How to Leave Your Job, Free Up Your Time, and Embrace Location Independence

This post has potential to break out into a multi-post plethora of information that will (hopefully) lead you to ACTION. What you and I will need to make this happen is some interaction.

I’m not an expert on this subject matter by any stretch of the imagination! I’m walking in the footsteps of professionals and sitting on the shoulders of giants when it comes to what I’m going to write about today. I’ll be referencing a lot of them today and in the days to come, so be ready to make some new connections. ­čÖé
That said…it’s time to buckle up, sharpen your pencil, and get ready to make a big time change in your life. If you’ve ever dreamed of doing big things, 2011 is YOUR year to do it!

WHY?

“The man who knows how will always have a job. The man who knows why will always be his boss.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
As I shared this past weekend, you must have a reason why you’re doing what you’re doing. Many of you reading this post may be looking for a magic method to help you quit your job, become an entrepreneur, and ____________ (jet set, go shark diving, skydiving, cave diving, and any other wild kind of diving you can think of. Insert your favorite “dream” activity here).
I hate to break it to you, but there isn’t any magic method to doing this. There’s no formula or wand that will help you get moving on this. There’s only what’s already been laid on your own mind – your “why”.

Starting the engine with a little “ether”

If anyone has ever had an older lawnmower or snowblower (I live in Western NY, where it snows 10,000 feet every year), sometimes it can be just like an old dog trying to get it moving. You’ve got to give it a little “kick” to get it moving.
Engine starting fluid is made of an essential accelerant, known as “ether”. It’s a highly explosive substance, used to jump start the piston(s) inside an internal combustion engine (it’s also a ton of fun for young boys to toss into a bonfire and run away quickly. This is being said by someone who has experienced it first hand. Ahh the memories!).
After being sprayed in the carburetor, the ether quickly takes spark. The pistons begin moving fast enough for the natural momentum and mechanical cycle of the gas and air mix to take over, and the engine starts running on gasoline. But the engine CANNOT continue to run on ether alone. It needs to have a fuel mixture that helps to sustain it and keep it running.

Negative can get things moving, positive can keep them moving

Much like the above example with the engine, ether, and gasoline, your ideas need to have some fuel and spark to get them off the ground.

The “ether” in this case can be any type of negative influence: I hate my job. I hate my boss. I hate this commute. I hate the “office politics”. I’VE GOTTA GET OUTTA HERE!!!

But just like the above example, the engine of your idea CANNOT run on negative “ether” alone. It requires a positive “gasoline” to keep things moving. In my own personal example, it was the goal of being able to be home with my family to raise my girls and be with my wife. For you, it may be working for charity, getting more involved in the lives of your friends, family, or even those less fortunate than you. Coaching, teaching, helping, whatever. Things you would do in your free time that aren’t just “time killers”.

Speaking from experience, when you first leave your job, the immense wave of relief is incredible. It really is! Being able to wake up when you want, and do what you want is amazing!

However, I can relate to why most retirees end up going nuts after their first few weeks and months into retirement. All of a sudden, the vacation mindset wears off, and they’re left being bored doing the “relaxing” things they dreamt about for so many years. They’ve removed their distress, and now are left with a gaping void. A gaping void that can only be satisfied with eustress.

I should say that if you haven’t picked up a copy of the 4HWW by now, please click here and get it. It’s required reading for the rest of this to make sense.

Starting the fire

Just because negative emotion isn’t enough to sustain your goal (or dream), that doesn’t mean that we still can’t use it to our advantage. Look at this stack of books that I read over a year ago that helped lead me to my decision. At least 3 of them and their accompanying subtitles appeal to someone who hates what they’re currently doing:

Why would the authors choose a title like “Why WORK SUCKS (and how to fix it)”, “ESCAPE from Cubicle Nation“, and the first subtitle of the 4HWW, “Escape 9-5“? Easy – Because it appeals to an audience looking to get out! It’s not a bad thing.

Many people are dissatisfied (yeah right, that’s maybe the most sterile way of putting it) with their current job. The difference between THEM and YOU however, is that you’re prone to actually ACT upon this motivation. Anybody can complain. Ramit Sethi, author of I Will Teach You To Be Rich (shown above) says “people love to debate and talk about minutiae”. It’s easy to complain, and it’s easy to find people that will complain along with you.

However, if you’ve read this far, you’re not the simple complainer. You’re somebody who is actually looking, planning (and soon will be DOING) to make a difference in your life and the lives of those around you.

Keeping the fire going

I’m going to wrap up today’s post with just some simple questions, and based on your feedback, It’ll help to see where we head next.

What is the bigger-than-yourself idea or goal that you have that can sustain this wild idea of you embarking away from your comfort zone and keep the fire burning hot? If you KNEW you could not fail, what would you be doing?

And finally, maybe the one that breaks it down into the most simple and easiest to process: What does your dream day look like? (Josh Buisch asked me this recently, and actually answering this question with someone else listening had quite a profound effect on my motivation and vision. Give it a try!)

You don’t have to answer any of these questions publicly, but if you do, know that you’ll have a big group of people helping to keep you accountable.

Talk to y’all soon!

– JC

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