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5 Books That Gave Me The Courage To Quit My Job

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Full disclosure: I’ve quit the 9-to-5 life 3 times. The first time I quit, I did the most and decided to run my business full-time, move to another state and jump into a serious relationship. At the same damn time. Probably not the best idea to make several major life decisions at once. So yeah, don’t do that. I went back to cubicle life twice after that after getting sick without health insurance. Debt ensued and I went back to what I knew.

Though a traditional job offers stability and health insurance, some of us are just wired in a way that ensures that will never be enough. Just being clear, there’s no shame in doing what you have to do to pay your bills and provide for your family. However, if that entrepreneur life keeps calling your name you owe it to yourself to go for it. Here are 5 books that helped me along my journey.

1. Escape From Cubicle Nation by Pamela Slim

I didn’t expect much from Escape when I bought it. I was browsing the $5 bin at Borders Bookstore (RIP) and I found this gem. This was the first time I got the quitting itch and I was desperate to make some kind of move. The title of this book really spoke to me, so i figured I’d give it a shot. This book gave me the push I needed to start my online t-shirt shop.

2. The Fire Starter Sessions by Danielle LaPorte

This book was a gift from a friend. I love books that are interactive and workbook-y that make me really think and ask myself questions. This one fits the bill. LaPorte’s writing style doesn’t mesh with everyone. It’s a very stream of consciousness/hey girlfriend kind of vibe, but I liked the informality of it. I still pull it out and complete the companion Workbook O’ Fire whenever I feel like I’m losing direction.

3. The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss

Parts of this book may be dated at this point (I believe it was last updated in 2009), but this was the first book I read that really sold the idea of working smarter, not harder. I’m not saying a 4-hour workweek is something that is achievable starting out, but it’s definitely a worthy goal to strive for. The idea of removing yourself as a bottleneck so your company can run without your constant input was extremely eye-opening. If you take anything away from Workweek, it should be delegate, outsource and delegate and outsource some more. They key to doing less work is to have someone else do it.

4. Is Your Genius At Work? by Dick Richards

Sometimes you know that you don’t want to do what you’re currently doing, but you’re not exactly sure what you’re meant to be doing. If you find yourself having constant existential crises about what your purpose in life is, you should explore what really makes you feel fulfilled. Genius has a lot of exercises and questions that can help you zero in on what your unique genius is.

5. Small Time Operator by Bernard B. Kamoroff C.P.A.


Numbers make me itch. I’ve never been good at math or accounting. If this sounds like you, then you need this book. It explains taxes and things in a way that even the numerically illiterate can understand. Yes, it’s awesome to have an accountant handle all of that stuff for you but you may be in for a rude awakening if you don’t understand what’s going on with your finances at all.

6. Extra Credit

The Strangest Secret by Earl Nightingale

If you want an instant kick in your ass, listen to this. It’s stuff you probably already know, but Nightingale delivers it in such a way that makes you really question why you’re not where you want to be…and then take action.

The Upside Of Quitting by Freakonomics Radio

I was always taught that quitting was a bad thing, but often giving up really is the right thing to do. Learn about the benefits of quitting from the economist’s perspective. Freakonomics Radio is hosted by Stephen Dubner and featuring Steven Levitt, the same guys who wrote the popular book series.

What books would you recommend to entrepreneurs who are reluctant to leave their job? Please comment and share!

Thoughts

Gone Too Soon

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“Shiny and sparkly
And splendidly bright
Here one day
Gone one night”

– Michael Jackson, “Goon Too Soon”

I wouldn’t say I was close with Ashley, but we crossed paths now and then. We were friendly. Acquaintances. We hadn’t talked regularly in years, but I remembered her fondly. It seems like just yesterday that we were in college, chatting in class.

She knew I did freelance design and web work and always thought of me when potential clients popped up. She emailed me a little over a month ago and I never responded to her email. I got caught up in the minutiae of my life and I figured I’d get to it eventually. I never did.

I was out with my sister on Saturday and we were getting much needed massages. Feeling relaxed and refreshed, I got dressed and picked up my phone and a friend texted me, “Just heard the news about Ashley Gammon”. I responded, “Wait, what???” But I already knew what that meant. When you get texts like that, you know it’s something tragic.

I can’t pretend to understand the grief her family or close friends are going through. We may not have kept in touch regularly, but Ashley’s death shook me to my core. I can’t stop thinking about it.

30 year olds aren’t supposed to die.

Especially those as beautiful, vibrant and successful as Ashley was. She still had so much life to live.

Sometimes it takes death to remind us that life is a finite gift. Make time for those who are important to you. Make an impact in the time you have, because you never know when this ride will end. Judging from the outpouring of memories and remarks on her Facebook page alone, Ashley did just that.

R.I.P.

Mom Life YMCA

The Unexpected Consequences 
of Motherhood

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Motherhood changes everything. If you don’t agree, you’re doing it wrong (just kidding, or am I?). Here are a few thoughts I’d share with my daughter if she were old enough to understand.

I’ve turned into a bit of a stalker and I regularly watch you sleep.

Unlike a dog, I sniff your butt not to be friendly, but to determine if your diaper needs changing.

Though I love hanging out with you, I have never derived so much joy from seeing another person take a nap (because you’re exhausting).

I used to live an extremely healthy existence where my lifestyle had names like vegan, vegetarian and Paleo. Now I’m a scavenger who mostly subsists on your leftover toddler scraps.

While I previously needed a minimum of half an hour to get ready, I can now shower and be dressed in about 5 minutes. Getting you ready is another story.

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Mom Life YMCA

No, No, No

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Maya and I were taking a morning walk around the neighborhood when she saw something she wanted on the sidewalk. It was a chewed up plastic hair barrette, and I didn’t think it was safe for her to have. I grabbed one piece from her, but she closed her tiny hand on to the other half so I couldn’t get to it. “NONONONONONONONONONONONO,” she screamed at me and my parenting attempt.

The dreaded day had come, my toddler learned how to say no.

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Mom Life YMCA

Hello, Autumn

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Summer ends in just a little over a week (September 23rd to be exact), so it’s time again for falling leaves and long sleeves.

I had never heard of it, but autumn anxiety is really a thing. You’re not alone if the changing of seasons gives you a little bit of stress.

Pollen is out, but ragweed and mold will soon be in. Take care of yourselves, allergy sufferers!

If you’re a fan of a certain orange gourd, it’s not the time of year where you can get all pumpkin spice everything.

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Mom Life YMCA

Decoding Car Seat Safety Guidelines

My daughter is at that age where she’s growing out of her infant/toddler car seat, and I need to upgrade her to a new seat. I’m fairly new to this car safety thing and an informal poll of my family and friends has left me even more confused. Ask five different people, and you’ll get five different answers about when a child needs a booster seat, when their seat can be front-facing and when they no longer need to ride in the back seat.

I read through the government standards, and there was a lot of information to digest. Here are some helpful tips and information if you don’t know where to start:

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Mom Life YMCA

Change and Growth

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I like to think writing is one of the few professions that gets harder the longer you do it. Sure, you get better and gain more experience over time, but it also becomes harder to keep things fresh and consistent.

The challenge I face as a writer is much like the one I face as a mom. You become more confident and capable the longer you parent, but new challenges pop up to test your seniority. And boy, have I been tested lately.

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