In the days to come, if you come across any financial blog, you’ll be reading a lot of stuff about the latest Financial Blogger Conference (aka FinCon12) that happened this weekend in Denver. I’m not going to tell you about how cool it was because it doesn’t mean much if you didn’t come or if you are not a blogger. However, I’ll be telling you about all the thoughts that ran through my mind during those three days. Going to FinCon is literally like injecting inspiration directly into my veins. And I really needed that lately. With the newborn and a new job this year, my batteries were kind of running low and I wasn’t so hyped about my online company. It’s actually going pretty well but I guess that I just didn’t have enough energy to keep it going. I just got the spark I needed to light the fire again.
Speaking of which, I met with a lot of passionate bloggers over the weekend that have that fire. But one of them particularly caught my attention. His name is Derek. He caught my attention because he was the “youngest” blogger of the conference. His blog has four entries so far. We were roughly 400 bloggers at the conference and obviously there is a great mix of experienced and new bloggers. But this guy just started up writing (his blog is not even all setup yet) but he decided to go all in.
Blogging is surely appealing and it becomes even better when you hear about million dollar stories such as J.D. Roth, Flexo, and Jim who sold their blogs (Get Rich Slowly, Consumerism Commentary, Bargaineering) for seven figures. But my guess is that well over 75% of new bloggers in the PF world don’t pass the 18 month mark of activity. So starting a blog thinking you are going to break the bank is not really what we can call a safe career path. Most people can’t make over $500 a month and that is after working 80 hours/month. When you look at how much you make per hour, you would better off working at Mickey Ds!
Regardless of the statistic, Derek has made his decision. After struggling with the fact that he doesn’t really like his job and that he is not where he wanted to be with his career, he decided to move forward and ask to work three days a week so he can concentrate on his new online adventure. What is even ballsier is that he doesn’t have an up & running blog; it’s currently showing five articles on a website with a layout that needs improvement.
So he doesn’t have a clue on how well (or bad!) his blog is going to do.
He has no clue of how much he will make (or even how he will make his money).
He doesn’t have a clue of how much work it really requires to get there (even though he has been reading several blogs (along with mine, Yeah!)).
But he really does have passion. He surely has a great story to tell. He’s definitely authentic and has a unique voice. I’m actually looking forward to reading what his boiling mind will launch into the blogosphere.
He’s ready to put his traditional career ambitions on the backburner to pursue an exciting adventure. He’s ready to reduce his workload significantly at a high paying job. He’s ready to take the risk that his employer offers him even better condition than 3 days/week… such as a 0 days/week position. He’s ready to go all in.
That is actually the question that comes to mind at the moment: why someone who has a good job, a lovely wife and kids wants to jeopardize everything?
For the sake of freedom?
Because he can’t wake up and smile each morning?
Because he finds his life boring?
Because “quitting your job and following your passion” is trendy?
I can’t answer for Derek on this one (and truly hope he reads this post and replies back ;-)). I can’t seem to understand it either. Is it because I’m too much of a coward myself to quit my job and take a leap of faith? I’m definitely freaking out about the idea of leaving my job now as I’m far from being comfortable with my debt level if I don’t have my job to cover the bills. As for Derek, he’s better than me at managing his budget as he prepared his ballsy move by stacking 6 year’s worth of savings.
If I don’t understand exactly why someone would totally jump off the bridge without taking a good look at how his bungee cord is attached, I can relate to one of my theories: You won’t change if it doesn’t hurt enough.
There are a lot of things we don’t necessarily like in our lives. It could be our weight, our job, our morning routine, the person we live with (or the person we wished we lived with), where we live, some of our friends, etc. It could be literally anything. In fact, it’s pretty rare that you can say that someone likes absolutely everything about his life. There is always something we would like to change. But here’s the problem: we are lazy. So if it doesn’t really sting, we won’t do much about it. We will tolerate it until it really bothers us or until we accept the situation the way it is.
I guess this is maybe the point where Derek got to. He got to a point where there was something in his life that really sucks and he wants needs to do something about it. When you get to this point, then you make the changes.
I actually need to apply this line to myself; it’s not that I want to quit my job but I can’t. It is not true that I can’t quit because I have a family to take care of and a mortgage to pay. The reality is that I’m not doing so bad at work and do like my job. I would prefer to have the freedom of running my own company and doing whatever I want whenever I want. But this need is not strong enough right now to sting. It’s not bad enough that I have to make a change. One day, I might take the same leap of faith that Derek did this year. But it won’t be because I have paid all my debts or because my kids have grown older and no longer have to worry about them. If I ever quit, it will be because my situation sucks so much that I need to do something about it. This is and will be true about every single move I make and will make in my life.
In the meantime, enough with excuses and let’s get real. Assume the fact that I’m not quitting. What about you? Are you satisfied with where you are in your life? Do you have excuses or are you taking action to make something better happen?
By the way, check out Derek’s blog: Freeat33.com. It’s just starting but the story that he will tell on this blog definitely worth it!
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