Why NOW is the best time ever to make “that” life-changing move

by Craig McBreen · 39 comments · Breaking out


Craig-McBreen-the-best-reason-to-make-your-moveAs I stare out my window observing another dark, dank Pacific Northwest day, I’m pondering the future of the middle class.

I’m wondering how close to the edge we are. How precarious our current situation might be.

I don’t own a crystal ball, so have no knowledge of a coming doom OR a new utopia.

But I did save a 1997 issue of Wired magazine with a feature article titled “The Long Boom.”

The theme?

Everything would continue to go up, forever. Well, that wasn’t the case, and a certain sock puppet symbolized that epic Ker-thunk! The Dot-com bubble popped around 2000, then came 9/11. But the real fun didn’t start ’til 2008.

If there is a God, I think he threw us the oughts to prepare us for the craziness we are about to experience.

And that’s where we get back to my average Joe opinion, where I think we are headed, and why it’s a sorta “good” crazy.

The middle class anomaly hatched during the mid-20th century will soon be just that – an aberration. “The Traditional American Middle Class Family” will one day be the title of a Smithsonian exhibit.

But I’m not buying a zombie apocalypse kit or instructions for a doomsday bunker. No, on the contrary.

You? If you’re stuck in cubicle nation, or you’re bouncing around between jobs, or you feel anchored to some asshole of a boss, this might be the best time in the history of our pale blue planet to plan your escape.

I did this in 1995 and I’ve never looked back.

And guess what? I’m not rich. I don’t own a Bimmer (not that there’s anything wrong with owning one). I’m not even internet “famous.”

But I am happy, independent and free.

And to be honest, I’m looking forward to further downsizing, less debt and more reward through entrepreneurship and creativity. In fact, I often wake up at 5:00 a.m. because I’m thinking about the day and all the cool things I want to do.

sockpuppet1

According to Guy Kawasaki, the power has shifted from investors to entrepreneurs. Of course he’s right.

And Seth Godin is being extra special nice telling us all what’s coming. The model we’ve all grown to aspire to is slowly biting the dust. Investors and gatekeepers don’t wield the power they once did.

So, if you are feeling stuck, it really IS about time for you to plan your escape.

I’m not telling you to quit your job today and become some über entrepreneur. No, it really doesn’t work that way.

What I am telling you is something you already know. The factory model is long dead and those moribund gray cubicle walls will soon be sitting atop piles at the dump.

The signals are being sent to you. Traditional jobs are being replaced.

So taking your first baby steps towards something new and exciting is not just about giving it to “The Man.” No, it’s also about preparing for the inevitable.

The changes will not be so gradual, and they will be profound.

Maybe it IS time to truly embrace this amazing, empowering age.

Pick yourself, like wise Mr. Godin says.

Those guys that yelled, “You can’t have any pudding until you eat your meat” … blow them a kiss goodbye, ’cause those cheese puff eatin’ gatekeepers will soon be cheese dust.

You? You really DO have the power, and an amazing arsenal of tools at your disposal.

So, if nothing else, today, kill any self-limiting beliefs.

Delete “I can’t” from your vocabulary and figure out what your first baby step is going to be (for this new YOU age) to slowly, but surely plan your escape.

It might not be utopia, but there is indeed no better time to bust that golden move.

I’d wish you good luck, but you won’t need it.

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{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

Josh February 5, 2013 at 9:41 pm

But I am happy, independent and free.

If I had to pick three words those would be them.
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Craig McBreen February 6, 2013 at 4:22 pm

Me too ;)

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Ralph February 6, 2013 at 4:48 am

Craig,

Here’s the Canadian, even Ontarion, version of your sock puppet. http://www.edthesock.com/ That’s some crazy shiz-nit!

Interesting post. It’s a big world out there and if you find the right path for you then that’s all the “it” you need. Personally, I am having a blast. The great thing is that the firm where I work supports the attitudes that Mr. Godin and Mr. Kawasaki purport.

There are conditions but then again, self-imposed or not, there always are.

How awesome is that?
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Craig McBreen February 6, 2013 at 4:24 pm

Ralph,

Looks like Ontario Ed has a nice parter ;)

“if you find the right path for you then that’s all the “it” you need”
–Amen to that, Sir! And glad you’re having a blast, and your firm supports forward thinking.

Awesome Possum. How did the presentation go?

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Laura Click February 6, 2013 at 7:36 am

Death to cubicles! Okay, just kidding. I’ve never worked in one, but I worked in a couple of places that had them and it was a soul-sucking endeavor.

You’re right, the way we work is changing and I think we’ll see a dynamic shift in how businesses operate (or at least, I hope we do). The answer may not be entrepreneurship for everyone. But, for those who are considering that route, I hope they take your advice and begin working on their side hustle to make it happen. After all, walking out in a blaze of glory a la Jerry Maguire is not the best approach. But, chipping away at your goal is a smart move and will position you to take the flying leap. There’s no time like today to get started! :)
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Rob Skidmore February 6, 2013 at 9:07 am

Laura,

Looks like we have a lot of the same friends online. :-)

I think I used those exact words ( soul-sucking) to describe my current job to my wife the other day.

All I can do is keep chipping away on my side hustle. One day I’ll make the flying leap. :-)
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Laura Click February 6, 2013 at 3:25 pm

Sure sounds like it, Rob! Glad to see you here too. Craig is good people! :)

I hate that your job is soul-sucking. I’ve been there. And it felt like I would never be able to make the leap. But, you can. And you will. Just keep hustling. And also, remember that there will never be a right or perfect time. At some point, you just have to DO IT!
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Craig McBreen February 6, 2013 at 4:52 pm

Thanks, Laura. Back at ya!

“And also, remember that there will never be a right or perfect time. At some point, you just have to DO IT!”
– Man, I wish I said that.

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Craig McBreen February 6, 2013 at 4:28 pm

Hi Laura,

Yes! I have worked in them, just makes me think of the movie “Office Space.”

I think the shift is coming fast and furious, and you’re right, it certainly can’t mean entrepreneurship for everyone. But for those who are in, now is the time, slowly, but surely.

“Walking out in a blaze of glory a la Jerry Maguire is not the best approach.”
– Yep, the Hollywood approach never is. Perfect dialog and a nice, tight ending, no so much like the real deal.

Cheers to chipping away. Thanks for stopping in!

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Rob Skidmore February 6, 2013 at 9:00 am

Yes Craig!

The writing is on the wall. Or rather, in books like The Icarus Deception and Dan Pink’s A Whole New Mind. It all just makes sense.

I see people like Tim Ferris and Chris Guillebeau designing their job around their lifestyle rather then the other way around and it just feels right.

A recent episode from Chris Brogan’s Human Business Way podcast featured Jim Kukral. I had the good fortune to attend one of his workshops last year. Anyway, he said something on there that struck me.

He has started a number of online business and is doing well for himself. Although definitely not as well as Ferris or Guilledeau. But that is not the point. When I met him and listened to him speak on the podcast I was impressed by the fact that he doesn’t care. He’s not in it to get filthy rich. He is trying to support a lifestyle that lets him spend time with his family and go fishing whenever he feels like it.

When I really think about it, that’s what I want too. I don’t need a nice car. I just want to be able to do the things that are most important to me.

I think we as a society are turning away from the rampant consumerism that has arisen as a result of the industrial age. We are entering an age of fulfillment. I see more and more people choosing to get by with less. The success of sites like Zen Habits make it all the more evident. As I’m sure you’ve noticed, even web design is trending towards minimalism.

Anyway, great thoughts. Thanks for being an inspiration to guys like me. I’ve been taking baby steps for a little while. Hopefully someday soon I can break away.

Thanks for all you do Craig.
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Rob Skidmore February 6, 2013 at 9:13 am

P.S. Any thoughts on taking the plunge? How to know you are ready? How to wait patiently until you are ready? <- My biggest problem.

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Craig McBreen February 6, 2013 at 4:50 pm

Hi Rob,

Sounds to me like you are ready ;)

By the way, I love: Helping you to be a better writer, marketer, and human. I think many lost souls in the online world need someone with your skills. It’s just a matter of committing, then planning, then putting in the hours upon hours necessary to see it through. I started when my oldest son was two years old, so I know how tough this can be with a young family. Thing is, sometimes that motivates you more than anything.

My push? My wife and my first son. That did it. I know my wife wanted me to be happier – because I was a miserable sap – plus my young son gave me the motivation I never had. Kinda like a coach and a motivator.

Anyway, it sounds to me like you are ready, so what’s stopping you from pushing forward while you’ve been doing what you do. Don’t tell anybody this, but I used to listen to “Love Line” with Adam Carolla and Dr. Drew while I was working away every night ;)

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Craig McBreen February 6, 2013 at 4:58 pm

And Laura is right – there is never going to be a right time to quit. It’s like anything else that you keep putting off. It’s all rooted in Fear. (Book’s on the way ;))

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Ralph February 6, 2013 at 9:41 am

Hey Rob, I know I am not Craig but I liked your comment so I thought I would poke my nose in.

As far as taking the leap I read an interesting book that you might consider. It’s called http://www.quitterbook.com/ A good read for me but I read it with an interest for the concepts to apply to a position in the firm where I work.

I hope it helps or at least interests you. Cheers!
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Laura Click February 6, 2013 at 3:32 pm

I’m not Craig either, but I’ll weigh in too. :)

Rob – As I said above, there is never going to be a right time to quit. You’ll never have enough money in the bank and you’ll never have enough clients before you quit. At some point, you just have to rip the bandaid off and do it.

For me, I realized that I was never going to bring in the money I wanted while only working on the off hours. I HAD to make the leap to take my business to the next level. Yes, it was scary. But, once you decide to do it, you just have to work like hell to make it work.

It sounds like you’re doing a lot of reading – I did too. But, you won’t find the answers that way. You have to find them within yourself.

Sorry for the ramble, but I hope it helps! Oh, and if you want another good resource, check out Pam Slim at Escape from Cubicle Nation. She’s got great insight and I hired her when I was trying to figure all of this out!
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Craig McBreen February 6, 2013 at 4:58 pm

Thanks, Laura,

Another great guy is Les McKeown over at http://www.predictablesuccess.com

He’s more focused on CEOs, but has an approach I think you (and Rob) would enjoy.

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Craig McBreen February 6, 2013 at 4:53 pm

Hi Ralph,

Thanks for dropping in with this great suggestion, Sir! I’ll have to check that out too.

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Rob Skidmore February 7, 2013 at 8:05 am

Thanks Ralph I’ll check it out.

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Craig McBreen February 6, 2013 at 4:42 pm

Hey Rob,

I’m definitely a fan of both Godin and Dan Pink. I like Tim Ferris as well, but I often think people get hoodwinked by his branding. I do enjoy his stuff though.

Jim Kukral on the other hand is very down to earth and speaks in real-world terms I can chew on. I listened to that same podcast and certainly liked his take on things, but it sounds like he had reached a crisis point and had to change. Regardless, he is now living the life he wants to live.

I completely agree with you. I’m an optimist at heart and who knows … maybe we are reaching a new age of enlightenment. Not to get all hippie dippy on ya, but like you, I feel it. But there is a very practical, business side that is needed if you want to see any venture through. You know that of course, but the practical business side of me says take a jump … but plan carefully. Baby steps, my friend.

I’m a big fan of minimalism, in life and in business. If you want to listen to a great podcast, listen to Mitch Joel’s latest with Jonathan Fields, I like his message and I think it’s inline with what we are discussing here.

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Rob Skidmore February 7, 2013 at 8:19 am

Craig

I know what you mean. I feel like Tim Ferris has to be taken with a grain of salt. :-)

I usually listen to the Six Pixels podcast but I haven’t gotten to that one yet. I’ll have to do that soon.

Thanks for your thoughts.

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Craig McBreen February 7, 2013 at 4:41 pm

Ha, yes! The Four Hour Chef taken with a grain of salt ;) I really enjoyed that conversation.

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Sheila Bergquist February 6, 2013 at 10:33 am

Thanks for this encouraging post! I am still trying to be successful in this Internet world and sometimes get so discouraged I want to crawl under the bed and stay there forever :D It’s people like you who keep me going…thanks.
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Craig McBreen February 6, 2013 at 5:00 pm

Hi Sheila,

You’re most welcome. I hear ya. It’s a crap ton of work and I’ve been there … that crawling under the bed thing (anyone who says otherwise is full of it).

Just keep plugging away. Fear is a beast and attitude really is everything :)

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Mary Stephenson February 6, 2013 at 11:27 am

Hi Craig

Liked your post today and it is so true. Just wish I could have predicted the future back in 2006, things would be different on the home front. But can’t go back.

Was at a dead end job and so glad to be out.

This brought back a memory about a relative. It had to have been in late 80′s. She was so upset and cussing out the damn machines. “They were going to take over the world someday!” We all thought she was over reacting, but perhaps she was not. I doubt that is what she had imagined but maybe she really did have a message we all should have taken more seriously. You can be replaced…and a machine can do it better…without complaints…without a break…without benefits!

Mary
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Craig McBreen February 6, 2013 at 5:06 pm

Hi Mary,

Thanks for stopping in. If I could predict the future I’d be an Amazon/Microsoft Richie Rich ;) Seriously though, I hear ya, but glad you’re out of that soul-sucking job.

I think she was right about the machines, but I recently read Ray Kurzweil’s “The Singularity Is Near” so I’m now a little obsessed with the changes that might be coming.

Here’s to winning the small battles and cheers to you. Keep on a movin’!

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Adrienne February 6, 2013 at 5:26 pm

Amen brother, I hear ya!

I left corporate America a lot later then you and only because my company downsized. Had it been earlier I wouldn’t have taken the plunge, it had to take me losing my Dad to push me over the edge. But I’m so glad I finally arrived here.

Like you Craig, I’m not rich and I definitely don’t own a Beemer. Heck, my poor car is 13 years old next month but guess what. It’s been paid for for years now and it still runs great. Now that I work at home I hardly put any miles on it so it’s lasting a heck of a lot longer too.

I say guys start making that move because trust me, you won’t regret it! Not at all.

~Adrienne :-)
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Craig McBreen February 6, 2013 at 7:29 pm

Hi Adrienne,

Yeah, sometimes it does take a traumatic event in your life to turn things around. That and other events out of your control. Life, eh?

Hey, you have me beat, because my car is 10 years old, but I keep that baby running clean ;) And the key phrase is, “It’s paid for!”

Yes, cheers to making “that” move and you’re right, you won’t regret it. Take some chances, but play it smart.

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Tim Bonner February 7, 2013 at 12:58 am

Hey Craig

I made the plunge back in 2011 and I haven’t looked back. I guess mine is slightly different in that my job is looking after the kids.

Now all I need to do is get the blogging etc down to a tee and that’ll be me sorted when the kids are all grown up.
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Craig McBreen February 7, 2013 at 7:28 am

Hi Tim,

At least you jumped in! But kids, that is the toughest job for sure.

Give me a call when you completely figure out this blogging thing ;)

Thanks for stopping in, Sir!

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Joe February 7, 2013 at 11:29 am

Hey Craig, this is right on the money. As a current cubicle dweller who is nearing 50, I know things can’t last forever. In fact they may not last much longer. Who knows? Corporate America is so unpredictable. That’s why I’m building skills now to take over for my “boss” when the opportunity arises. Having been involved in small business operations before, I have important experience as well.

You don’t need to be rich to rock it! Thanks for providing the proof.
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Craig McBreen February 7, 2013 at 4:38 pm

Hi Joe,

Glad you enjoyed! Corporate America is indeed unpredictable, so glad you are planning ahead and building those skills. We have to keep moving and learning, and in your case, you’ll be more than ready when the opportunity arises.

Thank you for the great comments today!

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Carolyn February 8, 2013 at 12:40 pm

Hi Craig, I have definitely worked in a soul-sucking job and, well, it sucks. I saw the movie Joe vs. the Volcano where Tom Hanks is sitting in a dull cubicle with the fluorescent lights buzzing and realized that was my life. Well, I never actually worked in a cubicle, but I could still relate.

I wonder how many people who drive BMW’s are really happy with their lives. I have nothing against BMW’s either or the people who drive them, but happiness comes first.
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Craig McBreen February 8, 2013 at 4:27 pm

Hi Carolyn,

Yes, that’s the worst, ’cause you have to experience it day after day. That’s a good visual, but unfortunately I do think many people feel like Joe did.

Hey, I’m a fan of well engineered cars, but I think many buy them for all the wrong reasons. Yes, happiness does come first.

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Laura Hill February 12, 2013 at 4:31 am

Hi Craig,
I love this post. I made the jump from corporate over a year ago and then last year my husband made the jump so we are both doing this home based, creativity driven business model. We love the freedom and the flexibility. We have been told that we are more ourselves since we left the corporate environment. While there are challenges in this new structure, the rewards of peace of mind and freedom and time with our children are impossible to quantify.
I love this post and all your posts. Keep it coming and thank you!
Laura
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Craig McBreen February 12, 2013 at 7:20 pm

Hi Laura,

Glad you enjoyed it. Congrats on taking that HUGE leap and making it work, that is so great to hear! And yes, one of the best things when getting away from “that” environment is the freedom, and you can simply relax and be yourself. Huge relief that is, huh? :)

It’s a good stress well worth the rewards you’ve mentioned. Thanks so much for the kind words and cheers to your success!

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