Why I Fired My Boss

I quit my 8-5 job pushing paper at the end of January ’08. Since then I’ve had my nose down, trying to grow my online business. Today I decided work could wait. I went over to a friend’s place for breakfast, then we took my canoe out and explored nearby Ruskin Lake for the better part of the afternoon. The weather was perfect, no one else was out there, there was tons of wildlife all over the place, and in general I had a great time. It was good exercise and mentally relaxing.

That is the benefit of working from home.

In the summer I read a book called the 4-Hr Work Week, by Timothy Ferriss. I highly recommend it. That book and the ideas it presents started an intense period of introspection that ultimately prompted me to quit my job. It also helped that my affiliate campaign was taking off like a rocket during the fall. Here are some of the questions that I pondered prior to pulling the plug on my boss. Think hard about them; they’re not the gimme’s you think they might be.

  • Do you live to work or work to live? If you work to live, are you working as efficiently as possible? If not, why not work more efficiently (therefore less hours) so as to “live” more?
  • Are there non-economic benefits to work? Are you getting these at your current job? Do they outweigh the economic inefficiencies created by working a 9-5? Excluding the paycheck, why do you go to work? Again excluding the paycheck, what is your dream job?
  • When you meet someone on the street, and they ask you about yourself, what do you tell them? Is your job the defining element in your life? If so, is that your desire?
  • What is the worst possible outcome from quitting your job and starting your own business? Write it down, visualize it in exquisite detail. Make a YouTube video about it. Then think of ways you could regain your current lifestyle from that position. The worst (assuming it doesn’t include death or dismemberment!) might not be as bad as you think!

These and others are questions that lead to change. Change occurs when you become dissatisfied with the status quo, and start looking for alternatives. Believe me, there are alternatives to the 9-5 out there.

Back to my first paragraph: one of the biggest reasons I started my own business was for freedom of schedule. The ability to work from anywhere, anytime I wanted was tremendously appealing. Now I am free to work those hours in the day when I know I am most productive, and when I’m not being productive (there’s usually not a lot that will remedy that) I can just leave work and go canoeing, or do something else! This leads to much higher job/life satisfaction.

I’ll be posting more on this topic in the coming months, especially as I get things sorted out for myself. If you’ve got a similar story I’d love to hear it.

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