May 19th seems like a distant memory. That’s the day that I truly ventured out on my own as a writer. It was also the day that I freed myself of all of my worry, stress, anxiety, and guilt. It is also the day that my daily uniform became a t-shirt, jeans, Converse sneakers, and a smile!
It takes a lot to walk away from a cushy job in corporate America, but walk away I did, and it turned out to be one of the best decisions in my life. I totally recommend it!
I had spent the better part of two years sitting on the proverbial fence. I was stuck somewhere in between what I thought I should be doing to advance my career, and what I really wanted to be doing as a writer. I wanted to write. I wanted to write all of the time. And when I wasn’t writing, I wanted to be playing drums. Surely there was a way to turn my dual passions into a career. My creative juices were flowing like a river. When I was drumming, I was writing in my head, and when I was writing, I was keeping time with my feet.
But, the same obstacles kept rearing their ugly heads whenever I thought about quitting my job to become a full-time writer. What about insurance? What about paid vacations? What about a regular paycheck for God’s sake?
I had started writing two weekly columns for the Houston Chronicle, and quickly found that I was in demand like never before. People were coming out of the woodwork to talk to me and pitch article ideas to me, and tell me their stories. They spoke candidly and trusted me. I was an insider in a very complicated, competitive industry and was being treated like Switzerland. They liked that I knew all of the right questions to ask and that I understood the nature of their businesses.
Many were surprised when I told them that I was only writing part-time. “You need to be doing this as your career,” my friends and family told me. “What are you afraid of?” they had asked me. “It’s your destiny,” they had said.
So, I remembered about a book that I had read several years ago. I had even written a book review about it for MOBILITY magazine last year. The book was “Feel the Fear And Do It Anyway,” by Susan Jeffers, Ph.D. The idea of feeling the fear and doing it anyway, is about going for it. And I was ready to go for it. So, go for it, I did!
Now, less than 5 months later, I am happy to report that my writing business has been steadily growing. But equally important to the growth of my business, are the changes in me. I am more relaxed and easy going and happy. Many of my annoying Type A personality traits have given way to some newly discovered Type B personality traits. And you know what? They aren’t so bad after all.
So, while this article is entitled: “Quit Your Job! I Recommend It,” I also am just a big proponent of doing what makes you happy. That might not mean quitting your job, but whatever it does mean, I encourage you to do the thing that makes you happy. That is not necessary synonymous with the thing that makes you the most money, but that’s okay too. Sometimes we all just need to take a leap of faith and trust in ourselves. The rest will follow…