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Quitting Your Job? Don’t Be Dumb.

Quitting Your Job? Don't Be Dumb.

On a forum for entrepreneurs, I recently saw a posting that read something like this:

“I am so sick of being broke! I quit my high paying job to pursue my dream, and I now I never have any money. My prescription just ran out, and I can’t afford to go get it refilled! Wondering if I made a huge mistake!?”

The posting got lots of encouraging comments about “Oh girl, you can manifest more money if you just set your mind to it!” and “It’ll be ok–keep following your dream and believing!”

Apparently I was the only one thinking, “Yes, you’ve made a huge mistake.”

To whomever on the internet is selling people the dream that if you do what you love and work really hard you will make lots of money, please stop.

Your passion is not a guarantee towards income. Your hard work is not a guarantee towards income. Here’s the deal: there’s no guarantee. (Am I the most popular career coach ever, or what?)

Even if you choose the safer route of employment, layoffs happen, contracts get broken, and industries shift. But when you choose entrepreneurship, by definition, you are choosing risk.

Entrepreneur: a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk.

And it is just fine to take on that risk. But know that risk is what you’re choosing. Plan accordingly. “Follow my dreams” is not a solid financial plan. I know; I’ve done it.

Yes, I have made some stupid money mistakes, mostly while I was pursuing my old dream career as an actor.

It’s easy to be blinded by passion. When you decide to go for it, go with open eyes. Horde a savings cushion. Hire a business coach. Consult a financial advisor. Do more than cross your fingers hope that it will work out so you can afford to refill your prescriptions.

And do it so that your dreams have better shot at actually coming true.

“Impractical” dreams LOVE practical plans.

So go ahead and quit your job. But be smart about it. Your dreams deserve it.

  1. susy@inkedlily.com

    November 13th, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    Oooh, this is such a good one and truly hit home. I left my job teaching at a nursery school to pursue my dream career of artist. Which is great, I was unhappy there and creativity is my heart and soul. BUT….I really didn’t have a plan at first and did fall under the spell of magical thinking. Which only ended up with me putting this insane, crippling pressure on myself, to completely financially support myself from my beautiful little seedling art business. Being stressed and continuously worried about buying groceries, paying rent, doesn’t lead to a lot of creative freedom. In hindsight, I see I should have just found a different job I liked WHILE i grew my art business and let it organically and purposefully grow. So here I am, come full circle, back to working a part-time gig that covers my expenses so that all my free time is actually free to paint and nurture my art biz. Your advice is very wise and true. Thank you!

  2. laura@yourcareerhomecoming.com

    November 13th, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    Susy, good point that it’s hard to flourish when you’re stressed. Sounds like you’ve got it worked out this go ’round. Congrats! Truly. You have what so many want so badly.

  3. niki@notoriouslycurious.com

    November 14th, 2014 at 2:39 am

    Thank you for speaking out about this. Sometimes I feel a little left out from all these FB groups because everyone’s quit their job and working on their business. I realised later on that I’m not like that. I do like having a job but it’s handling a job and making sure I utilise my free time wisely for my passions that’s most ideal for me. I haven’t figured out yet if I want to earn money from my passion (it’s a good thought though) but I wouldn’t want to cause myself unnecessary stress by cutting myself off of a steady income. Like Susy, I think it won’t make me productive if I’m constantly worried about money and how I’m going to get my next meal. But of course, if I am ready to jump I’d definitely take your advice about having a plan. Just up and quitting sometimes isn’t the wisest thing to do.

  4. laura@yourcareerhomecoming.com

    November 17th, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    Niki, have you read my post about taking a full-time job after starting my business? I think you’d like it. Working for yourself can be great, but like you say, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Here’s the post if you want to check it out: http://yourcareerhomecoming.com/why-i-took-a-full-time-job/

  5. theloudermouth@gmail.com

    November 16th, 2014 at 12:19 am

    For two and a half years I was working 60 hours a week at a corporate job while blogging on the side and still making time for the gym and a social life. As you can imagine, I was getting about 4 hours of sleep every night and major anxiety. It was stressful trying to “do it all” and I finally decided to choose my passion over pay. I did save a good amount of money before I left my job, but unexpected expenses (including an unplanned pregnancy) wiped it out.
    Anyway, I’m telling my life story to say — yes, I’m broke, but I was broke while I was working all those hours doing something I wasn’t passionate about, too. I was broke because I was spending my money on clothes and alcohol in an attempt to self-medicate. I don’t make as much money now, but I also don’t spend nearly as much. I’ve learned to prioritize and make sacrifices. There was no guarantee to get rich, and I knew that, but I was okay with it — and I still am.

    It doesn’t mean life is easy, but it is a lot more fun.

  6. laura@yourcareerhomecoming.com

    November 17th, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    Stephanie, it’s all about doing what works for you. Sounds like you’ve found that.

  7. Anonymous

    November 16th, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    […] Quitting your day job? Don’t be dumb >>> […]

  8. Anonymous

    November 17th, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    […] Quitting your job? Don’t be dumb. […]

  9. theresa@thetarotlady.com

    November 17th, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    This is a fabulous post, Laura. I started my business many years ago – with NO plan and no capital. Needless to say, that not-so-wise move meant I had to HUSTLE and work my tail end off for a long, long time. There was no “instant success” nor was there a “six figure income working only a few hours a week.” I had to bust my hump and make many sacrifices. My business is doing well now but it was NOT an easy path to get there. If you are going to take the leap into being an entrepreneur, tis best to have a solid plan – or to be scrappy as hell.
    I recommend the former because the way I did it was not the easy route. Just glad that somehow I’m still going strong years later. 🙂

  10. laura@yourcareerhomecoming.com

    November 17th, 2014 at 7:48 pm

    Thanks, Theresa! I’d say have a solid plan AND be scrappy as hell. This stuff ain’t for wussies! And congrats on your business. I hear only wonderful things through the grapevine.

  11. Marchowardbegins@gmail.com

    November 20th, 2014 at 10:47 am

    Laura-
    I quit my job with no plan other than to write about a series of personal experiments that I conduct on myself as I travel around the world. I’m now 4 months in and wish I found you a year ago because you tell people what they may not be ready to hear: a dream without a plan is a plan that’s only a dream.

    My plan is just now coming together (kinda) but there are many many more gung-ho folks like the last version of me ready to learn from your experience. Please keep sharing the love I know that I will. 🙂

    Marc

  12. laura@yourcareerhomecoming.com

    November 20th, 2014 at 12:24 am

    Marc, I have no doubt that you’ll figure it out put together a plan. You have guts, which is equally important. Guts + plan? Unstoppable.

  13. lovefromberlinblog@gmail.com

    December 14th, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    I really appreciate the honesty in this post an agree entirely. That is not to say that people should not go for it, but just as you said – do it with open eyes, understand the realities, and – most importantly – plan ahead so you don’t end up screwing yourself over in the end.
    rae of love from berlin

  14. comfyconfident@gmail.com

    December 14th, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    Great advice! Its important to follow your dreams, but you need to be practical and responsible and have a back up plan when things don’t go actually as you planned.

  15. thehollypocket@yahoo.com

    December 17th, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    Haha, loved your point of view. And so true – if it’s not making money, and your at the point of no cash… you need to change things up!

  16. Anonymous

    January 2nd, 2015 at 12:46 am

    […] Quitting Your Job? Don’t Be Dumb {Create as Folk} […]

  17. Anonymous

    May 26th, 2015 at 12:14 am

    […] a pervasive myth that if you “quit your day job”, the powers that be will come to your aid and allow you to manifest the money you need to […]

  18. Anonymous

    December 8th, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    […] I quit my job over a tie. Ok, I quit over what the tie represented and how it made me feel. If you have to “suit up” and feel like another person to do your job, it’s not the right job for you. Even as a survival job. A crushed soul is not worth tips + free pies. If your job makes you feel like someone you don’t want to be, you don’t need to man up; you need to get out. […]

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