Live

What No One Tells You About Quitting Your Corporate Job

March 26, 2018

It’s been 5 years since I started The Healthy Maven and 4 years since I quit my corporate job. Gone are the days of commuting in tight subway cars to my 9-to-5 job and those steady paychecks every two weeks. To be honest, work-from-home/freelance life is second nature to me now. I barely remember what it’s like to have an expectation that you show up to work at a certain time.

What no one tells you about quitting your corporate job and other pieces of advice for anyone wanting to quit their 9-to-5 job and pursue their passion full-time.

But the last 4 years have given me a unique perspective on what it means to quit your corporate job. I’ve built my business from a passion project to a 6 figure career but it wasn’t without sacrifice and struggle. Much of this has been sugar-coated for all of you because it is without question the best decision I’ve ever made. But it hasn’t always been easy and that’s what I want to highlight today.

My goal is not to discourage you, because like I said the struggle was 100% worth it but instead to impart a little knowledge for any of you out there looking to quit your 9-to-5 job. I think it can sometimes look like people’s businesses fall out of the sky and when you find yourself really challenged by this new chapter it’s easy to feel alone. But trust me, you are NOT alone. Whether they tell you or not, anyone who has quit their corporate job has had their fair-share of struggles. But it’s also in these struggles that you discover resilience you never knew you had. So even though they appear like obstacles, more often than not they’ll end up being the moments you celebrate. Let’s jump in…

What no one tells you about quitting your corporate job and other pieces of advice for anyone wanting to quit their 9-to-5 job and pursue their passion full-time.

What No One Tells You About Quitting Your Corporate Job…

1. No one is going to tell you that you run a business – you’re as legitimate as you believe yourself to be. There is no moment where you finally discover that you’re running a business. It happens whenever you decide that moment should be. If you want to run a business, RUN A BUSINESS!

2. Success comes in showing up everyday even when you feel like no one is watching – I probably should have put this first because I really think this is the biggest piece of advice. Just like no one will tell you that you run a business, no one is going to tell you that you are worthy. That has to come from within and it comes from showing up when no one is watching, simply for the pure joy of it. Yes, even when things are challenging! Show.Up.

3. Business isn’t personal – For the first couple of years I used to cry when I had to fight to get paid or had a nightmare client with extravagant demands. I’ve now learned “it’s just business”. That’s not to say I’m complacent. I still have to fight every week to make sure my rights and your rights are protected. I also still have clients who I need to hound for payment or make absolutely absurd demands. Sometimes I end up spending more time emailing back and forth and hoping on phone calls that I have to turn the campaign down because I’m exhausted before I even get to the content. That’s why it’s important you know your limits. I always have to remind myself that I run my own business and that my clients down own me. When the work is no longer serving you, walk away.

4. Routine is key and no one can set it but you – I love chatting with people who just quit their corporate job because they’re always in this honeymoon phase of figuring out how to organize their life. It’s so novel to not have to wake up and be somewhere each morning that it usually results in pyjamas until 5:00 PM and wonky eating schedules. I’ve been in the place where I took every coffee date I could because I felt like I had the time, but in the end I wasn’t getting much done. Do the things you need to do to get the best return on your investment aka your time.

5. You won’t get paid…in the beginning – that’s not to say that you aren’t valuable and don’t deserve it. You don’t get what you don’t ask for. That being said, if you think you’re gonna make a 6 figure income off the bat, you’re setting yourself up for  disappointing loss. Businesses can take years to grow and you’ll need a deep level of patience during this process. Set the bar high, but give it time to get there.

6. There are no paid vacations – that doesn’t mean you can’t take vacation, but nobody is paying for your bills while you’re laying out on the beach. It’s simply a part of running your own business. Breaks are necessary for your own mental health and wellbeing but know that you’re giving up that luxury (not to mention a steady paycheck) in order to pursue your passion.

7. Most people will think you’re crazy…at first – I can’t even tell you how many people questioned what I was doing when I quit my corporate job. Now I get asked at least once a week to give free consulting sessions! I love the quote “at first they’ll ask you why you’re doing it, and then they’ll ask you how”. Ignore the naysayers because for every person who discredits you, there will be 10 more who admire.

8. Learning to say no will be your greatest lesson – At first everything seems like an opportunity, but if you exhaust your greatest resource (aka YOU), you won’t have a business at all. Learn to decipher the opportunities that are worthwhile vs. those that aren’t. I still do this everyday.

9. NEGOTIATE – Like I said, you don’t get what you don’t ask for. There are times when you need to walk away, but always negotiate first. Whether it’s rates, time, services, don’t be afraid to think outside the box. I’ve had really successful partnerships come out of situations which appeared unfavorable at first. Also negotiating is scary at first but you get better at it the more you do it.

10. You have to be overwhelmingly passionate about what you do – I’ve seen so many people start businesses and then give up simply because the passion isn’t there. You can have a great idea and all the funds in the world but if you don’t love what you’re doing I can assure you that you won’t be willing to put up with the 9 points listed above. Especially if you’re just in it for the money. Because like I said, there won’t be money for awhile and you’ll need to reinterpret what success looks like for you. But with passion, anything is possible!

BONUS: Taxes suck. That is all.

What no one tells you about quitting your corporate job and other pieces of advice for anyone wanting to quit their 9-to-5 job and pursue their passion full-time.

* * * * *

Despite everything, quitting my corporate job and running THM full-time was easily the best decision I have ever made both professionally and personally. I have learned more in the past 4 years than I had in the 25 years prior. I’ve developed confidence I never knew I could and skills I never knew I should. I challenged myself in the most intense ways and have come out better, stronger, wiser on the other side.

So to any of you looking to quit your corporate job, these are the points no one will tell you, but I can guarantee that anyone who has committed to turning their passion into a career will also say that it is one of the most rewarding experiences life has to offer.

Take the leap! Jump in.

Have you ever quit a corporate job? Did I miss any other pieces of wisdom?

JOIN THE THM NEWSLETTER

Join 8000+ members of the THM Community to get access to exclusive recipes, healthy lifestyle tips and behind-the-scenes news from our team!

Powered by ConvertKit
  • Reply
    Carrie this fit chick
    March 26, 2018 at 9:53 am

    I admire you so much for taking this leap and making it work. You are an inspiration!
    Carrie this fit chick recently posted…Your Short-term Mindset is Failing You

  • Reply
    Kaitlyn @ Powered by Sass
    March 26, 2018 at 1:12 pm

    This is so scary. I MUST DO IT. Thanks for sharing your perspective, tips and tricks, Davida! Now, excuse me while I go hyperventilate from stress because I know I need to do this but wow so scary. – Kaitlyn | http://www.poweredbysass.com
    Kaitlyn @ Powered by Sass recently posted…A Reminder That There is Good in the World

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      March 27, 2018 at 11:25 am

      Deep breaths babes! It is scary but it’s also so worth it. I always remind myself that from challenge comes immense growth and that is probably the most rewarding thing in life. You got this!

  • Reply
    Nikole
    March 26, 2018 at 1:30 pm

    Wow, I love this post and completely agree with all of it! I quit my corporate career just over two years ago, moved out of the city and started a dog walking business and I haven’t looked back! I would add one more thing to the list and that would be, know when to ask for help and when to bring in extra support! I reach the point where I was becoming exhausted and overworked but I didn’t want to turn down any new clients. It took me a while to realize that I needed to let go of some control and bringing on another employee had some many benifits that would ultimately help grow the business, there’s no way I can do it alone!
    Thank you for the awesome and inspiring posts 🙏😊
    Nikole recently posted…I Quit the pill after 18 years and it wasn’t to have a baby!

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      March 27, 2018 at 11:25 am

      Such a good point! Knowing when to delegate and let go of some control is definitely part of the process. It took me a while to get there but I’m so happy I finally accepted that I couldn’t do it all alone!

  • Reply
    Jamie | A Sassy Spoon
    March 26, 2018 at 1:39 pm

    You nailed it, Davida! It’s been two years since I quit my FT job and it was the best decision I’ve ever made in my life. These are on point and while we all know or have already heard them before, it’s great to hear someone else’s perspective on them. Love these business posts so much! xo

  • Reply
    Jaclyn
    March 26, 2018 at 2:34 pm

    OMG Davida, you have no idea how much I needed to read this! I finally handed in my notice to my corporate job last week and will be going full time in my nutrition biz starting in May. I know that it is the right time and the right decision and reading your post just helped me to recognize that although it won’t be easy, it will be worth it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this, I always love reading your biz posts. xo

  • Reply
    Hillary | Nutrition Nut on the Run
    March 26, 2018 at 3:18 pm

    This post couldn’t have been published at a better time as I’m literally smack dab in the middle of this journey. #2 hit home for sure… I left my corporate job a couple of months ago and now I’m in this journey of turning my passion(s) into a career.

    Since you only ran THM for about a year before going full-time with it, what are some of your tips for making ends meet? Was THM already producing quite a bit of a revenue by then?

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      March 27, 2018 at 11:23 am

      Hi lovely! For the first year (after quitting my job) I supplemented by doing part-time work for a healthy food start-up in Toronto. I made very little money, but I also made a lot of sacrifices (i.e. budgeted like CRAZY). Eventually it paid off but it definitely took about 2 years to get to where I wanted to be!

  • Reply
    Morgan
    March 26, 2018 at 4:39 pm

    I’m no where near giving up my corporate job, but I’d love to be at that point some day! Thanks for bringing an honest perspective to this, as sometimes it looks easier than I know it is! Although, I’m sure it’s every bit as rewarding as you say. 🙂

  • Reply
    Melissa
    March 26, 2018 at 7:01 pm

    Quit my corporate job 8 years ago and I liken it to graduating from high school and going to university. In high school you’re micro-managed to death – people care if you don’t show up at all, or don’t show up on time, or miss a due date etc. In university nobody cares – it’s all on you. But routine is key – and the one I struggled with the most. It’s easy to think you can do whatever you want whenever you want, wherever you want and you can change it up however you like but at the end of the day, I’m 1000x more productive when there’s structure to my day and my week!
    Melissa recently posted…My Word For 2018: Consumption – February Update

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      March 27, 2018 at 11:21 am

      I couldn’t agree more! For the first year or two I was all over the place. Now that I have a routine I’m so much more productive and I actually work less!

  • Reply
    Maddie
    March 27, 2018 at 4:22 pm

    Love this so much!!! Step one for me was taking the baby (but HUGE for me personally) step of starting my blog and insta and just putting myself out there. Who knows what I’ll make of it, but I’m having so much fun with it for now.

  • Reply
    Nicole @ Laughing My Abs Off
    March 27, 2018 at 9:49 pm

    You are amazing. This was a fascinating read 🙂

  • Reply
    Diana @dubblyblest
    March 28, 2018 at 10:47 am

    Great info! You hit everything on the head. I quit my career 10 years ago and now have a successful business making jewelry which I still adore doing. I work more hours now than I ever did at my corporate job but I love it so – except TAXES SUCK!

  • Reply
    Vanessa Mota
    March 28, 2018 at 11:12 am

    This is so on point. I left my corporate job a year and a half ago, moved to a different city and decided to make my blog my business even though I wasn’t financially ready to leave a steady income. BUT I MADE IT WORK! I am consistently growing my business and it feels good. Yes, there is definitely struggle and I’m currently at that stage where you are afraid to say no, but in the end, working for myself has been the best decision I’ve ever made. Thank you for sharing this post. It is very reassuring. 🙂

  • Reply
    Selena Sharpless
    March 29, 2018 at 11:26 am

    It amazes me how much your content and past resonates with me Davida! Last year was one of the craziest years for me in a sense where I finally listened to my intuition (withdrew from a very prestigious doctorate program as I think I told you about!) and am hustling right now to pursue what I know is in my heart. Your story is so inspiring and I feel SO motivated after reading this to keep trekking. I started a corporate job at the beginning of this year and was thrown into that mentally draining state yet again, but definitely came out of it knowing one day I will be my own boss and realizing how much my mind needs to be creative and learn. My path is so NON linear but slowly learning to embrace this and I appreciate how honest you are with your own journey! It definitely encourages me as I pave my own way. THANK YOU!

  • Reply
    jordan @ dancing for donuts
    April 2, 2018 at 3:07 pm

    this post is more helpful than you could ever know!! thank you for being real with us – i’ve been struggling with the idea of going freelance for at least 6 months now and it’s always good to see these honest opinions on it. you’re so inspiring and i admire your hustle!!

  • Reply
    Jamie Williams
    April 13, 2018 at 1:56 pm

    Thank you so much, I really needed to hear this. I’m transiting into working from home and it’s not easy at all. I don’t expect to make much for the first 6 months but I believe I can make decent income if I keep on pushing. Awesome post!

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge

Join 5000+ members of the THM Community and get my free 10 Day Guide to Busting Your Stress.

FOLLOW THE HEALTHY MAVEN ON INSTAGRAM!