A while ago I published an article I had been wanting to write for a long time. I opened up about something that is really close to my heart. After getting into £20,000 debt in my twenties, I talked about how I quit my job, dealt with my money issues and now travel full time.
Now I want to tell you to quit your job.
Part of my story began when I left/ quit my first ‘proper’ job after University and became self-employed, when I had no money or idea what I was going to do.
I was definitely unhappy and stressed. I knew I needed to focus on getting out of debt, but a huge part of how I did that was working independently. I’m not saying every job I did in my twenties was fun or even well paid – but I did feel valued. I knew overall that my work was allowing me to become debt free and take control of my life.
Becoming your own boss doesn’t mean you have to run your own business.
It means creating opportunities in your work that help you create a life you love.
Maybe you hate how tired your job makes you feel, or how stressed you have become?
Or you hate that you sit and eat your lunch at your desk everyday, or that your boss emails you when you are at home trying to relax?
Whether you quit your job, or just take control and start making some changes to your work situation, this advice should be helpful.
1. Because you will never be ready
One of the best / worst things about being self-employed is a constant uncertainty about the outcome of your business. Newsflash – you will always have this uncertainty. Part of being a businessperson is using this to give you the drive to keep pushing yourself. You can plan, delay, reschedule as much as you like – the feeling won’t go away. So embrace it, don’t quit and move on. I had a great idea to rebrand my website last year… I put back the launch three times as I kept telling myself I was too busy and not ready. This site is a constant creation and job, it will never be ‘complete’ and I have started to embrace that.
2. Being your own boss is Awesome
Being able to be the person that decides when you start work and finish is great. If I want to work from home on my pyjamas while listening to Buddy Holly full blast I can.
When I work weekends and late nights I to make sure I reach deadlines, reach goals and give my clients and customers the service they deserve, it’s because me and my business benefit from that.
Being Boss is taking control of how you do your work. If you have a boss, it means making sure you take control of your time. Are your hours too long? Do you never get a lunch break? Address this. If you have too much work to do in the time you are given – that’s a management issue, not yours.
3. Because what you DO is important, not what you think
We all like to spend time doing things we care about. Do you care about your job? Your actions should be your priorities. What you do defines who you are. It’s great to think about starting a cupcake business, but making a phone call to the local authorities to find out if you can start from home, writing a business plan, researching recipes… it’s the doing that is important, not the daydreaming.
By dedicating your energy and time to something that you care about you will feel better and create a positive impact.
I do at least one thing everyday to reach my goals.
4. Because you are an ADULT. Blame is pointless.
When my actions have been questioned its always been a lot easier to fight my corner when the decisions that have lead me to that point have been my own. Standing up and making your own choices is one of the most daunting and rewarding parts of becoming an adult.
Turning round in twenty years time saying that the reason you didn’t quit the job you hated, or never went travelling or didn’t pursue your dreams because something or someone held you back just comes across as, well childish. You are a grown up, you need to be accountable for everything you do.
It is not your family, job, money, or lack of education holding you back anymore. We live in a digital age, the internet offers limitless possibilities for free learning. Libraries have free computers and quiet areas to study. Help exists if you look for it. If you don’t know where to start, email me and I’ll help you out.
5. Your inspiration should become your motivation
Have you watched a documentary on someone amazing or read a success story that has excited and engaged you? Whether physical or mental, experiencing someone overcoming the odds to reach their goal is encouraging. Why do you think slimming magazines are full of success stories? Being inspired should motivate you to make those changes that you need to make in your life.
This is part of your motivation. Sign up to websites and newsletters which feature stories that inspire you. Join a meetup group to meet like-minded people in your area to help you become accountable.
6. Being yourself will help others
When I am in a bad mood (yes, can you believe it, it happens), I am not fun to be around. I used to get so stressed at work, and it rubbed off on the people around me.
Recently I took several tests on personality types (including this one) and every time I come out as an Introvert. Many people who have met me would be surprised by that, I’ve often been described as loud, opinionated and straightforward.
Most of my jobs have required me to meet new people and be in lots of social settings. I enjoyed it but I found it incredibly draining. It made me overwhelmed, which lead to me behaving in a way I am not proud of, being branded as a ‘bitch’ or ‘bossy’.
Having a reason for a bad mood is not an excuse for it. Noticing when you are acting negatively, means you need to address the root of the problem. What needed to change was my situation.
I am an introvert. I often struggle to judge social situations, and I used to drink too much to deal with social events. Small talk is a mystery to me. Time alone for me is just as important as eating and sleeping.
By doing something you love, enjoying your life and being happy this WILL rub off on the people around you.
Now I write because I am able to express myself without interruption. I spend a lot of time alone, exploring new cities, reading and relaxing. I have walked away from work, friendships and situations that have drained me.
7. You are not normal
Normal is working Monday – Friday. Working every week, 9am-5pm. It’s eating lunch at your desk while catching up on emails.
Normal is a stressful commute into work. It’s being too tired to socialise in the week and crashing out in bed around 10pm. It is squeezing your social life into the weekend while catching up on laundry, shopping and other household chores.
It is getting the biggest mortgage you can afford, juggling credit cards and paying the minimum payments.
Normal is joking about hating your job but not changing it. Normal is blaming other people for the fact you are sad or unhappy.
Because of all this, why would you be normal?
8. Money and fame are not the same as success
To suggest that money is not important would be stupid, I know its vital. I used to be in £20,000 of debt with no job.
You don’t need as much as you think you do. By establishing your priorities in life you will work out what it means to be successful for you.
Working full time for a large, established event company or business would bring me more monetary value currently – but I would not have the creative freedom and time to build on my own projects if that was the case. Success is measured by how much time you get to do the things you love. Not about how much money you may have in the bank. What’s the point of life if you don’t have time to enjoy it or the time you have?
9. It will allow you to dream bigger
What is your dream right now? More time? Freedom? A holiday?
When you realise that you can take control of your situation and work, the possibilities are endless. For me, getting out of £20,000 debt seemed impossible ten years ago. But here I am.
When one of my best friends sat with me over coffee and cake four years ago, talking about wanting to leave her job and start a new career – I couldn’t have dreamt it turned into a thriving UK Tattoo Art Brand, selling Art, Homeware & Clothing with a shop in Manchester. While I closed the business in 2019 to concentrate on betternotstop, I couldnt believe how much we had achieved and learned in such a short space of time!
When I met Phil for the first time in 2015 I told him my plan to travel UK to Bhutan overland to research happiness. I had no idea that eighteen months later we would be on the road together.
I now know that I have the power to create a life I love. Anything is possible if you make a plan and do the work.
10. Because there are no excuses
Seriously there aren’t. I can’t think of one. Feel free to contact me with any you thoughts have and I promise to do what I can to help you find a solution.
Finally, Don’t do a job you hate, to live a life you don’t love.
Because, as my Dad said: ‘Don’t Stop’.
Also published on Medium.