If you’re reading this, chances are you want to end your grind (and you have some time to spare because this post is looong!). Hopefully you’ve seen the movie 300 as well! If not, then go to RedBox right now,watch it, then come read this post. Can’t wait? OK, go ahead then and read it now…
It’s All About Getting Out Of Your Grind
Whether you’re working in a restaurant job, a construction job, or an office job, if you’re unhappy, then you need to make a change.
I’m not talking about quitting your job at the first sign of things sucking, I’m talking about when you get to a point where work is virtually unbearable. I can say with 100% honesty that I am in that place right now so I can say with 100% certainly that it will ruin your life.
It won’t ruin your life in the traditional sense, but it will slowly take from you your energy, passion, and eventually your dreams. We must not let this happen to us. It’s time to end your grind.
I’ve seen this movie a number of times and not only is the cinematography fantastic, but the story is highly inspirational. It’s a story about 300 Spartan warriors who choose to challenge the enemy in the face of insurmountable odds.
The Persian empire reigns supreme and will stop at nothing to seize control of every country. Facing an army of over a million soldiers, the Spartans use their skills, teamwork, and passion for freedom to fight an epic battle and ultimately Sparta does remain free.
I see corporate America as the Persian army. A soulless juggernaut looking to swallow up everything it possibly can. We, as bloggers and Internet entrepreneurs, are the Spartans. We are fighting our hardest to break free from the tyranny of this ruthless beast.
Much like the Spartans, we choose to live on our terms and not spend our lives as part of a dictatorship.
So, in Spartan fashion, here are the keys to ending your grind. Take from this what you will and for the love of God, go rent this movie!!
If you are wasting away working a job you loathe and have done nothing to remedy it, you have a problem. You have a much bigger problem however, if you think this is OK.
It’s not OK. You need to first recognize that you are in the wrong job and that it’s taking valuable years away from you. Then you need to get angry.
You need to get pissed off at the fact that you are still sitting in your cubicle. You need to get pissed off about the fact that you haven’t done shit about making a change. Then you need to use that anger to fuel your ascent out of your job.
When I’m at work, I am pissed. All day, every day. You might think that’s no way to spend my life, but it’s working for me because it keeps me hungry.
If I wasn’t pissed, I might become complacent or worse, comfortable. That’s a death sentence. When we get comfortable, no matter how terrible the job, were a goner.
Use your anger as motivation to start planning your way out. Don’t make the mistake of getting mad at your employer, because it’s your choice to work there. Get mad at yourself for putting yourself in the position you’re in.
Face Your Fears
You have fear, I have fear, so what. Most of us are owned by the fear of failing in our business and not having enough money to live on. If you have a family, that fear is compounded by 10. I get that.
What I don’t get is how we can let that fear dominate our minds so thoroughly that we fail to ever try. I’m scared shitless that I will fail and be broke. What will I do for money? How will I feed my daughters and pay my mortgage?
This is the reason I am still grinding out my job. The key here is that I am facing my fears by creating an online business. I fully intend to walk away from a lucrative salary (and a HUGE income in 10 years) in order to pursue my passion here.
I’m not anything special, I’ve just had enough bullshit and it’s time to make myself happy. If you’re in a similar position, you need to ask yourself what’s really holding you back. What are the things that will happen if you fail? Are they really as bad as you think? Probably not.
Pinpoint the worst case scenarios and then figure out what you will need to do to remedy them. Much of your fear will be gone if you do.
Much like how the Spartans found that the Immortals (see the movie already) were not in fact immortal, we need to realize that our fears are not as scary as we think. We can conquer them!
Make The Best Out Of A Bad Situation
Yes, things suck at work. The bad news is that you might be stuck for a while. The good news is that it is not permanent. Not even close.
I can speak from experience here and tell you that there are ways to make your day better even with everything and everyone working against you.
Here are a few things I do to make it through my day without feeling the need to jump down an elevator shaft.
- Start each day doing something you enjoy. Your day is going to be dreadfully long and boring, so why not start out with something pleasant? Personally, I like to check my email, get on Twitter, and answer my blog comments. That puts me in a good mood (which usually lasts about 15 minutes).
- Get out of the office as frequently as possible (without arousing suspicion). Fortunately for me, I have the freedom to leave my desk when I feel like it. And believe me, I take full advantage of it. I must take 10 walks/breaks per day. It is probably the single biggest factor that keeps me sane. Just make sure you’re not out so often that your boss thinks you’re selling crack on the street corner…
- Work on your work while at work. I think it’s safe to say that most of us desk jockeys have some down time during the day. Use this time as wisely as possible! Every minute counts, seriously. If you’re ever going to quit, you need to be working on your business every free second you get. Now, if your work is porn, then I’ll say this is a very bad idea! I plan each day around my boss’ schedule/meetings which gives me the opportunity to spend more time on my blog.
- Take as many days off as you can afford. Remember, your online business is the ticket out of your day job and if you’re not putting in 100% right now, you may never get there. I take holidays, sick days, and vacation days to work on this blog. Do I wish I were at the beach instead? Hell yes, but sitting on the beach gets me no closer to quitting my job.
Align Yourself With Comrades
The type of coworkers you have can make or break you, especially if you’re one of those annoying social butterfly types. Years ago when I worked for Wachovia Securities, I had an awesome group of guys I could hang out with. We’d go to happy hour together, play cards together, and talk shit about our jobs together. The job actually sucked pretty bad but because I had these friends, it was much more palatable.
Think of this like the Spartans. They bonded, they trained together, they sacrificed for each other, and they died for one another. Now if you’re not willing to die for one anoth…umm, I think I took this a bit too far…
My point is that it will help you get through your day/week/year/decade much quicker and much less painlessly if you have a band of brothers in your office. Actually, you really don’t even need to be that close, but you do need people on your side.
People that get what you’re going through are so important to helping you end your grind. Why? Because they are going through the same shit and want out too. It’s a lot easier to break out of jail with someone else, right?
Watch For Traitors
Chances are, you know who they are. They usually show up as the weasely ass kissers we all hate. Although they will play nice to your face, they will sell you out faster than you can imagine.
Personally, I make it perfect clear to all my coworkers of my disdain for my job. It’s no secret. That may not be the wisest thing I can do, but I have the inability to pretend to enjoy my job. I just can’t seem to do it.
There is nothing worse than a coworker who clearly hates their job and/or boss but turns into all sunshine when they come around. It’s one thing to fool others but another one entirely to fool yourself.
Let’s be very clear here. You want to end your grind on your terms. You do not want to get your ass fired before you’re ready!
One of the keys to not getting fired (other than being worthless), is not talking shit to the wrong people. Yes, the office traitors. Those conniving little weasels that will run to the boss with any scrap of drama or gossip. My advice is to make sure you absolutely know who you are dealing with before telling them that you just put Visine in your boss’ coffee…
Handle Your Boss
Bosses come in all shapes and sizes. Some are good and some are like mine. What we need to understand is that our bosses have no real control over us. Say what?!?
I honestly believe that we need to train our bosses to respect us and give us the space we need. This is done by showing that you do excellent work and by not being a spineless pussy.
When your boss gets in your face about a deadline, how do you handle it? Do you back down and try to appease them as quickly as possible? If you give them an inch, they will take two.
My suggestion is to be firm, confident, and let them know (indirectly) that you will not be treated poorly. You will gain respect much quicker this way, believe me.
For example, my boss is a classic bully. He yells, swears loudly, tries to intimidate people, and throws shit around his office.
While my coworkers are cowering in fear, I get right in his face and let him know I won’t be spoken to that way. And I don’t like confrontation. Never have. But I will be treated like shit if I don’t do it.
Guess who get all the shitty work assignments? Guess who gets walked all over? Me or my coworker? Yup.
Actually, a funny thing happened today at work. This is true. My boss came into my office with his usual “you are not important” attitude and demanded an answer to a stupid question. I gave him a sarcastic answer that read “get the fuck out of my face”.
He then proceeded to tell my to stick it up my ass and stormed out. Did I run after him with my tail between my legs? Hell no. Was I worried that he would fire me for insubordination. Nope.
I walked in there and told him I didn’t appreciate what he did and then I apologized for being an asshole myself. Problem solved. He went from steaming mad to smiling. I then returned to my office and started working on my blog.
Prepare For Resistance
This is something that you will need to deal with when your planning your job-free future. As Einstein once said “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds”. Yours will be no different.
When you announce to the world that you are going to quit your job and follow your passions, you will most likely be met with one of the following:
- This is blasphemy, this is madness (have you seen the movie yet??). Here’s the clip. Yes,watch it now!!
- You’re not being responsible
- You need a real job
- You need a job with benefits
- You’re being unrealistic
Of course these things make sense to us because that’s what we’ve been taught for years. That doesn’t make it right though. Ask yourself this question: Am I more secure in a job where I have almost zero control over my employment status or am I more secure owning my own business?
Regardless of your answer, you will find that many, if not most people will hold you back in one form or another.
In order to achieve our goals of ending the grind, we need support. This is absolutely critical if you’re married. Your spouse has to be on board with your master plan. And don’t expect it to go like this:
You: Um, honey, I’ve decided to quit my six figure, full benefits job in order to pursue my dream of starting a website about muenster cheese.
Spouse: I’ve been waiting for this day to come and I always knew you would do great things in the field of dairy. I’m here for you 100%. Let’s start working on this tonight. Have you given your notice at work yet?
You have a better chance of going to Vegas with your buddies during free lap dance week than you do of having this conversation.
Here’s the problem:
You know that you can make your business work. You know that you are driven to do anything possible to follow your passions. You know that the real risk is in staying in your job. You know..but they don’t.
Be prepared for resistance and be prepared to help people understand your need to do this. For those people who you don’t care about, are holding you back, or giving you all the reasons you can’t do this, forget em. You don’t need them in your life, so dump them and move forward.
Don’t Become A Victim
When I talk about being a victim, I’m talking about falling into the black hole for dreams. That’s when you decide that your happiness, freedom, and control are not important enough to pursue. You think that it will be too hard, too time consuming, and too risky. It’s just easier and safer to stay at your job.
This is your death sentence. Many who fall into this mindset will never see the light of day again. Their lives will literally be sucked from them and they will become a shell of a person.
This person punches their time card, works mindlessly in a unfulfilling job, and goes home. Day after day, year after year until they’re too old to give a shit about what they always wanted to do. Their life is over and it was spent in the saddest way possible.
Having the freedom to do anything and choosing to do nothing!
Know Your Purpose
Chances are, you weren’t born and raised to be an entrepreneur. Much like this young Spartan boy, whose only purpose in life was to become a fearless warrior, what if we were raised knowing that we had a purpose and could become anything we wanted?
What if we knew without a shadow of a doubt that we could get paid to do work we truly loved and that inspired us? What if we were taught to build businesses for ourselves instead of being taught to work for someone else? What if….
So, it’s up to us to find our purpose, passion, or whatever you want to call it and then go after it. It’s a beautiful things once we find it though! Remember, hating your job is not a purpose.
Once you know what motivates you,what energizes you, and what you LOVE to do, you have a responsibility to yourself to do it. This is the fuel that will keep you schlepping your crap job for another year while you work on getting out.
Focusing on your purpose will keep your mind sharp and your vision focused on the end result. You will need this in your arsenal while working to end your grind.
Imagine hating your job (that was easy..) and not knowing what you wanted your future to look like. It’s not uncommon at all to feel this way. You might know that you hate your job, but that’s about the extent of it. Where’s the motivation there? What are you going to do? Get another job that you will eventually hate? That’s a cycle that can go on indefinitely.
Now imagine knowing that you were put on this earth to work in the Peace Corps. Now imagine that you are stuck working in a job that violates everything that you believe in. Is there motivation to get out now? Will you be focusing on the Peace Corps every day? You bet your ass.
So why aren’t you?
At times you will be tempted to give in and succumb to the employee trap. It’s an easy thing to do. How easy would have it been for Leonidas to give in to Xerxes? There would have been no need for fighting and ultimately, his death.
But he stood for something he believed in and did not waver. If we are going to build our digital empires, we need to take a lesson from this. Do not sacrifice your passions for a paycheck. Do not trade your time for something that has no value. Do not stop following your passion because it’s too hard.
As statistics show, most of us will fall by the wayside in our quest for a better life. We will get sidetracked down the the boulevard of broken dreams. <Cue Green Day>.
If we are going to make our lives worth living, we cannot be willing to stop until we are there. Surrender, quitting, and laziness are no longer allowed in our vocabulary.
The world will often seem to be working against you, but no matter, you can’t stop pursuing what you love.
Prepare For Glory
This is why you are reading this. This is why I am writing this.
- This is the day when we can turn our backs on ever being an employee again
- This is when we take back control over our time
- This is when we choose how we spend our days
- This is when we get paid what we’re worth
- This is when we get to see our children grow up because we are there
- This is when we start waking up with a sense of peace and fulfillment
It’s coming. Prepare For Glory!