Update: This post was originally published in June 2011. It has been re-edited and expanded upon. Enjoy!
The path of leaving work behind is littered with obstacles and at times your efforts can seem entirely fruitless.
If you are reading this, you may well be considering throwing the towel in. If you think that you’ve had enough, then you may as well close your browser down now and turn the television on.
Still with me? Great!
That’s all we need — the small ounce of staying power that still exists in you. We can develop that into something much stronger. As long as there is still a scrap of determination left in you, we can exploit it to better your chances of success.
I can spend all day telling you to persist and work hard, but by now, you will probably feel like those paths are well worn by the dusty boot heels of your failure. You need something more. That’s what I plan to give you.
Leaving Work Behind Is a Hopeless Venture
The above statement is absolutely true for every single person who has tried and given up.
It clearly was a hopeless venture for them, as they reached their breaking point without experiencing the requisite level of success. For everyone else who is still trying, leaving work behind is possible; you just have to figure out how.
The Formula for Success
In logical terms, success is achieved by executing a very simple formula:
Endeavour + Competence + Time = Success
You can translate that formula into three steps:
- Undertake to succeed
- Carry out that undertaking with adequate ability
- Follow steps 1 and 2 until success is achieved
From an objective perspective, if you do not succeed, you did not apply yourself properly and/or did not apply yourself for long enough. It’s that simple.
My Experiences With Prolonged Failure
When I first started on my journey to leaving work behind, I had no idea how I would create a successful online business. But I started anyway — I picked what I thought was a good opportunity to make money (niche sites) and I ran with it.
Fast-forward several months and I had nothing to show for it. In fact, I had lost money. You can see this for yourself by scanning through my monthly income at the time.
I could have given up then. After all — my efforts had resulted in nothing but failure. Fortunately, my drive to succeed was strong and I still believed that success is ultimately a matter of persistence.
Fast-forward to present day, and in October 2013 I made $5,661 from my writing business.
It all began with that break back in September 2011 — incidentally, with an opportunity that I never saw coming. I had never imaged that freelance blogging would be the solution for me. It’s a good thing I didn’t give up when all I had to show for my efforts were failure.
Knowing When to Change Tack
The main moral of the above story is that persistence is so often the key to success. But there’s more to it than that — your persistence must considered. After all, there does come a point when you have beaten a particular venture to death.
If you are certain that whatever you are doing is not going to reap sufficient rewards, consider a change of tack. You are not giving up by doing so — you are making a smart decision to move onto opportunities that are more likely to get you to where you want to be.
The ability to recognize when you will not be able to achieve your goals is extremely valuable. It will help enormously. Giving up will not.
Are You Sure You’re Not Capable of Leaving Work Behind?
If you have read this far and still think that quitting your job and building an online business is impossible, fine. I will not try to persuade you otherwise. However, I do want you to consider three questions:
- Are you happy with your personal situation?
- Do you enjoy your job?
- Do you have as much money as you would like?
Why do I ask these questions? Because the act of leaving work behind, executed correctly, can positively affect all three areas.
If you are sure that you cannot succeed in your online venture, then what is going to replace it as your ticket to improving all three areas of your life? If there is nothing, are you truly ready to give up on the meaning of life?
If you’ve decided that making money online isn’t for you, you need to find what is.
Find something that can catapult you to better things. There is no person in this world that is as happy or successful as he or she possibly can be. While leaving work behind is most often typified by quitting your job and building a successful lifestyle business, that is not the only path.
Alternatively, simply exist and accept what you have, and try to find peace in that. Not my preferred option.
There is always room for personal improvement. I strongly believe that anyone can carve out a niche for themselves. It does not have to be making money online. You could find happiness and fulfillment in youth coaching, plumbing, or business consultancy. Who knows? The point is, if you haven’t found that niche, by halting your efforts you are giving up on the potential for a higher quality of life and resigning yourself to the status quo.
A Concluding Question
What would you rather do — frustrate yourself trying damn hard to make things better for yourself, or simply accept that you will never be content? I’ll pick frustration every time.
Don’t forget that the Leaving Work Behind community is here to support you. Join us on the forums, share your concerns and frustrations, and we will only be too happy to help.
Photo Credit: micheleart