Anna's Blog

Why I’m Quitting Full-Time Entrepreneurship and Getting a “Real Job”

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Things have changed drastically over the last few weeks. Those in my community have probably noticed that I haven’t been as present as I normally am, and I’ve missed them dearly. I realized that what was causing the separation was my lack of vulnerability and explaining what’s going on in my life, so now the word is out: I’m quitting full-time entrepreneurship for a full-time salaried JOB.

If you have been in the entrepreneur community for more than 5 minutes, you know that this 3-letter word, “job,” is like profanity. It’s worse than profanity, actually. It’s blasphemy. It’s treason.

With popular sites like “Screw the 9 to 5” (from my friends Josh and Jill, love you guys!) and countless articles about quitting your job to travel the world (including articles written by yours truly!), lesson one in modern entrepreneurship 101 is “A job is the opposite of freedom, wealth, and happiness.” Those who return to a job after a life in entrepreneurship surely would never do so by choice.

And yet I am. So what gives?

There are lots of reasons why I’m not just getting a job, but I’m very excited about this next step in my career. Taking this step means confronting a lot of the beliefs that have governed my life over the past several years, as well as rediscovering parts of myself that haven’t been exposed to the light of awareness in a long time.

So here are the reasons I am pursuing a “real job”:

 

To Take Care of Myself

 

Being solely responsible for your own personal livelihood is no joke. It’s not impossible, but it takes a toll on your health, your availability for other relationships, your long-term savings, and a whole lot more.

One article I read by a blogger who had taken a job after a period of entrepreneurship said that this stress probably took as many years off the end of his life as taking up smoking. I know how he feels.

Perhaps just as importantly, you cannot pour from an empty cup. On and off for years, I have scolded myself for not “being there” for my audience when the truth was that I was not even there for myself.

I want to change lives. I want to make someone’s day brighter everyday. And I want my teaching and perspective to create success and happiness for others. But I can’t do any of that unless I take care of myself first.

 

To Play a Bigger Game

 

When I first got started, I wanted to make a little money so that I didn’t have to have a boss, and so that I could work from anywhere in the world. At the time, I had no interest in business.

But as I have talked about before on the blog, I accidentally fell in love with business along the way. At first it was business on a small scale: operations, getting customers, project management, and growing a team.

But soon, I wanted to learn even more than that: stocks, the corporate structure, supply and demand. If you want to get involved in the world of business (and be able to take your piece of the pie either now or down the road), you don’t necessarily need to start one from the ground up.

You can buy stocks. You can become a partner or investor in someone else’s business. You can grow your own businesses on the side, and you can be an important part of making a larger business profitable by doing what you do best, the latter of which I hope to be doing soon.

I’m so grateful for my journey in entrepreneurship because without it, I never would have been exposed to the world of business. Now, it’s where I want to be, but I know that there are lots of ways to do that.

 

To Continue Building Influence School and Content Roll

 

Working a full-time job will allow me the mind space to continue to offer Influence School and Content Roll, and make these products even better. This is not the end of these products. Instead, it’s just the beginning. Having my needs met in a less stressful way will allow me to serve my customers better and be more honest with myself and objective about what these products need to grow.

 

To Have a Fuller and More Balanced Life

 

Did you know that for some people, the most important thing in their life isn’t what they do for a living? I know, shocking. I’m joking right now, but seriously– I did not know this for a long time.

During my first 2 years in business, I spent most weekends working. If I wasn’t working, I was probably talking about my next business project or at least thinking about it distractedly while someone I cared about was trying to talk about something else.

But since moving back to the US to prioritize my relationships, I have discovered other parts of myself. In the last few months, I have had an inexplicable urge to start making music again. Now, I just want to make music and enjoy the feeling of creativity of a thing of beauty.

I want to have more time to build relationships because, as I learned when I was abroad, relationships are what life is all about.

I want to start cooking healthy food again, something I put on the back burner (pun intended) while I ate fast food in front of my computer working on my latest marketing campaign.

I want to take a real vacation, something I haven’t done in the past 3 years, despite having been to more countries in that time than many people have been to in their entire lives.

 

To Build Wealth

 

When I started as a freelancer and aspiring digital nomad in 2014, I said to myself, “All I need is $2k/month.” That was seriously my only goal.

Since then, I have built a business that brought in 6 figures in revenue in 2016. I have learned how people handle finances, build wealth, save for retirement, and set financial priorities that allow them to have the life they want.

I didn’t know any of this when I first got started. Now, I want to leverage my new career plus my businesses on the side to help me build wealth for me and my future.

 

To Learn More

 

Being “self taught” is over rated.

It’s impressive. Don’t get me wrong. But if you say you really want to be the best of the best, why would you deliberately turn down opportunities to learn from those who have more experience and knowledge than you?

I am young and even though I have taught myself a lot, I have a LOT to learn. Except for coaches, my mentors, and my friends, I have no direct business relationships from which to learn because I’m the one at the top of the chain. I’m looking forward to learning from others in my new career.

 

Changing Priorities

 

When I started as a digital nomad, selling everything and moving to a tiny island in the middle of the ocean in the Philippines, I didn’t care about owning a home. I didn’t care about starting a family. I didn’t care about having a partner.

I certainly didn’t care about retirement savings or taking vacations or living near my parents and brother. I didn’t even care about being a contributor to a community in a meaningful way.

All I cared about was making enough money so that I could work while I traveled the world.

I met that goal, and I still have the advantage of a lifestyle that allows that.

The problem is that I no longer want that. So I’ve built this life that allows for certain advantages that I don’t care about. This life does not allow for the advantages of the things that I now care about.

The entrepreneur life provided for my goals at the time. But now, my goals have changed. And that’s ok with me.

 

Advice for Entrepreneurs Considering Getting a Job

 

If you’re an entrepreneur and you’re reading this and wondering if it’s the right decision for you, here are some things to consider:

 

Your entrepreneur friends will try to talk you out of it.

 

I am ashamed to say that I have shot down the idea of getting a job when entrepreneur friends have come to me and told me they were considering it. You must understand that sometimes the only tiny thread that is keeping someone holding on to the entrepreneur life are these dogmas:

  • If you don’t build your dream, someone else will hire you to build theirs!
  • Everyone who has a conventional job wants to be us! You’re living the dream!
  • No one likes their job!
  • You’re part of the problem!

I get it. But they may not necessarily be true for everyone, and they may not necessarily be true for you. No one can know what’s best for you except for you. And in the end, it’s your responsibility to do what’s right for you, and to let nothing keep you from doing that.

 

Forget what others think. What do YOU think?

 

Have you been holding on to your miserable entrepreneur life because you’re afraid of what others will think? I have been guilty of this as well, so I know what it feels like.

But keep in mind that most people don’t really care that much what you do with your life. They might comment on your Facebook posts and tune in on your Facebook Live, but they will not lose sleep if you say that you are getting a real job.

They will read it, shrug, and go back to their own life.

You don’t live your life to prove things to others. You live your life to be happy because it’s the only way you can contribute to others. So do what works for you and forget what others think.

 

Read articles of others who have done the same thing and see if you identify.

 

I got started in entrepreneurship by reading the blogs I found online of other entrepreneurs and identifying with what they said.

When I prepared to write this article today, I did the same thing: I looked up articles to see what others may have said about this transition. What I found was very comforting to me, because it echoed everything I was feeling and made me realize I’m not alone.

If you check out some of the articles (I’ve listed them at the end of this blog post) and you find that it makes you uncomfortable or you cannot identify with their reasoning, then it clearly isn’t time for you to take this path. Perhaps it will be in the future, or it won’t be in the future. You can revisit the concept when and if the time comes.

Final Thoughts

 

Do I regret my entrepreneurial journey? Hell no.

 

I have learned more in the last 3 years than I have in the rest of my life combined. If it wasn’t for entrepreneurship, my life path would have been completely different. My business funded my travels around the world. It was the adventure of a lifetime. Though difficult, it was the perfect crash course in business and marketing.

Entrepreneurship even introduced me to personal development, which I likely never would have been involved with otherwise. Personal development is so popular with entrepreneurs because without it, business growth stalls. That was certainly the case for me when I first discovered personal development a couple of years ago.

When I confronted my own issues through the techniques I learned in personal development, I was able to remove my pride and other personal blocks that were causing problems with my business, my team, or my clients.

Personal development saved my life, and I’m so grateful for the journey that brought me to it.

Entrepreneurship also introduced me to financial management. Before I started in entrepreneurship, I would have said that I could never be wealthy one day because I wasn’t a doctor, a lawyer, or an engineer.

Now I know that everyone can be wealthy: they just need the tools to get there. (Don’t believe me? Check out this life-changing book). Only because I was in business did I stumble upon money management literature and learn how to invest and get my finances in a healthy place where I can grow my wealth over time.

Besides these, entrepreneurship taught me how to be a great marketer. Most of what I know about marketing came about from the real-life marketing challenges that I experienced with my own clients’ businesses. Helping them solve their digital marketing challenges taught me so much more than I ever could from reading a book or taking a course.

Full-time entrepreneurship served me so well. It was my life’s greatest teacher. And now I choose to let go of what is no longer serving me and embrace the next step in my journey wholeheartedly.

 

This is one of the hardest decisions ever.

 

One of the most comforting things I read in the articles about quitting entrepreneurship was that this is commonly one of the hardest decisions that one can make. To walk away from the freedom to work anywhere and anytime you wish in favor of the advantages of working for someone else is a very difficult decision. And just because it’s the right time to make this decision, it doesn’t mean it will be easy for you.  

 

Conclusion

 

So this isn’t really an article about “quitting entrepreneurship.” It’s an article about doing what’s right for you, no matter what others say, what beliefs have been your dogma, or anything else. It’s about some of the difficult decisions we make as we grow and our priorities and needs change. And it’s about taking care of yourself first over taking care of anyone else.

I hope that as you read it, it encourages you to take that big jump that you’ve been putting off. Maybe it will encourage you to become an entrepreneur, because that’s what your heart has been telling you to do.

Maybe it will help you start that side hustle you’ve been putting off.

Or maybe it will give you the courage you need to put a down payment on a house, write the first chapter of your book, or quit that stressful job in favor of one that gives you more balance.

Whatever you do, remember that you know what’s best for you. Don’t doubt that wisdom in favor of someone else’s opinion. And don’t deny yourself what you need. Most of all, you get to choose how your story is framed. So there is no such thing as failure: you win or you learn, or if you’re lucky, you do both.

 

Articles to check out:

http://www.petershallard.com/why-you-should-quit-your-business-and-get-a-real-job/

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/242951

http://www.businesspundit.com/why-i-quit-entrepreneurship-and-got-a-real-job/

AnnaWhy I’m Quitting Full-Time Entrepreneurship and Getting a “Real Job”
  • Thanks for sharing your heart, Anna! As always, your words inspire and encourage me to seek what feels most “right” for me. I’m in awe of all you’ve accomplished and know that your next chapter in life is going to be equally as rewarding for you. I’m cheering for you!

    • Thank you, Krissi! So glad our paths crossed originally and again a few years ago. Our partnership was nothing short of meant to be 🙂

  • Theresa Hartman

    Dearest Anna, How proud I am to be your friend and to see you CHOOSE the life you lead. The only thing I have against a “job-job” is the fact that most people consider it a foregone conclusion in their lives, rather than actually considering it before jumping in. They resign themselves, and slog on. You, on the other hand, have lived both lives and move like water between them. You consider what you need, and when you need it, and do it without regret or apology! What a blessed condition, and how fortunate you are to see clearly enough to do this! Best of luck in all your endeavors. Keep in touch!

    • Hi Theresa, thank you very much 🙂 I believe a lot of personal work has allowed me to get to this place where I have the courage and self awareness to even make this change. I love the analogy of water. During this time of uncertainty, it’s important that I practice my new and somewhat yet-to-be developed skill of “going with the flow”! Thanks again and so glad that we’re connected 🙂

  • Kiri Masters

    Well done Anna on going with your gut and actively listening outside the echo chamber of entrepreneur-land. I hope you keep blogging so we can keep up with your journey!!

    • Hi Kiri, and thank you! I can’t seem to stop blogging even if I tried, so no worries there 😛 I love Entrepreneur-land dearly and I have a feeling I will always consider myself one!

  • Another courageous post Anna. I remember your amazing post about your reason to stop drinking. As others said in comments, your situation is different you are choosing a job and building a career while many just get a job to pay the bills and let life pass them by. Cheers Anna

    • Thank you, Michael! Because of entrepreneurship, I think of my new career as being a crucial member of a team that is just a (possibly much) larger version of the business that I ran. When I look at it that way, I can see all that I will learn while also having a lifestyle that better suits me. Thanks for your support 🙂

  • Love this blog and following your journey. You do your work with passion and vision that’s all that counts. Keep crackin’ and don’t stop sharing your writing please! 😀

    • Hi Dan! Thanks for all you have done to help me along my journey. Besides facilitate Badladz, a huge turning point for me, you offered me opportunities and believed in me when I was just starting out. You, Ian, TMBA, and the DC were a huge part of my journey. Thanks for everything! I’ll be lurking around TMBA indefinitely. You can’t get rid of me! 😛

  • Kimberly McCauley

    Great thoughts friend!! I hope the new venture goes well. 😀

    • Thanks Kimberly! Appreciate your support and friendship over the last year 🙂