Time to Quit Your Job: Fight For Flight (2 of 3)
Time to Quit Your Job: Fight For Flight (2 of 3)
If you’ve made it this far, then you’ve taken the first step to creating a business you’re passionate about. You have The Motivation and now it’s time to set the plan. Remember, your business doesn’t have to be a mattress-filler when it comes to money, just something that you love to do. If you love it, people will recognize your love and success will follow.
Whatever your scenario, someone else has been in a scenario twice as bad and came out to create a business they loved. There’s no excuse.
Henry Ford*failed and went broke five times before he succeeded.*
Walt Disney*was fired by a newspaper editor because “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” He went bankrupt several times before he built Disneyland. In fact, the proposed park was rejected by the city of Anaheim on the grounds that it would only attract riffraff.*
Clear the runway
There’s no way your business can get off the ground unless the runway is clear. That means not having to worry about the impending doom of bills and debt. Most Debt falls into 4 categories:
- Credit Card
- Car Loans
- Student Loans
- Home Loans
Let’s start with the two largest and most controllable items: Car & Home Loans. Time to downsize. A decent car that can get you from A to B only costs about \$6-8k. I obtained my ‘06 Kia Spectra on ebay for \$7,500 with only 18k miles. Remember, having a cheaper car will also decrease your insurance rate.
Home Loans are an unnecessary burden. Purchase a home once you’ve got your business figured out. If you don’t, you’ll always be a slave to the system. My Sister and her husband purchased a house five years ago. My Brother-in-law now faces the possibility of a layoff and the prospect of having to sell. It’s a bad situation, but as long as you have that nice home, don’t expect to quit your day job - there’s too much on the line.
So what do you do? Take the home off the line. Sell. Downsize to a rental. Will having a nice house offset the pain you feel from having a horrible job? Probably not. The only thing that nice house is good for is keeping you committed to the same shit job you hate. A job that, probably, isn’t as secure as you think.
As for student loan and credit card debt, there’s no simple solution except to pay it down as fast as possible. You can accelerate the process by getting rid of the stuff you don’t need.
Jettison The Dead Weight
You can clear the runway but if you’re carrying around a lot of smaller monthly expenses, you won’t be able to take off. Cell phone bills, cable bills, XBox Live subscriptions, etc. Make a list of all of your monthly expenses (hook your bank account up to Mint.com and it will do it for you) and start crossing things off.
1) You don’t need cable tv. I’ve been without cable for the last 9 years and I’m doing just fine. Besides, most of the content is legally online.
2) Go down to a bare-bones cell phone bill. Do you really need a data plan? Do you really need to surf the net? If it increases your productivity, then go for it. Otherwise, downsize.
3) Get roommates. There’s no better way to halve your rent and utility bills then by getting a friend to go in half. Sure, you may be cramped and the dishes might not get done, but that is a small price to pay for the monetary gain.
4) Buy generic-brand food and clothes and go out to eat less frequently. You hear this all of the time but it does help. Change the big stuff first. House and car, then rent, then cable, then phone, then the little stuff.
So we’ve covered services and tangibles that you can measure. Other dead weight exists in a more ephemeral form:
- Time-intensive hobbies. These are distractions like XBox 360 or watching your favorite TV shows. Sure, they’re fun, but they don’t net you anything towards your dream. And when you create that dream job, you won’t need to escape to have fun because you’ll be having fun at work. You’ll do your job because you love to, not because you need to buy the next installment of Halo. So stop wasting time at night and start creating something. Hobbies you really love shouldn’t stand in the way. If you love Halo or widget-making that much, then that is what your business should be. Anybody who doesn’t think you can’t make a living off of the crazy stuff you love needs to check out Crush It by Gary Vaynerchuk.
- Toxic friends. Friends that only take and don’t give. It’s time to look at who you’re hanging around and decide if these people are helping or hurting you. “Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future” - Unknown. When you hang around others who are motivated and hold high values, you’ll find those characteristics rubbing off.
- Clutter. Get rid of all of the shit that you don’t use. If you haven’t used it in a year, sell it or give it to the goodwill. “The things you own, end up owning you.” -Tyler Durden from Fight Club. Getting rid of physical clutter helps clear away mental clutter.
- You’re job. If you have your expenses minimized, downsize your job. Make sure you make enough to pay the bills, but also make sure that your new job gives you the freedom to work on your passion in your spare time (or at that job). Also, make sure it minimizes your responsibilities so you aren’t bringing it home with you every night. This will give you the energy to focus on your true passion.
This is no easy process. For some, Fighting For Flight could take a year or two. In the end, it’s just a step. A step where you can look back and say you got in the cockpit, behind the wheel, while others just watched you fly by.
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In the next and final installment: How you can always compete and how the internet has leveled the playing field (and expanded it).
If you made it this far, you should follow me on Twitter. Follow @jprichardson