How many people love their job? Jobs with the alarm too soon, bumper-to-bumper shuttles and bagged lunches? Jobs with endless emails, pointless meetings, and paychecks that don't even come close to reflecting the value you bring to the company?
How many of us have dreamed, schemed, and fantasized about to quit smoking and do something else? If this is you, stick to these basic rules to launch the job of your dreams.
Start your new business first. Gather some momentum and a sense of how much you're enjoying the new gig – and its potential.
Have a realistic financial plan. New businesses are often tough on the front end. Understand how you will pay your rent and grocery bills, and create a schedule for when you expect income.
Pick something you love, something you are absolutely passionate about. Any career takes a lot of time and energy, and obsessing over business is the key to success.
"Your past is not your future, and you can do whatever you want. »
40; real estate investor, coach and radio personality; New York City
I spent 16 years in corporate marketing. By all outward appearances, it was a prestigious job:first-class international travel, high pay, and working with some of the world's brightest marketing minds. For many years, I loved what I did. I also loved making my friends and family in my working-class community proud. As I approached 40, I remembered my childhood dream of being an on-air television or radio personality. I was also increasingly excited about the portfolio of real estate investments I regularly built, and the challenge, risk and thrill of entrepreneurship. In the end, I didn't care to market someone else's chewing gum.
I quit two years ago, nervous about leaving a comfortable and tormented salary by the doubts and questions of people who lovingly questioned my decision. At the same time, I started a real estate investment company with two friends, and started a new career as a personal development coach and media personality. I now host two radio shows.
I still often fear whether it will all work out and I am learning that fear never goes away. But for the first time in years, I'm not letting that fear stop me. I now feel the excitement and liveliness that eluded me. As I suspected, the money worked too.
36; founder of WalletHacks.com and 5DollarMealPlan.com; Baltimore
I was a software engineer working for a defense contractor when I left to work full-time on my first personal finance blog. I loved my staff work and the people I worked with, but the opportunities with the blog were too good to pass up. I was very scared because my job was safe. I had to reassess my identity; my entire college education emphasized software engineering. I was leaving all of that aside to pursue something that was less predictable and more dangerous.
Anyway, working on the blog energized me and I found that I was waiting for the end of my day's work looking forward to getting home and working on my side project. This decision was one of the scariest of my life. My blog was very profitable and I sold it for a large sum. The experience also changed my perception of life:your past is not your future and you can do whatever you want. Hooked, I have since launched two new online projects.
27; founder of NoBread.com; Los Angeles
I grew up in a New York suburb where I was exposed to a career path in finance even though I hated finance and dreamed of a creative life. I graduated from Cornell University in 2011 and worked for three years in stock sales at JPMorgan Chase, launching my secret gluten-free marketing platform. I didn't want my boss to know that I would be taking clients to lunch and then writing about my meal on my platform.
Eventually I was so miserable that I didn't want to go to bed at night because I didn't want to not wake up in the morning. On a trip to Los Angeles, I found there was more to life than Wall Street and met a bunch of people who had creative, independent lives and were genuinely happy. I quit my banking job the day I got back from vacation, made a 12-page business plan, and moved in with my parents to save money for three months.
Even though quitting smoking was a good thing, it was also terrifying. I was afraid of failing or disappointing my family. But my biggest fear, which is bigger than ever, is that I have to find a job. After a year without income, I am in my second year in business and earning as much as I left finance. I'm also happier than ever and determined never to go back. Both are key to my success.
Related: 5 steps to turn your passion into your profession
This article originally appeared in the February 2017 issue of SUCCESS magazine.