How I Knew It Was Time To Quit My Job
Your Biggest Vision
Season 3, Ep. 81
You’ve heard me mention it before: When I decided to quit my corporate job, I was so uncertain and fearful of what would happen to my life. Today, I know it’s the best decision I could have made. I took a huge risk because I learned to listen to my intuition, and I knew my life could be something more than my desk.
Tune in to hear:
- All the financial details from that time in my life: debt, savings, and more
- The biggest investments and expenses I had when quitting
- When might be the right time to make a big decision in your life
Go behind-the-scenes of my Leah Gervais Methodology, which has allowed me and my clients to excel to new heights time and time again. These journal prompts will walk you through the exact steps. CLICK HERE to download, and head on over to the Your Biggest Vision website and join our weekly newsletter!
Hear the Episode
Leah Gervais: So welcome to this week’s episode. Today, I wanna share with you guys a little background. Hi Zena. So good to see you here. Hi, Sarah. Hi everyone. On Why and how I knew it was time to quit my job four years ago. Today I wanna talk to you about what I did to prepare for this, what I knew that I needed to kind of have done or have in place, what I maybe would’ve done differently, and how it was different than I thought it would’ve been.
So this is not an episode just for you if you are a side hustler, wanting to quit your nine to five job, or if you’re kind of trying to make that same decision yourself. Really, I want this to be an episode about making decisions, about knowing when is the right time to do things, about knowing, when to look for outside guidance versus when to just look inside yourself for guidance, um, and really learning how to make the most of your life, which is I think why all of us are here.
Why all of us are wanting to better our businesses, make more money, experience more of the things that we desire. It’s because we want to live it to the fullest. To some extent, as cliche as it might sound, it really is true, and that was the truth for me.
So if you don’t know my story, then I’ll just give you a little bit of context to how I got to the place I was at two years ago. I had started my business in 2000, uh, 16, and I had started it as a blog. I never really had the vision for it to become a coaching business, a seven figure business. I really just wanted to write about how lost I was.
Honestly, I had always thought that I was going to go to law school. I was working as a lawyer. I had just been accepted into law school and this voice inside of me, what I now know to be my intuition, had started very loudly sharing that I did not actually want to be a lawyer at all.
I did not wanna go to law school. I did not believe in the debt that I was going to have to take out, uh, to do it. I just knew that there was something else out there for me, but I didn’t know what it was. And I did not have the personal development tools and awareness that I do now to understand that that was my intuition and that it was safe to follow it.
Yet it got so loud. You know, I kind of silenced it for a little while. I continued working as a lawyer. I took, or as at a law firm, I took the L-Sats twice. I continued going with my applications. It wasn’t until I really had to make the decision whether or not I was going, that I had the courage to say that I wasn’t. But this was a very scary decision.
It’s not like it was something that I just decided. And then the heavens opened up for me. I was very scared. I remember crying on a train with Adam, my, my husband. We were just dating at the time, excuse me, on our way back from visiting my grandparents. And I was just saying, I just don’t know which way is up. I feel like I can’t do anything, right? I feel like I worked so hard to get into college and during college and to get this job, and I’m just throwing it all away and I don’t know what I’m doing. And it was very stressful.
Long story short, I started my blog to just document that experience because I did not think that I was alone when it came to feeling like I was going to go to graduate school, wanting to have a really ambitious and satisfying and fulfilling and lucrative job, but not knowing what it was.
Almost feeling like I was going to law school or graduate school by default, because I thought that maybe that would get me there sooner. And I knew other people were going through the same thing. I kind of went through a phase, maybe you can relate to this, where a few years after undergrad, you sort of have a wave of friends that then start applying to graduate school.
Like they may work a few years in the workforce and either they realize they’re not making enough money at their job or they’re bored or they wanna do something else, or they wanna do what they’re doing, but at a higher level. And people start considering graduate school. And I was certainly in that wave. And when I realized that I didn’t wanna do this, I started realizing there were probably other people that felt the same way I did, but that they were going to go down this path because they didn’t know what else to do.
So that’s all my blog was at first. It was just sort of this connection tool. And I did start offering some coaching offerings and like consultations throughout those, throughout the first, you know, year or two, but really nothing stuck. And even though after a little bit of time I did want it to turn into a business, I did want it to turn into my full-time job. I even wanted to just make a few hundred dollars a month from it.
I remember that it felt like it would be life changing. Uh, nothing happened. Not really. I had a few things here and there throughout those years where I would make a few hundred dollars here and there. I think I had one month where I made a thousand dollars and that felt life changing, but there was not a free webinar, free download, uh, you know, on sale course ebook or whatever that I did not devour and try to implement to make this happen.
So I was taking action. It’s not like I was just paralyzed, but I was, I didn’t really have a clear overall strategy. I was just trying to piecemeal different pieces of advice together because I felt like that was all I could afford. I would have loved to have hired a business coach or joined a program or gotten a more sophisticated course, but I had like $0 and 0 cents to my name.
And there was really no, you know, future in which that was going to change anytime soon. So I was just doing the best I could throwing things together. Now, that got me nowhere for about two years. Sometimes my hope would get up because I would make a little bit of money, but it was inconsistent. It was sporadic. And frankly, even back then, I didn’t even really believe in coaching. I thought coaching was a scam.
Like, it just felt ridiculous. The prices people were charging me for information that in my eyes was no different than what I was able to Google or get on YouTube or get on podcasts. I didn’t really understand the power of coaching.
Then, obviously, long story short, about two years after I started and after two years of stagnation, hot and cold action and hot and cold results and nothing really picking up, I kind of came to a crossroads. I kind of came to a moment of thinking whether I need to swallow my pride and be willing to see, see things differently and be willing to act differently. Or I need to stop doing this because in the end, this is actually wasting me more money than it would’ve been if I spent money on a coach or a good course or something like that and seen a return on that investment.
Right now, it’s not costing me a ton, but I’m not making anything and it is still costing me a few hundred dollars every month for whatever course or website hosting I could do or anything like that.
So I came to this point where I couldn’t even hear myself talk about this side hustle anymore until I did something dramatically different. It’s a whole different story, but I had a moment, a very divinely guided moment where I knew that there was a risk in front of me. It was not like it was wrapped up in a boat.
There was an opportunity for me to hire a coach. In fact, I hired two, uh, due to two Black Friday sales and I still didn’t have the money from them. You know, it’s so interesting. I think that oftentimes when we look for a miracle or like a sign from God or an opportunity that will open doors for us, we kind of expect the red carpet to be rolled out for us.
Like I think back then I would’ve expected for me to have enough money to then pay for something higher ticket in my business or for me to have found someone that gave me something for free. And that did not happen. I went into credit card debt .
So it’s not like this magically fell into my lap. I just was willing to see things differently and I started deciding that I was gonna make more from spending this money on a credit card than it was going to cost me to go into credit card debt. That was a decision, that was a change of heart. That wasn’t a change of circumstance.
So from there, that’s what I did. And that definitely changed things for me. I mean, pretty much overnight, not overnight, but in a few months, I started making sales in ways I never had. I started growing my audience. Um, I started, you know, just thinking differently, thinking better, thinking bigger for myself, thinking more like an entrepreneur.
And during that time, I also tragically lost my dad. So just so we’re all on the same timeline here, this was about two years after I started to begin with, I lost my dad and, and I had already kind of decided to splurge on my business and go spend money. I didn’t have to make some of these big decisions, but my dad’s passing was really the wake up call. I needed to realize how much I was selling myself short, how much I was allowing myself to live in mediocrity.
I’m gonna just be really blunt with it here, how much I was indulging in my own excuses, how much I was believing my own, frankly, and how much I was allowing myself to go through life every single day, living out of alignment with what I knew was possible, which is lame, which is lame.
We’re gonna be very clear about it. I don’t like that. I don’t like that for anyone. And at that point, I then knew that I wanted to change even more, and that I really wanted to play a bigger game. So I had hoped that by making these bigger investments and going into credit card debt and really trying to play a bigger game, that I would in about a year be in the position where I was able to quit my nine to five job.
Now, what that looked like in my mind was that I would be making consistently as much from my business as I was in my nine to five job, which wasn’t much at the time, I think it was around $5,000 a month, not a ton of money. And I would have paid off my credit card debt. I maybe would have been debt free from my student loans.
I did have quite a bit of student loans at the time. I was paying around $700 a month in student loans. Um, I would have quite a bit saved up, which I had none saved up. You know, obviously I was in credit card debt and I had no, no savings at all, and I would have some sort of recurring revenue that is kind of what I imagine the picture would look like when I decided to give my notice.
But about six months after my dad passed away, I walked into my boss’s office and said, I’d like to resign. This is not in my future anymore. I am doing something for myself. And things looked very different than what I had imagined. So I wanna kind of walk you through what that looked like and how I changed my mindset to do the right thing for myself.
So over the course of the several months between when I did start investing in my business and things started taking off, and when I quit my job, yes, financially things did get a lot better for me. My business started making a thousand dollars a month, a few thousand dollars a month.
And before I knew it, I was making five, $6,000 a month from this business that had gone for two years, making no money. It felt like a dream, and I still had credit card debt. I was not able to pay it back right away. I chose not to pay it back because I chose one to continue investing back in my business.
So I would hire other coaches, or I would pay for Facebook ads or I would, uh, I had got a branding photo shoot. I remember my first branding photo shoot was $4,000, which felt like all the money in the world. That is a lot of money for a branding photo shoot now that I look back. But it was great. It was what my brand needed to kind of elevate. So even though yes, I was making more money, it wasn’t going toward paying off my credit card, it also wasn’t going into savings. It was going back into my business.
But that is what felt good to me because I was seeing how quickly my business was growing. And so I thought if I can get my work in front of a hundred more people a month, a thousand more people in a month, um, if I can elevate my branding and make my website look more professional, I can raise my prices. I can be taken a bit more seriously. I can raise my conversion rates. If I can get in front of more people, I can make more sales.
All of that started all of a sudden seeming far more important and actually like a better use of money to me then putting money in a savings account where yes, it would be there when I quit my nine to five, but I wouldn’t know what to do with it. I wouldn’t know how to make more of it, and I would be very afraid to spend it. That felt like a very fearful energy to me.
So instead I shifted my priority into having a sort of machine that I relied on to make me more money and make more sales, and that I started feeling confident could make me more sales when I needed, when I wanted. Now this was also about transforming myself. Still to this day, I feel like the reason I have faith and you know, feel sure that money’s coming in. It’s not because my business is perfect, it’s because I trust myself to know that I come through for myself.
So there was a lot of personal development work that went on during that time as well, that really became my focus. So on that day in September, I maybe had a little bit more in savings than I did when I started. And I didn’t have any less credit card debt. In fact, I probably had more credit card debt because I just continued investing in my business. And still that did not matter to me as much as the list of thousands of people on my email list I had built in the last few months that were reading my emails, excited about what I was up to, and wanting to learn more about my offerings that felt safer to me than money.
Just sitting in an account that I would be afraid to touch and that I didn’t know how to make back. It felt safer to me to have a business with an audience that was growing with a lead generation strategy with me, the person that I relied on to make sales and me being very good at it, and with products that I invested in, that I spent time on and that I knew were helpful to people, that I knew people’s lives would change if they took them.
If they had them, they would feel safer to me. So when I quit my job, did it look like I thought it would? No. And was it scary? Yes, it was. As much as I wanna say that I had this perfect mindset of just knowing things would work out and throwing caution to the wind when it came to savings and debt and all the other very conventional Dave Ramsey, like things we think we need to make a big decision like that.
That isn’t true. I was scared. I was still very scared, but I was more scared of mediocrity. I was more afraid of going another year knowing I wasn’t living out what I felt like I could do after having just watched my dad lose his life suddenly and very young. That was scarier to me. It was far more intimidating and irresponsible for me to stay stuck, to stay in a job that didn’t satisfy me, to just do things because I was afraid if I didn’t do them.
And to really not show myself what I was made of and not give my absolute most and best to myself. And when I look back now on the last four years, was it scary quitting before I paid off my debt? Yes. Was it scary quitting my job without savings? Yes. Was it scary? Quitting with a business that yes had been picking up, but I wasn’t making six figures. I wasn’t making a hundred thousand dollars. I was making five or $6,000 a month, but I had business expenses too. It’s not, I was actually probably making less in
My, my pocket after, you know, after all my expenses every month. And I went on to hit six figures. I went on to have a six figure month, and I’ve had many more. I went on to hit seven figures. I went on to have a six figure day, and I don’t even like to think about what my life would look like if I had not quit my job four years ago.
Today I don’t even like to think about it. So if there’s a big decision that you’re thinking about or you’re feeling called to, or you’re considering, maybe it’s not now, maybe it’s down the road, but if there is a risk, a bold move, a big statement, a life change that you wanna make, and you’re stuck into the shoulds, the responsibilities, the checklists, the necessities around what other people think you need to do before you do it, really ask yourself one, are those my priorities or are they someone else’s?
And two, is there a world where I could make this decision and it could be the best decision of my life? And I’m not giving that as much weight as I’m giving the doomsday scenario because I’m scared? And why are we scared? Typically, it’s because we’re not fully trusting ourselves. That’s really what happened four years ago today.
It’s not that I quit my job and everything was perfect. Entrepreneurship has definitely had its challenges, and I’ve gone through a lot over the last four years. Most of it’s been fabulous, but a lot of very real life things have happened while I’ve been building this business. I got engaged, I planned my wedding, I got married, I got pregnant, I had a baby. I’ve become a new mom. And all the while my business has been, you know, not an option. It’s my job. I love it.
It’s not a chore, but it’s consistently been there and I’ve consistently shut up for it despite the things that life has thrown at me. And I can do that because four years ago I made the declaration and proved it through action that I believe in myself, that I know that even though things won’t be perfect and that things will be challenging and that things might throw me road bumps and that things might be unexpected at times, I can come through for myself. I will not self abandon.
I will continue to make it happen, and I will show up to do what needs to be done. And that’s really what decision making is about. It’s not about external circumstances. No circumstance will be perfect. It’s sort of like having a baby. You’re never in a situation where you just feel like, and now I have so mastered what it means to be human, that I can now show someone else how to do it.
No, you trust that you’ll do your best and you hope that that’s enough and you take chance. Yet, we’re so afraid to do that. We’re so reliant on certainty, circumstances, knowing that things will work out. Having a sureness, having the whole roadmap, we never do. There’s no such thing.
So my message for you today is to look at the decisions you are or aren’t making. Ask yourself, what if you stopped relying on a checklist of circumstances to be perfect before you made a decision, before you started that business, before you released a new service, before you raised your price, before you hired a new coach, before you hired a new team member, and started realizing that if you trust yourself to do what it takes to make that happen, you can create the circumstances necessary to move forward. And what would it look like if in a year from now, two years from now, you look back and you think, Oh my God, I can’t even believe I ever questioned that decision. So I hope this helps you bring some clarity to what’s best for you. I’ll talk to you guys soon. Here is to your biggest vision.
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