A few years back I worked for a large Fitness Company which provided me with a good salary, a company car, laptop and mobile phone. All I had to do was work 7 days a week, 10 hours a day.
The company was very ‘sales driven’ and as long as I created good ‘numbers’ nothing could happen to me. But making sales meant that the people who already joined our clubs didn’t get the attention they needed, and left. I preferred to embrace the existing members instead of the stress of gaining enough new members.
To make a long story short, I wasn’t useful for the company anymore (although my clubs gained profit month after month) so I got kicked out of the company in a very bad way.
From that time on I promised myself never to give a huge part of my time to a company that doesn’t give a shit about anyone, only themselves, to make lots of money. While sitting at home I decided to start a company so I would be able to do work I love, and to be in total control of what went right and wrong.
In the beginning the company didn’t earn much money, so I found a part-time job working 3 days a week, which gave me the opportunity to earn enough money to pay the bills and still have 4 days to work for my own business. But it didn’t work that way.
The evenings I was home from the part-time job I wasn’t very productive, which meant that I had to fit all the other stuff (like working on building my company) into the other 4 days, while in the weekends I had lots of assignments. So the actual time I had left to build up my company was reduced to one day a week. In other words: I couldn’t combine it anymore. For me it was clear my company is that one thing I love to do most, so if I want to make it work then I need 150% focus and time. Decision made.
All my questions weighed even heavier then before, like ‘How am I going to make enough money?’, ‘What if I have to use my savings?’, ‘What do I do when things just don’t work out?’. But at the same time the desire to take control of my own life grew bigger and bigger. But the most exiting thing was: I had no doubts anymore. All the thoughts of failure and the ‘what if’ questions disappeared and turned into energy to move forward. Something I never expected!
If I was still employed at that job, I think I would live my life structured by society. In other words: Still working for my boss’s wallet, and not being able to do the things I love. What’s the most scary thing? I think I still wouldn’t know what I love to do and would not have the time for it to discover and explore myself.
Currently, Lindy and I just beta-launched ‘The Lifestyle Switch’, a 16-week course that helps people discover their passion and define what’s truly important to them in their lives. We encourage people to go out and spend more time on things they love to do, instead of on things society expects from them.