While you are reading this blog, chances are I’m still admiring mountains over Lake Atitlan. Business wise, it was a terrible (or an amazing?) timing, I don’t know yet. Still, I took a week off in Guatemala, where it all started 18 months ago. I didn’t know back then, but this is where/when I decided to quit my job once I got back from my RV trip.
This time, my wife and I decided to take a quick week to fly over Lake Atitlan to come back to our “traveling roots”. We had the feeling we needed this more than anything else. During one of our meals, we talked about how people see their job as being secured, safe. That working for someone is always better than working for ourselves. 18 months after I took this life changing decision, and 9 months after working full time, I’d like to add a few thoughts.
The day I realized that my job was far from being secured
Getting to San Marcos La Laguna with a 5-ton RV is far from being a walk in the park. The road is as steep as a hiking trail in the mountains and… as bumpy as a hiking trail! On first gear, it took Freefall, my RV, only 3 seconds to hit 60 km/h. To give you an idea, imagine driving this road on Google Map:
It looks more like a heartbeat on an electro-cardiogram than a road. So, after driving this “highway to hell” where I thought I would kill my entire family by missing a curve and falling into the cliff, we settled down for 2 weeks at “La Casa de Pierre”. For the first time, I knew what it felt like to fear death. This was a big part of what made me “invincible” since then.
A few days later, I decided to call my boss and confirm that I would come back after my trip, and I was looking forward to the promotion she offered me. Long story short for those who didn’t follow me back then, I took a 12-month sabbatical at my work and was offered a promotion upon my return. My boss and I agreed I would discuss the promotion later during my trip as I didn’t know how this experience would change me.
At that time, I had made my mind; I wanted that incredibly high paying job with all the benefits that come with it. Bummer. The bank I worked for went through a significant job cut and didn’t plan on hiring anybody in my department for a while. This meant that I was keeping my job once I returned, but I could kiss my promotion goodbye and pretty much forget about it. Wow… so much for thinking you are doing a good job and that your job is safe, right?
At that time, I was upset, but I didn’t decide to quit just yet. However, I knew somewhere down inside that my boss pressed the wrong button and that the countdown started.
Wake-up; your job isn’t safe!
All right, I’ll take all the “Government jobs” aside (including teaching) because you would never be laid off unless you aggressively hit a colleague or a student with a baseball bat! But for all the others, I have a scoop for you; your job is as safe as the guy who built the company you are working for.
Think about it; it is unsafe to work for yourself, therefore, you work for someone who works for himself and hires you to grow his business. In other words; you trust a complete stranger to take care of your financial future because you think it is safer than doing it yourself.
You may argue that this rationale works if you work for a small firm with 2-100 employees. But if you work for a Fortune 100 company, you are quite safe. Hum… it’s not because you can’t put a name and a face on a sole owner that it’s not the same thing.
The point is that if the business you work for turns right, you have very limited choices but to turn with it or be left on the side with nothing. Even worst, sometimes the business turns right and doesn’t tell you and leaves you on the side.
What I’ve realized over the past 9 months
Being your own boss is simply opening your eyes on a reality that has always existed. There are good times and bad times during a business. When you are an employee, you are just not too aware of how bad or how good the company is doing. But it’s happening whether you are aware or not.
Now that I run my business, I’m sitting on the front row watching my company doing well… or not. I decide when it’s the right time to turn right… or not. I am responsible for my own future.
I’m also the one generating money. I am literally creating money out of thin air. This is an amazing feeling. As I create value for investors, I receive money. In fact, this almost feels like financial freedom. I still must work to earn my keep, but I decide how, when and for how long I do it. In fact, this is financial freedom without being bored! I’m having so much fun that I could pretty much work until I’m 90. This way I don’t have to worry about retiring early, I’m already doing everything I want to do once I’m retired. I just do it in my 30’s instead of desperately waiting to turn 65.
Workeling is the balance between working and traveling. Instead of taking vacations because I’m burnt out from my job, I never take any break. On the same time, I’m always having fun working and traveling. This week I’m in Guatemala, this summer I’ll spend 2-3 weeks in the Maritimes (hit me if you want to meet!) and in January 2019, I’ll be flying for a 2-month trip in Vietnam (and possibly Cambodia or Laos). How can I afford taking 3 months of vacation in the next 12 months? It’s quite simple; I’ll never stop working.
A week in Guatemala went by very fast. However, during that time;
- I read 2 books,
- Thought about my future,
- Determined a new work routine with a clear development plan,
- Wrote 2 blog posts,
- Took care of my DividendStocksRock membership,
- Struck a deal for an ad campaign,
- And answered all my emails!
I never felt down or tired. Doing what I really like is just so exciting and fulfilling, I don’t have to wait for retirement anymore. I can have my “adrenaline fix” regularly while working and building my business.
I hop you will find something like this one day! It’s truly awesome to quit your job!