Quit Your Job — A 3-Step Guide to Making Life Changes

September 15, 2013 - 4 comments. Written by in Doing, Entrepreneurship.

Not excited about your job, quit

Not excited about your job, quit

“Whether you think you can, or think you can’t — you’re right.”
— Henry Ford

Exactly one year ago today, I did one of the scariest things I’ve ever done in my life. I called up my boss and said I’m resigning. Two years ago, I circled that day in the calendar. Now, I’m at the happiest point in my life as far as my career and I now truly love what I do.

A house, mortgage, kids, family, etc. — you will always have responsibility. It’s your responsibility to be in control of your life and if you’re not living towards what you want to do with you life, you’re not in control. The lights are never going to be all green, the stars are never going to line up for you, the timing is never going to be perfect.

The Challenge

Hold on now, before you go Julio on everyone, you need a plan. Based on what I’ve learned and what worked for me, this is the simplest way to take on big challenges in life. Even if you do love your job or what you doing, it might be good to re-evaluate your life based on a few questions. Just because you’re good at something, doesn’t mean you should do it for the rest of your life — challenge yourself and have fun.

Step 1: What do you like to do?

On a sheet of paper, list 3 things you like to do. What is it that makes you happy? Think about what you did when you were a kid or what do you like to do on the weekends (riding bikes, fishing, painting, cooking). A while back I wrote an article about finding your passion — this will help you.

Who are 3 people you can think of that have already done what it is you want to do? Reach out to them, ask them how they did it, the concerns they face and how they came over it.

Dominate the subject you want to be in. What are the top 3 books in that subject?

Recap: What are 3 things you like to do, 3 people who have done it, 3 books in that subject.

Step 2: Eliminate the fear

On that sheet of paper and draw a line straight down the middle. On the left side list 3 things that could go wrong if you decide to change your career. Then, on the right side, list 3 things that you would do if those three things happened — odds are you can go back. To simplify, make an [if shit goes wrong], then [I know what to do] scenarios.

In reality, odds are you’re not going to die, might starve, be hungry, or work extremely hard — but these are the things every entrepreneur faces when they go after what they want. This is what separates the wantrepreneur from every entrepreneur — risks and hard-work.

Step 3: Circle the day

For me, circling the day in the calendar is the easiest way to do something challenging. Find what you want to do, eliminate the fear, and circle the calendar exactly 1 year from today. Go do it…

… Great! Now that you have your day set, flip that sheet of paper over, at the top write today’s date and the date a year from now (the one you circled) at the bottom. Now you know where you are and where you want to be (the majority of people don’t even do this much). All you have to do is to fill in the blanks with as many baby steps as you can list — do the easiest one first. Tell someone (you trust) your idea. For a year, I was able to work and research on my idea (with a full-time job, wife, and two kids) by not sleeping. My new working hours were from 9pm – 3am — just grab a bottle of wine, turn on some electronica, and get to work. Your friends will love the ridiculous emails you’ll be sending at 3am.

This sheet of paper is your map to be in control of your life, carry this wherever you go and look at it every day. TIP: Mine got ruined in the washer-machine, so make sure you have a copy!

UPDATE: The time is now more than ever. How would you like $500,000 and the support team of Mark Cuban, Daymond John, Gary Vaynerchuk, Arianna Huffington, and Tim Ferriss to help you kickstart your business? From October 1, 2013 – May 31, 2014, Shopify.com and The Huffington Post are running the Build-A-Business competition. Click here for more details.

Tips and Resources

The New Way to Work: Charlie Hoehn (TED video)

This guy did everything like he was ‘suppose’ to do — he finished school, went to college, studied and graduated. Only to find out that just because you have a college degree, doesn’t mean you have a job. After failed attempts to get a mediocre job, he began to offer free work to several best-selling authors (Tim Ferriss, Seth Godin, Ramit Sethi) to get experience and exposure to some of the best minds. He also wrote a free ebook, The Recession Proof Graduate, which has been downloaded over 120,000 times and has helped thousands get in control of their life by finding work they love.

The DOer’s homepage (webpage)
Ok, I know that homepages are soo 1995, but I originally created this to help me focus on the top-three things that I need to do that day — in which, by design, it allows you to keep three things on it. It stores the information locally on your computer so it shows up the next day without saving it. Set this as your homepage so that you see it every time you open a new window — to keep you focused.

The Smart Passive Income Podcast by Pat Flynn (iTunes link)
Pat Flynn is one of the best internet marketers on the internet. If you product is online (it better be) then you need to listen to Pat’s tips and tricks on strategies, income resources, and marketing tips. He publishes his monthly income reports on his blog, last month he cleared over 6-figures — The proof is in the pudding.

Crush It by Gary Vaynerchuk (book)
You might have the best product/service/idea on the market, but if no one has heard of you, you have nothing. Crush It is a quick and easy read about being the brand of your product and making it personal. The marketing tips and ideas alone are worth gold.

Networking with Entrepreneurs
Is there any local events in your area? Search “[your city] entrepreneur events“, odds are there’s bound to be on, if not make one. In my journey, I’ve found information to be the most valuable resource, talking to other people who have done it and asking a ton of questions means the world. Try me, ask me a question in the comments.

What do you have to lose (maybe a few dollars, short-term)? Once in a lifetime opportunities aren’t duplicated.

It’s scary fun as hell — See you in a year.


  • J-C

    Thanks for this post Richard. I took this leap and I can tell you that it’s scary in the mornings and manageable during the day. One thing I know is that I can’t see myself going back to a 8-5 job. I now call it prison and it feels good to be free.

    Thanks for a great blog and podcast.
    J-C

    • http://www.richardhanleyjr.com/ Richard Hanley Jr.

      Congrats man!

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