I don’t have a safety net. That’s why I’ll succeed. Let me explain why.
Before I quit, for three months straight, I sat at my desk wondering why I was still there.
Don’t get me wrong.
I loved my job, I loved my boss, I loved my colleagues. I was lucky enough to be one of those rare individuals with a great boss and a great job. But there was this urge inside of me to start my own thing.
I would look at the CEO and founder of our company and I would feel this insane jealousy bubble up inside of me.
I wanted to be an entrepreneur badly
I wanted that feeling of starting something new that was all mine, the feeling of growing it from conception and seeing it blossom under my tender loving care. I didn’t want to take care of other people’s blossoms anymore – I didn’t want to help other people grow their businesses any longer.
You see I was justifying staying to myself. I kept on telling myself that I would quit once I had more experience under my belt in the corporate world, or once I started making $100,000, or once I got a promotion.
It was all bullshit!
I would never quit if I went up the corporate ladder or made more money. The time to quit was right now when I was making little enough money that losing it wouldn’t hurt so bad! The golden handcuffs are called so for a reason.
I just had to quit. Without any more excuses or reasons.
But I was still afraid.
I didn’t know why.
I had quit to go travelling before, but this seemed different somehow. It seemed more dangerous. It was scarier!
Resistance Feeds On Fear
Then, one weekend, my friend showed me a passage from this book that changed my life.
If you haven’t read it, READ it. I mean, right now. Stop reading this post, and go grab a copy right now. Please do it, if not for your present self, then for your future self.
Anyways, the passage is below. This passage changed my life.
“Resistance feeds on fear. We experience Resistance as fear. But fear of what?
Fear of the consequences of following our heart. Fear of bankruptcy, fear of poverty, fear of insolvency. Fear of groveling when we try to make it on our own, and of groveling when we give up and come crawling back to where we started. Fear of being selfish, of being rotten wives or disloyal husbands; fear of failing to support our families, of sacrificing their dreams for ours.
Fear of betraying our race, our ’hood, our homies. Fear of failure. Fear of being ridiculous. Fear of throwing away the education, the training, the preparation that those we love have sacrificed so much for, that we ourselves have worked our butts off for. Fear of launching into the void, of hurtling too far out there; fear of passing some point of no return, beyond which we cannot recant, cannot reverse, cannot rescind, but must live with this cocked-up choice for the rest of our lives. Fear of madness. Fear of insanity. Fear of death.”
I read this on a Saturday. On the Monday, I told my boss I was quitting.
Why I needed to Quit
The book made it quite clear to me why I was so afraid of quitting.
We only fear those things that are really important for our evolution.
I didn’t fear quitting to go travel anymore because I had done that several times already and I was used to it. The risk didn’t matter to me. I had beat that fear.
The fear of quitting my job and starting my own venture was an untried fear. It hadn’t been beaten yet.
And if I hadn’t read that book, I might still be sitting there on my desk, wondering what I was doing there.
I quit then without any sort of safety net.
I still had debt. I still had a mortgage (two of them, in fact). I had no income coming in. I lived on my own so I paid for everything myself (my parents are kind enough to buy stuff from Costco for me from time to time).
So you see from every perspective it seemed like I was making a mistake.
But in this post, I want to show you why this was an absolute necessity! I had to do this.
I actually did it right. I quit when I should have.
No safety net forced me to do the following
I had to experiment fast and loose
If I had a safety net, I wouldn’t be forced to experiment fast and try a lot of different things quickly. When I first quit, I had no income coming in at all! I wasn’t desperate, but I knew that I needed to start doing things fast. I started doing a bunch of experiments, talking a bunch of different people, and just trying things on for size. All of this resulted in more learning for me in two months, than in the past 2 years. It also resulted in finding out exactly what I wanted to do with my online business. I wouldn’t have found this out so quickly if I had a job or a safety net.
I figured out what was important to me
Quitting my job removed all external distractions from my life. I had nothing keeping me from working. All day long, I could spend watching Seinfeld. Or, I could experiment, read, and learn. Luckily enough, I decided on the latter. I decided on the latter, because I knew if I didn’t get some cash coming in soon, I would have to start making some changes in my life. I would have to rent out my place in gorgeous downtown Toronto, and move back in with my parents in the burbs. That in itself forced to me to keep going. I love my apartment and I love the accessibility. I didn’t want to leave. I couldn’t leave. I would die before leaving.
I had to cultivate mental laser focus
When I was working a 9-5, all of my brain power is focused on doing a good job and focused on creating results for my company. All of my mental focus is on someone else’s business. When I quit, it was as if all of a sudden, my brain was freed up to think only about my business. It was a major booster for me. I had all of these ideas flowing into my mind like never before. I felt so excited and stimulated all the time. All of my focus was on my business and making it a success. I didn’t have a partner, or children to be distracted by luckily enough. So my business got the brunt of my creative energy.
I realized failure is not an option
In my books right now, my business is going to succeed. There are only two options, success, or success. One way or another, I’m going to make money in my business and it is going to be an absolute smashing success. There is no other option. If I had income coming in from a job, then I might not have been so gung-ho about this business succeeding. But right now, that is my unswerving goal – I’m going to make this business an infinitely successful venture or die trying.
I accepted the time for fun would come
I knew the time for fun and games would come. I knew that it was time right now to make this happen. I knew I had to work right now so I could chill later. The next 15-20 months could make my business and my life if I just focused on it, and did it well. I know this. I know this deep in my heart. No one needs to tell me this. A safety net wouldn’t change a thing in my heart. I wouldn’t feel any differently about this business. I gave up on time with friends, and family so I could make this work. I knew it was the only way to go.
I knew that this was my time
Everything on this planet and in my life had culminated so I could quit my job and start this business. I was in the perfect spot to start my business and make it a success. Everything in the universe is perfect. I know that as a certainty. I also know that this is my time. I am ready. I am ready for this business to be a success. I also know that this is just the beginning. I have big things coming in my life. I am ready for it all. This is my time.
Eschew Safety Nets for Success
Obviously, this no-safety-net thing will make most people uncomfortable. The thing you will realize is that discomfort is great for success – it pushed me hard and fast. Also, human beings can get used to anything. Eventually, this discomfort will be normal to you and you will need a higher fix to get anywhere.
What do you guys think of eschewing safety nets? Let me know in the comments below!