For the past few months, I have made some major changes in my life. The biggest (and toughest) change has been changing my life’s direction. I spent the past 5 years of my life not really wanting to do what I was doing. Wait, I’m exaggerating- the past 3 years. The first two were fine, but I stuck it out for three more years because I hated the thought of quitting. Even though I’ve always said I’m no quitter, I should have taken Steve Jobs’ advice to heart when he said this:
“Your time is limited so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma– which is living with the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.”
Funny thing, I never cared much about anyone’s opinion of me unless they mattered to me. But, sometimes, you really just gotta go and do you. Anyway, the idea to start this blog came to me in 2012, but I put it on hold to go do what I thought I was supposed to be doing with my life. More on that here. Huge mistake. Here’s another Steve Job’s quote that I should have adhered to:
“I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”
I knew these things, too, but I guess it’s a little different when you’re the one in the situation. I’ve had to let people go- the ones I’ve worked with for the past 5 years. Business partners turned friends turned family. The worst part for me, though, is letting go of the idea how it should have been. I had to accept what is, cut my losses, and move on to bigger and better things. I had to accept the fact that some people will never understand what I’m trying to do. They will never accept that I deviated from the idea that they had of me.
Cold Turkey Quit
My biggest hang up was whether or not I should even explain myself. I decided not to. I spoke to two people about my next move and that was it. I figured, if they were hell bent on making me feel like I was doing the wrong thing, then screw it. I stopped feeling the need to tell myself that even though I quit, I’m no quitter. Besides, all that’s left is to prove them wrong, right?
Absolutely. (Yes, I answered myself.)
I let go of the people and the whole environment. I know the lack of support that comes with it. It always felt as if they thought you weren’t any good unless you were doing what they were doing.
So I quit cold turkey. I decided to stop wasting my time and move forward.
Podcasts To The Rescue
Now, just because I made the decision, it doesn’t mean I didn’t have any doubts. I firmly believe that life leaves clues towards something that you seek. And, this time, I was seeking validation that I was doing the right thing.
I’ve recently started listening to podcasts and one particular podcast caught my attention. It was “When To Quit” by Joel Runyon. I don’t quit much on anything because I feel like I can accomplish anything if I wanted to. So, quitting the previous venture I was working on came as a hard blow to me. I questioned whether or not I was really doing the right thing.
This is what Joel Runyon had to say about it:
- Give it 3 solid tries.
- You’re allowed to quit. But don’t quit on getting better. Don’t quit on pushing and testing your limits.
- The story is only finished when you put down the pen. So you can start a new chapter.
- You can start writing that story and you can screw that story up and you can cross stuff out and rip pages out and you can try new things.
- You can quit on small stuff. You can quit on whatever you want but don’t quit on yourself.
- If you have a setback, use that to fuel the next thing you do.
- If you have a change of heart, if you have a change of direction, you find something that’s not working, that’s okay.
- Rebuild yourself. Collect your things and plan the next chapter. Plan the next book.
- Keep writing your story.
Then, there was another podcast episode I happened to listen to. It was “Stories of Failure That Turned Into Something Great” by Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income. This is what he said:
- Whatever you end up doing should not just be something you’re interested in but also something that is not just for the sole purpose of generating an income.
- A lot of times the thing that’s holding us back from moving forward is something in our head that we thought was supposed to go one way but ended up going another way. And we always have a choice, right? I think you need to let go of those things that you said you were supposed to do, the path that you thought you’re supposed to be on. Once you do that, it opens up many new doors and opportunities.
- Forgiveness is very, very powerful. How can you forgive, perhaps even yourself sometimes, for things or events or outcomes that were kind of unplanned.. things you didn’t expect? I really feel like you have to definitely let go of some of those feelings and limiting beliefs and what you feel was supposed to be the way so you can find your way.”
…But I’m No Quitter
Those two podcast episodes really clarified things for me. I’ve always been under the impression that if you quit, you just weren’t good enough. I had to let go of that notion in order for me to find my own path. I was sick and tired of saying and thinking that I wasn’t a quitter–all at the expense of being happy while on the journey. When I was younger, I used to believe that the end justifies the means. But, now I feel like the means (or journey) is just as important as where I end up. After all, I’m probably going to spend most of my life going from one journey to another. So why pay attention only to the end?
I realized I was chasing money more than anything and I didn’t like the way I was doing it. So I opted for a change. I opted to stop denying myself what I really wanted to do.
I chose myself- my desires, my path, my needs.
I told myself that once I make the money, I can do whatever I want. Now that I think back, that’s pretty fucking dumb. Now that I’m more in tune with myself, I realize I’d be happier making half of $500k running my own show rather than being a puppet in someone else’s show. (But, just to be clear, I have no intention in settling for half of anything. I’m going at this full force and I fully intend on claiming what’s mine.)
There have been so many clues that I should continue on this path. So many opportunities have presented themselves and I’m so very grateful that I had the courage to go after my own heart.
“I’m no quitter.” Damn right I’m not. But, in things that don’t matter anymore, I sure am. I quit something that didn’t excite me anymore. I quit people who weren’t up to par with the kind of growth I wanted. I’m a quitter in those things and I own up to that. When I knew that I wasn’t going to dedicate my time and energy into making it work, I cut the cord.
I stopped worrying about the backhanded remarks and the low blows. Besides, they’re not the ones who’s got to live with the decision. It’s me.
I’ve got to live with my decision and it’s been one of the best doggone decisions I’ve ever made.