Society smiles on “good” decisions– decisions that often follow certain rules– decisions that seem “right”, “correct” or “normal”.
These collective judgments are made on everything from nutrition to relationships to money.
But sometimes, the logical, sensible decisions just don’t work in real life. For some, conventional wisdom is anything but wise.
In this series, Financially Dumb, Personally Brilliant, we’ll meet many bold risk-takers who went with their hearts/guts over their minds/wallets.
Today’s story comes from Matt from Money by Ramey:
I took the plunge.
In May 2018, I resigned from my job at a commodity trading firm without a firm position lined up. All I really had was a general idea of what I wanted to do and a burning desire to do it.
My friends and family all had that weird look whenever we began to talk about my future plans. I routinely heard the question, “You did what!?” “So you don’t have a job lined up?” “What are you going to do now!?”
People were in disbelief and awestruck at my decision. Universal wisdom says that you must always have a backup plan in place.
But I’ve been down this road before. I knew where it led me before and I trusted that it would lead me there again. Where was that place? Some of the best life growth that I have ever known.
The Uncomfortable Comfort
Flashback to May 2018: my job was great, I enjoyed the people that I worked with, and I had a good amount of money in the bank account.
So why was I feeling so distraught at going into work day after day after day? Enter what I call, “The Uncomfortable Comfort”.
I was in a position that no longer challenged me to my maximum capabilities. I was comfortable where I was at, but in my heart, I wanted something more.
Now I know that there are some people who would revel in this type of situation. I had mastery over what I did, I felt very confident doing it, and I had a lot of people that respected and enjoyed working with me. But at the end of the day, I felt the call of the next step for me, whatever that may be.
I began applying for jobs, as a few interesting opportunities came up. But– I have to admit that my heart wasn’t in any of them. No matter what kind of position it happened to be, it wasn’t anything that I sincerely wanted to do.
It was then that I realized that it wasn’t so much the company that I was with or the particular job that I was doing which was driving my discomfort. Rather, it was the field that I was working in which no longer appealed to me. I felt like I had accomplished all that I wanted to accomplish, and that it was time to move on to a different career path.
This was the hardest realization of the entire change process. To take something that I have been doing for the last 12 years and then say that I no longer wanted to do this thing, put me in a type of predicament that I haven’t been in before.
What does somebody in my type of situation do? That was the million dollar question.
Do I start in a new field from the bottom rung? Who wants to hire someone with 12 years of experience in one industry looking to pivot into a different career field?
Without a definite answer in place, but a sincere trust that something better was out there, I took the step that had been on my mind for so long; I walked into my boss’s office and gave my two-week notice.
In hindsight, I can see how things have naturally orchestrated themselves to come together. After resigning from my job, I took a few months off to figure out what that next step in the process was going to be.
Since then I have started up a consulting company. I now also manage a personal finance blog that has been growing exponentially. And I am actively investing my own capital in the effort to build up a passive income stream through purchasing dividend stocks.
None of this would have been possible without the leap of faith.
In my previous position, I sometimes enjoyed what I was doing. But, if I am completely honest with myself, I worked at the job for the money.
More and more, I have been trying to find that point where passion intersects with purpose and where what I’m doing on a daily basis is something that I really want to throw myself into. I am looking to build that legacy that is truly me and one that I can be truly proud of.
While I don’t have everything figured out yet, I am on a path that excites me and energizes me. And, while the income has been unsteady, I am hopeful that tomorrow will bring about the reward that makes everything worth it.
New Doors Open Up
A mantra that I said to myself for the past year or so before taking the plunge was, “One door closes, another door opens.”
At the time I was saying this to myself, I understood that logically this made sense, but I did not trust it from an emotional or spiritual perspective. This job was my livelihood and all I knew for the past 10 years; take that away and who am I?
But with tenacity and the help of some great life coaches, I eventually arrived at a place where I sought what was on the other side. So by closing one door, what doors opened up?
There’s a chance that if I would have stayed in my position, I wouldn’t have been able to start up my personal finance blog, MoneyByRamey.com. Not only did leaving my previous company open up capital that was otherwise not available to me, it also gave me an energy boost that I needed to begin the search for what I really wanted to do.
I am fully conscious that I control my destiny through the decisions I make; however, I also realize that making life decisions can be extremely challenging when one is “stuck in a rut”.
The radical action of resigning from my job helped to dislodge me from the place of discontent and inaction to a place of excitement and daily engagement.
Sometimes when I think about my journey and question whether or not I made the right choice, I reflect on the idea that without leaving that position, I likely wouldn’t be here writing this article for you.
I Am In Flow
Another awesome benefit of leaving my job is that I am more in flow with myself and everything around me. What do I mean by this? To me, it just seems that I am in a place where I am meant to be.
More and more, I am pursuing activities, ideas, and options that are directly where my passion is intersecting with my purpose.
My energy levels are boosted, I am achieving high levels of learning, and though the journey is challenging, each day I am waking up excited and energized.
It is from this place of flow that I believe that doors are beginning to open themselves up. It is just a matter of time, patience, and perseverance to stay the course.
A Greater Appreciation of Money
Through my journey into entrepreneurship, my eyes are open to a better understanding and appreciation of money.
Previously, I made enough money where I was not concerned about the next expense in my life. I knew I would have enough to cover day-to-day living.
Now that I’m running my own business with the responsibility for all the expenses in my life, I’m beginning to see how important every last dollar is. That money that I spend on a coffee and bagel is money that cannot be spent on marketing efforts. The ability to sell a service is contingent on if the marketplace values it and is willing to pay me for it.
For me, this overall experience has been invaluable on two main levels:
- It helps me better understand what business owners are going through on a daily basis, which helps me translate my services to better serve that market. Throughout my career, I have dealt with business owners, but this new foray into their world gives me a glimpse as to the important money decisions that are made each and every day.
- It helps me understand what my readers are going through. Making ends meet is not easy, and one of the things that I feel a calling to do is teach people how to become financially free and gain more control over their personal finances. It is through financial freedom that we gain time freedom, and in time freedom, there is true freedom! Thus I am on a journey to earn active income to invest in passive income sources while teaching my readers how to do the same.
This change has also lead directly to learning more skills. Through this massive career shift, my world has been opened to skill sets that I only dreamed of before.
Once I had an idea of a dividend investing strategy; now I am actually executing it on a day-to-day basis.
Before I dreamed about making money through writing and my online efforts; now I am seeing the fruits of my labor beginning to pay off.
In my last full-time position, I learned many skills as well. However, I often ran out of time in the day to do what I really wanted to do.
When I took into account working from 7/8am-5pm, the commute to and from work, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle – exercise, eating right, etc. – I would have about 2 hours left at the end of the day to accomplish my passions. Much of this time was spent relaxing and resting my mind and body from the stressors of the day.
Now I am actively pursuing those things I want to pursue and I have a commitment to achieving them at all costs. This has meant stepping outside of my comfort zone, continually growing, and learning how to delegate.
Delegation has been the most interesting skill I have learned thus far – the idea that I can get more done through a team than through solely my own efforts has been eye-opening to me.
I am seeing this play out in my various business endeavors. When I focus on my core competencies and let others handle the rest, I achieve more forward momentum. There is power in a team-mentality attitude!
Would I Do Anything Differently?
Since leaving my full-time position for the world of entrepreneurship, I have asked myself this question on a few occasions. The position that I left was very cushy; it was secure, and I could have probably retired with full benefits if I had wanted to.
In short, I would have done very well for myself. It is only natural that I sometimes find myself doubting whether or not my journey has been the right one.
However, I also see that my personal growth was being stifled. My natural creative tendency was not finding a proper outlet.
The result was a feeling of dread and stagnation as to what each day was going to bring. In my heart, I knew it was time for a change.
Knowing that my motivational levels were low and that a change needed to be made, I will answer with a resounding no, I would not do anything differently. I will always maintain the ability to earn money, and my goal moving forward will be to do it in a fashion that excites and energizes me.
Thus I have left the ‘uncomfortable comfort’ and now seek to find the intersection between passion and purpose. I cannot yet definitively say that I have found the right path, but I am certainly traveling in the right direction.
Matt Ramey is a writer, investor, and business owner. He owns and operates MoneyByRamey.com, where his goal is to Teach Financial Freedom to the Universe!
He is building his way to a Dividend Portfolio where the end goal is a portfolio that generates $50,000 in annual dividend income.
He is also the author of Simple Budgeting: A Minimalist Guide to Setting Up Your First Budget.
You Can Find More Matt and Money by Ramey Here:
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There you have it! Stay tuned for the next installment of Financially Dumb, Personally Brilliant!
For more great stories from the series, check out: Life First, Finances Second and My Race, My Rules
Congrats on taking that leap! It’s not easy and you have to try to ignore the noise (aka friends and family saying you’re crazy) and that’s not easy either! It can really make you doubt yourself.