I just read that LinkedIn conducted a study and determined we have a problem!
- 75% of 25-33 year olds have experienced a quarter-life crisis, often related to feeling as if they were at a crossroads in their career.
- 84% of people in IT and Telecom have had this crisis
- And 61% of respondents say finding a job or career that they’re passionate about is the top reason they feel anxious
Shouldn’t we look forward to Monday?
We are doing something seriously wrong as a society. We don’t know how to be adults.
Even if we have a “great” 6-figure job, we’re probably just a modern-day factory worker.
This study obviously hit me very personally.
I don’t share much about my personal life, so this is definitely going to be an exception.
But I believe sharing this does a few important things:
First, if you relate to my story, perhaps it will give you the inspiration and fuel you need to improve your situation. Are you really meant to be a working stiff? Are you meant to be a replaceable cog in some business?
Second, it gives hope and reinforces that escaping the grind is possible. You don’t have to settle for the standard narrative.
Third, it reinforces everything I’m doing. If I ever have doubt or start to stagnate, all I have to do is come back to this story. Sharing my story and writing my books lets me achieve that higher personal purpose that so many are missing.
Let me start by saying I had no particular reason to complain.
I had a traditional job and plodded down the typical career path like pretty much everyone I knew. I started ticking off all of the traditional middle-class boxes.
…First a job at a big company
…Then I met the girl (and married her)
…Career path was building
…Then we bought a house
…Then we had a kid
I think the only box I was missing was a white picket fence. But I felt like I otherwise hit that traditional “American Dream” pretty early and I was proud of it!
But turns out I was on the cusp of a massive quarter-life crisis.
I desired to provide for myself and family
I wanted to ensure I could support my family and that we’d be able to enjoy life. What I desired at this point in my life was pretty modest.
I wanted to be able to spend time with my family. After all, you never get time back, so I wanted to spend that time together with my wife and have the experience of raising our child.
I wanted to make enough money that we would have the freedom to enjoy life to its fullest. After all, you only get one go at it!
But I was struggling with the reality around me
A funny thing happened. It was at the point of getting to the American Dream that I must have internally started registering all of the problems with the typical approach to being an adult.
I remember walking down the halls and passing a quick “How’s it going?” to coworkers, and they’d respond “Living the dream…” in a sarcastic tone.
I looked around at the people in my company and other companies. Work dominated their lives.
They looked like zombies.
Especially if they were in management and leadership roles.
…They spent long hours in the office.
…They traveled constantly.
…They were married to the company.
…They weren’t personally invested in their work.
Between getting ready for work in the morning, commuting, working, commuting, and unwinding at night…everyone’s lives were dominated by work.
And while I was making what I thought was good money, was it really?
What was I trading nearly all of my time and effort for?
Does the traditional approach to “earning a living” just put big blinders on us and have us chug away day-after-day until we fade out of memory?
Plus, I knew many of the people in roles above me had personal lives falling apart. Divorces, not seeing their kids. Struggle at home caused by too much work. But it was a viscous circle! If home life sucks, why note devote yourself more to work and spend more time there?
What the heck are we doing as adults?
My internal struggle was much bigger
Everything I just described was nothing compared to a deeper, more internal struggle that was beginning to emerge.
I knew I had so much more potential than to be a cog…a working stiff…
Despite my fancy title and good salary, I was throwing all of my time and energy into working on someone else’s goals.
And no matter how much my boss and coworkers liked me. No matter how much it seemed like I was important at work, I knew I was replaceable. Everyone was.
I was on the fast track to obscurity. The American Dream was a road to fading into an inconsequential existence.
Is that really what I was here for?
When I was a kid, I had huge dreams and ambitions. Where did that flame go?
Crash and Burn!
It turns out all of this internal and external conflict was brewing something big in me. While it hadn’t really been something I was consciously thinking of, I knew it was all in there churning.
Since I didn’t seem to be doing anything about it, my body went ahead and rebooted for me.
I won’t go into the details here (you can find more in this article), but suffice to say despite being healthy and young, I ended up in the hospital in an event that forced me to reflect on everything.
It pulled me out of the grind and I finally had a chance to process all of this struggle.
I questioned everything I learned growing up, on the job, in college, in my career.
It was all play-it-safe crap that wasn’t really safe at all!
At that moment, I became determined to find a better way.
Surrounded by doubt
We’re surrounded by a narrative that paints you into being a cog and playing it “safe.”
…Everyone told me about the standard job path.
…Everyone I knew was on the standard job path.
Get a job. Have health insurance. Contribute to your 401K. Yada yada. (Life’s good here.)
…Oh and don’t forget those failure statistics for small businesses. (And scary out there.)
It wasn’t my fault for believing that wasn’t another possibility. And it’s not your fault either. We’re inundated with messaging that pushes us into being a cog.
I knew I wasn’t living to my potential, but heck if I knew how to get out…while still supporting my family.
Flipping the tables
I was determined there was a better, it was nothing more than a puzzle to solve. I blasted through books like never before. I listened to audio books. I began getting a glimpse of an alternate reality where I could do what I want, serve a better purpose, and not only support my family, but actually build real wealth.
The real breakthrough came when I formed my own mastermind group with a couple of friends who were going through a similar transition.
What happened next was something out of The Matrix. I felt like those blinders were lifted off of me and I was seeing the world for the first time.
I began meeting real people who were doing what I wanted. They were making their money on their own. They were successful…often making multiples more than corporate counterparts. They were in control of their time. They loved what they did.
And there were a lot of them.
Plucking myself out of the rat race and surrounding myself with people successfully making money on their own was a massive epiphany.
The plan to quit my job and escape the grind
After realizing it was possible to be successful while following your passions, I became completely spun up. I decided I need to quit my job. And I needed to quit quickly.
You just need to put 3 pieces in place to quit your job successfully.
I pulled together the common elements I saw through the books and what I’d learned from these new people in my network.
- Mental practices to shift my mindset and overcome the decades of “corporate cog” conditioning
- Expand my network with the right people through masterminds, networks, and more (this was a much bigger key to success than I knew at the time)
- Take action constantly and consistently to keep the ball moving forward, avoid complacency, and bulldoze any chance of failure
I considered these the 3 secrets to breaking from the mold.
But they didn’t make it easy…
Although I had made the transition internally, I was still surrounded by naysayers. As I began talking to my old coworkers and network, they thought I was crazy.
“This is just a fad that while die out…”
“You’re not really going to do anything…”
“That’s ridiculous. You’re really going to risk everything?”
“No one really does this stuff successfully…”
Fortunately I had my mastermind groups and new network to offset this barrage.
And most importantly, my wife believed. Even though I was the sole income at the time, she supported me. In a pivotal moment, I said “I want to quit my job, pack up everything, and start over somewhere else.”
She agreed without hesitation. And that was all I needed.
The results of quitting my job and doing something better
You may be familiar with my story if you’ve read my bestseller Leave the Grind Behind or follow this blog.
Suffice to say it has far exceeded my expectations.
- I make multiples more money now.
- I am building real wealth through assets.
- I work closely with great small companies to help them achieve explosive growth.
- I am in control of my time.
- I am surrounded by exciting people fueled by life.
- I get to be creative.
- I spend time with my family.
In short, I have the unique reality of being able to work on what I want.
I look forward to Monday…and every day for that matter.
The transformation I went through was unbelievable. I was so bubbling over with enthusiasm, I had to share everything I learned, which I did in my bestseller Leave the Grind Behind.
But that’s not even scratching the surface…
I’ve ramped things up to a whole new level.
It’s been just over a year since that book launched, and I’ve accomplished and learned so much more. I am leveling up my real estate. Stepping up from buying homes, through a partnership, we have a large apartment building under contract.
I’ve learned many more details about finding opportunities, analyzing them based on what really matters, and launching them quickly and successfully. Everything is spiraling upward.
I am in the process of releasing my next book “The Book on Small Business Ideas” which will be launching in the next couple of weeks.
Forget what you’re supposed to do…
Take charge and make your life happen.