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Should I Quit My Job?

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Author, Columnist, Social Media Marketing Consultant, One of the original web pioneers. Believer in living dreams.

Definitely … Maybe

Maybe you are an aspiring author, counting the days until you can leave the office job and pen your thoughts in a cottage, with a ‘writer at work’ sign on the door.

Maybe you live from weekend to weekend, eking out your sanity between blissful moments of constructing towers of cake and dreaming of the first wedding that one of your confections will grace.

Maybe you have a network marketing business that you run for a few hours a week, but you want to build a team and turn it into something bigger.

Whatever your dream, there comes a moment when the pull of that dream is stronger than the pull of the security of the known. You start to ask whether you should quit your job.

On the one hand are the doubters, telling you that you’re aiming too high and it will never work. On the other are the raving fans of whatever you plan to do. They may be people you know or they may be people who’ve succeeded in your chosen endeavour. They are bright and shiny. They urge you to burn the bridges, set fire to the boats, and live the dream. Should you?

Probably not.

I’m not trying to neg you out here, I’m just being rational. If you have no income, how will you survive? What about your other family members? If you have a dream, but no income, then now is not the time to leave the job.

Don’t give up, though.

The trick is to stay in the game long enough to win it. It takes a while to write a book, or publish one. It takes a while to start a business, or take one from part-time to full-time. While you’re doing so, wouldn’t it be fun to eat?

If You Plan to Burn the Boats, Make Sure You Can Afford a Plane Ticket

The great Jim Rohn spoke of the blessing of part-time work. Here was his formula:

  1. Work full-time on your job and part-time on your fortune.
  2. Work full-time on your fortune and part-time on your job.
  3. Work full-time on your fortune.

Make sense? Leave me a comment and share your thoughts. If you think this would help someone, click the share buttons and do what feels natural.

 

 


The marketing system that I use to earn my own advances as a writer.

About the Author

Rebecca WoodheadAuthor, Columnist, Social Media Marketing Consultant, One of the original web pioneers. Believer in living dreams.View all posts by Rebecca Woodhead →

45 Comments

  1. Matt
    Matt05-16-2012

    First you should see if your goal is realistic. Then you should make sure your plan is solid. I am not against people following their dreams.

    • Rebecca Woodhead
      Rebecca Woodhead05-16-2012

      Nobody should be against people following their dreams. That’s what life is all about! By the way… I burnt all the boats and bridges and airports, so I’m not against people doing that, I just think it is a VERY risky strategy for most people. I’m a pioneer by nature, and I don’t shy away from risk or change, but I do calculate the risk and take the necessary steps to ensure that my actions don’t jeopardise others. When people are triggered into parting with the money they put aside for rent, mortgage, or food in hopes of millionaire status by the end of the month … that’s just got ‘bad news’ written all over it. Step back, evaluate, make a reasoned business decision and, as you say, make a solid plan. Above all, live your dreams, but do it with your eyes OPEN.

      • Juli Becker
        Juli Becker06-23-2012

        Rebecca,

        It seems we have similar qualities – pioneer by nature, perpetual risk taker, etc. But I wholeheartedly agree with your sensible assessment that quitting your job and doing the work to build your business will not make you rich overnight.

        I have the dream, AND I still have my job because I do like to eat and pay my rent on a consistent basis. =)

        Looking forward to the day, when I can live in that cottage (in the woods, for me!) with the sign that says: “Writer at Work”. Seems so Ernest Hemingway-ish or Henry David Thoreau-ish…”

        “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” ~ Henry David Thoreau
        Juli Becker recently posted..Top 21 Reasons Why You Should BlogMy Profile

  2. Rasheed
    Rasheed05-16-2012

    Rebecca, when do I get my coaching session with you? ;)

    Honestly though, I totally agree with your message, though I wonder if your 1 2 3 (with the first two being duplicates) was intentional or not.

    I figure that since you’re a writer, it was intentional… everything is! :P

    Rasheed
    Rasheed recently posted..Why you Need to Develop an Elevator Pitch for Your BlogMy Profile

    • Rebecca Woodhead
      Rebecca Woodhead05-16-2012

      I’ll email you today, Rasheed. :) LOL! Just noticed the duplicates. Totally not. I made a typo late last night and must have over-corrected. I’ll switch it back.

  3. Julie Day
    Julie Day05-16-2012

    When I was working full-time I was doing the first but two years ago, I had no choice but to write full-time as I was made redundant. It was the best thing that happened to me, although I didn’t feel it at the time. Now I am writing nearly every day, doing what I want to do. And I have the chance to expand my writing projects.

    • Rebecca Woodhead
      Rebecca Woodhead05-16-2012

      Julie, a similar thing happened to me, and I’ve met many others who’ve had the same experience. It’s a blessing when the moment to switch from the first two to the last one is presented to you. It’s life changing when you see it as a blessing and take action. You’re an inspiration.

  4. Monna Ellithorpe
    Monna Ellithorpe05-16-2012

    Hi Rebecca,

    Great article. I’m at that do I/don’t I stage myself. I believe in myself and what I’m doing but still just a litttttttlllllle bit of apprehension of actually making the break.

    I am so happy things are going over the top for you. You deserve it.
    Monna Ellithorpe recently posted..A Break From Internet Marketing and Information OverloadMy Profile

  5. Christi Johnson
    Christi Johnson05-17-2012

    Rebecca…this is common sense for all of us…but I am sure that it stings to some who read it. If I had to go back and do it all over again, I would find a job and then build my business with the income that was coming in. I cannot help that I was made redundant from my last role in Cambridge, but still…once we returned to the US, I could have looked for work to support my growing business.

    Now, it’s a moot point because my business is doing fine, but I could have saved myself from a few headaches along the way. Great article. Thank you so much!!
    Christi Johnson recently posted..Different Personalities In Your Business, Part 1 – IntrovertsMy Profile

    • Rebecca Woodhead
      Rebecca Woodhead05-17-2012

      Same thing happened to me. It can sometimes be a blessing when the boats and bridges are burned for you, but it’s tougher! :)

    • Juli Becker
      Juli Becker06-23-2012

      Christi,

      That is what I am doing: funding my business with the resources I have from my job…but I long for the day, when I have the time freedom to do everything that needs to be done to really gain some serious ground in my business. Either way, I do believe it takes a certain iron will to keep going.

      So glad to hear that you are doing well in your business!
      Juli
      Juli Becker recently posted..Top 21 Reasons Why You Should BlogMy Profile

  6. Marilyn
    Marilyn05-17-2012

    Great information Rebecca! I do so enjoy eating and my writing is in the process stages, my network marketing at present has had to take to the back burner. So I think I had better keep my other income coming in.

    • Rebecca Woodhead
      Rebecca Woodhead05-17-2012

      LOL! Eating is fun, Marilyn. :) If your network marketing is on the back burner, you have a bit of extra time to write, too. Can’t wait to see what you create.

  7. Shelly Allen
    Shelly Allen05-17-2012

    Loved this post… especially when you said, “They urge you to burn the bridges, set fire to the boats, and live the dream.” Because I’m a fire starter don’t ya know (wink)

    In all seriousness though…

    Great advice for people who have the question “Should I quit my JOB?”

    And the trick is, like you said, STAYING POWER!

    For the record, I love Jim Rohn (but who doesn’t…lol)

    See you around…

    Your friend,
    Cheeky Butt!

    Everything you say here is true…
    Shelly Allen recently posted..Is There Such A Thing As A FAKE GURU?My Profile

    • Rebecca Woodhead
      Rebecca Woodhead05-17-2012

      It’s Cheeky Butt!! :D Yeah, as I said in the comments, I’m a bit of a one for burning bridges that don’t serve me too, but we’re dangerous like that. “Look Mum! No safety net!” For most people, I think Jim’s words are very wise.

  8. Jane
    Jane05-17-2012

    Yes Rebecca,

    Great post!

    Not all of us have the luxury to go full time and dive in the business, however that said, some of us loose the fire if we put the business on the back burner, so really ambitious people will evaluate their schedule and find activities that they can eliminate that don’t serve them…In my experience it’s all about prioritizing!!! Always focused on the things that didn’t produce results before, but just a little switch makes a big difference….
    Love you,
    Jane

    • Rebecca Woodhead
      Rebecca Woodhead05-17-2012

      Focusing on the things that make the money is always a good move, Jane. Little switch in approach, but BIG switch in income.

      Congratulations on all your recent accomplishments, by the way, lady. Way to step up a gear!

  9. Chante Epps
    Chante Epps05-17-2012

    Totally agree Rebecca, I had a friend of mine tell me she was so “gunho” about wanting to quit her job and go into network marketing full time. Something I knew that probably wasn’t a good idea for her (single mom, lives on by herself).

    It’s two years later and now she’s nowhere to be found, (quit on network markeing) imagine if she would’ve quit her job?

    I think people who actually keep their job while building a business are in a great position. They have more of a circle of influence (their colleagues at work), and it DEFINATELY provides motivation to want to see their dreams of becoming full time a reality.

    Thanks for sharing Rebecca!
    Chante Epps recently posted..One Crucial Element To Why Your Success Is Being Delayed… (Part 1)My Profile

  10. Rebecca Woodhead
    Rebecca Woodhead05-17-2012

    Such good points. Absolutely right on all fronts.

  11. Jamella Biegel
    Jamella Biegel05-18-2012

    Hi Rebecca,

    I have no intention of quitting my job until my current income is replaced. It will be great to be able to work my business and blog full time. I know this will happen one day. Until that time, I’ll keep my job and keep eating!
    Jamella Biegel recently posted..Easy Ways To Generate Blog TrafficMy Profile

  12. Rebecca Woodhead
    Rebecca Woodhead05-18-2012

    Smart woman! :)
    Rebecca Woodhead recently posted..The 5 Words That Will Inspire Your WritingMy Profile

  13. Edward
    Edward05-18-2012

    Hey Rebecca,

    Excellent points. I have always loved what Jim Rohn said about his job and fortune. Great advice for people who are just starting out as an entrepreneur and not quite sure how things will work out for them. I have found that most people think that being an entrepreneur is easy. But the truth is that it is a total shift in mind-set that most are not equipped or prepared to go through. I totally believe in living your dreams, but you may have doubts if you can’t afford to eat.

    Blessings,
    Edward!
    Edward recently posted..Is Your Life Worth Living?My Profile

    • Rebecca Woodhead
      Rebecca Woodhead05-27-2012

      This is so wise, Edward. You are right about the shift. I love the way that you encourage people to live their dreams. It’s a real gift to the community that you share this passion so freely, and it is a testament to your wisdom that you understand how hard it can be.

  14. Val Heisey
    Val Heisey05-20-2012

    Rebecca, Jim Rohn is a great inspiration. I have his 6 disc set called “Challenge to Succeed” and he clearly points out the logic of thinking you can do it, or you can’t do it. Personally, I would love to burn my bridges and airports and anything else to give up my small business, but it’s not as easy as saying “I quit”. I have a successful mobile dog grooming business with a full client schedule that is booked out through the rest of the year and beyond. It is complicated! But this post reminds me of what I need to focus on, and thank you for that.
    Val
    Val Heisey recently posted..A Home Based Business That Completely Defies The IRSMy Profile

    • Rebecca Woodhead
      Rebecca Woodhead05-27-2012

      What a wonderful comment. Thank you. It’s so important to follow the dreams that you have now, and feel strongly you will have in the future. Sometimes, we’re loyal to the dreams we had in the past and we forget that time and experiences change us and bring us new ideas, inspirations and dreams. It can be tough to leave one dream and move to the next. Sometimes, there doesn’t have to be a break. I think it can be possible to dream two dreams at once. Women are good at multi-tasking. :)

  15. Kevin
    Kevin05-21-2012

    I Love the point Chante makes above. Keeping your regular job and working up your fortune part time is huge! Terry Petrovick also share recently he wouldn’t recommend others take his route and quit their full time job to go full time into Network Marketing until the income was really there to do so. Retiring from our J-O-B – at least for me – is a driving force for me as I build now.
    Kevin recently posted..Recruiting Professionals Into Your MLMMy Profile

    • Rebecca Woodhead
      Rebecca Woodhead05-27-2012

      Absolutely, Chante’s spot on. That Terry is an impressive chap, too. Both wise and down to earth.

      It’s a great driving force to have, though. Let me know when you achieve it. :)

  16. John Moussan
    John Moussan05-22-2012

    I love what you quoted from Jim Rohn. makes sense!
    John Moussan recently posted..Curing The “I Don’t Feel Like It” Syndrome…My Profile

    • Rebecca Woodhead
      Rebecca Woodhead05-27-2012

      He was a sage dude.

  17. CEZAR
    CEZAR05-23-2012

    Hi Rebecca! Great post here : )

    “The trick is to stay in the game long enough to win it. It takes a while to write a book, or publish one. It takes a while to start a business, or take one from part-time to full-time. While you’re doing so, wouldn’t it be fun to eat?”

    I love this!! Yes, it’s always great to eat.. Mixing art and business is tough to do, but once you find balance and get traction, it’s so rewarding! Great blog you have here!

    Cezar

    • Rebecca Woodhead
      Rebecca Woodhead05-27-2012

      “it’s always great to eat…” Lol! Yes, mixing art and business is a real challenge – especially at the start. The Arts community in general can be quite sniffy about business. I find that it makes sense to put on blinkers, make decisions that make the best creative and business sense and just go for it. Learning to apologise rather than asking permission is a huge part of it.

      Thanks, by the way. I love this blog. The comments section always becomes so conversational. :)

  18. Alan Turner
    Alan Turner05-27-2012

    I think the quote from Jim Rohn sums it all quite nicely and is what he did. Work your business part time until it fulfills the income aspect and replaces the job. As soon as you are at that point, then you can go ahead and make the decision to quit your job.

    But I would agree NOT to quit your job until you had replacement income, it is a crap place to be, one I have been in and one I am not likely to repeat, I can tell you, being without an income.

    One other thing I would have to say is that you must set a goal for yourself when you want to have a replacement income by? If you don’t do this, you will never do it, it will always be tomorrow, and as the great man Tony Robbins says, “The road of tomorrow, leads to the town of No-where!”

    Alan
    Alan Turner recently posted..Who You Are and Why Anybody Should Care?My Profile

    • Rebecca Woodhead
      Rebecca Woodhead05-27-2012

      So well said. I must admit that much as I adore Jim Rohn, my marketing heart belongs to Tony Robbins. The man has some kind of superhero gene or something. I met him at one of his three day events once (did a firewalk and everything. It was amazing!) Anyway, he was indefatigable. He just never ran out of batteries. People in the audience had to keep leaving to rest or get snacks, but he was on stage CONSTANTLY for days. It was phenomenal. Showed no signs of tiring at all.

      I’m one of the only people he follows on Twitter, so I feel very blessed. I have to be careful though, because I’m not by nature a ‘fan’ of anyone, but in his case I come close to making an exception. As his son, Jairek, follows me on Twitter and FB, I need to reign in the hero worship because that’s GOT to get old! ‘Yeah, whatever. Dad’s a superstar. Get over it!!’ He’s very sweet. He’s never actually said that, but I suspect I’d think that in his position. Jairek rocks by the way, you should follow him if you don’t already.

      • Juli Becker
        Juli Becker06-23-2012

        Wow, Rebecca, that is impressive that you are one of the few people Tony Robbins follows on Twitter. Hm, if that isn’t social proof, I don’t know what is! I believe it would be in my best interest to start following you too. =) If it’s anything like your Google+ profile, I will LOVE it! You ROCK, my friend, Juli
        Juli Becker recently posted..Top 21 Reasons Why You Should BlogMy Profile

  19. Ursh
    Ursh05-29-2012

    Oh! Burn the boats, bridges and airports I say!

    I’ve always had that nature! It’s always been my opinion that ‘I am capable’ and if all else fails
    there is always the ‘check-out-chick’ gig…I can use a calculator and Ive a pretty high tolerance
    for most personalities when it comes to customers… lol

    My husband is completely the opposite and bless his heart he likes to eat too…but I wander how
    many seafood banquets we’re missing out on because of that!

    Time will tell, when the kids are big enough to play, and feed themselves and I have more than enough time to not be ‘employed’ rather, forging great deals that buy those seafood banquets! ;)
    Ursh recently posted..Are Going To Events Really Worth It?My Profile

  20. Terry Petrovick
    Terry Petrovick05-29-2012

    Quitting your job to follow your dream is a crazy thing to do.

    I know I did it.

    I would not recommend that people do it until they are super committed and have enough saving to last them 2 to 3 years without bringing in any money.

    For me, it was worth it, hard as hell sometimes but worth it.
    Terry Petrovick recently posted..Best MLM or Best MLM Mindset?My Profile

    • Juli Becker
      Juli Becker06-23-2012

      Terry,

      The 2-3 years seems like sound advice. I know that Robert Kiyosaki and Suze Orman recommend at least 6 months of savings set aside for anyone, no matter what the situation, but for those who are planning to build a network marketing business the 2-3 years seems more realistic.

      Great tip!
      Juli
      Juli Becker recently posted..Top 21 Reasons Why You Should BlogMy Profile

  21. Foong
    Foong06-20-2012

    It would be great if I could do just that: burn bridges, airports, everything and go for my dream. But then, reality check. I have a family to feed. My husband is barely scraping by as he’s a freelancer so we rely heavily on my stable income. Therefore, I am not allowed that luxury. However, I believe we do not really need to quit our day job to chase our dreams. I am a writer for some magazines and though I love to write, it’s not something I am wildly in love with because all I wanted to do was to be an author, the fictional kind. In between family commitments, job commitments and some of my freelance projects, I do make time to chase this particular dream. I believe one day I will achieve it. All we need is perseverance.
    Foong recently posted..Tasty Alternatives to Plain White RiceMy Profile

  22. Juli Becker
    Juli Becker06-23-2012

    Rebecca,

    All I can say is that you have inspired some great conversation here. I’ve enjoyed not only your post but commenting on the comments as well. You have certainly created a wonderful community here. It is wonderful.

    I look forward to returning again soon!
    Juli
    Juli Becker recently posted..How To Build A Profitable Internet Network Marketing BusinessMy Profile

  23. Jay Carter
    Jay Carter09-09-2012

    Makes complete sense.

    When you’ve got the skills to be successful then you can think about quitting, until then work towards that point.
    Jay Carter recently posted..My Bad? Experience Part 1 of 3. To Be Continued…My Profile

  24. Barbara
    Barbara08-05-2013

    Hi Rebecca, I really like this topic of yours. For me, this is a major decision. Quitting job should be planned well for if not, you will be sorry for yourself later. Thanks for posting this. I find it useful and helpful. Keep it up!
    Barbara recently posted..How To Incorporate or Form LLC : The First Two StepsMy Profile

  25. social media jobs
    social media jobs08-26-2013

    Awesome post. I really like this. Thanks for sharing this.

  26. Christopher James
    Christopher James11-30-2013

    I took the risk of quitting my job three years ago. Now I work from the comfort of my home, enjoying a work schedule I set for myself and earning as much as I want to. Life is good.
    Christopher James recently posted..The Tao of BadassMy Profile

  27. Vivek Jain
    Vivek Jain12-25-2013

    Hi Rebecca,
    This is very impressive post about the question to quit the job or not..!!
    I really love what you quoted from Jim Rohn. makes sense!
    Thanks for this appreciable sharing..:)
    Vivek Jain recently posted..Mind Blowing Top 10 Job Sites in IndiaMy Profile

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