I’ve been working for other people since I was 9 years old. My first paper route paid 11 cents per paper. My first fast food job paid $6.40 per hour. I’ve had at least a dozen jobs over the years, and not one of them has ever made me happier, healthier, or wealthier.
So I quit.
It didn’t happen overnight, but it was well worth the effort. Here are 15 reasons why you should quit your job in 2015.
1. Self Esteem
One of the first questions that strangers ask me is: “What do you do for a living?” You can stand a little taller when you work for yourself.
Employees are encouraged to assimilate, to become part of the monoculture of the workplace. Entrepreneurs get to make the world a better place by shaping culture. Every day – for good or ill – we change style, politics, actions, habits, even belief.
Many employees feel under-challenged and under-stimulated. I’ve fallen asleep at my keyboard many times. Starting a business isn’t easy, but resistance builds strength. Strong winds create strong tree roots, as they say. Starting a business will make you a bigger person.
On the savings side, commuting and childcare aren’t necessary when you work from home. On the earnings side, you have the opportunity to make a lot more money, because no one is capitalizing on your time, talent, and skill. And when it’s all over, what do you get from a job? A retirement watch and a meager pension. Business owners end up with a saleable asset.
Benjamin Franklin said that “the man who loves his job never works a day in his life.” It’s so true – I work way more than full time, but I feel like I’m on permanent vacation. Do what you love, and your quality of life will skyrocket.
Business owners have the opportunity to add value to the world by offering products and providing services with excellence, integrity, and honesty. They get to play the role of active citizen, and they get to give back to their local community.
Feel like you’re stuck in a rut? Bored by routine? Shake things up by finding a business opportunity that you can tackle.
Freelancers get to meet a ton of new people across all nationalities, religions, and socioeconomic backgrounds. It makes you a better, more understanding and sympathetic person. And you never know whose path you might cross. I wouldn’t have gotten to meet the Pope if I was still delivering pizzas.
My wife and I having a saying in our little family: “Throw spaghetti against the wall and see what sticks.” A worker bee gets to do one thing – his assigned task. An entrepreneur gets to try all sorts of things. Much of it will fail spectacularly. But every once in a while, you’ll hit paydirt.
The daily grind is tough on marriage, trust me. Couples who work together can strengthen their relationship through increased interaction, regular communication, and sharing common purpose. Want to invest more time in your kids? Self-employed breadwinners can be stay-at-home parents too, if they like. Need to take care of your aging parents? Now you can.
No more dressing up. No more sitting in traffic. No more waiting for elevators or meetings. You don’t have to shave, if you like. Your time is your own, and you can cut inessential tasks to the bone, saving yourself a handful of valuable hours every single day.
Do you work best early in the morning or late a night? Do you need an afternoon nap? Have kids with soccer practice? Entrepreneurs can flex their schedules accordingly. And it’s more than just time – I’ve worked from over a dozen different countries in the past year alone. Hate winter? Head south. Love a steady breeze? Re-locate to the Rockies. You’re officially location independent.
No more sick days? Only 2 weeks paid vacation per year? Can’t see your out-of-state family over Christmas? Self-employed folks work hard, and play hard – whenever they want.
There aren’t many people who have the ability to ruin your life at this moment, but your boss is most certainly one of them. You could get fired tomorrow. Your job could get outsourced overseas, or farmed out to a robotics lab, or downsized in a merger. Do you really want to give someone that much power over your future, especially when you have a family and a future to consider?
I’ve traveled to dozens of countries all over the world and, over average, the happiest people I’ve met work for themselves, doing something that gives them meaning and fulfillment and purpose.
Bonus Reason: Legacy
Working for yourself allows you to build a value-adding entity that unites you to other people. Building a truly great business connects you to culture and community. Because at the end of the day, you’re not just working for yourself- you’re working to make this world a better place for all of us.
But you don’t have to believe me. You can stay in that 9-5 job, hoping that you’ll get the elusive promotion or pay raise. You can pray that your pension will miraculously last as long as your lifespan, that your job will always be there, and that you’ll somehow come to love it.
There are many obstacles, challenges, and hardships to starting your own business, but I promise you that it will be worth it. Whether it’s organic farming or graphic design, furniture making or solar panel installation, make this your 2015 resolution: quit your job and live your calling.