At the end of May, I found freedom. It has been 28 years in the making.
I quit my corporate job!
To some of you this may sound frightening, maybe even crazy. I can feel the fear and uncertainty as you read this post.
- What about the financial hit and reduction in income?
- What about your unvested stock options?
- What about your health benefits?
- What about college for your kids?
- What is your wife thinking?
- Are you sure about this?
Yes, I have heard all of those questions, but mostly what I have heard is:
- Man, wish I could do that.
- Good for you.
- Wow, sounds exciting.
- I wish I could do something like that, but I just can’t right now.
- I am envious.
- Go for it!
- We all will live vicariously thru you now Tim.
Some of you may call this a midlife crisis!
For crying out loud,
who quits their job at age 50 to start a business that is about as far removed from corporate America as possible?
Well, that is the point.
I had been settling for a long time! I felt like a victim!
I was tired of settling for work that:
- Was un-rewarding and un-fulfilling.
- Lacked freedom and creativity.
- Left little time for my family and relationships that mattered most in my life.
- Left little time for the activities that I loved.
- Lacked meaning, purpose and was misaligned with my values.
I figured I was going to just grind it out for another 10 to 15 years. Then maybe I could pursue what I really wanted, if I wasn’t wiped out or dead from the previous 40 years of grinding.
I know people who work at jobs they tolerate or even hate, so they can spend the weekends doing what they really love. I have heard this statement over and over again. People settling for something less.
You only get one life. I am no longer settling.
I have known for a long time that I needed to make a change in my life and my career.
The seeds of adventure were planted a long time ago by my dad.
He used to take me fishing almost every summer evening when I was growing up. I could almost always count on a trip to Derby Pond or Moore’s Lake for two to three hours every evening. We took trips to the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone and the Smoky Mountains. Later, Dad sold everything he owned and moved our family 2500 miles from Dover, DE to Tucson, Arizona. He also owned and managed drive-in movie theatres, sold advertising, owned several catalogue stores and finished his career as an editor for a paper in Arizona. I always wondered what he was chasing. Or was this just his form of fishing for adventure and freedom?
I finally understood. I thank him for instilling in me the love of adventure and the outdoors. (See my post here on adventures with my dad)
It has taken me 3 years to get to a point where I could quit my job and start a business.
How did I do it? Here are some tips based on my journey:
1. Get to know yourself better.
- Do you know your strengths, your weaknesses?
- Do you know exactly what you love to do?
- Do you know what you really value?
- Do you know your broader purpose
If not, go find out what makes you tick, what you are good at and find a purpose larger than you.
2. There are options! Lots of them! But sometimes they are hard for you to see without some help. Get somebody to help you see the options available to you if you are looking to make a change.
3. The past is the past. Learn from it, but let it go. It does not define you and it certainly does not define what the future holds.
4. I had to work 28 years in corporate America to do what I am going to do now. Even though some of those years were tough and I was very un-satisfied, the experiences and learnings will be huge assets to take with me as I start my new adventure.
5. Fear! It is real and it keeps you stuck! Fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of what others will think. The one thing that helped me keep fear from paralyzing me was ACTION. Any steps, big or small, you take towards something new will create momentum and build your confidence.
6. If you really want something extra-ordinary in your life, be prepared to take some risks. No risk, no reward.(I know it sounds cliché, but it is true.) AND, be prepared to be very uncomfortable at times. In the coming weeks, I’ll share more about how I gave myself a new lease on life.
A few words about my business, Fishing for the Good Life. If you are ready to experience the outdoors, re-discover your dreams and create a roadmap for the life you want, let’s talk.
If you are looking to make a change and are struggling to find the right map to get where you need to go, I can help you get pointed in the right direction. And if you are just plain curious as to what I’ll be doing for the rest of my life, further explore my website here.
I am pumped about what is next, for those I will serve, my family, friends and myself.
Stop Settling. Start Living.