May 1, 2019
“I wish I could quit my job.”
Seven weeks ago I quit my job and ‘retired’. Reading this, you must assume I’m gray and wizened, a lifetime of labor behind me. I must be 65 or older, a senior citizen, collecting social security. I must have saved, scrimped, and invested heavily and wisely in my 401k.
I turned 37 one week after retiring.
Ok, so you must have hit the lottery right? Inheirited a fortune? Held the President for ransom? No, no, and…what? No, the truth is I’m not wealthy. I didn’t quit my job when I had a huge vault of cash or massive investments. I was able to quit my job after building a business and getting rid of my debt. I’m not wealthy, but I am rich — I own my time and I value that so much more than money.
Two years before quitting my job I was at an all-time personal (and financial) low. Three things converged on me in April 2017 that left me completely reeling, dumbfounded, and contemplating my life:
- My business had just suffered a huge failure. I had just come off a very stressful gig that lasted a month and, due to various circumstances, the client refused to pay. There was talk of suing and countersuing and things looked dark.
- I had gotten leveled by taxes. I miscalculated what I would owe and it cost me my savings. My bank account was emptied and I had a mountain of debt staring at me — over $33,000 in credit cards, student loans, and car payments. I had also just started a mortgage on a new house.
- If the above weren’t bad enough, a year’s worth of grief landed on me as the first anniversary of my mother’s passing came around. I was suddenly processing the loss of a parent while contemplating the meaning of life. I was reminded about the shortness of life and that no one gets out alive.
Needless to say, it was a rough spot. Thinking of mom’s passing suddenly brought my own mortality to the forefront. I had an empty bank account, crushing debt (some with ridiculous interest), a business teetering on the brink, all supported by a part-time retail job on the side. I had no retirement savings and no hope of getting out. It looked as if I was going to spend the rest of my existence working and never getting anywhere. I was Sisyphus, the character of Greek myth forced to roll the boulder up the hill over and over for eternity. I finally decided I had had enough. I was determined to get out of that mess. I was tired of debt. Tired of grinding away my life. Tired of not having much to show for my life. What was my tombstone going to read? “Good Customer Service?” It was at that moment that I began my Renaissance.
In two years I turned it all around. Those debts are gone. My business is healthier than ever and affords me free time — to spend it how I want to and to live life. My mindset has completely changed. This blog is going to be about those two years and beyond. It’s going to cover how I changed my life, how you can change yours, and together we’re going to grow even more.
Make no mistake, the system is against us. It sounds like The Matrix but the cold hard truth is our modern society is set up to work against the lifestyle we want. To fight back – to unplug – requires financial education and discipline. It requires being smart about your money and debt. But the best part? Anyone can do it! I was not born with a silver spoon. I have no rich relatives. I don’t even have a financial background. I went to film school and worked retail for almost 14 years! I was terrible at math for a long time!
So yes, anyone can do it. Even you.
So ask yourself while reading this: why do you want to quit your job? Are you miserable? Do you hate it? Do you hate the people you work with? Is it not enough in life? Do you feel like you’re wasting your life? There is so much more to life and I want to help you break free. I will share everything I know and have learned, and continue to learn, on this blog. Let’s get a dialogue going. If I can help at least one person break the chains and find freedom, it will have been worth it.
I want to give a quick shoutout to a friend here. When I quit my retail job weeks ago, I said goodbye to everyone. The responses were predictable: “I wish I could quit.” “You’re so lucky.” “Someday I can quit too.” The murmurs behind my back were probably much more condescending. There are always doubters, haters, and those that want to see someone successful fail. And then there’s Zach. Zach was my coworker, much younger than myself, with whom I had spent hours (probably days if added up) working closing shifts with. Zach was the only one to contact me after I left and express interest in getting out too, and asked me how he could start.
He inspired me to do this blog, and I dedicate it to him and all the Zachs of the world. You can quit your job. You can decide how your life can go. You can do this!