I was recently chatting with a few friends who currently work a 9 to 5 job and are not really doing what they love. They each have a degree in a specialized area and are currently working in that field, however, it seems that within the past couple of years they realized this wasn't for them. They realized they were passionate about something else, something totally different and they asked us when we thought was the right time for them to quit their job.
Gee... To be quite honest with you there are many answers to this question and hundreds of ways to look at it. There are so many things I could have done differently when the time came for me BUT at the same time I wouldn't change a thing!! Just to name a few, here are 5 signs that were slapping me in the face every time I went to work:
#1. Lack of Happiness!! I just wasn't happy doing what I was doing. I had made great friends and built some amazing relationships where I was working and I was working on some cool projects but overall I wasn't happy. I dreaded driving to work every single day. I was bored with the same routine. I always wanted to leave as fast as possible meaning that I was supposed to stay till at least 5pm and the time from 4:30pm to 5pm was the longest 30 minutes of my life every single day. Simply Put I Just was NOT Happy!!
#2. I had found something I was passionate about. When I discovered I loved photography and could potentially turn it into a business, I immediately knew this is what I was meant to do.
#3. 95% of my time at my JOB was spent thinking about what I really wanted to be doing. I felt like a zombie at times. Standing there at my job doing what I was supposed to be doing just because it was what I had to do but my mind was nowhere near. I couldn't wait till I left to get home and start working on my business.
#4. The top 3 Signs lasted about 3 full years. It was dreadful and exciting!!! 2009 was when I probably discovered the possibility of doing this as my career. Before then photography was only a hobby. Taking photos of landscapes, flowers, animals, etc. But around 2009 I started going to little events. I started photographing friends and family and I was hooked!! I thought about monetizing my work but I was unsure about how or where to start. Then in 2010 Andrea and I officially photographed our first paid wedding. We Loved every single moment of it and it was then that I realized this could actually become a thing.
I became OBSESSED!!
This is when my time at my Job changed. Now instead of arriving at work at 8am, I'd get there at 6 or 7am and spend an hour or 2 in my car working on my website, my photos and my business. Lunch time was at 12pm and at 11:55am I was ready to head out the door to go to a nearby cafe and continue working on my business. Then I'd get home around 6-6:30pm and I would work straight till about 2-3am. I remember there were nights I'd get 3 hours of sleep if that. But I didn't feel it. The excitement of building my website, the excitement of editing photos from the previous weekend's gig, the excitement of possibly making this a full-time career was like adrenaline!! I was spending More time working on my business than anything else!!!
#5. After all of these months of working on my business, we began booking more work here and there. It got to the point where I was now not only spending time building my branding but I had to deliver. I had deadlines for my clients and I had to meet them.
In my opinion, this is when I saw the ultimate sign. I had a choice...
A. I could stay working in my Job potentially putting my health and my business at risk because doing both was just too much.
B. I could quit my Job and fully immerse myself into my business giving it 110% of my time and effort and energy.
And so it happened. This is when I realized it was really time to Quit my Job!!
Of course, I could have done things differently. I made my calculations to see if I could actually live off of this but my finances were nowhere near perfect. Maybe I could have waited to be in a better financial situation but then again I may have never quit. I took the biggest pay cut of my life and we hit some pretty steep pot holes but the reason I don't regret my decisions is because I now see these failures more as lessons than anything else!!
Now before I conclude this article... This was MY story but it didn't end here. Once our business began growing more and more it was now time for Andrea to quit her job too. Although some of the reasons were the same such as she really enjoyed what we do and her time away was time away from our business. We really sat down and took calculated risks. After about 2 years of financially planning her time to quit, we knew that the end of 2015 was it. When the amount of time she was spending at work just didn't make sense because that time could be invested in our business and the return would be much greater, that is when we knew it was time for her to go!
We really wish this article answers some of those questions. When you come up to that split in the road and have to decide whether you're going left or right, follow your heart. Remember the time you spend today doing something you don't love is time lost. Do what you love and as long as you have faith and are willing to work harder than any other time in your life, I'm sure your decision will be well worth it!! Most Importantly... Stay Humble and Be Grateful Everyday!!
Thank you for reading and have a Happy Thanksgiving!!!