Eighteen months before I was laid-off from my corporate position as a Sr. Proposal Manager for a large heavy civil construction company, I had a talk with my boss and gave him an ultimatum.
I told him that I was done being a road warrior; that I was tired of leaving my son for a week at a time, sometimes two, with family members while I traveled for the company. I was a 54 year-old single dad raising a young boy I felt like I was failing at my most important role because I was rarely at home to actually raise him.
I also told him that I felt like a hamster in an exercise wheel. I was always moving, running here and there as fast as I could, but not getting anywhere...and it had to stop.
To his credit, he heard what I said and for a while, my travel decreased. I was assigned to work on local and state projects. But that didn't last long and the out-of-state travel assignments started again and if I wanted to keep my job, I had to get back to the airport and back on the hamster wheel.
I started my MB in response to the pressures of the hamster wheel
Long before I was out the door with a severance check, I was working on my minimalist business. I could see that escaping the hamster wheel was going to be my only way out of the drudgery of the work as well as the continual business travel.
Business travel isn't anything like travel for pleasure. I'd work 12-16 hour days and come home exhausted. There was no down time and it was slowly killing me.
I created a website and put together some services. I bought online training manuals and enrolled in digital training courses (something I still do today). When Friday the 13th (really) of December 2013 arrived and I was laid-off, I actually had a slight smile on my face when I was told my position had been eliminated.
I smiled because I was grateful for the foresight I'd had and the work I'd already done to help ease the transition between corporate life and my new life.
You and I are the same
I think that you're probably a lot like me. You could be a female novelist living in Canada or an instructional designer from Boston. You could be a paralegal working crazy hours for Apple and have the most amazing perks as an employee, yet still we're a lot alike.
You're like me because:
- you've always wanted to direct your own life, but have instead relied on employers for your welfare.
- you're a writer at your core, but have acquiesced to the traditional job model whereby you trade your time for money
- you're a creator who dreams of spending time in your studio immersed in your art, yet you continue to show up and sit in a cubicle day after day
Yes, you are just like the old me. I, too, was miserably stuck in a non-creative culture while my very soul cried out for some sort of justice. I was the classic case of the unemployable unhappily employed.
Still, the choice remains yours
There will come a time when you have to choose. Sometimes the choice is made for you, and other times you choose. But this is, quite possibly, the most difficult task that lies before you.
For the record, I know that it's much harder to take the initiative and leave a traditional job.
It requires not only courage, but a solid plan...a blueprint to going forward. That's my goal for writing Minimalist Business Formula.
Because I know from experience how difficult this decision can be, I want to provide a guide for laying the foundation for making the decision easier and ultimately your only choice.
When a choice becomes obvious, it's much easier to make.
The goal is this post isn't to sell you on a book, but to renew your spirit and remind you that you are worth redeeming. That only you can make that redemption possible. That you are worth every bit as much as I am and I want you to know that you have an ally in me.
I write this over and over again, but I sincerely want to help you reach the goals you believe are most important. Please let me know how I can help you by leaving a comment below or posting on the Facebook page.
If you're too shy to do that, send me an email using the contact form.
I hope I hear from you. :-)