The #1 Reason You Will Never Quit Your Job

Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Jason over at 

72% of us dream about living life on our own terms, escaping the day job, breaking down the cubicle walls and adventuring into business for ourselves. Since you’re reading this blog, I’m going out on a limb here and guessing that you are part of this overwhelming majority. I was too.

In late 2004, I was approaching 9 years at my job. I worked in a management position for the largest privately held corporation in Philadelphia. I was being compensated well with a 6-figure salary and benefits package.

I managed to make a 1 hour commute through traffic into the city in the morning.
I spent an average of 10 hours in the cube daily.
And then another 1 hour commute through traffic back out of the city in the evening.

50% of my life during the week was dedicated to growing someone else’s business.
33% of my life during the week was sleep; replenishing my energy to grow someone else’s business.

That left me with 17% of my life to split between my wife, my two young children, and myself.
I sold 83% of me so I could try and “live on my own terms” 17% of the time.

I was comfortable, but that didn’t stop me from dreaming about what it would look like to live life on my own terms 100%.

You know the dream. You reject the identity of being a cog in someone else’s wheel. There is something inside of you drawing you into a greater purpose… be still; listen.

The Search for Fulfillment

I enjoyed my work, my coworkers, my compensation and quite honestly it wasn’t a bad company to work for at all. I was young, and in a position to be groomed for higher responsibilities and next stages of leadership. My accomplishments and achievements for this company were something to be truly proud of. I was the youngest person in company history to ever be recognized by the President personally for an award. When times got tough for the company, and others were being laid off around me, my job remained. I was really very fortunate to be in the position that I was.

Yet, there was something very wrong. Something inside of me. There was an emptiness and a longing to enter into something bigger. I was completely unfulfilled. I felt underutilized, limited, and held back by corporate politics and ceilings of positional career growth. I had ambitions of offering my talents and strengths to the world outside of the limitations that I felt at the company.

Fulfillment to me didn’t look like a paycheck, or a benefits package, or a stable job, or a career path.

Fulfillment to me, was the pursuit of the dream. I didn’t really have a choice. I was compelled to respond to that spark inside that was calling me into something greater.

The Overwhelming Chasm

As I took inventory of my situation, this is what I saw:

  • Young family, dependent on me as “bread-winner”
  • Big house in the suburbs = big mortgage
  • Debt that we accumulated early on but were chipping away at
  • All savings invested in retirement plan
  • Limited extra time in the day to invest in building my dream
  • Early signs of an economy moving downward

The visual that I was left with was this huge gap between my dream, and my current situation. Imagine standing on the edge of one side of the Grand Canyon. If you’ve ever been there, you know the feeling… your heart skips a few beats and you find yourself breathless as you approach the edge. A massive chasm, very wide and very deep, standing between you and the other side.

The reason most of you will never quit your day job, statistically speaking, is because this chasm will always be insurmountable in your mind. Most of you will systematically attempt to eliminate each item on the list. Everyone’s list of challenges standing in the way is different, and the list is ever-changing with the ebbs and flows of life. In many cases, new items are added faster then you can remove them. It’s only natural for you to work toward eliminating all obstacles; narrowing the chasm so that in the end you can simply step across, without any risk at all.

After 6 months of deliberation, standing on the edge, heavily weighing my own chasm of obstacles, I came to a profound realization. If I’m ever going to go after the dream, and get to the other side, I must jump.

So I jumped.

A Big Shock: After Taking the Leap

We had a little bit of a parachute… some savings and some clients that would give us a bit of time before crashing to the ground.

But it wasn’t enough.

2 years after taking the leap, my family and I watched our house get foreclosed on, our cars get towed away, and our debts climb to unbearable heights. Our marriage was on the rocks… we were both suffering through heavy bouts of depression. We had crashed into the bottom of the canyon floor, and found ourselves completely broken.

If my story ended here, with my family and I in pieces on the ground after a long fall, I honestly do not believe I would be here to write this today. It is critical for you to understand how far we fell and how messed up things got as a result of our choice to jump. Without that perspective and understanding, you wouldn’t be able to fully appreciate what happened next.

You see, the shock wasn’t that we found ourselves crashing, and later picking up the pieces on the bottom floor.

The shock came as we started to piece our lives and ourselves back together… we stumbled upon a remarkable discovery. As we began to help each other up, and stand again, there was something very different about us. We were changed. We had wings. We could fly.

So we flew.

We experienced a wholeness as a family, and wholeness as individuals that we’ve never experienced before. The story that developed and grew out of our brokenness and our newfound ability to fly became a platform, and a place where we could help others. You see, that original dream that we so desperately wanted to reach was replaced with something greater. As we spread our wings and flew up above the canyon, we were able to see life from a new perspective, and were able to recognize that the original dream was too small. Inside of us, existed a new strength and power, an incredible flame, that rose out of our story. The flame has compelled us to inspire, and help people in the various stages of their own process of following their dreams.

It all starts with the spark.

Your Small Spark Can Change the World

My hope is that my story will not scare you from taking the jump into the chasm in your own life, but that it will inspire you into a realization that you have wings to fly. Everyone has their own journey, and yours will look different then mine. Doors will open and they will close. Some will need to be broken more than others, and some will learn how to fly before they reach the bottom.

The small spark inside of you is trying to get your attention. May you respond and allow it to grow into a flame that will compel you to step into your purpose and change the world around you.

As you enter into the next steps in your own journey, I’ve prepared a gift for you to offer further inspiration and support — its a free eBook, “The Tribe Builder’s Manifesto — Your Small Spark Can Change the World“. Please download and share it. I would also love to hear about your story and your spark — please leave a comment below!

About the Author:  Jason writes at TRIBE.LY, a blog about building tribes that can make positive change in the world.


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photo courtesy of  jpoage



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"Jonathan gave me two invaluable things: solid guidance on what really works, and the confidence to make things happen."~ Cara Stein

Comment & Add Your Voice

Espresso English May 3, 2012 at 5:16 am

Wow. It’s amazing that you had the courage to “jump” from a decent job with a 6 figure income – with a family. I’m having the hard time making the leap out of a minimum wage, no-benefit job  :-/
It actually is inspiring that you crashed before starting to fly. I feel like a lot of entrepreneurship and freedom-finding stories kind of gloss over that part of the experience (or the potential for it). A lot of them read like, “when I quit my job, my side business just took off and grew faster than I could have imagined!” Nobody really talks about the negative consequences of that leap. Kudos to you and your wife for pushing through and not giving up!


ibuildtribes May 3, 2012 at 6:33 am

 @Espresso English I completely agree with you.  The story is not whole without the fall.  It’s like watching a movie where nothing really bad ever goes wrong — boring.  We need stories that are real that we can connect and resonate with.  Thank-you for your comment!

Cate January 1, 2017 at 7:45 pm

But….not everyone does experience that. In your comment above it makes it sound as if it’s the only way to go. I know many people who flew out the doors of their high paying jobs and made it just fine without all that. I think it depends on each individual situation.

VLitespeed August 10, 2017 at 1:23 pm

Those who make the leap and dont have any struggle have got to by far be a minority I would think.

After 20 years slaving away for others, seeing other family members who worked thejr life away for just barely enough to save and get a few weeks of vacation time, I realize the status quo of go to college, get a good job and work your life away is bullshit. Im done working the best years of my life away. There has got to be a better way than this. A day where I focus on myself not making a single penny seems far better than working 12 hours a day for someone elses dream.

MichaelTaylor May 3, 2012 at 6:11 am

Thanks for sharing your story! I too reached a point in my life where there was a “yearning” in my soul to be my own boss. My crash began at age 29 when I went through a divorce, bankruptcy and foreclosure which triggered a deep state of depression in which I contemplated suicide. But that yearning in my soul kept calling out to me and I simply could not ignore it. I then took a leap of faith and walked away from a secure management position with no savings and followed my heart to become my own boss.
It was the most difficult decision I had made in my life but my heart knew it was the right thing to do. Although it took my approximately 8 years to get back on my feet financially, the man I became as a result of taking that leap defies description. As a result of the leap, I discovered several hidden talents that I didn’t even know I had. I became a writer, motivational speaker and radio show host (without any formal education because I dropped out of high school in the 11th grade) and now have the opportunity to help others find their gifts and talents. My life now has depth and meaning and I am doing what I love and in control of my own destiny.
Its been said that “Life begins at the end of our comfort zone” and I definitely concur with that statement. I chose to take the road less traveled and it brought LIFE to my life and I am a happier fulfilled man as a result of it.
Keep sharing your wisdom! The world needs more people who are courageous enough to follow their hearts and teach others how to do the same.


ibuildtribes May 3, 2012 at 6:31 am

 @MichaelTaylor Wow!  Michael, thank you for sharing your story as well.  I couldn’t help to shed a tear as I could connect with your pain, but then resonate with your rise and discovery of hidden talents.  There is such an amazing story of redemption that exists within us as humans.  You are so blessed to be one of the great ones that was able to experience this beautiful story in its fullness.  Thank-you, Michael.

PureSignal May 3, 2012 at 6:15 am

That took a ton of courage, and it’s awesome to hear that even after “finding yourself completely broken”, you were able to become better for it. Feels like a phoenix rising from the ashes story.
I’m in a strange situation with this, because I’ve never had a full-time job working for someone else. I worked part-time in high school and college, but when it came time to decide if I would start taking internships and applying for jobs after graduation, that’s when I jumped.
It was tough at times, but I’m also really glad I took the leap. Blogs like this one were the biggest motivators to do so, and now I’m extremely happy I kept at it.


ibuildtribes May 3, 2012 at 6:28 am

 @PureSignal I love that there is so much support available in the entrepreneurship community now through blogs and TRIBES online.  It is so encouraging to hear about young people like yourself that were able to start their entrepreneurial journeys much earlier than was typical in previous generations.  
Love your phoenix from the ashes analogy by the way.  Great stuff!

ethanwaldman May 3, 2012 at 8:02 am

Fulfillment to me didn’t look like a paycheck, or a benefits package, or a stable job, or a career path. <- that says it in a nutshell.
Thanks for sharing your story. I am in a very similar situation that you were in “facing the chasm”. I’m leaving my corporate job on June 1st, but have already secured contract work with them that will carry me for a while. I started my own business over a year ago, and while it’s not making enough to sustain me, I am comfortable with where it is and where it’s going.
I’ve also removed a lot of the obstacles from the chasm. No debt, no mortgage, and building my own mobile tiny house this summer debt free. I look forward to checking out the manifesto and hearing the full story. You definitely left out a lot, but hey.. it’s just one blog post. :)


ibuildtribes May 3, 2012 at 8:11 am

 @ethanwaldman Absolutely Ethan.  I plan on filling in the gaps over time at TRIBE.LY.   Congrats on the progress you’ve made and being so close to that big day on June 1st!

ColleenConger May 4, 2012 at 7:57 am

 @ethanwaldman You’re a true maverick for taking this leap.  Congrats!  I’m excited for you and the positive changes you’re going to experience.
One question.  How did you go about securing the contract work with the company you were leaving?  

AntoniaLoGiudice May 3, 2012 at 11:04 am

Hi Jonathan!
Really enjoyed reading your story! I related to the part about the “spark”. I worked in Big Canadian Corporation for ten years. I moved up the ladder to management in a short amount of time. At first, I loved it. I was developing individuals to reach their full potential, bring out their strengths…it was rewarding watching these individuals grow both professionally and personally. I was leading several teams from different platforms. Soon, these teams were the most successfully, making changes that contributed to saving the company alot of money, winning prestigious awards…
At some point, a structural change brought on a new vision within the company. I was given feedback for not giving any disciplinary actions to my employees. You see, I encouraged them to take responsibilities and try different things, implicated them in various projects…of course, this meant that some would make mistakes along the way. I guided them to learn from these mistakes and further progress. New upper management saw things differently, they expected that these mistakes be reprimanded. I tried to let them see different…at some point, I no longer felt I was contributing and felt stagnant! This is were that “spark” kicked in…
Well, since then, I quit my job, sold all my belongings and am currently traveling across South America, doing what I love!!! Recently started on line coaching and am working on writing a book!!
There have been quite a few challenges along the way. learning to adapt to different cultures, learning a new language…however, I have gained so much from my experiences and met so many amazing people with inspiring stories to tell, which, Yes, I have started and will continue to write about!


ibuildtribes May 3, 2012 at 1:58 pm

 @AntoniaLoGiudice Incredible story!  Sounds like you are well on your way to building an amazing TRIBE, and changing the world around you.  Absolutely beautiful.

ColleenConger May 3, 2012 at 8:10 pm

Wow! These are the kind of stories Hollywood producers turn into blockbusters. A hero has it all, loses it all, and then comes back to claim it all and discovers his purpose in life.
So what is it that makes the comfort zone so damn alluring? Who in their right mind would give up a job with a great salary, fancy vacations, a big house, and nice cars? It’s called “experiencing a life event.”
My life event occurred over four years ago when I almost died giving birth to my premature son. All I could remember was telling my husband, “If you have to choose, choose to save me.” Almost 80 days later, we brought our son home from the NICU. Four months after that I suffered a nervous breakdown from the potent cocktail of post-traumatic stress syndrome and post-partum depression and landed up in a psychiatric hospital under suicide watch.
Would I have followed my dream before all of that happened? Probably not. Have I learned a lesson or two about living my life to it’s fullest? You bet. Do I want to do something now that will change the world? Hell yeah! 


ibuildtribes May 4, 2012 at 4:24 am

 @ColleenConger You are right.  When you survive the most difficult challenges that life throws at you, it is only then that you can really understand what it is to live fully alive.  What a tremendous story of survival, brokenness and revival.  Use that story Colleen!  Very powerful.

AntoniaLoGiudice May 4, 2012 at 10:34 am

 @ColleenConger WOW, Colleen, you are truly inspiring!! To have come out of such a suffering and looking at it as a life changing experience for others…What a great soul! Not everyone is able to see such life challenges as being given a “second chance” in life to make a positive difference!!

tohami May 4, 2012 at 2:28 am

I love how you tapped into the pain by saying, “I sold 83% of me so I could try and “live on my own terms” 17% of the time.” This is powerful Jason.
What is the source of the statistical fact you started your article with? “72% of us dream about living life on our own terms” 
I know this is generally true, but if there is a source to prove it, then it would greatly help me support the argument. 


ibuildtribes May 4, 2012 at 4:27 am

 @tohami Definitely. It was a survey by Intuit Quickbooks actually. Here’s a link for you:
That one was from 2007.  I imagine the actual # has probably only gone up since that time given the state of our economy over the last 5 years.

Maverickboardin May 4, 2012 at 5:30 am

I’m Taking the leap in a few months moving from MI to NZ…. Figured I’d put that out there if anyone else is in…


ibuildtribes May 4, 2012 at 5:55 am

 @Maverickboardin There’s a big TRIBE of expats in NZ — have fun!  Lookup Natalie Sisson, a blogger who’s been back and forth between the US and NZ.

Bojan011 May 4, 2012 at 7:13 am

This is an amazing article. Made me shiver. So well written, it can do nothing less but inspire! When I see other people following their dream and making out of the crash alive, it is just a further inspiration to move me forward as well. 
Thank you!


ibuildtribes May 4, 2012 at 8:05 am

 @Bojan011 Carry that inspiration forward and find your wings!  Thanks for the note, it means a lot.  

misamoreno86 May 4, 2012 at 10:00 am

I would like to say many good things.. and tell my story too But i don’t speak english well. so the only  i want to  say  is that you made a difference. I’m happy for you. Never stop dreaming. ^^!


ibuildtribes May 4, 2012 at 10:41 am

 @misamoreno86 beautiful words!  Thank-you.  :)

JonathanMead May 5, 2012 at 11:07 am

Thanks again for taking the time to share your story here Jason. I think you’ve inspired a lot of people here.


ibuildtribes May 5, 2012 at 3:42 pm

 @JonathanMead Thank you for an incredible opportunity to share a piece of my story with one of the greatest TRIBES in the world.  Love the Illuminated Mind + Trailblazer community.  

ColleenConger May 6, 2012 at 4:34 pm

 @JonathanMead I wholeheartedly agree.  Thanks Jason.

kirstentulsian May 6, 2012 at 6:40 pm

As someone who just made the choice to quit my job, this is incredibly timely.  My intuition is telling me to jump… and it will happen at the end of this school year.  When I began to listen to voice about a year ago, I realized that my purpose is much larger than my job.  My family deserves to have a whole mom at the end of a school day, and i don’t want to spend my days feeling frustrated by the gap between my reality and my dreams.  Thank you so much for another piece to my puzzle that IS my dream!  Kudos to you and your family!


ibuildtribes May 8, 2012 at 6:51 am

 @kirstentulsian I love the picture you’ve painted for yourself of who you want to be for your family.  You deserve a whole you as much as they deserve a whole you, too.  I wish you the best Kirsten, I think your spark is about to really shine.

izmaelarkin May 7, 2012 at 12:44 am

Wow, what an inspiring post! The honesty that you speak with really hit me hard. 
A few years ago, I was working at a job that I despised. I was overwhelmed, stressed out, and always working. I still remember that weekend when I  had to pull over on the side of the road and I just broke down in tears because I was so overwhelmed at my job. It was at that point that I decided things had to change. Over the course of the next few years I made a plan to live and work internationally (which is something I had wanted to do since college). 
I now live and work in Japan and am learning new things everyday. Like your story, without that time in my life of intense pain and anxiety I never would have had the strength nor the push to live and work in another country. 
A great post! I am now going to go check out your website.


ibuildtribes May 8, 2012 at 6:53 am

 @izmaelarkin getting to the point of brokenness is so difficult, yet so healing.  Brokenness is incredibly critical to our journey of becoming whole people and living fully alive.  I am really happy to hear that you made a similar choice in your life.  Use those wings now and soar!

BenjaminR May 8, 2012 at 5:37 pm

Definately not many people will take this.
I was stuck in my job going down a dark path and didn’t have the courage to leave. But something bad enough happened for me to leave it and not turn back (though the urge does come up still at times). As painful as it was at the time, it is what has now got me on my own path and working on my own business!
Thankyou for the manifesto, I will definately have a read.


MicroSourcing May 9, 2012 at 2:26 am

It’s great that this post reminds aspiring entrepreneurs that while the idea of quitting their day jobs and starting businesses is impressive, it entails a lot of responsibility. This post gives a realistic picture of how businesses don’t always succeed, and so it’s important to have plans in case the business fails.


ChrisLappin June 4, 2012 at 6:11 am

Wow what an incredibly inspiring post made even better by the amazing comments. 
I’ve made several work leaps in my life. Sometimes my spark shone brightly, at other times it flickered & died. It’s been a roller-coaster. I finally feel that I’ve found what I’ve always been looking for & am happy in the work I do where I can have a business whilst having a positive impact on others. It always seemed that these things weren’t compatible.
Thank you for sharing & for your honesty. 


nhoad June 15, 2012 at 3:21 am

Great story relying on the power of your own mind, and having great self discipline to keep pushing forward. 


CarenB June 22, 2012 at 8:54 pm

This is sobering. Or maybe I should say realistic! Jason, I admire your courage to put your story out there. In reading the comments I love this follow-up of yours: “Brokenness is incredibly critical to our journey of becoming whole people and living fully alive.” I know this all too well! Downloaded your Manifesto and am looking forward to reading it.


Anita Lubke March 9, 2013 at 7:14 pm

Thanks for writing this. I was apprehensive to open it up based on the title. Thought it might be a discouraging piece and cause even more self doubt. Glad it wasn’t!

As I read it, I felt like I was reading my own story. Like you, I was in corporate, making money, climbing that corporate ladder. Felt lucky (and still do) to have acheived so much for a small town Texas girl during my time in NY working in banking. I “jumped” after realizing that I too was not fulfilled. I was content and at 40, I didn’t want to just be content.

While I didn’t fall as hard, it’s been a challenge as I chose to pursue a passion in photography for the last two years, take a breath, and enjoy life for a bit. I am now ready to take my next step with a startup focused on helping small entrepreneurs launch products. It takes all of the things I am passionate about and compliments my background. You can find our landing page at

I am at the start of my journey as I take my second jump!


Justine May 19, 2013 at 6:24 pm

” That left me with 17% of my life to split between my wife, my two young children, and myself.
I sold 83% of me so I could try and “live on my own terms” 17% of the time. ”

This resonates with me. Being in a shitty corporate job, I only have meager amount of time to live my life. Makes me want to be child again; no worries, no boss to please, no pointless powerpoint meetings, no ridiculous deadlines. Haven’t quit my job yet but planning my exit strategy. It’s about time I take control of my time and life.

Thanks for this post.


Helen May 24, 2013 at 4:25 am

OMG. Thank you. I could actually cry. I currently work to exist. I did quite my job doing something for someone who was a bully. I got my degree. I have paid off all the debt except one and now I feel I have it the wall. Wondering if its worth it.
I know it is but how to keep going. Its just me by myself. no family to lean on.
I have started to work in private practice so money goes out trying to build this up. The website is a link to my company. I am very very proud of what I have achieved over the past 20+ years of my life yet hitting this wall makes me question myself and my dream.
How do I keep going? How do I keep going and eat?
Faith, faith in myself I guess.
I will read more of this blog and hope to continue to be inspired.
thank you.


Paula's work... June 18, 2013 at 1:36 am

Hey there, I just stumbled across this ( I don’t really believe that I actually believe I was meant to).. I have always felt this way, I call it the ‘inner squeak’! I have this calling to do something fantastic with my life, inspire other’s and help people by sharing and making them realise that we don’t have to conform! I will be reading all your stuff. As I am a big risk taker and always think and believe things will work out fine… faith I think they call it! If you ever need anyone to join your tribe and blog for you or contribute give me a shout with gladly help for nothing! We are def on the same wavelength! Oooh to other people who commented above me…. glad to be among you :) Paula


Pavel - Desired World July 10, 2013 at 4:47 am

I made the leap out of well-paid full-time work a few years back to start a small business. Did that for 1.5 years and then jumped back into full-time work – to re-charge the bank account. Now I am looking at leaving it all and downsizing my life completely. This desire to get ahead, to earn money, to satisfy a lifestyle – it’s bollocks in my book. I’ve had enough. I need to live deliberately.


Sean January 29, 2014 at 5:28 am


What a fantastic comment. I hope you achieve everything that your courage merits.

I’ve had more than a niggly internal monologue pretty-much since I graduated nearly a decade ago now. I got into electronic engineering since college and continued ever since. I’m relatively well paid and my working environment used to be to die for – a Manor house in the South of England working with some awesome, well educated and intelligent people. But, despite this and being a socially confident and engaged person, my heart’s never really been in it and although I maintain a committed and professional exterior, I can feel inside how much achievement I’m missing out on. The good pay maintains the lifestyle and there’s a lot of social prestige in being an engineer but it still leaves me feeling hollow. Money, prestige, career all turns to dust when we die. It is the impression we leave on others that will endure as our legacy once we’re gone. As soon as I can afford the pay cut, I’m going to put my focus on educating the next generation.

Shay August 6, 2013 at 9:53 am

Thank you for sharing your story. I am in a similar situation. Some would think i am crazy for wanting to leave a full time job with benefits and a 6 figure salary. But it has no meaning at all now. I am tired of my long commute and i have an insane desire to change my life and serve mankind and do meaningful things for others. I have no idea how i will start, have no savings, no nothing but my dream and my fear. Being a mom i have always erred on the side of caution and doing things the safe way. I am tired of the corporate world and the meaningless lives corporate america gives people. I am very close to making the leap. I pray that God will catch me and all of you out there who are about to make this leap into taking the risk of making your own dream come true regardless of the tribulations which may come with it.


Debashish September 2, 2013 at 6:44 am

An inspiring story indeed – To rise up after life has beaten you down. Congratulations, & thank you for sharing your story.
On another note, I have been coming across this pattern again and again – this search for freedom and contribution to the world is made by people who are the highest achievers in the society. I am not saying that all high achievers are like this, but it is mostly high achievers who get disillusioned with the status quo.


Cellie September 11, 2013 at 11:36 am

Inspiring!!! I know I have to jump off but I have no idea what I want out of life. All I want is to be free from the strains of my job , politics and everything else that it comes with.


Karen Martínez P. October 1, 2013 at 9:31 am

Really enjoyed reading your story.

Right now, I’m building my way to freedom. I started my freelance blog and I hope to quit my job next year. Let’s see how it goes.

It’s amazing how we spend our lifes working, and find out at some point we haven’t accomplished our goals.

The best we can do is take the first step. :)


Erwin Cuellar October 8, 2013 at 4:03 pm

Thank you for sharing your amazing story with us Jason! This is the best article on ‘quitting your job’ that I’ve ever read. After working at a large financial firm for 3 years after college, I never thought that I was truly ready to quit. I would always find myself reading about other people’s experiences, which would only confirm that I wasn’t ready. Many bloggers would encourage having ‘x’ amount of income before quitting or they’d recommend having ‘x’ amount of clients. I didn’t have either but I knew that I was destined for something else and I strongly felt it in my gut. Finally I just said fu** it, I’m going to quit because that’s what I want, whether or not I am ready enough. And guess what? It’s been an amazing, nerve-wrecking 5 weeks since I quit and I love it!

Best Regards,


chandrakanth malayathi October 18, 2013 at 1:17 am

It’s interesting. Thank you for the post. Inspiring.


Tk Murphy November 4, 2013 at 12:13 pm

Wow…what an article. Thank you for providing such insight.
It takes a lot of guts to walk away from all of your previous hard work and rebuild.
I’m in the same boat. Once the passion overtakes you, you believe in it and feel good. Positivity breeds positivity. First step is always the hardest…I stepped away from the financial/securities industry to now working at a warehouse 6pm-5am. Still gives me time to pursue my dream and not think too hard :p


Carleen December 18, 2013 at 9:57 pm

You really made me laugh, 50% of my life during the week was dedicated to growing someone else’s business. 33% of my life during the week was sleep; replenishing my energy to grow someone else’s business. Lol. But yea I just quit my job today Dec 18/ 2013. I don’t have a clue of what will come next,but my insides were screaming saying, Carleen this isn’t you, get out now. Lets see how it goes. :)


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Daniel S January 11, 2014 at 1:26 am

I guess its hard to jump when you can’t see the ground. Great outcome in your instance, but I will always give credit to someone who wants something and jumps for it , over someone who always wonders. In your situation where there were kids, a house and bills, thats an even bigger jump. Truly inspiring.


Abhishek January 13, 2014 at 11:32 pm

None of us can realize how difficult it would have been for you and your family till we WILL face the same fall someday.
Thanks brother, your words talk exactly what I seek.
Thank you for writing.


Mary-Margaret Walker January 14, 2014 at 12:11 pm

I took the leap and started my own business in 1996. But it wasn’t until my personal life fell apart and I was left with my career and my husband (infertility prevented starting our own family and the loss of my Dad broke apart the family I had. This was followed by losing other people in my life who couldn’t handle all of the hard stuff. From this experience we found our Spark! It is quite amazing to know who you are, what you want, what you will accept and what you won’t. Now I am finally seeing the development I have been working towards for years. There are still those who laugh at my goals but they don’t understand (and I don’t care) that whatever I do will be good, worth it and rewarding. Wild success isn’t always the ultimate goal. (As an aside, I’d like to share that it was frustrating to click on the link to the download for, “The Tribe Builder’s Manifesto — Your Small Spark Can Change the World.“ Not only did it not open another window. It wouldn’t let me hit the back button to this article.)


Carl January 19, 2014 at 1:08 pm

Ancient man (in tribal situations) apparently spent only about 4 hours a day doing survival related “work”. That means we used to work 17% of the time in order to live the remaining 83% on our terms. Funny how that’s the exact opposite of what you were doing. We need to get back to the old ways. The funny thing is we “could”. It is man himself that has complicated things and made life what it is. Nature really isn’t that cruel, and we long ago, for the purpose of general survival, figured out how to tame her by working together. It simply doesn’t take 40 to 60 hours a week per person to “survive” in the primitive sense. It takes that much time to compete and convince other modern humans to help you survive though. This is the world we have made.

Anyway, kudos to you for daring to make your escape. It’s scary but then you have to ask yourself if this modern rat race really is “living”in the first place.


Lindsay Hartman January 31, 2014 at 5:18 pm

Hi, Wow, thanks for your blog. Im doing a “leap” as well, I am moving to Dubai for a job in education and to be with my future husband. My whole family thinks Im nuts to walk away from a stable (as stable as anything could be) job and the comforts of american citizenship for a new adventure. All they keep saying is, well what if it doesnt work out, what if it doesnt this, what if what if…BUT ITS MY LIFE…. I still have no idea how all the peices of it will work out. But the thing is…I have to know.. my curiosity of what my life will be, could be,this is enough to take that jump. Sometimes it really is more important about your evolution as a person than it is about your bank balance. And like you said, about how you SELL YOUR TIME.


Kris March 1, 2014 at 11:12 am

Wow. A lot of commenters on here who are ready to give the finger to the financial/banking world. I am in the same position, a financial corporate lackey with the overwhelming feeling that I am not living up to my potential. The stress of my current situation is killing me. I can’t sleep, insane anxiety, have become the most cynical person…and I just can’t stand who I have become. I’ve decided enough is enough, and will be quitting within the next 2 months. I refuse to lose the rest of my precious life to a few greedy banking a-holes. No more. I’m looking forward to the ups and downs that are ahead of me. I find comfort and motivation in the fact that I’ll be living my own life, and not someone else’s idea of what my life should be.


Desertscrooge March 13, 2014 at 12:26 pm

Wow at this article. I googled, sick of my job but can’t leave yet, and I arrived here. The statement – 50% of my life during the week was dedicated to growing someone else’s business. 33% of my life during the week was sleep; replenishing my energy to grow someone else’s business.That left me with 17% of my life to split between my wife, my two young children, and myself. I sold 83% of me so I could try and “live on my own terms” 17% of the time – really struck me. Everyday for the last 3 months, the words, why am I working my entire life away to make other people rich – screams at me constantly. It’s time for me to take a shot at my dreams after 14 years of this corporate hades. Just a few more months and the rest of my debt will be paid off and I can finally start heading in the direction of my dreams where my soul leads me.


Jenny May 16, 2014 at 11:25 am

In the same boat here. A part of me is hating myself because I did quit my job in March, didn’t have a good plan, panicked, and crawled right back to the
Corporate world in August. 8 months later my bank account is happy, Im living comfortably and travel (but on only about two weeks of vacation time alloted), but I’m slipping back into the mindset that I can’t do it much longer.

Why am I wasting so much of my life for someone else?
I just wish I had a solid plan. I have a travel blog Im currently rebuilding, but no income from it at the moment.

I’d love a mentor or someone to help guide me.
My email address is and I’d love to connect with others in the same boat, or are willing to give some advise.

All the best.


Holly September 2, 2014 at 11:07 pm

I am on my way to starting a business. I have been told that my idea is very good at a local small business development center. Honestly, even though I would love to be well compensated for my idea that is not it. I have two kids, and about two years ago I went through a layoff and a divorce at the same time. My ex lives about 100 miles away with his new wife, and my mom and dad have been 3,000 miles away from me for the last 15 years. What had happened to make me take another one of my ideas seriously and begin action was my boss. She had hired a family member, and my perfect nine to five is now 3:00pm to 10:00pm or 5:00pm to anywhere from 1:00am to 2:30am. I went to my boss and explained to her that I am a single mom with two kids, and that the schedule wasn’t working. I tried to give incentive by offering to work as early as 5:00am. I explained that I have a son with dyslexia that needs extensive help with school work. I explained how my kids have nobody at all with this schedule. During the school week I get up take the kids to school and then by the time I go to work and come home they are asleep. My daughter said to me, “At first we lost our Dad and now it feels like we are losing you too.” My boss in return for the hard work I had been doing, and actually asking for help rewarded me by cutting my 40 hour paycheck down to 37 hours and the one or two dayshift times I had worked were taken away, on top of that she took my two days off together and put them in random places. The girl who took my place hardly does anything, and sits eating hour long lunches while on the clock. They are constantly rude. I got in trouble when she first started because when I was told to train her she told my boss that I was too bossy and trying to make her do everything. I am at a point in my life where I have nothing to lose. I want more than anything to have a chance to be the boss I would have wanted. I think that hard work should have some type of worth. I think that the boss should keep relationships professional. I think people should not be treated like crap. I think that employers should listen to employees. I think that questions are a good thing. My idea is good because it will give a convenience to citizens of my town, it will help businesses grow, and maybe I will get to be there with my kids. My workers will get to be there for their kids too. My job will not feel like a prison. It is sad because I actually like my job, and the guy I work with at night is very good to work with. I am not the only one who knows that favoritism is a problem, and others have complained about having to pick up the slack for the favorites. I know better, because to complain would be to state the obvious. I wish when my business started I could take the other people at my job away. Two who I trust have already claimed they would leave. One says he will, but to me I think the idea of quitting for an unknown is much too scary. I know I have to get out of the job I am at, so even if my business is a failure it will not matter. I have to leave this place. I hope that my dream comes true and that I get the chance to help a few good people. People deserve to be treated like human beings. Good luck to everyone, I hope your dreams come true.


Matt Lashley December 3, 2014 at 7:06 pm

Fantastic story. And well-written, to boot.

My story is similar, except during a 4 year hitch twenty years ago, I was trained by the USAF in info tech (an industry I had no real desire to be in), then worked for the state on big mainframes, then worked for a mobile software start-up, then started my own failed mobile software start-up (with angel investors), then worked my way into a 6 figure management position — which I left at the end of 2013 because my kiddo had just turned eighteen and I decided, “Now is the time to make the change, take the plunge, do the deed, get ‘er done … ” and a host of other cliches.

It’s never been a better time to work for yourself.


Sarah January 26, 2015 at 5:42 am

I’ve been scouring hundreds of articles looking for reasons, really good reasons for me to jump and leave my job, and this post just did that. Thanks for inspiring :)


Lina June 8, 2015 at 5:55 pm

I knoe this was posted a few years ago. But guess what..i ended up here because I have all these thoughts in mind about doing what you did..making a change for myself and finding happiness that i had been struggling to maintain due to a lot of different reasons.

I am now serving my last month at a full time job that paid me okay, but I was just exhausted with. It doesnt feel like the pay is ever enough when i feel so exhausted overworking myself everday.

I will be off to find things that would make me satisfied and fulfilled. I do not have a fixed plan but I have a lot of things in my mind on what I can do. It is nerve-racking to hear people at work asking why I am leaving when I have no other job secured. It makes me feel doubt about my decision, thus I am reading all these articles to see if I had made the right decision. But i know that i will only find the answer when i do it myself.



Donewithmydayjob July 28, 2015 at 6:48 am

This article is exactly what I needed. I too have a corporate job, close to 6 figure salary, great benefits and perks – but a big void in my life! The only reason I work is to exist (pay bills etc). At 35, I want to take a leap but my husband does not have a stable job – so fear that it may have some consequences. Most of our savings are vested in retirement funds, and we have no children yet! A few days ago I sat at work in a closed booth – crying – hating every moment of my life! I too want to get out of this rat race – and live 100% of my life!
Thank you for sharing this! It makes me realize I am not alone!


Maqsood August 20, 2015 at 2:04 am

Nice very Nice.
I think you are lucky have 17% to spend with your family, what the job I am doing in which,
12 hours Duty
03 hours of transport preparation for duty.
07 hours Rest
only getting 2 hours ( 8 % of my my life to have on net or personnel works at shared room).
nothing more routine life like a machine.
I have a spark, but afraid of Leap.


Mary Mercer September 25, 2015 at 10:30 am

I can’t get this to download, I need to read this. I’ve been at my same job nearly 20 years, no salary change in 7 years, no benefits, 1 week vacation. I guess my loyalty won’t let me leave. I have been married to my best friend and husband for 37 years. Any idea how I can get the ebook?
Blessings for all of the stories.


Mavis October 10, 2015 at 8:59 pm

I’m standing near the edge with a bungee cord tied to me. Yes, I want to take that leap by leaving my current job but at the same time I’m holding onto it as I know I need it to pay the bills and essentially live. “Paid to Exist” is exactly how I feel right now and I know that it’s not what I want to do for the rest of my life, which is why I am taking action to learn what my passion is, to develop the “authentic” me so I can ultimately release that bungee cord and jump!


Senea October 16, 2015 at 3:29 pm

I’ve gone through this metamorphosis of sorts where I’might in and out of the cycle of desiring to leave the typical 9-5 to live out my passions. I’ve stumbled out on faith only to run back to the comfort of the corporate world. I have always felt as if there is more to lifeven than the standard we are taught early on to sustain. It’s always the fear of what if things go horribly wrong. Anyway I love how your journey chronolized your rise and fall, then rise again. It’s a scary world but your story has inspired me because I’ve arrived at that crossroads yet again of leaving my job and following my heart’s desire to live freely and happily!!!


Tarus Jackson October 17, 2015 at 5:45 pm

I have worked for a year and it has come to my realization that life is not about what you are now , its not just about the salary I take home. I want to do something I wake every morning , smile knowing that there is lots of possibilities out there. Where my hard work will equal to my return …. not when I land but after the spark.

I wish to draft that resign letter.


Kasey December 8, 2015 at 3:42 pm

My wife says my job isn’t good enough even though I make 15 an hour she makes more though she says my life has no direction and I’m satisfied where I’m at well I was b 4 she said she wants to leave me I like my job and pay my bills why isn’t that enough I’m scared of losing her and daughter but should I have to jump threw all these hoops for her love


John January 21, 2016 at 10:55 am

This is a cult. I mean that seriously. You guys are out of your minds to take life advice from these fools. Get a game plan. Figure out what you want and get it. Don’t just “jump”. Take risks, but calculate them. There is no valid information in this article- just shock and buzz words and phrases to make you think it’s something groundbreaking. Then it’s turning around and having you build someone else’s dream by making you think it’s something you want. Laughable at best. Of course this comment won’t make it to the comments section, but I figured I’d take the leap…


Tanisha February 7, 2016 at 6:29 pm

Thank you so much for your blog! I find this to be very encouraging as I am at point of taking that the leap, but I am really scared. I am a single mom of two girls and their fathers are absent which makes it extremely difficult to make ends meet. I have founded and incorporated a nonprofit organization to support women who are homeless and abused. There is a fire in me that is burning so hot to leave my job and promote my organization, but the fear of the unknown is killing me. I have a good job with awesome benefits but I am mentally no longer there.


AR March 15, 2016 at 3:33 am

Hi Jonathan
Thanks to google that i landed up at your blog
I am in a a very similar situation and i am going to spill the beans to the owner of the company soon(read 1st April )
Started with this organization as a Country Manager , Director and now Managing Director for the last 5 years
I feel obligated to my employers as they have been amazing and provided me an opportunity of a life time – THEN , with a few issues which are normal in any organization – nothing to complain about
I have a side business going on for the last 2 years and its ready to move to next level
I will be honest – i am actually dreading “THE” meeting with the owners – your blog has helped me in reducing my anxiety – though it will only go when i finally DO IT
Tks once again


Crystal May 17, 2016 at 9:11 am

I have a question for all of you…would you have been more happy in the same job but instead you worked 3 days a week but were paid half the salary and only health benefits? Would it have been enough time to pursue your other life goals and keep you financially stable?


Maria Little June 13, 2016 at 9:23 am

My husband, two dogs and I had a dream in 2014. We wanted to move from the cold north to the warm south, become real estate agents, finish my memoir, begin our children’s book series and experience a new way of living.

We live in Texas, are nearly finished with the first kids book, I am a real estate agent, nearly done with my memoir, and pitching my book to a NYC agent this month.
The first week we moved to Texas we were in a major car accident, hit head on by a UHAUL.
My dogs and I got severe allergies, my husband went back to school, to learn he didn’t really want to go back.

After our trials and tribulations, My husband and I found strength within ourselves and our marriage. Our dogs are on allergy meds, I stay home to do real estate and write while my husband works at a job he loves. Our income is minimal for now, but we are doing our dream.

It was hard work, and SO WORTH it.


Bob October 6, 2016 at 9:40 am

In October 2007 on a job I had for 3 1/2 years (I really liked my coworkers) but management was well I can’t use that kind of language here. So I got up at 3:15 on 10/1/2007 and walked off my job and I never looked back. I went to Europe. So this article is good in a way but if you are going to sit around and wait for someone to hand you what you want or are dreaming of, you are going to be waiting a long time. There is a great book by Susan Jeffers “Feel the fear and do it anyway” and if it were not for that book I read like 50 times I would not have had the guts to work off a good paying job. After spending 5 months in Europe, on Feb 2008 I landed a better job. So get off your tuff and do it.


Eve October 11, 2016 at 5:54 am

I would love to hear what happened during those 2 years of your life when you were at the bottom. I believe you had all kinds of skills and experience to get at least part time job and still have a lot of time to yourself. 2 years of instability with children, losing a house is something insane considering you were a valuable employee before. Maybe you explained all this somehwere in the comments or other posts, but I didn’t see. Please point me to the explanation of this way of thinking. You skipped the best part. 2 years is not just a bad dream. Even after few months of horrible existence many people would go back to wherever they felt quite okay. I see many readers hyped about your story, but I doubt they really understood the real thing here. Then suddenly everybody start quitting their jobs in a hope for the same success just to realise what was not told and that success is not an overnight thing. Before that you must experience the actual hell.


Ana October 23, 2016 at 4:58 pm

So here I am, pretty much where you are. Realizing my life belongs to someone else. I make 6 figures, I have a little bit of freedom in my time, but the view from the top is not better. I am constantly anxious. I can’t sleep and I feel m job is eating my soul. My husband and I do not have kids. We have both lived fairly frugally. I have no debt anymore and he is paying off his. Including our mortgage. I have about 2 years of basic expenses saved. I want to quit and start my own business. There are many reasons this can go right and many why it can go wrong. Nonetheless, I feel I should do it. I decided on a target date and hopefully I will make alive on the other side to take the plunge.


Suzanne November 14, 2016 at 10:11 am

I love this story. My story is pretty similar as I had a six-figure salary and a decent job but I also felt the disconnect between my time and how much of it I was giving up for a salary. I made the leap but am only in the beginning of my journey. Your story is very inspiring.


Danny Vermette January 17, 2017 at 1:19 pm

Thanks for this article. I quit my full-time job just over a month ago without having done much planning. I felt comfortable doing it that way precisely because I don’t have anyone depending on my financially, so the risk I took was mine alone. For me it was also important to think about what was likely to happen if I didn’t quit my job. Was I going to talk myself out of trying something new? Would I get so burned out at work that I became ineffective at my job? Was I likely to see any growth in that job if I stayed in it? Those were questions that helped me decide that it was better to take a chance in the end.


Brian Sypniewski February 7, 2017 at 10:53 am

I took the leap 8 months ago and I’m still falling. I’m just getting by and slowly feel my depression growing. I know I wasn’t happy at my last job. The work was boring and the work schedule was rotating swing shift 6 days a week. My body and mind just couldn’t take it anymore. I always was saying. “There has to be more to life then this” even tho I’m scared and have no clue how I’m going to get by next month I glad I jumped. I hope I find whatever I’m looking for


ethanwaldman May 8, 2012 at 9:57 am

 @ColleenConger Funny you should ask, Colleen! That story is going to be the topic of an upcoming Illuminated Mind guest post :)
When it comes to contract work, nothing is really “secure”. But of course, neither is full time employment these days! I had a frank discussion with my boss and told her I wanted to continue my work but support the team in a different way.  


ColleenConger May 6, 2012 at 4:37 pm

 @AntoniaLoGiudice You and I have both been through life changing experiences.  It sounds like you’ve put your feet on the floor and starting chasing your dream with your whole heart.  If and when you start a blog to chronicle your journey, please come back and let me know the address.  Blessings on your fantastic adventure.


AntoniaLoGiudice May 7, 2012 at 6:36 am

 @ColleenConger My website is I share stories, both my own and real life stories from people I have met traveling, in hopes of contributing to further inspire others! I have visited your website, will definitely be following your stories:)


ColleenConger May 4, 2012 at 7:53 am

 @ibuildtribes  @Maverickboardin Perfect reference.  Natalie Sisson, the suitcase entrepreneur.  Here’s her site –  Check out her About page.  She’s living what Jason talked about in his post and what Illuminated Mind is blogging about everyday – Living a life with purpose, one where you make an impact in other peoples’ lives and leave a legacy behind you that you’re proud of!
Safe travels on your new adventure.


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