Why You’re Failing at Quitting Your Job

I get emails all the time from people who are trying to become location rebels, trying to find a career that’s more suitable for them, or just want to make changes in their life – but can’t.

Some have been trying for years, some literally only a matter hours, but almost all of them have very similar things in common which need to be pointed out.

Its worth noting that I’ve been there, and thats why I feel it’s so important that I write this post.  As I mentioned my unhappiness lasted for awhile. It took me a over a year to admit to myself that I really needed a change, and to put the plans in motion to get there.  It’s difficult, and there are times where you’re probably going to wonder if it’s really worth all the stress you’re placing on yourself

The answer is yes, it is.  If you’re unhappy you owe it to yourself to go out and find something that will make you happy.  We have one life to live – and if you’re not your best self, then not only are you going to be miserable, but you won’t find any greater calling to help others in the process.

So, if you’re failing at quitting your job, or otherwise failing to craft your dream life here are some of the most common reasons why. These may seem like I’m being a little harsh, but hey, sometimes the truth hurts.

First up:

You don’t know what you want

This is probably the most common reason that more people aren’t off gallivanting with unicorns and eating sno-cones all day. It’s because they don’t realize that all they want to do is trot around with mythical horned creatures.  It’s not until you can solidly say “Damn, that sounds awesome, that’s what I want to do with my life” that you’ll have the proper motivation to move forward with your goals.

The bottom line, if you don’t know what you want, how can you make forward progress towards it?  Exactly – you can’t.

This doesn’t need to be as daunting as it seems.  When I quit my job I knew I wanted to own my own business and travel – that’s it.  I had very little clarity other than that – and look what things have evolved in to. My life is consumed by a business doing work I love, and traveling the world to destinations most people only dream of.

So, how do you figure out what you want?  

There are all sorts of ways to do this, but I like to say, rather than asking the question “What’s your perfect day look like?” (I ask that question a lot), ask yourself this:

“What does your perfect year look like?”

You see your perfect day probably has nothing to do with work, it doesn’t need to, its your dream.  However, your perfect year has got to involve something productive. If it doesn’t then you should just plan on hitting the lottery and calling it good.

In your perfect year how would you spend the majority of your days? Where would you spend them? How much money would you need to do this? Who would you spend your time with? What problems would you want to help people solve?

Answer those questions and you’re going to have a much better sense of what you need to be working towards.

Seriously, until you figure out what you want, at least in a general sense, stop everything you’re doing because you’re probably wasting your time.

Reason number two you haven’t quit your job:

Your blog sucks

Do you have to have a blog in order to quit your job? Absolutely not, but if you’re reading this site, are interested in lifestyle entrepreneurship, and want to work for yourself, then it’s a damn good idea to go out and get one.

One of the most read posts ever on this site is How to Improve Your Life in One Easy Step.  Hint: I tell you to start a blog.

I would not be here talking to you were it not for Location 180, it’s completely changed everything about my life – for the better.

You can start a blog and experience similar results.  You can meet people who are interested in the same things as you, find opportunities you wouldn’t have otherwise, give yourself a platform for larger scale projects, and create a personal brand.

But, and this is a big but, if your blog sucks, it will do more harm than good.

All of the time I receive emails asking for advice and asking why they haven’t been more successful online.  You would be shocked at how bad some of these websites are – I continuously am.  Now, I’m not saying this to be an asshole or belittle anyone, but seriously, if you want to do what I or a number of other people are doing, build a better blog!

Here are some of the best ways you can do this:

Decide on a theme or hook as early as possible.  People have to be able to associate your site with something.  ”Oh, ____ is the guy who does ______”.  No really, people should be able to say that.

In my case “Oh, Sean is the guy who helps people build businesses that can be run from anywhere.”

Or at least that’s what I want people to say.

I know in the past I’ve said, start a blog even if you have nothing to write about – and I still think thats true.  Writing will help you figure that out what you want to talk about, but, you still have to figure it out.  Within a few months you need something unique to say about a particular subject – and that’s really important.

Make sure you keep your blog up to date, make it look presentable, write in a way that is conducive to the average web reader who likes to skim articles, oh, and provide good content.  Do these things and your blog won’t suck anymore.

You know what happens when your blog doesn’t suck?  People come back.  They want to give you money.  Bigger websites start talking about you.  All of those things help build credibility and a reputation which makes all other business ventures and goals MUCH easier in the future.

A blog can be your most valuable tool in lifestyle entrepreneurship – or it can be a death knell.  It’s up to you.

Oh, and please, if you’re serious about this, get a self hosted blog.  No more of that blogspot crap.

Reason numero tres you’re still in a job that you don’t like:

You’re surrounded by people who are also failing to create their dream life

Are you still best friends with the dude you knew in high school who’s flipping burgers at Micky D’s?  Thought so.  You are a product of your environment.  If you want to be a baller, jet-set entrepreneur, then start hanging out with other baller, jet-set entrepreneurs!

Now don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with traditional 9 to 5 jobs, or even flipping burgers for that matter, if you’re happy. However, If you, yes YOU, are unhappy with your life, surround yourself with people who you aspire towards and want to be like.  Not to mention it more than I already do, but that’s why programs like Location Rebel are so great.  You are immediately plugged into a group of people who all have the goal of working for themselves and living life on their own terms.

What are the odds you sit down at a bar and the guy next to you has that same goal? Probably not likely.

Along with that, are you going out and trying to find people who share the same goals as you? The word networking often gets a negative connotation, so I’m going to use drinking.  Are you going out and drinking with people you want to be like?  Beer, coffee, water, I don’t care what it is, but find people in your city and offer to buy them a drink. Those relationships will be priceless.

You aren’t thinking outside the box

Have you been working at this awhile, and simply trying to replicate stuff other people have done? Bingo! There’s your problem.

In order to be successful working for yourself, you have to have something thats unique about you, something that only you bring to the table.  Learn what that is, cultivate it, and promote it.

Don’t get me wrong you can learn a ton of very important tactics from people like me and numerous others.  However, in the end at least some of the components of your strategy have gotta be uniquely you.

Take everything you learn and put your own spin on it.  This allows you to provide value to others while not rehashing the same ideas.  I know you’re a relative expert on something consider starting there and then move forward.

Finally,

You’re asking the wrong questions

So often I find that deep down the people who aren’t being successful are the ones that look at life and business from the stand point of “what can the world do for me?”

EH! No, WRONG ANSWER.

Always, ALWAYS you should be asking “what can I do for the world?”  Your success is a direct correlation to the amount of value you provide to others.  Provide tons of value and big things will happen.  Try and exploit the system or make a quick buck? Good luck sustaining that in the long run.

Even worse than people asking the wrong questions however are the people asking no questions.

I used to be the dude who didn’t ask questions.  In fact, my whole life in school, jobs, whatever, I didn’t ask many questions.  I wasn’t an inquiring mind.  That’s all changed, as almost more importantly than anything else, it’s the quality of your questions that will help to determine your success.

Things Can Change in an Instant

This post was not meant to demoralize, demean, or offend anyone.  Rather my goal was that this post would inspire, motivate, and perhaps cause a couple of “aha!” moments.

As I mentioned in the beginning of the post, I’ve been there and I’ve fallen victim to all of the things listed here many times – occasionally I still do.  But if you’re serious about making major changes in your life, it’s time to start getting serious about how you’re approaching it.  You can’t half ass your way through it and wait for the perfect moment to make the leap or hit it big.  That moment won’t come and it will definitely take your full ass in order to make things happen!

However, things happen quickly these days.  All it takes is the right one person, one article, one job to change the trajectory of your life forever.

Are you going to go out there and do everything in your power to put yourself in the best situation possible for that to happen? Or are you going to continue being comfortable and skating by?

Doesn’t matter to me, but I hope you’ll choose, and pursue with full conviction whatever it is that will make you truly happy and allow to you do the most good in the world.

Image Credit: Tim Caynes

Financial Samurai January 19, 2012 at 9:23 am

I like how you suggest looking at your perfect YEAR, instead of day.

I’m surprised you don’t talk anything about income though. Isn’t that the main fear why people don’t quit? Not enough, or making too much?

Let’s say you make $250,000 a year at a day job you like, not love and get 5 + 1 weeks of vacation a year. Would you still quit?

What if that income was $500,000? Based on your current income, would you still quit? Or, would you just try and do both?

What if your online activities generates $100,000 a year… would you quit the $250, $500, or even $700K/yr job?

Income, or lack there of is important! Let me know your thoughts.

thx!
Sam

Sean January 19, 2012 at 9:33 am

Hey Sam,

Appreciate the thoughts as always. I didn’t mention income directly, because if you do the things mentioned the income will be there eventually. I’d love to think that if I was making 500k a year I’d be able to leave that to go work for myself for 100k a year – reality? I have no idea if I could do that.

The more you make, the more comfortable you get, the tougher it is to make the leap. That said I also think that making 75-100k in a year I’d be much happier than many people making much more than that because I have the time to enjoy it. If I only had 5 weeks of “vacation” then I’d pretty much be hitting that within the first two months of this year, which would be tough.

Have you ever thought about leaving your job to work for yourself?

-S

Financial Samurai January 19, 2012 at 9:44 am

I really think you need to add a section in the post regarding income b/c it has to do with survival, saving for a family, etc. It adds some objectivity, b/c without hard numbers, a lot of everything we say can be dangerous for the unassuming person.

This is why it’s so important for you to highlight your income posts and share your hours worked. I bet if you did this, you would get more sales and even more traffic.

The great thing about not making much money is that the opportunity cost is low. I think the max amount of vacation I would wan to take a year is 8 weeks before I want to get back to work. I remember so many months of summer vacation where if I wasn’t doing something, after the 2nd month I’d rather be back in school. Everyone is different.

I think about just kicking back and working online every so often. Then I always come back to the point of why not do both? Work at a job you enjoy and work at an online initiative you enjoy?

Barbara - The Dropout Diaries January 19, 2012 at 10:02 am

As someone who has made the leap and is now a location rebel, let me tell you it definitely is not all unicorns and wonder.
I’m loving our new home base, loving planning our next adventure and loving having more time to spend with our daughter. I am hating how my husband isn’t enjoying life here, how my part-time remote job isn’t working out and how I spend so much time talking to clients and so little time writing, which is my passion.
I don’t regret our lifestyle choices at all. But I think people need to keep in mind that quitting your job doesn’t flick a switch and give you the perfect life, just a different life. Some people, like my husband, really are happier at home, with a job. So after our grand cycling tour of Provence we are going “home” so he can do that. I will just be flitting about a bit, working as I go, while he works. I have my fingers crossed that he gets a really crappy job so that he wants to come traveling again. :-)

Jodi Henderson January 19, 2012 at 10:07 am

You make some interesting points here. I *think* I know what I want, but maybe I really don’t. Hmmm. Will have to ponder this. I also agree with what Sam said. Money is definitely a big part of my problem. When you get to a certain income level, you incur expenses relative to that income (like MY HOUSE *sigh*). I’m now trying to lower the expenses so it’s less of a concern.

Good stuff, Sean.

Joe February 2, 2012 at 7:03 am

Jodi, I used to think the same way as this, that my wife and I are tied down, geographically and financially, by our monster mortgage. It was a tough and suffocating feeling. That all changed when we changed our assumptions. Why did we have to have a huge mortgage? Why couldn’t we just sell our luxury condo and rent for a couple of years to lower our monthly expenses and have more options? That’s exactly what we did. We took a 16% loss on our condo (ouch!), but we are cutting our monthly housing nut in half and gaining so much geographic and financial flexibility, and we know we’ll never look back. Don’t make excuses and don’t accept the assumption that you can’t get out of your housing situation. If you want it bad enough, you will make it happen.

Jodi Henderson February 2, 2012 at 11:54 am

Thanks Joe. Changing the housing situation is definitely on my list of things to consider. It’s just a wee bit scary. But, yes, if I want it bad enough I’ll make it happen. Cheers!

Drew January 19, 2012 at 10:09 am

I just found your blog recently but really enjoy it. Our similarities are ironic considering I had never heard of you before I made the decision to quit my job, move to Thailand and start an internet marketing company. But when I made these decisions I knew exactly what I wanted. To earn enough online to be completely location independent.

What I did was I left my career with enough savings to last 6 months in Thailand. I have basically forced myself into a position of either succeed and stay in Thailand or fail miserably and be forced to return back to the US to find another 9-5. Has it worked? I don’t know yet. I haven’t been in Thailand long and only started contacting potential clients today. However, your blog is always inspiring to read and is a constant source of motivation.

Looks like I should take your advice and start my own blog now. Maybe someone could stumble across at least one thing that motivates them to stop thinking about their dreams and start taking action.

Cheers,
Drew

Alexander H. January 19, 2012 at 10:12 am

Sean,

I think this is a really important post.. thank you for writing it.

It reminds me of one of the quotes I put on Facebook two days ago “Everyone wanna be famous, but no one wanna do the work.”

I think there are so many “success stories” on the internet that people don’t really realize how few are far in-between they are — not to discourage anyone. It’s just the reality you know?

Most people say they want to quit their jobs and they don’t put in the effort, or cultivate the mental toughness, the persistence to execute and follow through.

And I agree 100% with your assessment, notably, people don’t know what they want. I wrote one monster of a post recently about it.

For some reason it’s unsexy to people. The idea that “you don’t know what you want therefore won’t be successful” doesn’t seem to catch on.

But the people living it know that… How do you convey that to someone?

Much needed post, thanks man.

Alex

Sarah January 19, 2012 at 10:13 am

Sean,
Thanks for giving me so many good things to think about. I do have a question. Why not blogspot.com? Which ones are better? Are others free like blogspot.com? Can you give me some pros/cons?
Sarah

Sean January 19, 2012 at 10:20 am

Sarah,

The problem with blogspot.com, wordpress.com etc. is that they are very restrictive and arent professional. When was the last time you saw a really major blog on blogspot? The only one I can think of is Strobist (photography blog).

It costs about $100/year to maintain a domain and hosting account, and often significantly less for your first year. If anyone is serious about using a blog in order to facilitate major changes, they should be willing to invest 50 bucks.

The Pros/Cons of free sites: there’s much less customizability, much more difficult to be found in search engines, you dont own any of the information (if they shut down, you lose everything), very little control over functionality etc. The pro: It’s free and easier to setup.

Not to sound mean about it, but I really think that if anyone is going to take blogging seriously it needs to be on a self hosted domain. The one exception I’ve seen is the DIY and craft niche which seems to love Typepad…

Brad January 19, 2012 at 2:53 pm

Would Squarespace fall into the “no” category?

Taylor Murphy January 19, 2012 at 10:21 am

The more I read sites like yours and others, I keep coming across the same point over and over and over. And it’s a good one:

Adding value.

This mission of adding value is one that has seemed very nebulous to me (and still kind of does in a sense) but I think it’s an extremely worthy one.

I can get to where I want by taking value from others all the time, but unless I add some value back, it’s not sustainable. And if I’m not adding that value back, then I won’t really be fulfilled. Thanks for the motivation boost!

Sean January 19, 2012 at 11:13 am

I feel like I’m being redundant at time saying it, but its SO true. It really all comes down to providing value to others – if thats the goal, success will come.

Glad I could help with a little bit of motivation!

NineToNever January 19, 2012 at 10:22 am

Hi Sean – great post! Full of information that hit way to close to home for me! And for the comment about money – yes, if I had a 250k job that gets 6 weeks vacation a year, I would still quit if I can make 100k to have the personal freedom of living on my own terms. You may have the best job in the world, but you are still making money for someone else, still trading hours for dollars, and still restricted to ONLY 6 weeks vacation (although that is great!). Making 100k and being able to life a lifestyle full of freedom is the choice I would make. Although it is easy to say now because I don’t make 250k a year.

Sean January 19, 2012 at 10:26 am

Thanks!

i agree with 100k>250k if I can work on my terms. I mean, I made around 60k this last year and I feel like I live a better life than the vast majority of people. It was plenty to live off of, allowed me to do everything I wanted, and while it may not have been full of extravagance, I was (and am) able to do pretty much whatever I want, whenever I want. And that’s very valuable in my mind.

Chad Wittrock January 19, 2012 at 10:49 am

Great post Sean, very insightful. Made me realize there are some things I really need to work on myself. I think many people forget just how important marketing is. If you have a business you can not or will not market – you have no business. Also many, if not most, entrepreneurs don’t get it right the first time. Don’t get discouraged – try another idea or change your method. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results (Albert Einstein).

Again, great post Sean!

Kristin Fontoura January 19, 2012 at 11:23 am

For a long time I thought I knew what I wanted for my life, career especially, I had it all figured out. But one day I realized that other people’s expectations for what they thought I could do or be had morphed into what I wanted to be … in reality, that wasn’t/isn’t me at all. In simple terms, I want to travel, work for myself, spend time with my family and make a difference in people’s lives. How? I have no idea!!! I’m still trying to figure that out. Money is important because we have to make a living, pay our bills and have money to do the things we love, but at the end of the day it’s not the money that makes us happy; its the people, memories, relationships …

I really appreciated the year perspective. I’m going to try that, and I will let you know what I come up with. I am half way through my MBA and I am hoping that by the end of that time I will have the guts to say ‘I quit’!!! : )

Katey January 19, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Great post! Other things I’ve noticed – since I quit my job and I talk to other people who want to do the same I hear a lot of “as soon as” talk – as soon as i have x dollars saved, as soon as blah blah. People want to wait for conditions to be perfect when in fact they will never be perfect, you just have to make a plan, pick a date/time frame, and do it. Also, I’m surprised fear isn’t explicitly mentioned. Even if you have the other stuff figured out, getting over the fear of the unknown, of failure, or what other people think stops was a big issue for me personally.

Leah January 19, 2012 at 12:08 pm

It comes down, 100% to money.

1. I’m getting married this year and know that my job is a sure thing. Entrepreneurship is not.
2. I’m saving money for an emergency fund.
3. I’m not making enough income in my online pursuits yet to quit my job (and I’m not planning on moving to Thailand to take advantage of cheap cost of living, see #1)
4. I have health insurance for the first time in six years.

THAT’s why I’m not quitting my job yet. I certainly don’t feel like I’m “skating by” when I’m running a business, working for a business, planning a wedding and managing my personal life!

Mark January 19, 2012 at 1:59 pm

100% agreed with Leah.

I have almost all of the same things going on. Thinking about money is by no means an excuse, it’s LIFE.

I was really into sites like this for a while when I started my work as an engineer, and thought they held all the answers. Who wants to go into an office for 9 hours a day? While I think sites like this are well meaning, posts like these where it insults those reading them leaves a bad taste in my mouth (doesn’t matter if you put a disclaimer at the end claiming that it’s not demeaning).

I have plans for the future to strike it out on my own. But posts like this reassure me that I don’t agree with most of these life-design bloggers and can go at my own pace. When you’ve made it your job to make people feel inadequate for not being able to quit at something they’ve invested their life in, I think it’s time to reassess whether you’re benefiting society or not. I think moving toward change in career is very important, but risking income, health insurance, etc. needs to be a calculated and assessed.

Should it be assessed to the point where you never take action? Of course not, but it is essential to maintaining the currently good parts of your life.

This post reminds me of a piece of junk mail I got yesterday. It said: “Life’s too short to clean your own house.” I’ll let you guess what service it was advertising.

Sean January 19, 2012 at 2:24 pm

Hey Mark,

I really appreciate your thoughts, and you bring up some good points. I feel like I should mention this post is directed at a very specific type of person, the person I used to be, and to many of the people I talk to on a regular basis. There is a large contingent of people who are trying to build a web business, and just aren’t going about it the right way.

I dont feel like any content I’ve put out into the world should make anyone feel inadequate. My point is, if you’re not happy, then you need to take action, and that’s what I help them do. If you’re happy, and enjoy where you’re at, then thats great, this advice and post isn’t directed at you.

I also never, ever tell anyone to risk their income or health in order to do this. In fact, if you read through past posts, you’ll notice that I tell people to do the exact opposite. It took me over a year before I left my job, and you should never do it without weighing the pros and cons – especially when it comes to health care, as I think thats a necessity regardless of where your at.

For some people the money or income part will take longer to get to, these are just my opinions about how you can get there faster if this is the type of work you are hoping to achieve.

Sorry you if felt offended or that you think I’m not benefitting society…but to that last point, I’ll need to respectfully disagree.

Financial Samurai January 19, 2012 at 4:21 pm

Sean,

Just highlight your real net income before taxes to give people a metric to objectively make their own decisions whether lifestyle design is for them.

Calculate your revenue and subtract all the costs it took to generate that revenue.

And btw, I’m pretty sure I had more fun than you in 2011! See how subjective these type of statements are? But truthfully, I think I did :)

Mark January 19, 2012 at 5:11 pm

Hey Sean,

It seems my post was a bit vicious, and for calling your ability to help society into question, I apologize. I realize that many in your field don’t have everyone’s best interest in mind, while it does seem that you do. I shouldn’t have judged by reading one post.

I do believe, however, that this type of thinking can be very dangerous if not approached from the right angle. Everyone has their own unique angle, and that doesn’t necessarily mean that quitting your job is a step in that direction. Maybe we’ll just have to agree to disagree on that one, but I think that’s what I was trying to get at.

PS: I tried replying to your reply, but there was no reply option.

Sean January 19, 2012 at 2:29 pm

Leah,

That’s fantastic, and congratulations on getting married! It all comes down to priorities. The things you just listed are your priorities in life at the moment, and that’s great! I’m by no means trying to belittle that, or anything your doing, as it sounds like things are going really well.

If the time ever comes where your priorities change and you want to sustain an online business, the things I wrote about are just some things to keep in mind as I’ve seen a lot of people make some of these common mistakes.

Good luck with the wedding, and the online pursuits moving forward!

Therese Schwenkler January 19, 2012 at 1:37 pm

Spot on with every single point, Sean.

That is all :-)

Antonio Neves January 19, 2012 at 2:02 pm

“This is probably the most common reason that more people aren’t off gallivanting with unicorns and eating sno-cones all day.” Love it.

Fantastic post Sean. You point out some critical elements to happiness, all rooted in positive psychology. Especially when it comes down to creating meaning in your life, measurable goals and who you spend your time with.

Like your, “what’s your perfect day/year look like?,” question poses, I always ask clients, “What’s your story? What’s the story you want to tell with your life and career?” When we choose wonder and genuine curiosity versus getting defensive or finding the reasons why something can’t happen or won’t work, a whole new world can present itself. From there it’s all about commitment.

Find Me A Job January 19, 2012 at 3:51 pm

I spent 25 years recruiting for big corporations and during that time I came to understand not many people (less than 5% officially) like their job, but, they stick at it and get stuck in a rut. Whilst times are not good on the economic front, opportunity (for good people) still abounds. So, I say, grab it with both hands and don;t be scared to go a fulfil your goals and enjoy your work, do what turns you on. The link is to a free resource about making the best of your career and how to get a job you really want. I hope it’s helpful. Cheers. Derek

Tristan January 19, 2012 at 5:02 pm

I think this post highlights some important realities and always good to see a healthy debate in the comments. For me personally, as a reader, all I care about is whether you can see “abc.blogspot.com” or “abc.wordpress.com” in the URL – I know there are other restrictions on the backend for non-self-hosted blogs, but to me that’s always a dead giveaway.

There’s plenty I can do better on my own blog, and this post was a good prompt for that.

For me, this also highlights some peoples’ attitude towards happiness: I have some friends who are utterly unhappy with their lives, but they’re not willing to change anything about it. Not even one bit. They just complain about the world not being good to them, expecting things to fall in their lap. If you wanna change, you gotta try something!

Sarah January 19, 2012 at 8:16 pm

Sean,
I think I hear what you’re saying loud and clear. If you’re not happy, make a positive move towards changing that. If you are happy, then great. Keep doing what you’re doing.
For me, at best I may have 16,425 days to live, if I live to be as old as my grandfather. That’s half my life I’ve got left. Personally I want to make the best of it. My oldest graduates college in May. We spent a year of her life in the Dominican Republic when she was 5 and 6 years old, which has had a great impact/influence on her life. Now I want to do something similar with my younger one in tow. We will embark on our own extended adventure beginning this summer about the time she turns 10.
It’s just beginning to take shape. I don’t know exactly what it will look like. But I know what it will NOT look like. I don’t want to be stuck indoors behind a desk in a cubicle on the phone and computer for the rest of my working days. I don’t care about a car, a permanent dwelling, or any of the material things that society tells us we should value. I care about family, friends, relationships, and experiences. I have let 90% of my possessions go over the past several years. This is what I’ve been working towards – LESS so that I can have MORE! So that my girls can have MORE of what really matters. We have lived without TV, air conditioning, clothes dryer, dish washer, microwave oven, etc for several years. None of it is necessary. And without these things in our lives, we’ve made room for MORE. I could expound on that but either you get it or your don’t, right?
My plan thus far is that we will live in another country, learn another language/s and culture/s. We will appreciate all that is good about wherever we are, learning all we can from our hosts. If there is an opportunity for me to give back in return, I will do so. I am so excited about the possibilities I can hardly concentrate on the stuff we’ve got to do in the next 120 or so days we’ve got until this thing gels and begins happening! So much preparation to do and so little time.
Thank you Sean for being there to encourage those of us out here who are dreaming big to really GO FOR IT! You’ve got some great ideas, some of which I hope to put into action soon. I’ll keep you posted. (Told you I’ve got a lot to say!)
Sarah

Chas January 20, 2012 at 12:23 am

I find the paragraphs on ‘thinking outside the box’ and ‘asking the wrong questions’ to be the most valuable in this post. I have tried many things and have fallen flat on my face more times than I care to count. I always get back up and try again, though- the only alternatives are to accept the mundane rut I may be in, or check-out completely. A handful of blogs I follow that are more, or less, in the same vein as yours have fallen idle- each one probably has their own unique reason as to why. Still, I did gain value from them, or I wouldn’t have followed them.
Blogging isn’t for everyone, and I realize you are just putting it out there as one vehicle to gain an independent lifestyle. I think one problem, is people read books like ‘ The Four Hour Work Week’ and think they were just handed a winning lottery ticket- it isn’t always that easy. Sometimes the GPS is faulty.

Diane January 20, 2012 at 11:11 am

Thanks for the thought provoking post Sean!

The definitions, perceptions and beliefs we all create in our hearts and minds are fascinating.

For instance, right now, I know in my heart I am already location independent. It’s not because I make a lot of money. I don’t. I still have a 9 to 5 job, which gets me bye, pays the bills, and offers me insurance.

I just want to do more for myself … and for others. That’s important to me. Finding a way to accomplish that feels very valuable to me. Morphing my writing skills into income to sustain me in my endeavors is my mission.

So … how does one define the word value?

It’s not all about dollars and cents. It’s nice when you have more of them, and can do more and accomplish more of your heart’s desires. It is, however, not technically necessary. For example, look at what Mother Teresa accomplished in her life; or, the great copywriter John Carlton, for that matter.

I think it’s very important to question yourself and your beliefs. It’s critical to figure out what you value and how to add value to your life and those around you.

Reading these posts is such an incredible opportunity. Hearing your stories is inspiring me to learn, change and grow into the person I need to be.

Furthermore, I do believe it’s most helpful to be part of a group of mindful folks who open their minds to the possibilities of freedom of movement … physically, financially, emotionally, and spiritually.

I am excited to learn what the value of belonging to this group will be.

So, I challenge you to head over to http://www.john-carlton.com, read “The Rest of Your Freakin’ Life, Re-Redux” and write yourself your “Year Ahead” letter. With the opportunities this group has to offer, you can bet that being part of this group is going to figure into my plans for this year.

Diane Anderson

TheWorldOrBust January 20, 2012 at 8:23 pm

Blogging is a great way to show the world you are in “expert” in whatever you write about. I got into the promotional marketing industry a couple years ago with no marketing background at all, but with in a year, I was contacting big marketing companies and job sites and after talking the talk, next thing I knew I was blogging for them, writing e-books and helping to inspire people to enter the industry, and to tell you the truth, I didn’t know shit about it at first. But just starting to blog forces you to research, reach out to others who know more than you and focus your emerging knowledge. Get blogging!

Michael White January 21, 2012 at 12:33 am

Lololol. Am I failing at quitting my job? I guess it is true that I am. I could not go back. Or, I could put in two or more weeks notice. I guess if I never give up in developing alternate income sources, then I may have a chance of quitting my job and keeping a standard of living that I minimally can be satisfied with… but hopefully having much more. (:

Zorika January 21, 2012 at 8:03 am

Excellent post Sean, thanks appreciate the valuable info.

Bob January 22, 2012 at 4:02 pm

Let’s get that income up Sean and legitimize everything!

Financial Samurai January 23, 2012 at 10:29 am

Weird, I think my friend used my computer Sean and posted Bob’s comment. Feel free to delete.

Hope all is well.

Greg Miliates February 2, 2012 at 12:59 pm

You’ll make a change when your dissatisfaction is greater than your fear.

I was at that point when I quit my day job in January 2007 and started my consulting business (on the side, while working another day job). Those transition periods are difficult, but are also great opportunities to do what you’ve been longing for.

I also like the idea of envisioning your ideal situation, and using that to motivate you to take action toward achieving your goals. Hating your job can actually be constructive in getting the ball rolling, but for long-term motivation, you need a more positive goal.

Keep in mind that a blog can be helpful, but there are tons of non-blog businesses you can create that will help you reach your goals.

Starting my own business is hands-down one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, and it’s changed my life, my family situation, and the way my kids see what’s possible in the world. And that’s a far sight better than having my kids just hear me complain about my crappy job.

Greg Miliates

Kyle February 14, 2012 at 2:41 pm

This was the perfect post for me.

After much procrastination over the past year, last Friday was my last day at work. I told myself that if I couldn’t accomplish my personal goals while working on the side that I would just leave. It’s too easy to make excuses and wait for the perfect time that will never come. I hope that I’m forcing myself into a corner. If I end up failing I could at least tell myself in 20 years that I tried. That is much better then the alternative!

Brad February 26, 2012 at 6:01 pm

So what does your perfect year look like?

Sean January 19, 2012 at 3:04 pm

To be honest I havent done much with squarespace, and know very little about it. Just checked it out however, and it seems like that may fall in a different category and might be ok. That said, I dont know enough to give a real accurate opinion.

Sean January 19, 2012 at 5:21 pm

Hey Mark,

Really appreciate that. I agree that this type of thinking absolutely needs to be approached from the right angle, and often isn’t. I try my best to stay on the right side of the line, but sometimes I can toe the edge, and if you aren’t familiar with myself, the site, and my mentality, could come across different than I intended.

I also actually completely agree that quitting your job is not the best, or even a good decision for everyone. That said I do believe for the right people in the right situation, entrepreneurship is a powerful thing, and that’s all I’m trying to get across here. I support everyone (almost), as long as they are doing what makes them happy. There’s no right or wrong way, I just try and help people look at things from a view thats slightly different than most of society.

Thanks again for leaving the second comment, and hope this helps to clear a few things up.

-Sean

Dan January 19, 2012 at 6:18 pm

I’ve used Squarespace for a few projects and I do not recommend it. If you are serious about making money publishing online, you need to spend the week it takes to learn Wordpress. Squarespace is easier only for the first few days and it doesn’t have the kind of functionality you’ll need. It’s also more expensive.

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