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It’s currently 6:36am and I’m dancing as I’m overcome by many emotions.
Today is my 1 year Quitversary i.e. a year since I quit my corporate job and career as a Chief Financial Officer to run The Humble Penny as an Online Business 😀.
Has it all been worth it?
At 2pm on the 14th April 2020 whilst under lockdown, I was having that conversation, and beginning what I can only describe as a new life unknown and adventure.
Before that, my head was spinning with a bunch of questions about work and my future life.
Am I being irresponsible for quitting my career amid a pandemic? Especially as a family man with kids and bills to pay?
What if I become a complete failure and get laughed at by everyone for trying to “do my own thing”?
And what if I’m away from my corporate job so much that I create a massive hole on my CV and can’t get another job?
Shouldn’t I just stay put and keep taking orders?
Surely it is better to have safety by getting a regular pay check each month?
These are questions that I pondered as I chose to make the life changing decision to pursue my dreams and wave bye bye to my 6-figure salary and other juicy carrots constantly dangled at me to keep me in my place.
I’ve written this blog post today as a personal reflection about my life journey over these last 12 months and hope that it adds value to your life if you’re considering a career transition.
It’s my desire to simply tell you how it is and how I’ve seen my life change since I made that decision myself to take the leap!
What Is Your Definition Of Success?
A couple of days ago, I went for my first run in a while and whilst the cool Summer breeze flowed through my body, I reflected on this important question.
I went on a journey through memory as I asked myself what success has looked like for me and how I’ve defined it over time.
This question of what success is, is one that I don’t think too many people ask themselves.
Most people wander through months and years chasing a version of success that has been pre-programmed into them rather than intentionally chosen by them as a result of understanding who they are.
Here is my definition of success after some thought during my run:
What do I even mean by “choosing to take my place in the world”?
What I’m talking about here is fighting the fear that hovers around you and choosing through your conviction, to take a seat in the place that you believe you’ve been called to take a seat in.
Practically speaking in my own personal, I believe very strongly that (together with my wife Mary) I have a calling upon my life to positively influence the financial lives of many millions of people globally.
In my mind, that influence will not only change my generation financially, but it will also have a domino effect and change our children’s generation.
Success at this stage of my life is being bold enough to choose this uncharted path.
It has taken me a while to embrace this possibility and too many times in my old life working in a well paid but predictable job (which only made the rich richer), I was too afraid to embrace this vision.
In fact, I was so afraid to embrace it that I let others almost put my fire out by them suggesting that I quit The Humble Penny and focus all my energy on my day job!
I’m sharing this perspective on success and fear because the latter is holding many people back right now from choosing to take their place in the world and instead settling for the safety of the warm nest.
Do you have question marks over the state of your life or corporate career right now?
If so, spend a couple of minutes right now and ask yourself:
Try to be as specific as possible and if you can, write your answer down with today’s date next to it.
You can even do it on your notes app on your phone for ease.
What you’ll find is that your answer to that question, provided it is driven by your internal culture (i.e. inner belief and core values), should act as a guiding light for what you must do next to take your place in the world.
Your place in the world doesn’t have to be shiny by the way! It could be that you’re called to teach, or to be a nurse, or to become a community builder, or to lead a small purpose-led business, etc.
It could also be that you believe that your place is to be one of the world’s best chefs, or a baker for kings, or accomplished speaker or writer, etc.
The key is to get a sense for what your version of success looks like and look it square in the eyes without life’s distractions.
Enabling The Fearless Generation
When I started The Humble Penny just over 3 years ago, I wanted the home page to welcome you with this message:
“We Are a Fearless Generation”
When I wrote that phrase, I was on my own personal journey of facing fear, embracing it, and riding it as a wave to my desired destination.
When I speak of the “Fearless Generation”, I see it as an umbrella phrase for 3 groups of people:
i) The Fearless Dreamer – This person has realised that he/she needs to do life very differently and is starting to investigate how to do it.
They can hear whispers of what they need to do and ever so often, life gives them clues and reminds them about the need to re-write their own story.
They’re still afraid of what others think of them, but they’re tired of the status quo and know that they need to become someone else over time for them to see significant changes in their own lives.
ii) The Dream Maker – This person has stopped talking about it, but has decided that enough is enough and starting to actually take some bold steps to change their lives, including financially.
It could be that they have decided to come up with a career game plan, or even change careers.
This person might be tired of their mediocre state of finances and taking serious steps to cultivate better habits, become debt free, increase their savings rate, start a side hustle or business, get help and learn from others, etc.
In short, this person is about life intent, momentum, results and choosing joy in their life.
They are no longer being tossed about by what others think and what society expects of them.
They are choosing to write their own rules and learn through doing things and experiencing life.
iii) The Dream Architect – This person is an enabler. He/She was once a Fearless Dreamer and moved on to become a Dream Maker.
However, over time, they’ve stopped thinking of just themselves, and have come to realise that it is in their calling to enable others to flourish.
They are happy to share their successes with others with the core motivation of enabling them too to become a success in different spheres, including financially.
Their existence revolves around building other people up.
Why am I sharing this?
First, for you to understand that we all have the capacity to evolve and choose who we want to become over time.
For a lot of this to become a reality, discipline has to become an important part of our lives.
Secondly, I share this is to tell you my current way of seeing things would not be where it is without me periodically asking myself:
What is MY definition of success and why?
And what is my place in the world?
In my simplistic mind, my new
job vision is to:
- Help Fearless Dreamers become Dream Makers,
- Help Dream Makers over time to become Dream Architects,
- Help Dream Architects change the world by positively enabling others, including financially.
This simple picture gives my life a lot of purpose.
Although you may not see what this picture looks like for the future, I can and that’s what matters.
It’s now my job to protect that vision and together with my wife Mary, gradually fight the resistance to birth it into life 😊.
Challenge The Juicy Carrot
One of my key reflections today has been about asking myself why we don’t challenge that juicy carrot that we get presented with in our jobs.
We don’t do it enough and as a result, we mostly stay where we are and don't experience progress.
To give you some perspective, the juicy carrot that was dangled in front of me for years was worth a few million pounds (IF certain outcomes materialised).
I had the choice of either believing in that carrot and waiting for it for years, or embracing the fear and pursuing something much greater in life significance.
One year into this journey of running The Humble Penny full time, I already know that I made the right decision to abandon the carrot even during a challenging time globally.
Although this might seem counter to how you might think of things ordinarily, I challenge you to reflect on it.
Is the juicy carrot stopping you from becoming who you know (deep down) that you could become?
Capacity To Create Possibility
It has become clear to me that almost all of us underrate ourselves and what we are capable of.
We don’t give ourselves enough credit for what we can do if given the opportunity.
In essence, we underrate our capacity to create possibility.
You (yes, you!) are capable of sooo much more than you can imagine.
You’ve just not chosen to give yourself the opportunity to prove it.
If you think about it, you can probably sense it i.e. that you have sooo much more within you.
This is one key learning about myself over the last 12 months.
I’ve been waking up to the realisation of my ability to create magic i.e. to make things that don’t exist to happen and come to life.
This capacity to create possibility is one that we don’t give ourselves any credit for 2 possible reasons:
i) A lack of self-belief
ii) Distractions from mundane corporate life (and dangling juicy carrot)
Which is it for you? Or is it both? Let me know in the comments.
Other Key Learnings Over The Last 12 Months
Let me now share some other quick fire realisations over the last 12 months and how they could help you too.
1. You Don’t Need To Be 100% Ready
I used to think that in order for me to quit my job and take that leap to do something life changing, that I needed to be 100% ready.
Being partly ready helps a great deal, but what you need more of is Self Belief and this has a lot to do with embracing your core identity.
2. You Have Everything You Need To Start
The job you have right now and the jobs that you have had so far, have equipped you with enough for you to thrive in your next thing, whether it be a better job or your own business.
The belief that you have everything that you need to act is important because you’d otherwise keep making excuses for your inaction.
3. Failure Is Just A Test
My previous fear of failure was driven by what I thought others would think of me.
My current view of failure is that it is just a test and an opportunity for me to learn.
This empowers me massively to try new ideas and experiment, and if they don’t work, learn from them and move on.
4. The Power of Choice
Everything that is happening to us and everything that will happen to us in many ways is a result of our own choices.
If you are unhappy with your own current state of life or finances, you can choose to change it.
Speaking of work, if you’re unhappy with your career or job, you can choose today to change it.
Everything is down to you and using the power of choice that you have at your disposal.
Even reading this blog post is a choice. So why not choose to use the same power for some of the most important decisions in your life?
5. “Make Thy Dwelling a Profitable Investment”
The 5th “cure for a lean purse” in the book The Richest Man in Babylon is to “make thy dwelling a profitable investment”.
One thing that has become super apparent to me over these last 12 month is that our decision to become mortgage free is single handedly one of the most powerful choices that we’ve ever made.
It has enabled more opportunities than I can even begin to write to you about in this post.
One of such opportunities is the Mental Freedom to just be! To approach life and choose to live our dreams because we can.
Paying off our mortgage in 7 years has been one of our most profitable investments so far for reasons beyond economics.
6. The Future Belongs To The Bold
I’ve never really been a bold person, but over time, as I believed in myself and what I think I have to offer the world, I’ve grown in boldness.
Everyday as choices get presented to me, I see that the future truly belongs to the bold and not to those who are luke-warm.
Choose where you stand on things. Let your Yes be your Yes and let your No be your No.
Dare to be the person who says “I will try to solve this problem” or the person who says “I will change my life”.
7. Choose To Serve Others
It sounds very cliché, but it's not if you properly understand it.
In my personal view, there is no greater calling than genuinely choosing to serve others.
It is life changing in every way, including financially (if you choose to serve others via a business, for example).
Plus you can choose to do this in your normal day job or in a business capacity or simply via skills/talents.
Don’t serve merely by passive reach but instead choose to serve by active depth of service. One person at a time and one day at a time.
Through your voice, choice of words, message, products, services, relationships, values, etc, you can achieve this active depth of service and it will be life changing for you.
My first year away from corporate life has been challenging as I’ve had to learn a lot about myself and adapt in a most unusual time globally.
But it has also been deeply rewarding. I've not only survived but thrived in these last 12 months.
I have more happiness and joy in my life than ever before. It has not crossed my mind once as to whether I made a mistake quitting my job.
Instead, I take each day as it comes as I work towards taking my place in the world.
I end this post by thanking my incredible wife and children for supporting me so well in this first year. I’m excited about what the future holds.
I'm now off to celebrate as I've taken half the day off! 😊
To get a sense of where I began my career journey, watch this video:
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Are you in a career transition? Do you feel like your corporate job is going nowhere and you need a change? Do you dream of doing your own thing one day? Share and Let’s talk about it in the comments below.
Do please share this post if you found it useful, and remember, in all things be thankful and Seek Joy.