Decide today to live life on purpose. Take a leap. You don’t have to spend your life doing something you don’t enjoy.
I’ve come to realize that life is what you make it. It’s not our circumstances that define us but our decisions. But before I go any further, let me fill you in on the circumstances that led me to understand this.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been an entrepreneur at heart. I remember getting in trouble at junior camp as a nine-year-old because I was caught selling candy. Business was great until a counselor caught me selling fun dip out of my suitcase.
As a teenager, I went to flea markets and bought electronics and then sold them on eBay to make extra cash. Then I got a job at Chick-fil-a making $7.00 an hour. It seemed like the logical thing to do. Many of my high school friends were getting jobs, so I did as well.
I remember telling one of the managers about my flea market flipping and how I had just made $250 on a set of speakers. He asked me if I would teach him how to do the same.
I wouldn’t say I hated working at Chick-fil-a, but I didn’t look forward to going to work. The more I was scheduled, the less time I had to spend buying and selling on the side.
Then, I came across a 1973 Volkswagen Beetle. I’ll never forget driving away after paying $960 and being able to see the ground through the rusted floor boards. I eventually sold it for $2500. A $1500 profit!
$1500 was an astronomical figure for me as a seventeen-year-old. I remember calculating how long it would have taken for me to make that much at my fast food job. Based on the 20 hours a week I was working, I would have had to work about three months to make that same amount.
I quit my chicken making job the next week.
I went on to flip more cars during high school and eventually paid for my entire college tuition with the money I made buying and selling cars.
After college, my dad and I started a used car dealership. It seemed like a logical decision. I had just finished a four-year business degree, and I enjoyed selling cars. Unfortunately logical and enjoyable aren’t always the same thing, though.
After the dealership had opened we added a service center. Not only would I run the dealership, but now the service center as well.
While I enjoyed working with my dad, I didn’t enjoy what my job had become. While I had no equity in the business, I was paid a generous salary, but I missed the excitement of my flipping days.
Fast forward five years. The dealership had grown by leaps and bounds. My income was higher than it had ever been. And we were about to expand the business.
There was just one problem. I was burnt out. I was tired of working 50-60 hours a week building a business that I didn’t enjoy running.
My inner entrepreneur was stifled by the confines of my job. Then I did something crazy. I quit.
My wife and I sold our house, moved to a city we always thought we’d enjoy, and had a baby all within the span of a few weeks.
Today I make more money flipping cars than I did as a General Manager of the car dealership. Not only that, I work from home, and I work when I want.
I’m going to have the time this year to coach my son’s soccer team. I’m pretty excited about that, but it wouldn’t have even been a possibility with my old schedule.
I’m not going to lie and say I didn’t question my decision to leave my job. I remember sitting at a card table in our new house with nothing but my laptop and a cell phone. I remember thinking how crazy I was to think I could provide for my family by just finding deals on cars and reselling them.
Then I made $3000 on my first flip in our new city. That $3000 was enough to pay our living expenses for the entire month. But more importantly, it was enough to give me the confidence to keep going.
What I hope you take away from my story is that you don’t have to spend your life doing something you don’t enjoy. Spending long hours at a job you dread going to doesn’t just affect you. You bring that dread and stress home with you. It bleeds over into every aspect of your life.
How can you truly even enjoy vacation time when you know you’ll be right back where you don’t want to be in just a few days?
I don’t know if that’s where you are, but that’s where I was. It wasn’t till I got out of my comfort zone that I could get to a point of doing what I loved. Now I don’t just flip cars, I teach others to do the same.
This is all possible because I didn’t let the circumstances of my old job define me. The reality was I could change jobs or even create my own anytime I wanted to.
The same is true for you. Decide today to live life on purpose. Take a leap of faith. You won’t regret it!
Have you ever taken a leap of faith that paid off?
Photo: Flickr/ Montgomery County Planni