Four years ago, I left a cushy six figure job and the security of a regular paycheck for the unpredictable world of entrepreneurship.
When you’ve climbed the corporate ladder and paid your dues, it can be hard to walk away. Here are some of the biggest lessons I’ve learned so far:
I needed less money than I thought
I could’ve quit much sooner, but I put off quitting my corporate job because I mistakenly assumed that I had to make the same amount from my business as I did from my corporate salary. When you earn more money, you start to splurge on extras and your spending habits change. But is it really making your life better? I realized that I didn’t actually need a lot of what I was buying.
You realize the real reason you’re attached to your salary
I had to question why I was so attached to my six figure salary. Why did I work so hard to get to that number, and what was I hoping to use that money for anyway?
I soon realized that my real motivation for earning more money was so I could buy things like holidays, adventures, time and space to relax, travel. And that these were all things I could have without earning six figures. The figure I had in my head was arbitrary. I could afford to do all those things with much less.
Moving abroad could give you more freedom
Once I figured out my break-even point, I had another big lightbulb moment. I went on the internet and started seeing others like me, but they were living abroad. Then it hit me: perhaps I didn’t have to stay in Canada. Perhaps I could live abroad and have the life I wanted.
I discovered other unconventional ways of living
I started looking at alternative ways to live, and stumbled upon the world of digital nomads and people who travelled while working from their laptops. Mind blown. I soon realized I was able to quit faster than I’d previously thought.
The first business you create after leaving the corporate world might not be your last
My first business was a transition business, where I stayed in the same industry of international education and travel, and built an agency that sold programs to students, travelers, and teachers.
Having your own business won’t necessarily make you happy
I will always be grateful to my transition business. It made me enough income to allow me to quit, but within six months, I felt completely dissatisfied with my career yet again. How could I be miserable again if I’m out of the cubicle? I felt a big disconnection to a bigger meaning with my work and didn’t feel as fulfilled as I had hoped.
More Info: www.forbes.com