A checklist of mental frameworks for people looking to quit their 9-to-5 and build an empire of their own.
A few months back, I quit my government job as a civil engineer to become a full-time writer. To give up stability and shift careers in my late 20s was the hardest decision I’ve made in my life.
As I wrote in a previous article, to be born into a middle-class family in India is to have the scarcity mindset drilled into you.
That’s because India has a population of 1.34 billion living in an area of 3.287 million square kilometers. That’s about 4 times the population of the United States living in less than one-third the area.
The opportunities we have are limited, and in India, government jobs are considered to be more sacred than marriages. You can get divorced, but you’d have to be crazy to give up a government job.
In such a scenario, you can imagine how hard it would be for someone, especially a woman, to secure a government job.
And I’m sure this gives some perspective on why it was so hard for me to quit my job to pursue my lifelong passion for writing.
Truth be told, I’d never have had the courage to take such a bold step if I didn't have three assurances. In this post, I’m sharing them with you. If you’ve ever felt the urge to quit your 9-to-5 to build something of your own but haven’t yet gathered the courage to do so, these three assurances will help you understand how ready you are.
1. No matter what happens, I know I can sustain this career.
I know I would keep writing even if it paid me nothing. Heck, I’ve been writing for free for six years before I discovered Medium. I have no issues doing it for six more until I find something else.
I know even if my writing on all online platforms failed, I could still make a career by being a creative entrepreneur.
If you’re at that point in life where you know you even if all else fails, you can build something new from scratch, you’re ready to take the plunge.
If you know you can keep reinventing yourself every few years; that failures don’t define you, rather, they serve as lessons that show you the way ahead, then you’re ready to take on the self-employed life.
After all, more than talent and luck, your mindset makes a huge difference. If you’re convinced that you’ll be stronger than whatever adversities you encounter along the way, you are ready to start this new chapter of your life.
2. I trust in myself enough.
I trust in my past savings and I know they will last me for a couple of years at least, even if I earn absolutely nothing in that time.
I know I can keep working even if I have 2–3 bad years. Life is, after all, filled with uncertainties, and you feel these fluctuations harder when you’re self-employed. I’m willing to push through rough patches because I know I have enough talent to see the end of the tunnel.
If you’re in the same boat where one minor inconvenience won’t dishearten you or make you stop working hard on your journey, you’re ready to take this leap of faith.
If you’ve worked hard in the past, planned your future, and know that you won’t end up on the streets after a few financial hiccups, you’re ready to embark on the journey of building your own empire.
3. I am amazing at what I do.
More than anything else, I know I’m a crazy-good writer. I can make people feel through my words. When I write for companies, my articles convert casual website visitors into loyal users. I have written enough content and seen sufficient proof to trust in my abilities.
This conviction makes all the self-belief easier.
And this was the root of the courageous decision I took to change direction in my life. I knew I am amazing at what I do and no matter what technological innovations come, I am irreplaceable.
If you know you’re the best in your field and there are very few people who even come close to what you can achieve, then you’re all set to conquer the world.
Self-belief is a powerful tool to have in your arsenal, but if you have unparalleled talent and the will to keep upskilling, no force in this universe can halt your progress.
Shifting gears and quitting your well-established career is a hard decision. If you’ve spent days and months agonizing over the pros and cons, know that you’re not alone.
There are times when we need to trust our gut more than what we see on paper. We need to believe in what we’re capable of rather than only seeing what we’ve achieved so far.
After all, the only way you can embrace greatness in life is when you let go of your fears. And if you’ve been wondering whether you’re ready to make the switch, consider this article your sign from the universe.
I know the decision is terrifying, but think of the possibilities it will unlock. Think of all the ways your life will improve.
Know your potential and trust in your hard work. I know you can do it. You’re capable of so much more.
How many of these assurances were you able to relate to? Let me know in the comments.