Quitting Corporate Is Scary
I have been through it all.
The despair, the heartache, the fear, the doubt, the anxiety, the joy, the ups and the downs, the plunge and the high… Every entrepreneur who decides to take the plunge goes through this drama in their heads.
The problem is we let the stories we are tell ourselves about ourselves and about the process control our decisions.
I wanted to become an entrepreneur a long time ago. When I was 22, which was ten years ago, I realized I didn’t want to do the 9-5 thing forever. I wanted to build something of my own.
But it took me ten years to get to the point where I decided to finally take the plunge. I had all the excuses you could think of!
I even went back to school in order to get another degree. I thought that degree would be useful to me in the business aspect of things (FYI… This is a major way we distract ourselves from actually taking the plunge. We think we are making progress, when in fact, we are just delaying the inevitable.).
I wanted to outline these blocks for you so you are aware of them. Knowledge is power. If you can preempt these blocks, maybe you will be able to beat them better and faster than I was able to.
There are already many people in the field – I’ll never catch up.
This was a big one for me. I want to help people be the best version of themselves, and that involves motivating them through my words, videos, and podcasts, to take risks, inculcate new habits, and do the hard things. There are many, many people on this planet doing the same thing. In fact, everyone is a coach in some or another.
Does that mean, that I should give up, go crawl into a corner, and cry? Yes, that is one avenue. That’s what most people will do. Check out the comment below.
I read this comment on a Youtube video about making money online… “This is a honest guy I can learn something from, but I’m too afraid to pull the trigger. So I’ll probably leave it at this and crawl back under my rock joining the other losers. I just wish I had the balls to copy this guy.”
Case in point.
Fear keeps us from taking the leap. I get it. I really do.
There are two ways of looking at this that have helped me.
- Ten years from now, where will I be, if I don’t start? And if I start? See, the thing is you are going to be in the same position ten years from now if you don’t do anything. You will still be stuck in a 9-5 job you hate, doing what you hate, and counting down the minutes to 5pm… Or you will be the owner of an online business that makes you so much money you don’t know what to do with it.
- How did everyone who is successful in their field start? Did they start off as experts? Did they start off as noobs who had no idea what they were doing and build from there? Gary Vee who is a well known social media star, says the same thing. He tells people when he first started talking about stuff, no one knew who he was or cared about his ideas. Now hundreds of thousands of people follow his every word. Everyone has to start off at the bottom. It doesn’t mean you will stay at the bottom.
I have learned something about LIFE, that I want to share with you.
Now this is a secret, so listen carefully.
Most people will never do what they need to do to be a success. They just won’t. No matter how much you prod them or coax them or motivate them or scare them, they just won’t budge.
I would say that number could be as high as 99% of the population.
So all you have to do is become part of that 1%.
Become part of that rare group of people who takes action and does things, rather than just talking about it.
I have no idea how to get started – there are so many technical skills and tools required. How will I learn them all?
This was another big one for me.
The sad thing is that
- I have an MBA so I have the basic skills for business,
- I worked in marketing for big businesses and small for 7 years,
- I am highly technically savvy (I can write basic HTML, and CSS, and I love playing with new software).
It was all a lie that I was telling myself. More so, nowadays, you can buy all the skills you aren’t savvy at from people in India for pennies on the dollar.
I now use Fiverr.com and Upwork.com to supplement all the skills that I have learned. Also, here’s another secret – Shhh… As soon as you NEED to learn a skill, all of a sudden, you are able to learn it without a huge hassle.
Necessity is the freaking mother of all inventions.
I needed to learn how to make sales funnels.. Boom, I learned it. It took a bit of time, but I asked a hundred questions of the support team (this one guy Brayden – I owe him a lot), and I did it.
I needed to build a website. I used a premium WordPress theme and I did the work myself. Again, I asked a billion questions of Google, and the support team. But I did it almost all on my own.
The internet is a wonderful place. You can hire people who can supplement your skill (I hire graphic designers, and WordPress experts on Fiverr and Upwork all the time). And seriously, GOOGLE shit. You can find the answers to anything and everything online now. You don’t need to be an expert on anything.
So there. That block is b.s. and you know it now.
I should have started ten years ago, now the market is saturated and I’ll never make money from it.
Ugh, time. Doesn’t it just bugger it all? So time has passed you by. You are old now. You are **shudder** in your 30s. That’s what I would tell myself a lot – you are too old to start a business. You should have started years ago.
I know this is what people tell me all the time. But Boom, I’m in my 40s, or 20s, or 80s. It’s too late for me.
Yeah, that’s very true.
Time has passed by. And guess what, time will keep on passing by.
Either you start now or you never start.
But the market being saturated is major CACA. There are billions of people on this planet.
40% of the world’s population has an internet connection now.
That is a humongous market to serve. And there are new people hopping on the internet all the time – new customers to you and I.
Forget about terms like saturation and start building products people will love. You care about the people you are selling to. Yes, the money is great. But entrepreneurs are truly caring people – they want the very best for everyone they serve. That’s what makes us unique snowflakes.
We want to do the very best for our customers.
So do that. And forget about everything else.
When I first started selling my products online, people made fun of me. Who wants to learn about meditation? Who’s going to pay to learn from you? Blah, blah, blah.
It hurt. I cried into my pillow a lot.
But I still kept on going. I knew that my product and my dedication to my clients will make a difference in their lives. That was all that mattered to me. I didn’t care about everything else (I did, but I ignored it – a great skill for a new entrepreneur btw).
Learn to tune out the noise, and focus on the work.
I’ll say it again, FOCUS on the work. Everything else is just white noise.
What do I know about business? Everyone else seems to know more about this stuff than me.
Most of us attribute more smarts, and talents to EVERYONE around us, except for ourselves.
Everyone seems to be smarter than us, better than us in business, prettier than us, faster than us, more talented than us, better at relationships than us, better with money than us….
This is obviously a false perception of the world. It’s also known as the ‘Imposter Syndrome’ – where we perceive ourselves to have no clue what we are doing, and we think we are going to be exposed as a fraud at any moment.
When I first started, I felt like an idiot every single day. I wanted to quit every single day. I felt like an absolute noob in everything I did (I just love and hate the word noob).
But I asked a billion questions. I searched for answers on Google. I read voraciously on everything I wanted to learn. I spent the time necessary to become an expert. And now I am.
Stop putting yourself down.
Everything you need to be good at business can be learned, or you already know (especially if you have lived in this social media, tech-heavy world for a majority of your life).
- Social media
- Sales Funnels
These are what you will need in today’s world of online or offline business. You are probably great at most of these, and like I said, you can supplement your talents with cheap freelancers from India or Philippines.
What if I fail and everyone points and laughs at me?
Yes, this is a major fear of all of us newbies. We don’t want to be made fun of. We want to be safe and comfortable. We don’t want to take risks. We want overnight successes. We don’t want to lose face with our friends and family.
I was so afraid to take the plunge, I procrastinated for ten whole years.
- I went back to school for a Masters,
- I quit my job and travelled for 2 years,
- I fell in love and created drama with him for years,
- I distracted myself with sex, drugs, and rock and roll…
- I did everything I could to keep from quitting and starting my own business.
At the end of it, why did I finally do it? Because I was miserable and restless. Nothing felt good anymore. Nothing tasted right. I wanted more from life. There were just no more excuses left for me to use.
I gave up a lot of friends and relationships in this process. I knew a lot of these individuals were going to hold me back. Their negativity was going to pull me back. They were going to come in my way, try to distract me from my goals, or try to entice me with instant gratification tools, like sex, drugs, and other distractions.
So I removed all sources of negativity and distraction from my life. As much as possible.
The people I kept around were absolutely and totally with me in everything I did. They were my rock – they were my support system. They kept me going when I wanted to quit. They kept me up when I wanted to die from shame or fear or doubt or anxiety or frustration.
I was afraid to fail for the longest time. And then I realized I’d rather fail doing something I absolutely love to do, than be miserable in a comfortable, mediocre existence.
Five Pieces of Advice I Wish I Had When I Quit
I don’t know where you are in the quitting process. Maybe you are just starting to think about it. Maybe you’ve been thinking about it for a while. Maybe you are this close to quitting and starting your own thing.
It all doesn’t matter. All of you are going to go through these blocks and more.
I have provided solutions that have worked for me, but I want to offer the final five arsenals in your chest that will put you over the top:
Low Information Diet
Take out all sources of news, and other information from your diet. Just ignore all of that stuff. It is useless to you. Unsubscribe from all newsletters. Stop listening to so many podcasts. Try to spend more time doing and working, rather than consuming. It’s going to confuse you – everyone has a different opinion and a lot of it will differ from each other. Who are you going to listen to? Just listen to your gut and do what you need to do.
Do a little bit everyday
Great things happen little by little. Stick at it, and do a bit everyday to the progress of your goals. We all try to do too much too fast. We want to start our businesses today and make a million dollars tomorrow. Be the tortoise – slow and steady wins the race.
Love what you do
If you quit your 9-5 to move to a field that you don’t like, that’s a big miss. You need to love what you are doing. Work is a majority of our life. Why are we spending hating every minute of it? Find what you love to do and do it!
Get a great support system
Entrepreneurs are an insecure bunch – we are! We need a lot of support especially through the early phases. Figure out who’s on your side, and use them through this battle. Life is also too short to hang around with people who don’t care about you or support you.
Spend time in silence and meditation
This is a big one. Spend more time in contemplation, planning, and silence, than you do working. You are going to get your best ideas in silence or in meditation. That has been the case for me. I have gotten my best ideas in the middle of a deep meditative silence during my early morning sessions. Try it – you will be surprised by it.
Time is short. And it is ticking away.
Take advantage of the time you do have and do what you need to do.
I know this post is rather long, but I wanted to share these learnings with you.
My final advice to you: Only take advice from people who are actually in the battlefield getting scarred and run over. There are many hundreds of people who will give you advice or try to give you advice who have never taken a single risk in their life. Ignore them, for god’s sake. They have no idea what the hell they are talking about. They are not doers.