Why I Quit My Six Figure Job

Men's Health has an interesting article about a guy who left a six figure job to become an actor. The tagline reads "I went broke and found mental, marital and financial stability."

This is one of those things people debate all the time. Should you really do what you love? It sounds so easy and fun, but what if you have bills to pay? Plenty of people who are "doing what they love" are struggling in unstable lifestyles that prevent them from doing other things they would love, like having a family.

Society seems to frown upon 20 somethings that do what they love instead of "acting like adults," and to frown upon 40 somethings that don't do what they love and remained trapped in a job they hate so they can keep up with the Joneses. It really comes down to Socrates. He hit the nail on the head with "know thyself." What's more important to you? That should frame your decision.

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Many of you are probably like me, and your dream job is currently out of reach. I'd like to be a full-time value investor, which means I either need enough of my own money to live off that, or I need to convince someone to hire me for their fund. Both are unlikely to happen in 2007. But I have a plan, and am on the right path. Sometimes you just need that zen-like acceptance of where you are in life, combined with the drive to always do better. Satisfaction comes from enjoying the path – not just the goal.

  • What about starting your own investment club?

    You don’t need much money to start one. And you don’t have to wait for someone else to offer you a job.

  • I stole my life’s goal from a client and business owner who suggested that we should: “Make enough money doing something you love.” The key seems to be that you need a bit of both.

    I’m 61 and I’ve made a living doing what I love (writing, speaking, coaching). Could I have done better if I’d stayed in the corporate world? Maybe, but that water passed under the bridge long ago.

    There is a bevy of motivational speakers who will advise that you “do what you love and the money will follow.” This is pernicious nonsense. You need some planning and some execution and some luck and even then it may not happen. If you love to teach, for example, you’re not likely to make big bucks doing it.

    Then there are others who advise you to sock all your money away until you have enough to live on your investments and live the life you want. That can work, but it’s no guarantee of happiness either.

    IN the end we all have to work things out for ourselves and make choices that we won’t see the result of for a couple of decades.

  • Rob

    Well, I already self-manage all my retirement accounts, and they hold just six stocks total, so I do get to practice quite a bit, just not on the scale I would prefer.

  • Abdul

    I agree, many of us were forced or taught that we need to be responsible adults. And you do this my getting a job and raising a family. Then you grow older and wiser and realize that there are so many other ways to be a responsible adult. But by that time, many feel trapped in the life they’ve built for themselves. Only the strongest of individual realizes that there is no such thing as being trapped. Make a plan to do something different and execute it.

  • “Satisfaction comes from enjoying the path – not just the goal”.

    Totally agree

  • Hardly original, but the trick is not getting what you want, it’s wanting what you get.
    But that shouldn’t have to negate the fun of getting more–as long as you keep wanting what you get.

  • A good sideline to get into,(to relieve the 6 figure stress) that is fun and easy, is selling jerky (believe it or not). To find out the details go to:
    http://jdopportunity.blogspot.com/ and follow all the links.

  • Wouldn’t it be great if we all could have it both ways? But in reality, I agree Rob; if you “know thyself” you’re much more likely to enjoy the profession life you produce. I don’t make as much money I would ideally like, but there is absolutely no question I would rather being doing what I love. I get more happiness out of fulfilling work than money. For those who get more out of a big pay check, more power to them.