What Does It Take To Get You Off Your Butt?

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Having recently finished writing 2 multi-part guides on how to start a small business and how to create a profitable online store, I must say that it felt good to get all of that information out on paper.

Creating these guides was extremely satisfying for me on so many levels and allowed me to document the many things that I learned while starting our wedding linens business.


Photo by Decadent

But sometimes I wonder whether these guides will really make a difference. Sometimes I wonder how many of my readers will actually go on to start their own small business as a result.

Based on your emails, MyWifeQuitHerJob.com has readers from a broad spectrum of backgrounds and I’m just curious how many of you are truly serious about quitting the rat race?

Hell, I received a strange email the other day from a random reader who recently unsubscribed from the blog.

Thank you for writing this guide, but it really scared me away from wanting to start my own business. It seems way too complicated and a major hassle so thanks but no thanks.

Well geez…nobody ever said that starting a business was going to be easy. Would you rather be completely in the dark over what it takes? Or would you rather be prepared for what lies ahead? If reading a guide is going to scare you away, then guess what?

Starting a business is not for you. At this point, don’t even try because you don’t have what it takes!

This email made me really think about why I hesitated when I first considered starting my own business. I wasn’t really scared. I had the time.

I didn’t have the knowledge but I knew I could pick things up. What did it really take to motivate me to take the plunge?

Find Out What Motivates You

If you really want to start your own business and actually be successful at it, you need to discover what pushes your buttons. For my wife and I, it took a pregnancy to push us beyond our tipping point. Before that? I didn’t have any excuses.

None. I was just a lazy piece of crap.

But as soon as I saw that pregnancy stick test positive, I got the biggest kick in the ass I’d ever received. I wanted my wife and I to be able to spend as much time as possible with our child and the only way to do that was to take charge of our own income.

Everyone has different motivations. One of my fellow entrepreneur friends decided to take the plunge because he was tired of answering to other people.

His tipping point? After 4 straight jobs and not being able to get along with any of his bosses, he realized that he just wasn’t employee material.

The best way to find out what motivates you is to sit down and think about what really matters to you and imagine what your life would be like in your ideal world.

Are you unsatisfied? Do you really want to be working for someone else to make a living? Do you have any special skills that very few people have? Do you want freedom? Do you need security? How badly do you want it?

Stop Making Excuses

There is a good friend of mine who I see at work every single day and he’s the furthest thing from lazy. He has tremendous talent in the creative arts. He writes well and he has the technical know how to learn how to program in any computer language available.

Everyday when I see him, I tell him that he should start a online business on the side. The kicker here is that he’s way more talented that I am on so many levels that it’s a shame that he doesn’t start something on his own. But everyday, I hear the same old excuses.

I really want to start my own business, but when am I going to find the time? I have two kids! I just don’t have any free time at all.

To combat his excuses, I’ve repeatedly offered my help and even volunteered to setup a website for him from scratch to no avail.

The reality is that my friend is still searching for that special something to push him over the edge. He has the knowledge and know how to be successful but he’s still searching for that magic button.

No One Can Help You But You

I’ve seen it time and time again. Most people don’t follow through on their business ideas because they lack that killer instinct. Motivation can’t be learned through a book.

It can’t be obtained by reading this blog or any written material for that matter. Books are only useful for teaching the mechanics. Deep down, the only person who can help you succeed is yourself.

So stop wasting your time and money on books, get rich schemes and other useless materials and concentrate on figuring out what makes you tick.

Lock yourself in a room and decide what you really want out of your life. Do you really want to be doing what you are doing today? Is your current situation ideal?

The sooner you figure things out on your own, the sooner you can change your life for the better. Start now and break out of the trance!

Ready To Get Serious About Starting An Online Business?

If you are really considering starting your own online business, then you have to check out my free mini course on How To Create A Niche Online Store In 5 Easy Steps.

In this 6 day mini course, I reveal the steps that my wife and I took to earn 100 thousand dollars in the span of just a year. Best of all, it's absolutely free!

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30 thoughts on “What Does It Take To Get You Off Your Butt?”

  1. I think what first got me going was my general boredom in my job as an Administrative/Executive Assistant. It was boredom and not feeling stable. Having been laid off several times in the past eleven years told me I need to do something different.

    There there is disability, losing my job after going on disability, losing my insurance while on disability, moving out of state and losing my (expensive) COBRA coverage. Not knowing when I will be able to go back to work and so on are just further kicks in my arse!

    1. @Carla
      Sounds like your reasons are much like my friends’. One of his major reservations about quitting was health insurance. Luckily he doesn’t have a family just yet but when he does, he’ll likely have to pay some hefty premiums on his own. At some point, I hope some serious changes are made with regards to healthcare reform. It’s just way too expensive to get individual health insurance and you can’t even get coverage if you have a preexisting condition.

  2. Great advice! Even if you lost a reader, the opportunity to become an entrepreneur would never have worked for that person. OF COURSE starting a business isn’t easy, that’s why not everyone does it, and certainly only a small percent of those who try make it. You have to have the mindset to put the effort in, and yes, in a lot of cases, have a tipping point where you decide the risk is worth the reward.

    1. @MLDina
      I just wish that I had a magic answer or article that I could write to motivate some of my friends. It really is a shame when you see someone so talented but not utilizing his/her talents to their full potential.

  3. You never know, this post might actually be that kick in the ass to someone, somewhere. As for the lady in the email and many others like her, maybe that time didn’t come yet (if it ever does).

    I think a lot of it has to do with what I like to call “timing time”… or waiting for the perfect circumstances to get started. I found myself doing it all the time, even today. But then I think to myself, when is it going to be right? When I’m done with school (and 40K in student debt)? When I’m married (with kids, a mortgage, and who knows how supportive my spouse will be)? When I’m retired (and “too old” to learn again)? Might as well do it now.

    It’s when people realize it’s NEVER going to be perfect, that’s when they get that kick they had coming. Great post, Steve.

    1. @Valerie
      I hope so. But it does appear as though I may have burst a few bubbles along the way. I guess what I need to realize is that starting a business isn’t for everyone. It’s just that the rewards are so worth it and I want everyone to feel what I feel.

  4. I would have thought the proper would have been to say “if only you written this before I started my business”.

    Which is true, because I’m going through lots of painstaking time and effort to set everything. I’m not there yet as a profitable business but the foundations are still being set and hopefully things start improving once we open in October.

    Thankfully I know what Im trying to achieve, which meant I had to get off my ass coming home after a full time job, a growing blogging income, studying, church commitments and all the while trying to spend most of the spare time with my wife.

    It’s already been about 6 months since I started trying to open an online store but it’s just about done. Slow and steady is all it takes.

    1. @Vanya
      Sounds like you have your hands full. I think it’s just going to be a matter of time until your business hits that tipping point and things really start to take off. I completely agree with your sentiments, slow and steady is all it takes. It’s really surprising how much you can accomplish a little bit at a time as long as you are consistent.

  5. This post gave me a giggle because I had somebody more or less tell me that of course they could do what I do if they made the effort so it’s not really that big of a deal when I succeed.

    Hello honey, it’s the fact that I keep working when others can’t/won’t/don’t that makes me a big deal.

    1. @Tracy
      Geez, who would say something like that to you? Sounds like he/she has a big head. I hate people who delude themselves that way because your blog kicks ass!

      Yeah, I’ve come to realize that people just have to figure things out on their own…but that won’t stop me from still trying to convince them! BTW, I just checked out your blog and read a good portion of your posts. I like your style. Kind of like Seth Godin with an edge. I’ll be sure to stop on back.

  6. I think it’s important to realize that we’re raised to play it safe, and that having a job is the safest route of all (that’s what most of us are taught). You don’t have to think too much about anything other than what you’re working on. All those details you outlined in your guide are way too overwhelming for someone who isn’t already on the fence. It’s too much to think about, just like one of your readers commented, and outside most people’s comfort zone.

    I think you have to give up on trying to convince people that owning a small business is much safer and far more rewarding than working or owning a job. You can’t force people out of their conditioning, no matter how talented or smart you think they are. Just continue setting the example and showing everyone you can that there is no limit. A handful will follow through, because they’re at the tipping point, most will continue to settle.

  7. Hi Steve, I think everyone needs a good kick up the arse sometimes (there’s something liberating about saying ‘arse’ on a public forum :)). I know I need to give myself a good talking to sometimes to keep me motivated. Great post.

    1. @Steven
      Thanks buddy. Your blog kicks my butt all of the time too:)

      It takes a lot of guts to just quit your job without something on the side and I don’t think that I’d be able to do that at this point in my life. In general, I think it’s easier to start something on side while you are working and then quit but I’m sure you two know what you’re doing. Best of luck!

  8. This is a great point. You can lead us to water (giving us all the information we need to start our own business), but you can’t make us drink… until we are thirsty enough.

    I’ve had a ton of potentially great business ideas, I have an MBA (so I’m capable of figuring out whatever I need to in order to succeed), but I have yet to start my own business. Why? I haven’t had to.

    Until recently, my hubby always had the corporate gig with great salary and full benefits. Life was easy (for me, anyway… not so much for him). Now he’s quit that job, and we’re flying solo. All of a sudden, there’s a whole lot of motivation to start SOMETHING. I guess it’s true that necessity is the mother of invention.

    Starting a business, and getting it to succeed, is NOT easy. I think we absolutely have to be sufficiently motivated to do whatever it takes, ’cause it’s going to take a lot… at least at first.

  9. Trust me, I want to start a business. I dream about it all the time. But my problem, I get so hyped about “ideas” that quickly burn out; looking for that one ‘idea’ to fly me to stardom/success.

    Now, I realize I don’t need that one ‘idea’/product. I don’t want to recreate a product (which I long thought I did) because there are way more creative and talented people already creating that ‘product’.

    I just need to start something with the knowledge of something that surrounds my life. Now the issue, what am I knowledgeable enough to know that surrounds my life?
    (a little self analysis)
    Personal finance (which I am sucking at right now; lost my mojo)
    Eating a vegetarian & raw vegan diet (love yummy food)
    Raising kids (well I thought so until now; they are becoming teenagers)
    Cancer research

    Perhaps, it might be vital to start selling health food products?

    Well, I’d love some insight if you have some! I am so ready to chuck the job for a more independant lifestyle. :) Thanks.

    1. Hey Money Funk
      What you want to sell is a question that only you can answer, but seriously, I think you are doing just fine. I took a look at your blog and it’s very well done. Heck I wouldn’t be surprised if you could make a decent chunk of change from your blog alone if you haven’t already. If you have any specific questions once you feel like getting started with an online store, let me know.

  10. james says:

    perhaps “perfection is the enemy of good enough” for me. the desire to have something grandiose makes it hard to just get started.

  11. Steve- I completely agree. It’s tough when you know someone could be one of the best in the business, but part of the reason they’re not is the lack of motivation. Sometimes it works out for the best.

  12. james says:

    oh, and BTW, you’ve got tons of talent steve-o. plus you’ve got that innate drive.

  13. @james

    Man, I struggled with that for so long, and still do to some extent. I always feel like whatever I want to build has be completely mind blowing (i.e. perfect). I’ve just realized over the last couple of years that starting small, but thinking big is the only way to get to the point of grandiose. Mistakes are OK, so is failure. I’m at the point where I’d rather die trying than toil away in an unfulfilling, “safe” job.


    Thanks for the feedback. I love this site and it has helped motivate me. I’ve actually been kicking around some “guest post” ideas for you, but haven’t written up a proposal yet.

    You may not be able to sway your face to face friends, but I think you’ve swayed a bunch of your virtual friends, including me :)

    1. @A-ron
      Anytime you want to write a guest post, just let me know.

  14. Great Job!! Bottom-line-gutsy-thinking. I love it and relate to it. You are telling it like it is and I really admire that. Thank you! :)

  15. Thx 4 the feedback. I would be making good $, but I am very selective about what I choose 2 advertise.

    As for the MF site I am burning out. So I’m taking a break and looking for inspiration. I think sometimes a good break is vital.:)

  16. Excellent post! I liked the views posted on what all is essential to get up, focus, get motivated and then take action in life to succeed. Bringing these simple actions and sticking to them can make achieving our desired goals in life easily. Keep up the great work!

  17. Steve – I just love these posts! They just sing to me as I know deep down I want to be an entrepreneur. I’ve made a promise to look elsewhere by age 42 latest if I don’t absolutely love what I do.

    I’ve started Financial Samurai, and I just can’t get enough of this online business concept. For now, I will be writing for charity, but when I’m 42, perhaps my site will replace my income.



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