Updated: Nov 25, 2018
When I graduated college, I thought I had my life figured out. Everyone suggested I have a 3, 5, and 10 year plan, so I wrote down my ideal career path and set off into the sunset. But life doesn't exactly work like that. And why would we want it to? We need a certain level of uncertainty to be engaged in life. We also need a level of stability. Finding the balance between those two is the beauty of life.
Why Did I Leave Such A Great Job?
To any outsider, the job looked great. I was getting paid an incredible salary with full benefits, I was working from home 100% of the time, and I was leading a product team. This in fact is the perfect job for someone out there. But it wasn't a job that was leading me down the path I was interested in going long term. I stayed for three years and that was the amount of time I needed to gain extremely valuable skills, understand what not to do when running a business, and pay off any student loans I had. After three years, I had a choice. I could continue working from my apartment, seeing no humans all day long while working with a team I had never met, or I could take a step in the direction my heart desired and take a risk. So I did.
There is a "means" goal and then there is an "end" goal. Your means goal is something like money; it's something that helps you get to your end goal. You end goal is something like total freedom to do and create what you want when you want.
So what did I do?
Well, it took me nine months to quit. I knew I wanted to be a coach and enter the entrepreneurial world, but I wanted to once again prove to myself that I could do it. I had done this already in college, but it's quite intimidating losing health insurance and a nice salary to just "try something." So I decided to work two jobs at once; I helped a friend scale his non-profit, while working my corporate job. We took his event from a small charity function in a hotel ballroom to hosting it in one of the largest and newest football stadiums in the country. The event was a great success. After nine months, I was finally ready to make the move. Nine months. Some people thought I was crazy for waiting for so long, but for me, it was exactly what I needed and exactly what my intuition was telling me to do.
Tony Robbins talks about the six core human needs being certainty, variety, significance, love and connection, growth and contribution. Sometimes you need a certain level of variety or uncertainty in your life to be happy, but you must also balance this with certainty. For me, I took an intermediary step before quitting my job and moving into the entrepreneurial world. I knew I needed to take a risk in order to live out an entrepreneurial passion, but I also needed to do it in a way that gave me security. If you are thinking of quitting your job, you don't have to quit cold turkey, and I wouldn't recommend it. Maybe what you need is an intermediary step like I took with my friend's non-profit. Whatever the case, listen to your intuition. Let it guide you. You don't need a 3 year plan or a 10 year plan. (The iPhone wasn't even around 10 years ago and I'm sure the thousands of Apple employees did not picture themselves developing apps back then.) Take one baby step forward, even if that is investing the time into discovering what your dream is.