In 2015, I made $200,000 in my headhunting job at the age of 27.
In January of 2016, after I came back from vacation, I handed in my resignation and quit. Here are a few reasons why I willingly and happily chose to leave my high-paying job to become an entrepreneur.
1. Because I can afford to.
I worked my butt off my entire career as a headhunter, making great money from the outset, but I knew, this was all a facade. To truly succeed in life, making enough isn’t enough. Saving, but more importantly, leveraging savings into investments is the best strategy to have your money work for you. Thus, I invested heavily in real estate, plowing all of my savings into properties.
I didn’t go out and buy a Porsche although I could afford to buy one–cash. I didn’t go out and start renting a beautiful apartment on 5th Ave., although I could afford to pay for the whole year upfront. I rejected the things I could afford for the life I want, which is a life of sustainable wealth, not temporary high-life, with no reliance on an employer!
Now, I have multiple investment properties working for me, so I don’t need to worry about income. Yes, things are tight for a bit before all my tenants are set up, and there are risks with real estate, but it works! My margins are locked in, and my passive income gives me the freedom to reject a 9–5 role.
Sure, the market can crash, I can find a terrible tenant, and I can lose all my money. In that case, I can pick up a 9–5 job any day and make the money I used to because sales prowess doesn’t go away, and it’s not replaceable by technology.
2. Because I want ultimate freedom.
I want to use my time as I please while I’m young, not tied to a working construct that is constraining my other desires and pursuits.
I’m not okay with stressing out on how to get from the gym on time to work so that I don’t get yelled at for being late. I never got yelled at in college for being late, and I don’t want to be a grown person being scared of others’ reprimanding me. I don’t want to meticulously count and portion my vacation days, and worry about corporate objectives being met if I take an extra day or two off.
And I don’t want someone else tells me I have to suck up to so-and-so to further my career and play office politics. I believe in Results-Oriented-Work (ROW), and I couldn’t care less about looking busy or being all chummy with the man at the top (and yes, it’s usually a man at the top).
I don’t want to feel like I need to “stay late” to prove that I’m “working hard.” I also can’t be bothered to start studying football and sports statistics in an effort to “build rapport.” No thanks, I’m old enough to work at my own pace and schedule.
3. Because I don’t like to take other people’s orders …
Especially when they’re neither as accomplished as I’m gunning for, thus unable to contribute to the learning I’m interested in pursuing
After learning everything I needed from headhunting, I didn’t need their training anymore because there was nothing they could tell me that I didn’t already know. Especially since I was actually building our business hands-on, I knew much more than my management did, yet, here I was, giving away 60 percent of my commission earnings to a business that was no longer providing anything to me past monthly payroll service, administrative support and an office space to work in.
I realized, the student became the master. And in my business of headhunting, I don’t need a corporate entity to survive or a “brand” to operate under. Headhunters break away all the time from their original employer.
In fact, the most successful headhunters often take the leap to build their own firms. I had the financial wherewithal and the client relationships that if I wanted to, I can take a year off and wait out my non-compete. Then, go right back into the business, this time, keeping 100 percent of my earnings.
I’m thankful for my life now.
Although I’m not yet making as much as I did as a headhunter, I can honestly say, how much you make truly doesn’t matter past being able to eat and acquire basic living quarters. It’s about what you do, how you do it and how passionate you are about it that really counts!