On October 20th, I handed in my resignation letter to my employer.
I gave a month’s notice, which means my last day is November 20th. Many of you caught a glimpse of it on my Instagram, and now I’m excited to give all the details.
For those that don’t know, I’ve spent the past 13 months as a consultant to early-stage start-ups — the real-life equivalent of Dragon’s Den or Shark Tank. My role perfectly utilized my BSc. and MBA, while giving me hands-on experience with start-ups. It was challenging, fulfilling, well-paying, and fun.
So naturally I felt obligated to quit.
The reasons for this are simple and complex, depending on the answer you’re looking for. The easiest explanation is simply: I always make my exit once I’m comfortable. At 25, I quit my MSc. and took off to France for a month. At 27, I left my cushy union-clad job to do an MBA. I’m always ready for a leap, because I like the free-fall. This is who I am, this is what I do, this is how I want to live.
Related: It’s Time To Quit Your Dream Job
I recognize the profound arrogance of quitting during an economic recession.
I wrote about surviving a market downturn in Calgary in August of this year, but it’s gotten worse since then. It keeps getting worse. It’s difficult to describe unless you’re in it. It seems there is another couple hundred layoffs each week, as oil companies cut their labor, and then cut it again. Consultants don’t see contracts renewed, small businesses go under, and thousands of new students from the city’s big universities and colleges graduate into an economy that doesn’t want them. Consumer insolvency filings (the first step to declaring bankruptcy) have jumped nearly 30% from a year ago. The residential real estate market quietly dips a few percentage points lower as desperate families put their homes up for sale, where they sit un-bought as would-be homebuyers now question the security of their own jobs. Virtually everyone is feeling the pinch.
My unemployed friends and family are bending over backwards to find new jobs. I can still remember all to well the headache that was finding an MBA internship last summer: every rejection makes you question your self-worth. Job hunting is one of the most demoralizing landscapes of the human experience. Ok, maybe it’s not that bad, but it is something depressing.
Over the past year, I’ve started to fear depending on someone else for my income more than depending on myself.
There’s a terrible desperation in depending entirely on someone else for your livelihood. If someone else determines whether or not you can buy a house, afford a car, save for retirement, and so on, you are in an extremely vulnerable position. They can ruin your day. They can ruin your life. All they have to do is say “your fired” and it won’t really matter why, it still fucks everything up.
We don’t adequately acknowledge how vulnerable having a job really is because it’s the societal norm. I can’t trust someone else to keep me out of poverty, I can only trust myself. I know I have my best interests at heart.
But I’m not going to sell you the dream.
You know what I’m talking about, that “Quit your job, live your life, and blog from a beach!”. There will be a blogger with a Macbook under a palm tree, giving you a knowing smile under big sunglasses. “I quit my corporate gig to travel the world, and now I write from ANYWHERE!”
That is not me, that is not my life.
I will be working from our guest bedroom. It has poor lighting and the window faces a parking lot. If business is good, sometimes I will work from Starbucks. I’m here for the grind, not the background. I will probably still work 14-hours per day. There will be occasions when I cry on the floor, questioning my sanity for going into self-employment. Sure, I care about the “freedom” to make your own hours and work from anywhere or whatever, but I care about the results more.
I only care about the results.
I work for you now.
I hope that perspective doesn’t surprise you, because it’s the truth. I can’t do this without you. My single focus is growing Money After Graduation and my own impact to help people in their 20’s and 30’s earn more, save more, and invest more. I will be working night and day to create and curate the resources, tools, and information YOU need to get rich.
As of right now, my primary income source is my Master Class Money investing program, but I will be releasing more products in the near future. Creating and selling my own products has been a life-changing endeavor for me, and of all my income streams, this one is the most important to me. Other revenue sources include freelance writing, affiliate income, speaking engagements, and partnerships with brands, primarily financial institutions and service providers. I currently do NOT have advertisements on Money After Graduation, and I would like to keep the site ad-free going forward.
While writing is an integral part of what I do, and a small income stream, I do want to make it clear that I am NOT a freelancer. I’m NOT leaving my job to blog. I earn the bulk of my online income from my course sales, followed by speaking engagements and partnerships with brands, and I don’t expect this to change. Freelance writing is important for brand recognition and driving traffic to the site, but it doesn’t pay the bills. Many people email me asking how to become full-time freelancers and the answer is I don’t know, I’m not a good enough writer to become a full-time freelancer. I just want to sell my eCourses and tweet all day, guys, that’s my gig.
My goal is obviously to make money from my work, but I know in order to do that, I have to do good work.
For this reason, I am less focused on hitting certain income targets at this point than I am on creating and developing what will deliver the most value to my audience. Some of these projects are small, and some of them are really big. I hope at some point every single person will buy something I’ve created. If that happens, it will mean that I have created the right things. That’s the only way to help the most people, and to make the most money.
If you can’t or don’t want to buy anything from me, you can show your support by liking my Facebook page, following me on Twitter and Instagram, subscribe to my YouTube channel, and sharing my articles with someone who needs them.
I’m here for you. I’m always here. I now work 60+ hours per week, just for you. I’ll probably be way more timely about replying to emails now, too. It’s going to be great.