Eight years ago, well a little longer than that, I wasn’t working. I was a little over a year out of college and was “freelancing” in various fields, but really just sleeping in late and staying up late doing only enough work to pay the minuscule bills I had at the time. I was fortunate enough to have a father who kind of let me do whatever while helping to support me. I didn’t have any money, but back then I really didn’t need any money either.
Ah, I miss those days at times.
But I had to grow up and start working, and when my father mentioned that we could easily start up a property management company I listened. I didn’t know much about property management, but 10 minutes or so on Google and I thought: why not? So with my father and step-mother as business partners we set off.
Eighteen months later I was competent enough that my partners left me alone to run the company with very little oversight. They served to help me, to support the company where they could, but for the most part it was mine to succeed or fail with.
My company allowed me some tremendous freedom. Taking every Friday off for months at a time — for no real reason. Coming home, or staying home, whenever to support my wife the best I can.1
Twenty-ten was a sweeping change of a year for me. I got married. I started this blog. And I started loathing my job — my company. We were still steeped in a recession that many started to believe we would never get out of, and I ran a real estate company through a recession that was hitting my industry hard. I’m proud that I never lost money, that I never had to come home without a paycheck, but I also never got a raise.
I was happy because I had a wife I loved, I lived in Seattle, across the street from one of my closest friends, and a blog for which to escape to when my job got the best of me. My job was emotionally tough, listening to terrible stories of financial ruin happening to people that seemed very nice, but made very poor choices.
I saw the worst of the recession everyday, and still had to kick people out, close businesses — do my job.
All of this, year after year, led to a lot of the animosity and general cranky demeanor I’ve become known for on this site. I wanted out of this work, but I didn’t know how, I was scared, and I didn’t know what to do next.
I really only thought I knew how to do one thing.
I always dreamed of taking this site full time, but I increasingly see that as something that will only be harder with time, and not easier, and that scares me. The hustle of filling ads or hocking memberships is soul crushing to me and it’s not something I want to do.
So it took me about four years to finally look at my life, as I have been doing on these pages for some time now, and realize that this is not a life I want to be leading. I want to love my work so that when I come home, I come home happy.
So that my kids don’t ask: “why is daddy cranky… again“.
So that my wife is happier.
Because my happiness impacts everyone in my home, everyone I interact with, and everyone that reads this site — I truly want to be a happier person. So at the beginning of this year I made the tough decision: I am finding a new job.
Man, that wasn’t an easy goal. It pushed more stress on me than I have felt in years, and I had to do it quietly, as I didn’t want anything getting out that could negatively affect my company, my paycheck.
The last day for me at my company — a company that I built just over eight years ago is today — is Halloween 2014, today. At five I will walk out of this office, take a breath, and drive home.
On Monday, November 3rd, 2014, I will sit down at my laptop and login to my new company.
It felt like the perfect fit from the outset, they work on and believe in the same things I do. They are remote, so now I have the freedom to live anywhere.
But more than that, it’s a field that I have true passion for. What I do know is that I am more excited about this opportunity than I have been about work in the past four years, and perhaps any work I’ve ever done.
This is good for me, but more importantly it is great for my family.
I can’t wait…
I’m no saint, there are times when, looking back, I should have stayed home but I didn’t. ↩