An Open Letter to My Coworkers About Quitting to Start My Business

I really appreciated the nice lunch you guys threw me on my last day. You even brought a few bottles of my favorite beer, which was very thoughtful.

But I think what I’m going to remember most about that day is when everyone laughed.

See, someone asked me what I was going to do in my weeks of vacation before I dove into building my business. “I don’t know,” I answered, thinking. “I think I’m just going to relax. I mean, I haven’t had longer than a week off of work in like, 3 years.”

And everyone laughed.

And I think I know why.

And that’s why I’m quitting.

I’m the youngest guy in the office. Everyone else is at least one major life stage ahead of me — having your first and second babies, buying your first house, concerned about how expensive childcare is.

3 years for you is nothing. 3 years ago was last week. You’ve been here 8 years and it still feels like you started only a few weeks ago.

You laughed because you thought it was funny the youngest guy in the office was lamenting about having to (turn on baby-talk voice) work for three whole years without a nice vacation!

The reason I’m becoming an entrepreneur

I want to live 10,000 years’ worth of life in my time year on earth. I couldn’t do that at our company.

I could finish my 40 hours of work in 10 every week. Sometimes less. What else did I do with my extra time? Why, wasted it of course. If I finished my work for the day, my reward was secretly checking Facebook every 45 seconds and reading web comics as the seconds dripped achingly by.

I want a life where any free time I have can be spent achieving exciting and ambitious new goals instead of trying to waste as much time as possible so I can get home sooner.

I don’t want a job I try to get through. I want a job I want to savor.

You’re right — no more benefits. No more health insurance, salary, long lunch breaks, coming in late/leaving early. No more “remote days” where I could pretend to work as I watched half a season of Luke Cage in an afternoon. And great as that may be…

I don’t want that life.

I want a life where every day matters, where every second should be used to finish a project everyone knows is mine. I want the stakes to be high. The stakes at work were low — do as little as you could without getting fired.

I want the stakes to be “achieve that powerfully intimidating goal, or fail yourself and your family.

I can see where I’d be in 5 years, if I didn’t quit. I’d probably make about 5,000$/year more than I am now, maybe even $10,000 in I play my cards right. I could probably get my 45 commute down so well I could blink and be at work without remembering any of it! If I got really lucky, I could potentially be on the track for Manager.

And honestly, that’s just not using my potential. Not even half. Not even a quarter.

Being a manager is a great goal, but it’s not for me. And if I ever wanted to grow and make any meaningful career development, that’d be my goal.

Quitting the Employer-Pleasing Game

I don’t want to be a wide-eyed, peppy monkey in a shiny suit as I attempt to convince another employer that they need me anymore.

I hate doing things at work for the sole sake of “being able to put that on my resume.”

Listen — I don’t care about advanced Excel formulas! I don’t care about mastering auxiliary software CRM’s! I don’t want to be on another “board” or “committee” or “influencer group” just to have some more lines to add under the “Volunteering” section on my resume! There are other skills I actually want to learn to be a well-rounded professional.

It seems like every job is always in preparation for the next job.

I hate that. I hate it! Why can’t I be happy now? Without always thinking about how I’m going to spin this whole job to some hiring manager I’ve never met for a job I really don’t know anything about, to get a job that I’m just going to do the same thing all over again in 3 years?

I’m starting my own business because I’m tired of trying to impress people and employers I don’t even like.

I’m going to create an exceptional product for a specific list of customers who will be rabid fans of my work. I’m not going to try and please 5 different bosses at a job that doesn’t fulfill me anymore.

So Thank You.

Thank you for laughing and reminding me I can’t work in an environment where 3 years without a vacation is even less than the norm.

Really, I want to thank you for everything. A lot of you guys were great, and I learned a lot from you. I think what I’ll miss most about opening my own business from home is working with cool people all day. You’ve taught me a ton about how to survive in a corporate office setting, and I’m very grateful for all you’ve shown me.

I’m on my way to start an entirely new life — I’ll be in South Korea. I hope you guys enjoy your time in the office.

And I hope you go on a vacation soon.

-Anthony

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This short checklist covers how I got my dream job in less than 11 months.



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