Getting Out Of The Rat Race: Do You Have The Grit?


Chances are you’re  reading this because you pray there is something more for you than the 9-5 daily grind.  You would rather be anywhere than where you are now, clocking in, clocking out- someone else owning your time.  ANYTHING, you say, would be better than this.  Perhaps you’ve gotten to the point where no amount of money could keep you here, in this place of silent desperation a day longer.   Needless to say, you’re tired of being tired.  Desperate to get out of desperation.

You’ve been around the internet long enough to know there’s a way out, but are you really ready?

If you’re ready to get out of the rat race and blaze your own path- what are you willing to do to get there?


People are desperate and perhaps you’ve vowed that you would do absolutely anything to finally give your two weeks and set out on your own adventure.  You’ve envisioned yourself with your own business, or your own blog- you’ve read the 4 Hour Workweek and the Kool-Aid of DIY riches tastes delicious and you dream of publishing ground breaking media from the comfort of your living room sofa.

Folks that quit the grind to strike out on their own anticipate challenges, but let me lay it out for you:

  • [highlight]You will no longer have the comfort of people telling you what to do.  [/highlight]

It is liberating, true- but anticipate the anxiety that comes along with truly being your own boss.  Never again can you utter the phrase “It’s not my job,” and smugly hide behind a cozy job description.   You have no one to blame when things go wrong, and oddly enough- absolute freedom can feel totally suffocating if you don’t give yourself breathing room.

  • [highlight]No golden stars for a good job.  [/highlight]  

We all act like we could do without the trite pat-on-the-back appeasement of the corporate world, but let’s get honest, being able to brag about your latest promotion at holiday dinner gets the in-laws off your back so effectively!

Emotionally, it can be jarring to realize that you no longer get paid for showing up, you only get compensated for true performance based upon standards you may not understand right away.  You have no title to hide behind and no guaranteed pay raises out of expectation.  As much as you hated the corporate system, you may miss the comfort of regular 25 cent raises and a pacifying parking space just for being a cog in the system.

  • [highlight]It’s Just You, Your Head & A Circus Of Ideas 24/7 [/highlight]

You may discover that shifting from a 9-5 job to your own business means a lot of lonely time in your own head…with your own ideas on how things “should” be…all the time.  Are you really comfortable being you?

  • [highlight]True Possibility Is More Than You Can Fathom, But Be Ready.  [/highlight]

You may not know it now, but your brand has the ability to be bigger than you imagine, additionally the outcomes and objectives of your work will morph in ways you cannot anticipate until you show up and do the work.  The riches and rewards are given to the big risk takers.  Know that you can win big simply because you put all your chips in, and it will be excessively uncomfortable and as a rookie- more than you could anticipate before you roll the dice.  Know that you can’t anticipate what it will feel like before you step out and try, and at least, allow yourself to imagine that while losses are real, the gains could be beyond what your mind can imagine right now.

  • [highlight]You Aren’t Just “Working,” -You Become Your Brand.[/highlight]

One of the biggest perks of starting You, Inc. is that you no longer have to deal with the bureacracy of a big company where you represented a cause or objective that didn’t resonate.  If you want to succeed as the sole proprietor of your own business, at times you have to be as personally vested in your business as you would hope your customers would be.   One of your best marketing strategies will be you and your story- get ready to sell!

  • [highlight]”With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility.”  [/highlight]

The only reason most people get up at 6am is because they have to.  Chances are, nobody would wear anything with shoulder pads or anything as frustrating as control top panty hose unless expected to do so.  Additionally, managers monitor internet usage and even block sites like 9gag, Facebook and Twitter out the most condescending form of “tough love.”

You will truly, truly enjoy being able to wake up whenever-the-frick-you-feel-like it without the adrenaline of anxious promptness running through your veins but know that even if you don’t have to battle your clock, you will in some way, have to battle yourself.

  • [highlight]Table For One Please!   [/highlight] 

Your new work will change you.  Your friends that simply “can’t understand” your decision will rear their opposition in unpredictable ways, or simply- the people you used to identify with will fade away over time.  Expect that when you truly commit to working your dream, you could find yourself in a lonely place.  Also know you will have to make it an effort to search for people who truly get you and you must devote yourself to seeking mentors and supportive colleagues through unconventional means (no more office parties!) on the net and social networking groups to collaborate with.

  1. January 19, 2012
  2. January 27, 2012

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