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Leaving Your Job Can Make You a Success

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Leaving Your Job Can Make You a Success

I still remember the day I was told that the company I worked for was going under. I was given two more weeks and a severance package. My boss sat gloomily at his desk as his boss, who sounded equally depressed, gave me the news during a teleconference. I was the only one among them who was happy. Why? Because being thrown out of my job meant I could actually get to work.

At first glance the thought seems odd, but you’ve probably had it yourself. Working for someone else limits your ability to put your own ideas and talents to the test. Leaving your job, either voluntarily or involuntarily, is the best way to force yourself to put all your energies into creating your own brand and business.

It never even occurred to me to job-hunt. Friends who had learned of my plight offered to get me a job with their firms. Even the team lead who had broken the bad news said he wanted to take me, and everyone else on the team, with him to another company he was looking at joining. I refused. And I haven’t regretted it since.

Once you leave your job, you will be tempted to look for another. Your friends, associates, and former bosses will likely try to get you a position in the same industry, doing the same things, making the same money. Don’t do it. You should of course maintain and continue to expand your professional network. But this should be done in the interest of making the kinds of connections you will need to find customers, forge alliances, and establish helpful partnerships for your new business.

An article in Entrepreneur magazine uses the historical analogy of the Spanish conquistador Herman Cortes burning his ships upon reaching the new world. I have always liked this analogy. It speaks to a central truth about human motivation. When you no longer have the means to go back, you are forced to move forward.

As a new entrepreneur you will have many doubt and not a few difficulties to overcome. But if you make it impossible to go back to working for someone else, then success will become not only a priority but a necessity; or, as it is stated in the Entrepreneur article:

Although an unconventional approach, burning bridges provides laser focus to the entrepreneur. The outcome becomes clearer and there are less distractions. Having options may seem like an effective risk-mitigation strategy, but it will only hurt the entrepreneur. A person with a backup plan is likely to use it, which results in settling for far less than what he or she desires.

A backup plan is the sum of all the entrepreneur’s worries, fears and disaster scenarios muddled together into one half-hearted game plan. Anyone who doesn’t burn the bridges will find that his or her focus will habitually (and unconsciously) shift toward the obstacles.

You can read the full article here. Building your own business takes patience, courage, shrewdness, and, perhaps most importantly, constancy. The only way to build your new life is to put it together piece by piece. Making a plan and sticking to it is the best means of achieving this goal and the business success that comes with it.

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About Christopher Reid Chris was born in Washington, D.C. and lives in Britain. He works as a blogger, essayist, and novelist. His first book, Tea with Maureen, has just been published.


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