I knew it was over when I read the first line of the email:
“Todd, what you gave me is very disappointing after the time you were given. Please issue a complete refund. I will not be paying for this. Someone else will handle this project.”
Here’s the worst part — she wasn’t wrong. Frankly, I didn’t deserve her money. In the world of small-business internet commerce, we often are left with the impression other people’s money does not matter that much. All that matters is we HUSTLE and GET THAT CA$H.
It isn’t that simple.
No matter if someone gives you $1 or $100,000, they are expecting back a value of what was given (or more). I tricked myself into thinking money only mattered if it was mine. And it had to be mine.
But I’m getting off topic. This isn’t a post about money. This is a post about quitting.
You should likely quit what you are doing immediately if…
A) … there is immense *pressure* to stay, but not a good *reason*.
Another time I quit, the leader told me this:
“It’s just a bad idea to leave this organization. It looks bad. People know people. If you make this decision, it could hurt you a lot down the line.”
Ah yes, the infamous “blackballed for life” threat.
Television shows and movies aside, I have never seen “you’ll never work in this business again” actually ring true. And besides — who cares if it does? Move to a different business. There are 7 billion people on this planet. Okay, probably like 1.5 billion of those are kids, but that still leaves you with 5.5 billion other adults to meet. What career choice could you possibly make which will make them all turn you away?
“Oh, that’s John. He’s the guy who quit that one thing. Point him to the back where he can get a free can of dog food.”
In that scenario, both my leader and I knew I was no longer needed in that position. I was wasting both his time and mine. My tasks had almost all been moved to a different team. There was literally not one reason for me to stay.
So I didn’t.
B) … you have a boss who will not change.
This one is always met with “well, maybe it’s YOU who needs to change.” But as my friend Benjamin P. Hardy has pointed out recently — humans adapt to our environment, not the other way around.
Can you get better? Yes, probably. Should you get better? Yes, definitely. But it’s much easier to swim in an olympic pool than a poisonous swamp. You can make it across either.
One will just leave you feeling significantly more miserable.
C) … you have reached the end
First, remember this:
Jobs end. They are supposed to.
A job is a series of tasks to be completed in a certain amount of time. Except most of us do not have jobs. We have agreements. As in “I agree to serve you for a certain amount of money until I save enough to tell you to stick it.”
Allow things to end. How else are you going to find a new beginning?
D) … you are just doing it for the money*
To be honest, I don’t even know why I put the asterisk there. I think I was going to say something like “unless you have to pay the bills,” but I’m not even sure that is the case.
I once started a design business for the money and only the money. Plain and simple — I needed dollars. When it was all said and done (and finalized with the fiery crash at the top of this story) I ended up losing money.
One of my favorite quotes from Dave Ramsey is this one:
“People who are in the top 5% of their field ALWAYS make more than enough to thrive in this world.”
I also like what James Altucher says:
“Money is a side effect of doing the things you love — of being creatively, spiritually, physically, and emotionally healthy.”
E) … you’ve found the ceiling
If you are more qualified than the person above you but they don’t leave, you will never take their spot.
If you are at the top of your department but have no support, you will never expand further in the business.
If you are doing everything as efficiently as possible but still run out of time, you will never have the bandwidth to grow.
If you have a boss, you will never make more than your boss.
This is why one of my friends recently said “thank God I don’t have a job.”
F) … because you are emotionally abused
Here is the theme to these reasons:
Comfort does not always equal happiness.
Please do not stay in a toxic relationship. You can live without that person. Not all partners are like that. There are hundreds of people in the world waiting to show you true love. Real love is not controlling. It is not jealous. It is not manipulative. It is kind. It is pure. It is faithful.
Do not stay oppressed any longer.
You deserve to be free.
Ugh, okay I feel called to take this a step further.
So here is my personal cell phone number:
I don’t answer phone calls for these reasons, but if you drop me a message, I’ll do my best to get back to you and chat.
Much love as always,
— Todd B