So I had the thumbs up from the family and friends, decided the job wasn't worth keeping, had an idea of what I wanted to do. Again, I'm pragmatic. I just needed one more thing to take the faithful leap: real-life examples that it could be done.
It didn't take much looking around. As I've mentioned, my friends are pretty amazing. Hardworking, clever, creative and here in New York to follow their dreams. Immediately I had examples of people who, within the past couple years, had made this leap. It never before occurred to me exactly how brave they were. In each case, I knew there had a been a lot of work involved, some times of uncertainty. Ultimately though, they were all incredibly happy.
- Chris Hammersley, left his full-time job and started his own business, Ion Training
- Kyla Hanley, left her full-job to become a fully certified acupuncturist and started Urban Buddha Acupuncture
- Chris Frederick, left his full-time job to pursue his art career (see his amazing work on this website) and started Say Something Productions which is currently making the film "Heads & Tails"
- Lauren Zinn, left her full-time job and became a registered Yoga instructor, starting Zinn Yoga
I had been with them when they made the decision to pursue their interests. Although it took time, effort and perseverance, they are all happy. In fact, each of these endeavors has given each of them confidence and knowledge (and they were all confident and knowledgeable people to begin with) that they wouldn't have found staying at their jobs. No one ever says that making this kind of leap is easy, but everyone of these people proved it was worth it.
At the time I was making my decision, a colleague of mine had just returned from a year abroad. When I asked her about making the decision she said "No one ever looks back on that year and says 'I wish I'd stayed working 9-5 in a cubicle.' " And she's right. No one ever says "I shouldn't have made the attempt." Worst-case scenario, that time leads to something new and excited otherwise unavailable.
So the decision was made.
A funny thing happened this weekend. I was out with Lauren and a couple of other people. Someone described a friend as "taking the money he saved from his job and deciding not to work full-time for someone else anymore." Lauren and I high-fived each other.