things you look at change …… Great piece . More power to you !

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