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Sometimes, it’s okay to stand up and yell: I WANT TO BE A RAT!

Rat Race [1]If you read this today, I hope that you have been reading this blog for some time. And if that’s the case, you’ll know that I am fairly controversial in my opinions.


Today, I’ll reach the summit of controversy.


I’m going to climb to the top of the highest mountain and yell to the world:


I’M ST [1]AYING IN [1] THE RAT RACE [1]!!!”


Oh boy. By writing this line I almost feel ashamed. It’s like saying: “I’m stupid, I’m well aware of it and even darn proud to be a rat!”. That’s it! After so much effort to tell you that it sucks to be stuck in the Rat Race, I’m taking a big jump into the race…dumb!


Did I change my mind? Not really.


Did I lose my mind? Don’t think so.


I still want to quit my job eventually and become a dot com mogul. However, this won’t happen next year… as my previous plan was designed for… Let me tell you a story:

Back in April of this year, I saw an opening at work to get one of the highest jobs for a financial planner: working in wealth management. This department is like playing for the NHL: you only deal with multimillionaire clients. I got the interview and everything went pretty well. In fact, I know I’m made for this job and it looks that the guy interviewing me was thinking the same… until he asked me the fatal question: What would you do if a similar position opens up in a year closer to home? Mind you, I live 85km (that’s 52.8 miles) from work. That causes some serious lack of sleep.


I thought I was able to deal with it but it’s all BS… it’s been almost 2 years and I’m dead tired now (and maybe that’s because I’m running my online company at the same time 😉 ). I was able to do it for a while but waking up at 4:30 every morning has become too much for my brain to support. So this is why I had answered that I would jump on the job and quit this one. Ugh… yeah I knew that I had just shot myself in the foot but I believe in honesty (so naïve! But that’s me!).


So instead of getting the job, the guy arranged for a meeting with the manager in my area. It looked like they were planning on opening a similar position… 5 minutes away from where I live. Can this be? Really? It was like a dream coming true. But the budget hasn’t been approved yet. In fact, the business case was supposed to be presented back in August.


So a few weeks passed and fast forward to October. I just got back from the FINCON11 and I’m more motivated than ever to crush it and make a killing with my online company. At the same time, I speak with the guy who tells me that he didn’t get the okay yet to add the position.


I’m not the kind of dude who waits in line.


I don’t wait until someone calls my ticket number.


I just go directly to the counter and ask to be served.


This is exactly what I did: I told everybody that if nothing happens before my wife is due (we are expecting our 3rd child in February 2012), I would take a 7 month paternity leave (I told you that sometimes paying taxes is a good thing [2]). I will work on my online business during that time. It wasn’t a threat by all means. It was just the blunt truth. I decided to create 2 “A” plans instead of having a plan B [3]!


Plan A: I score a dream job 5 minutes away from where I live while I continue to grow my company on the side.


Plan A (2nd version): I get paid 75% of my base income for 7 months while I work my ass off on my blog to make a killing.


After a few weeks, I was starting to make some serious plans about my decision. I started to think about some projects I would start if I could work full time for my online company. I was tired of waiting and was looking at a golden opportunity to jump out of the rat race while being paid to do it. A risk free ticket to financial freedom. How cool is that???


And then, last week, I got a call from “the guy”. He now has his budget to make my 1st plan A happen. I’ll be meeting with him in a few days for my official interview. I don’t know if I’ll get the job but I know one thing: if I get an offer, I’ll jump on it. I’ll be jumping in with both feet.  Directly into the rat race hole as if I didn’t know that there was a trap beside the piece of cheese!


So did I change my mind? Wasn’t the rat race the worst thing anyone could get stuck in? I still believe it. But let’s face it; I’m a small, little coward and I can’t live with the idea that I am putting my family on the line with my online business.


I would rather make more sacrifices and stay on the path inside the rat race for a few more years… so my kids can go to private school, so my wife can continue to stay at home and take care of them, so I can pay off my debts… so I can live my cowardly life quietly…


The real problem is that I currently make too much to stop (see all the details about my income here [4]). Another problem is that I’m used to this lifestyle inflation [5]. I just can’t quit in a heartbeat. I need to devise a more evil plan to make it happen. At least, I have a plan. But I won’t tell you yet… I’ll wait until I know that I have the job or not ;-).


It hurts, but this sounds like the right choice at the moment. I don’t have blind faith in everything (far from it!) but I believe in destiny. I actually believe that you are the sole designer of your life and the only person responsible for what is happening to you (death is just an overrated myth in my opinion). However, I also believe that we are all given choices or opportunities at different points in time. And sometimes you can push on Destiny’s back to make some opportunities happen. And this is what I did by making up 2 A plans. If you push in all directions, set the rules and then you just have to wait for Destiny’s sign to make your final move. I believe you better listen to it when it happens! So this is why I’m taking a shot at this golden job. My resume has been sent, I’m just waiting…


What do you think? I’m just a coward or am I taking the right path?

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14 Comments (Open | Close)

14 Comments To "Sometimes, it’s okay to stand up and yell: I WANT TO BE A RAT!"

#1 Comment By 20’s Finances On November 22, 2011 @ 7:36 am

I think it’s smart to stay in your day job for a while. Although, if you keep expanding your online business, I wonder how much you can handle with 3 kids and a full-time job. Regardless, nicely done on the job “interview” – fingers crossed that you get it.

#2 Comment By OttawaGuy On November 22, 2011 @ 7:53 am

Mike, there is nothing cowardly about paying off debts, staying on track and providing a bright future for your family. (Congrats on your 3rd!!)

In fact, it ranks up there in the manly-est things you can do along with having facial hair and enjoying hockey. (tough loss for the habs last night)

If anything, by taking this job- if you get it 🙂 You’ll improve M35. Gain even more experince by having to delegate responsibilities (because you’ll be busy at the new job) and as you face new challenges, new ideas and strategies for the future of M35 will emerge.

To me the goal stays the same, you just have a better way of getting there.

Will you keep the 4-day work week?

#3 Comment By The Financial Blogger On November 22, 2011 @ 8:25 am

@20’s Finances,
thx! I’m not too worried about managing everything at the same time. I have a pretty well designed process for my online company and my VA will soon come back from maternity leaves 😉

@Otawa Guy,
#1 I hate the Bruins 😉
#2 thx for your comment!
I’m going to negotiate the 4-day work week schedule but I’ll definitely have to compress 5 days into 4 (meaning working more hours as compared to right now where I work 30hours a week at my day job). That shouldn’t be a big change since what I’m saving on driving back and forth, I’ll take it to work in my office!

#4 Comment By cashflowmantra On November 22, 2011 @ 10:21 am

I think you are keeping your options open and giving yourself a choice. I am certainly not looking down on you because of it.

#5 Comment By Evan On November 22, 2011 @ 11:53 am

I don’t think staying in or leaving the rat race is what makes someone a failure or coward. It is giving up the choice of doing what you want. For example if you were giving up your online world then I might say you were a quitter…

But in reality all you are doing is saying I am going to continue with my goal of working because I want to – and that is true financial freedom (or at least that is the eventual goal).

#6 Comment By The Financial Blogger On November 22, 2011 @ 12:09 pm

@Cashflowmantra & Evan,

I just wish I could be my own boss sooner! but yeah, I’m totally independant right now.

#7 Comment By The Passive Income Earner On November 22, 2011 @ 12:51 pm

Congrats on the child and the offer!

I agree with Evan, you pretty much have the option to be on your own or keep up the multiple income flows. It’s not quite the same rat races as others 🙂

Well done!

#8 Comment By Sam On November 22, 2011 @ 1:41 pm

Money makes the world turn mike! Time to write version 2 of your book on how to get back in the rat race!

Just make sure your new employer does read this post!

#9 Comment By The Financial Blogger On November 22, 2011 @ 2:52 pm

@Passive Income Earner,
thx! yeah… I’m really looking forward to get that job, this would be awesome to work at 5 minutes away from my house!

lol! yeah, I guess you are right. And you are better off being on the side of who make the world turns 😉 hahaha!

#10 Comment By Eddie On November 22, 2011 @ 3:56 pm

Congrats on the child!
The job offer sounds pretty sweet. Keep us informed on how the interview goes. Good luck and keep pumping out awesome content!

#11 Comment By green investments On November 22, 2011 @ 5:44 pm

This is a great post – does one stay in safety or take a risk. We are trying to do both simultaneously, but the worry is that its just a matter of time until the performance at the “real job” will suffer. I am constantly struggling with this, as I have the same issues as noted above – kids, wife at home etc.

#12 Comment By Martin On November 22, 2011 @ 10:22 pm

You’re ahead of the game. Most people leave the “rat race” because they get kicked out or they just can’t make money because they suck lol.

#13 Comment By YFS On November 23, 2011 @ 12:14 am

I believe you’re taking the right path. You make a lot of money and you have to factor in the opportunity cost of giving up that big salary. I am in the same position as you except I run my own RIA. I find it very very very hard to give up a mid 6 figure income (guaranteed) to just jump into the RIA game with both feet. So, I have a plan of creating enough passive income and eliminating debt so I can fill comfortable giving up the income. The rat race works for some people. For you and I it just happens to work really good.

#14 Comment By Bret @ Hope to Prosper On November 23, 2011 @ 4:26 pm

Congrats on the new job.

This is similar to what happened to me three years ago. After 25 years of commuting; I got a job in town, I make a lot more money and I love my new job. I plan on double-dipping for as long as possible. Then, when I finally leave the Rat Race, I won’t have to come crawling back.