[Cordelia note: No, she is not quitting “dropping it like it’s hot”; she’s on a spree of Quits that in fact demonstrate an admirable ability to drop it like it’s hot.] 😀
My Superhero Origin Story
I have been an overachiever since birth. My mom always tells me a story about how I came home from my friend’s house at 4 years old and said, “Tommy got a D in school. I’ll never get a D in school.” I wasn’t even in school yet, I didn’t even know what you did in school, but I already had crazy high standards for myself.
I can’t even blame my parents for this because they are both incredibly chilled out and the sort of super supportive parents who always remind you how smart you are and that you can do anything you put your mind to. My dad dropped out of high school to follow the Detroit Tigers to their 1968 World Series victory, so it’s not like they taught me that school is the only way to be successful. He went on to work at Chrysler and the UAW, where he was paid very well and retired in his early 50s. Not bad for a dropout.
The idea of dropping out to pursue your passion and breaking all the rules to create the life you want used to sound insane to me, but nowadays it sounds freakin’ awesome.
Needless to say, as a weirdo overachiever child, quitting was never in my vocabulary. Neither was failing. I have since learned that both of those things are essential both in business and in life. I am nothing short of a shitty employee with authority issues, so I had to figure out how to rock my business and bail on the day job. I figured out pretty quickly that if I was going to deviate from the norm and break out of the corporate cage, I was going to have to learn how to quit what isn’t serving me because, as the sole person in the business, my time and mindset are everything.
Dropping It Like It’s Hot
One of the best things I have ever quit is trying to figure it out all by myself. This means investing in things like coaching and courses (which is hard to do when you’re strapped for cash). I convinced myself to invest in a few programs because I knew that I could progress faster if I could learn from what other people had done. No one reinventing the wheel for me. In business, your resources boil down to time and money, and when it comes to progress, I am willing to spend money to reduce the amount of time it will take me to get to where I want to be.
I also stopped trying to do everything by myself. I think before I made this decision, I felt like I had to do everything myself to prove that I could, but I’d rather just focus on what I love and hand off other things to people who love them. I recently hired a copywriter for my course that launches in September. It was a cost of $1,000, but I know that the return on it will be tenfold. Viewing services like this as an investment that will create a return has helped me get over the anxiety of paying for them.
I use to try to force myself to work 9-5 on my business. The problem here is that I suck in the morning. I am a zombie until at least 10:00 a.m., and I was forcing myself to get up and work 1-2 hours before I could even hope to start being productive. I’m a night person, and I’ve learned to embrace that. In fact, as I write this, it’s 10:32 p.m. My brain just works better at night, and it’s about time I start listening to my brain.
Last month, I decided to quit spending time with people who bring me down and seek out people who energize me. It is amazing how people just appear when you start looking for them. I have met a lot of incredible people lately and I make a point to attend Meetups as often as possible. Hanging out with people who bitch about their day job all the time and don’t get what I do or why just sucks, so I’m done with it.
I quit waiting for inspiration and decided to just sit down and do the damn work I’m putting off. Except that sometimes, it is better for me to go take a short nap and come back to what I’m doing than to try to power through it half-asleep. I had to stop telling myself that I’m not Spanish and that siestas are not okay. They are okay; in fact, they are awesome and I highly suggest them.
Personal Life Quits
I quit watching the news (especially the U.S. news) recently, and it was really hard for me to do. I studied political science in school and am very interested in world affairs, but I also get very riled up about them. U.S. news is poison to my brain. It is filled with opinion and speculation that leaves me shouting at my laptop. I still keep up on things, but I choose my sources wisely. The world is a pretty messed up place, so getting my news in a satirical way helps me not flip out about it. For this reason, I’ve chosen to get my news from places like The Daily Show and Jezebel.com. I’ve also taught myself to expect U.S. politicians to do insane things that make me want to scream. It’s not cynicism, because I truly do care; it’s just how I have to manage my emotions so that I don’t let a single news story destroy my day.
I quit drinking heavily because I have bipolar disorder, and getting drunk is just not worth feeling like crap for days. I love the occasional artisan beer, but I’m done with drinking like I’m in college.
Last but most definitely not least, I quit letting others define success for me. I don’t want to take my corporate salary and spend it on a house and a BMW. In fact, the idea of owning property is crazy to me. I would never want to tie myself to any specific location. Many people point out that I’m married, so how can I possibly get commitment-phobic with something as emotionless as property? Simple: my husband is portable. I value experiences far more than material items. If I had a spare $200K, I’d spend it on a trip with Virgin Galactic instead of a sports car.
I have finally figured out that to me, success means being free. A lot of the things that people traditionally equate with success, like a house and a nice car, take away from personal freedom. Financial commitments like that limit what I would be able to do, and I am just not willing to put those limits on myself.
Who knew that quitting could help create personal freedom?
Heidi Thompson is the founder of Evolve Your Wedding Business. She teaches wedding professionals how to do amazing marketing on a tiny budget and create a consistent flow of leads because in business, it doesn’t matter how good you are at what you do if no one knows about it. She is originally from Metro Detroit and currently lives near Cambridge, England but plans to keep moving because the world is far too interesting to stay in one place.
Image: le Liz
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