Many continuously claim to have goals focused on transitioning from Corporate America to self employment, but yet very few ever grow the balls to actually do it. You have no idea how many times people tell me they are going to quit their job next year because they are working on their big idea part time, but it hasn’t gained enough traction for them to quit yet. While it is completely OK to have goals focused around leaving your current employer, the reality is very few actually do.
While many people believe this is attributed to lack of money or resources which does play a role, it is more so attributed to the fear of failure which haunts all of us since a young age but carries on with us as we grow older. Its a constant need for security, predictability, and comfort that fuels that fear and amplifies it to a state of paralysis.
Goals become dreams, and soon vanish into fantasies. How can you assure that you actually reach that goal of quitting your job?
Well let me share with you a bit about how I personally did that and all the opposition I faced trying to do so.
After spending 6 years in corporate banking in various VP and Senior VP level positions, I found my entire life turned upside down when I was forced to resign due to my flashiness with cars, watches, and simply not fitting in. I honestly had no idea what to do as my whole life was my job, and even though I had money (based on savings and investments), I felt I no longer had purpose plus I was faced with the insane challenge that the odds of finding a similar job were close to 0.0001% or near impossible.
I was 24, without a college degree, a strong six figure salary purely based on track record which I now no longer had, nor could I use my only relevant employer as a reference. While I started coming up with various ways to make it and various ways to continue moving forward, I also did what every other person in my position would most likely do, look for a job.
With my luck, only 6 positions in the entire US were available that I could potentially be a fit, but yet none seemed like they would love to hire me.
Months past and I continued applying until finally catching the attention of someone who was willing to take a chance. I did start a new job one position under my old one only to find myself faced with a dilemma a few months later once again of not fitting in.
This time things were different as people around me were not the ones saying I wasn’t fitting in, but instead the tables were turned and I was the one who felt I wasn’t fitting in. While my salary still was a comfortable 6 figures and I had now already started taking my own side businesses more seriously, there was something still missing and it simply could not go on.
Three important things came to my mind which prompted me to immediately walk into my boss’s office, burn all my bridges, and resign without a proper notice, indirectly and politely telling him to go fuck himself. You should reflect on them too every time you are faced with paralysis when thinning of quitting.
Aligned my Goals with Real Possibilities
In Corporate America, there are only two ways you can be successful. You either get fired or you retire old.
I’ve been fired and didn’t love it, and I certainly didn’t give a shit to grow old to work in an office under a board of advisors who doesn’t give two shits about people in order to make a buck. Since neither opportunities seemed like a real opportunity, I chose to take myself into a different direction on my own terms. All great change starts with a decision, and that decision was to no longer allow someone else to gauge the possibilities of my future.
Think about how much your company keeps you from being all you can, it constantly reminds you that despite your hard work that makes them massive revenue, you are worth a 3-5% raise annually if you’re lucky. Why would you allow someone else to decide what you are worth, especially someone whom you want to be nothing like?
My boss was broke, envied my car collection, and felt threatened that I had no fear of losing my job as money wasn’t a priority. Why would I care what that person thinks of my performance? The bigger question is why would I allow that person to have a say on my future?
Look around your work and ask yourself if you were your boss’ boss and were three positions above the one you hold now, would you have the life you always envisioned living?
I bet you the answer is NO.
We showcase a lot of luxury lifestyle elements here at Secret and most of you aspire to have a life filled with them. Look around you and ask yourself how many people in your organization live that same life you want?
Realized I was a Monkey to the System
No matter how amazing you are at what you do, you are held back by the confines of what others believe you are worth. While your boss pretends that you have power, leadership, control and are the one that makes the difference, they feed that same bullshit to everyone in order to make more revenue on auto pilot rather than having to micro manage.
I, myself, did the same thing when I had 200+ employees but I kept my promises, something that none of the other peers I had did, nor my boss believed in. You are only as good as your numbers and even then, you are only as good as your obedience to the direction they choose you should take.
I realized this very early on when my boss wanted to keep having a say in who should get promoted in my unit, even though I had yet to make a bad call. This stupid way to showcase authority was the exact behavior that reminded me that most people in Corporate America lack real authority and therefore leverage their title to make themselves feel important. Its not their fault, they too are monkeys to the system after all.
At the end of the day, you are either a monkey working for bananas who is told how many he can eat a day or you become a gorilla who says “fuck bananas”.
No risk, No reward
I realize that its difficult leaving a great job for uncertainty and if it was easy, many more people would take the plunge.
I describe in Third Circle Theory how you can manipulate your understanding of security and comfort to break your life’s plateaus and actually make real progress.
Lets talk about security for a second. When I was in banking and kept moving up, being political and devoted my life to it, I realized that I had earned a level of security and that at this point, everyone including others who could harm me, all were with me.
What I failed to realize then that hit me was that people only have your back as long as their very own security isn’t jeopardized. If the slightest chance exists that their security is in jeopardy, they tend to leave your side to ensure protection of themselves even if they know you are in the right. That same security we all crave and believe in when we find a job we are good at, is actually an illusion.
You come to work, you work your hardest, but company wants to save money and you lose your job.
You come to work, your work your hardest, but your boss doesn’t like your personality, and you lose your job.
No matter how you look at it, your job is only one person’s decision away from becoming someone else’s and there is nothing you can do. While you may find security in the paycheck, you are offered it as mere compensation with limitations to allow you to survive, and are often reminded by those who understand NOTHING about leadership that they can take it away.
If you think that shit is OK, you have lost your mind.
Every time you have doubts about leaving your job because of what lies on the other side, then remember these three things and perhaps you might work harder to break that barrier and actually believe in yourself to take the leap of faith. Just don’t expect it to be easy…as no great task is accomplished with ease.