So I Quit My Day Job, Dear Boss: You’re Fired

Next year, my grandfather will celebrate his 40th year of self employment as owner of one of the longest running plumbing and heating businesses in his city. At the age of 74, he is still going strong as the oldest plumber in business in Boise, Idaho. Nonconformity and delinquency are still pumping fiercely through his veins.

My grandfather no doubt transferred his contagious thirst for autonomy to me early in my life. I guess entrepreneurship is in my blood.

Just as my grandfather did 40 years ago, last Thursday I gave my boss my two week notice.

I will no longer be requiring your employment services. My last day of work will be Friday, June 12th, 2009.

Thank you,

Jonathan

It started with a single intention

Last year around May, I offhandedly made a goal to quit my day job by the following year, May 2009.

This wasn’t a serious goal at the time. I didn’t even know if it would be possible. I just knew that I wanted it, and you know what they say: you gotta put a deadline on your goals, right? So I put a deadline on it.

And it worked.

Now I’ll never underestimate the power of intention. If you want something bad enough and are willing to do anything it takes to get it, there is NOTHING that can stop you.

I still think that killing your ego-driven goals is a good thing, but the intention part of goal-setting is nothing to take lightly.

A few other interesting coincidences

  1. It’s the year of the Ox. I was born the year of the Ox.
  2. I just so happened to be offered a business opportunity that would double my income, right near the beginning of this month, a few weeks before my deadline to quit would be passed.
  3. Last May (the same time I made my goal to quit my job), I saw Lyoto Machida fight for the first time in the UFC and he immediately became my favorite fighter. Last May, I said “he is going to by the light-heavyweight champion, it’s just a matter of time.” On May 23rd of this year, Lyoto Machida beat Rashad Evans to become the light-heavyweight champion in the UFC. He said “if you have a dream, it is possible.” He said this right after I found out I had achieved my income goal to make it possible for me to quit my job, and pursue my dream of being a full-time blogger.

How I did it

Some of you may be interested in hearing how I made this dream possible. I’ll briefly outline a few of what I think are the main keys to my success here. They may or may not work for you.

Here are a few of the big factors that contributed to my success.

  1. Focused on adding value. If I don’t have something worthwhile to say, I don’t write. I would rather not add to the noise. I always focus on providing unique, genuinely valuable content. When I’m writing, I’m always asking myself what the value will be to you, the reader.
  2. Clearly define what makes this blog unique. I’ve worked hard to try to set my writing and the culture of this blog apart from the crowd. I know that if I’m average, I’m invisible. I don’t want to be just another forgettable blog in someone’s feed reader. I aim to make all my content unmissable by thinking differently and acting in no-limit ways. I’m not afraid to push the edges and I’m not afraid to voice a contrarian opinion.
  3. Wrote and sold an ebook. This was a huge milestone for me in my blogging quest. I made sure that I spent a lot of time researching what my readers would most likely value, and then I gave it to them. I even did a series on Living Your Dreams, before I wrote my ebook, Reclaim Your Dreams. Testing my idea helped me make sure that it was a hot topic and it would receive a favorable response. I also did a lot of research on how to effectively launch an ebook and spent a lot of time planning the marketing of the ebook. Right now, sales from Reclaim Your Dreams currently make up about one fourth of my income, and it’s steadily rising.
  4. Community and tribe unification. I used to try to write for everyone. That failed, gigantically. Now I write for and build a community around a tribe of people I most connect with. I seek to connect with unconventional, off the beaten path self-development seekers. Focusing on cultivating a community and connection with my “right people” has greatly aided the popularity of Illuminated Mind. Sometimes discrimination is the key to connection.
  5. Saved an emergency fund. In the past year, my wife and I have worked to building an emergency fund that would support us for several months once I quit my job, if the income from my blog completely dropped off. Having this safety net gives us some peace of mind and helps ease the calm-panic when faced with the unknown.
  6. Transition. I made my first goal to create an income of $100 through this blog. Once I reached that goal, I aimed for $500. Then $1,000. I steadily increased my goal and refined my methods until I reached the next, bigger goal. I also transitioned from 40 hours a week at my day job, to 32 hours a week. That extra day a week allowed me to spend more time on the blog and helped ramp up my efforts to increase my income.
  7. I stole Leo’s mantra. Last year, my good friend Leo quit his day job and revealed that the mantra that helped him do it was the word “Liberate.” I had to admit that this was a pretty badass idea. So I stole it, and made the word “Liberation” my mantra. It was my reminder of the reason I spent hours responding to email through dinner and working on my ebook on the weekends.
  8. I wanted to get paid to exist. I’ll be the first one to admit, getting paid to exist is not easy to do. Most jobs want you to do something more than just existing. Since I’m not too keen on that, I realized I would have to create my own “job.” So that’s what I set out to do: to create a life where I get paid to be me, where the value I give to the world by just being me is a way for me to feed my family.

I also did things like put myself on auto-response and I ruthlessly stopped caring about a lot of things (to make psychic space for my primary aim of liberation). That’s about the gist of it.

What’s next?

In the next few weeks I will be officially open for business with coaching. I will be taking on a 3-4 clients a month so I can focus on providing as much highly-targeted value as possible. If you’re interested in signing up before the sales page goes live, contact me and let’s talk — my hourly rate will be $97 per hour.

I have another ebook that I’m working on and a few other ideas for expansion that I’m currently mentally toying around with.

I have some ideas, but honestly, I’m not sure what exactly the future will hold. That is the best part, I think, about self-employment. When I went to my boring job every day, I always knew what to expect. I knew the schedule, the routine. I knew the same tasks would be waiting for me each day. And when I finished them that week, they would renew themselves next week. My job was predictable, and that was part of what made it so painful.

That reality is gone. Uncertainty is on the wind now, and while I have my ear to the ground, I’m not sure what the next week or month will bring. While this might be daunting to some, I love it.

This is what I do for a living now. This whole blogging, ass-kicking craziness is now my gig. And I have to say, causing trouble for a living is a highly favorable condition. If you can find create a way to make it work, grab it by the tail and prepare for a ride.

Lastly, THANK YOU

Thank you for reading. Thank you for supporting me in my dream. If you have a dream, it is possible.

My time is now completely yours; there is no more renting out my mind and diluting my mission. Instigating self-actualization is what I do now. And I am unconditionally devoted to making that happen.

Freedom tastes as good as they say it does. Now I know the price is worth the promise.

[Note: If you’re interested in a thorough guide of how I built this blog and business to allow me to quit my job, please let me know. I’m considering doing a free ebook about this is if there’s enough interest.]

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139 Comments on "So I Quit My Day Job, Dear Boss: You’re Fired"

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Glen Allsopp
Guest

Congrats buddy, I always thought that you could make it. Was the business idea Project Mojave, or did you mean someone coincidentally offered you a job?

Good luck, and I’m here if you need any support, I quit my job in January and haven’t looked back :)

MoneyEnergy
Guest

Ha ha – love the note “no longer requiring your employment services.” !

Satya Colombo
Guest

Awesome! In my experience there is truly nothing feels better than succeeding at working for yourself and doing what you love/what you feel you’re meant to do on this earth…

Definitely do the ebook – look at chris guillebeau’s phenom 279 days to overnight success – he even got a drop from seth g on it.

Keep rockin

Baker
Guest

Dude you own, hardcore!

Thanks for providing so much inspiration for those of us chasing the dream. With any luck (and really hard work) there will be a ton of us right behind you!

I can’t wait to see what you can do now that you are liberated. It should be a fun ride!

Robert
Guest
Hi Jonathan, I have been following your work for a while now and I just wanted to say congratulations on reaching your goal. I’m very happy for you and I look forward to witnessing your great success in all that you wish! I too have quit my day job and have begun the journey of serving humanity and doing my Dharma. It’s a wonderful thing to do and something I believe is out birth right. Thank you for being an example that gives people the kick in the ass they need to do what they think they can’t do. I… Read more »
Armen Shirvanian
Guest
I must say that this seems quite appropriate. It felt like the way you were directed in these past many months would leave it impossible for you to not be self-employed. I think many of us readers of your material will see this post as your envisioning made real. Laying out the steps of how you did it leaves them there for anyone to grab. If someone wants to follow in your footsteps in a similar way, they now have the to-do list. Your larger message brings up a solid point about what is currently rewarded by the current system… Read more »
dancingcrane
Guest

Long-time rss reader, definitely interested in the ‘how I built my blog/business so I could quit my job’ ebook idea. Looking to make my living writing.

ChristiaanH
Guest

First off, Congratulations!

The idea of setting a (seemingly unachievable) goal in a year really does appeal to me I must say. Even though that goal might not be serious, you do commit to it up to a certain level and that’s more than enough to get the ball rolling.

I really would like to read that thorough guide if you’re going to write it.

You inspire me! I have a dream, now to make that dream become my reality. Thank you for showing me the power of dreaming and believing in them again.

Matt Cheuvront
Guest

Seriously Jonathan, congratulations! You’ve taken a big step in your journey and to be honest – I’m aspiring to accomplish what you have. Blogging and writing is so much more than a hobby to me, and I know, over time, I’ll be where I want to be – I keep taking baby steps, but sometimes, you have to take a giant leap of faith. Cheers to you for being bold, and look luck moving forward!

Andrew Galasetti
Guest

Congrats on becoming a full time blogger and ass-kicker!

You’ve achieved some amazing success and more to come I’m sure.

As far as the free ebook you were thinking of writing; I think you should do it!! A lot of people would love to read it, including myself.

Best wishes for the future,

-Andrew

Aodan Enright
Guest

Jonathan,

Congratulations on your successful transition. You are a fine example of how to do this the right way.

All the very best with self-employment. I’m certain you’ll never regret this day.

Aodan

Dave C.
Guest

Jonathan,
Best of luck with your new career! This was my first time reading your blog, but I am already inspired by your writing; I have no doubt you will be successful.

Jimmy
Guest

I would definitely be interested in a guide to how you achieved this through blogging! I’m a first time reader and I noticed how you’re very articulate and you make it fun and easy to read your blogs. Keep it up!

George Horning
Guest

Awesome! I think I have said about 99% of what you just did. Good luck. You are inspiring. After reading “The 4-Hour Work Week” by Timothy Farriss, I reduced my hours from 40/week to 20/week. There is a better way. It can be done. I have taken the first step and now am attempting some of the same things you have achieved. Congratulations on escaping the 9-5. All the best.
George

Ryan
Guest

Makes me want to get a job just so I can write such an awesome “rejection” letter. I think my letter heading would be: Today I declare my mind’s independence!

Gyuri
Guest

Well done, Jonathan! Looking forward to hearing more from you on ProjMoj as well.

Pace
Guest

Jonathan,

This is amazingly awesome. I’m so happy for you! Congratulations!!!!!!!!!

Marc and Angel Hack Life
Guest

Very inspiring, Jonathan. I knew this was right around the corner. ;-)

Never look back.

Matt Jabs
Guest

Awesome stuff Jonathan!

1. Adding value
2. Unique content
3. Set a date goal & a money goal.

I love these three, and they are all goals I have set for myself as well.

Thank you for this inspiration that keeps us fighting, and causes others to start fighting! I’m going to break out my nun-chuck skills now & really push hard. ;-)

Dusan Vlahovic
Guest

It’s so inspiring to read this and to know that someone has followed his dreams and achieved it! Best of luck to you Johantan.

You have inspired me to liberate myself!

floreta
Guest

wow, congrats! i recently found your blog and think it is very interesting. i have no doubt you are a “pro blogger”, even if you hadn’t gone pro you make it SEEM like you’re pro.. that’s an important thing i think to set you above from the rest. keep up the good work and may more success follow.

The Happy Rock
Guest

Congrats.

It is great to see someone quitting to focus on what they do best, because in the end everyone if going to benefit more!

Island Girl
Guest

My sincerest congratulations on joining the tribe of the liberated and self-employed. Sometimes it’s hard to follow your own advice, and it’s a real privilege as a reader, to share in your journey, and watch you put your own words into action. When one door closes, another one opens, and I love your story of serendipity … Namaste !

Nana
Guest
Hey! This was a truly inspiring post. In my own manner, I’ve been pursuing my dreams of being a great writer & getting published. My first step was getting published on an online literary magazine, & I send out a query to other magazines as well. I’ve been writing regularly (as it is my passion) since I am 9, so the stories have been piling up, but I feel most alive when I write. I hope to use my blog as a marketing tool when I publish an ebook of short stories, so far, I’m working on building a following… Read more »
Allie
Guest

A great achievement. Congratulations! Wishing you all the best!

MoneyEnergy
Guest

I like the way you put it, “be paid just to exist.” I agree with this sentiment. Makes me think that if we just find a way to whittle down our activities to the core, to what we do best, the universe finds a way to support us. Glad to see you doing this, and I look forward to what comes next!

Danny Cooper
Guest

Congrats! You finish your employment on my 18th birthday :)

Luciano Passuello
Guest

Kudos for the great news! Now go out and celebrate! :)

katie
Guest

we are fairly new to boise and need a good heating/plumbing service. what is the name of gramp’s business?

Tina Su
Guest

Congrats!!! :)

Remember to relax in between working. It helps to refocus on the mind, and you actually get more done.

Alicia
Guest

CONGRATS!!!!
=D

JoAnna
Guest

You have no idea how timely this post is. I’m about to make a similar leap of faith tomorrow, though I’m hoping to convince my company to let me work from the road so I can travel and write.

Thanks for the great advice. Best of luck to you!

apricot tea.
Guest

Now we’ll have to add “Sexy Entrepreneur” to the list of everything you are. Right above the “Self Improvement Juggernaut.” ;]

Sean
Guest

Congratulations!

Liberation is a beautiful thing. As I see it, the problem with most jobs is that they involve being told what to do and when to do it, and usually for the profit of someone else.

Liberation and self directed time spent following your own passions and helping others….that is a golden life indeed! Following your journey has been inspiring to me. Maybe I’ll be writing this post in another year or so!

Lastly, I am definitely in favor of a free ebook about all of this.

Daniel Edlen
Guest

Awesome! I’m glad to have connected with you on Twitter this month to see you reach this step. Very cool.

Well said, actionable stuff too. Very confident language you’ve got.

Peace.
@vinylart

Matt
Guest

Inspiring. Thanks for blazing the trail for the rest of us. Intention is the key. You have to make it a solid goal, make a plan to make it happen, and look for the conditions that make it possible, just like you did. You have compelled me to make ‘quitting’, or firing my boss, a priority, and to make a plan and set a reasonable date of emancipation. Keep blazing the tail and showing us all that it’s possible.

Tiffany
Guest

Jonathan – Congrats! It’s been incredible to watch parts of this journey unfold. Best wishes on where this carries you now. And please do put that eBook together you mentioned. I think your unconventional advice on this career path would be a real value to your niche and the whole blogging genre as well.

Jonathan
Guest

Congratulations Jonathan! It is great to see someone reach the dreams.

Jason
Guest

What an accomplishment. You have definitely shown that willpower is one heck of a tool. Your path to success and “Liberation” is an example to all. Keep up the great work!

Bud Hennekes
Guest

You have had a powerful impact on my life. Thank you and congrats!

Foodie McBody
Guest

This post gave me goose bumps. I just found you when you were guest-blogging at ZenHabits. So glad I did. Congratulations on achieving this! I’ve got my own little dream percolating. I’m taking notes.

Rebecca
Guest

Yes do the next ebook! I love your story and can’t wait to hear more.

Natalia
Guest

Yay, congratulations! Live the dream.

Greg at Live Fit
Guest

Congratulations on achieving your dream. The amount of time, effort, and energy you’ve obviously put into this endeavor will obviously pay off.

Vered - MomGrind
Guest

Congrats!

Re the ebook on how you built your business, my 2 cents: I think you should absolutely write it, but I also think you should charge for it. I’m sure people would be willing to pay for this type of information.

Peter Clemens
Guest

Congrats Jonathan. Very inspiring!

Peter

Kolammal
Guest

Wow, you’ve done it! And as the comments above tell, we all love it. Would like to hear on how you built this blog. Do work on an eBook and I’m sure all of us would love to read it.

Ross
Guest

Congrats on the firing of the boss. I would definitely be interested in an ebook on the details of things. I’m heading towards being self-employed but am still a bit fuzzy on some of the details. Thanks!

Kathleen
Guest

Congratulations and good luck with your future in ass kicking!

sharon
Guest

Awesome!

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