The Consistent Coach Podcast

Pre-TCC: Why it's so hard to quit your job

March 29, 2021 Stacie Mitchell Episode 17
The Consistent Coach Podcast
Pre-TCC: Why it's so hard to quit your job
Chapters
The Consistent Coach Podcast
Pre-TCC: Why it's so hard to quit your job
Mar 29, 2021 Episode 17
Stacie Mitchell

Why is it so dang hard to quit a job you don’t even like? Stacie uncovers all the reasons why it’s so hard to quit, and how to get over your brain drama so you can make a plan to quit your job, be your own boss, and do work you love every day.

Applications are now open for the Simple Success Collective, my affordable 6 month mastermind program for entrepreneurs building their businesses in limited hours. Whether you have a full time job or other responsibilities limiting your time and energy, this was built specifically for you. 

The focus of this mastermind is to grow your business while keeping it as simple and constrained as possible. With just the important stuff you need, and none of the fluff you don’t! If you want in, you can apply by visiting staciemitchell.com/collective.

Show Notes Transcript

Why is it so dang hard to quit a job you don’t even like? Stacie uncovers all the reasons why it’s so hard to quit, and how to get over your brain drama so you can make a plan to quit your job, be your own boss, and do work you love every day.

Applications are now open for the Simple Success Collective, my affordable 6 month mastermind program for entrepreneurs building their businesses in limited hours. Whether you have a full time job or other responsibilities limiting your time and energy, this was built specifically for you. 

The focus of this mastermind is to grow your business while keeping it as simple and constrained as possible. With just the important stuff you need, and none of the fluff you don’t! If you want in, you can apply by visiting staciemitchell.com/collective.

Hello and welcome back to another episode of the Burned Out to Biz Boss podcast!

Alright, so today’s episode is going to be a doozy. But before we get into it, I want to mention that applications are now open for the Simple Success Collective, my affordable 6 month mastermind program for entrepreneurs building their businesses in limited hours. Whether you have a full time job or other responsibilities limiting your time and energy, this was built specifically for you. The focus of this mastermind is to grow your business while keeping it as simple and constrained as possible. With just the important stuff you need, and none of the fluff you don’t! If you want in, you can apply by visiting staciemitchell.com/collective.

Today we’re going to be talking about why it’s so dang hard to quit your job, even if you really don’t even LIKE your job.

And I’ll start with a great example. I was recently coaching a client, and we were doing some “What if…” coaching scenarios, one being: “What if you decided to go all in on your business and it didn’t work out?” 

And her response was: “All I know for sure is that I wouldn’t go back to the job I’m in.”

And it was like, boom! A light bulb suddenly turned on and she could so clearly see that she didn’t even want to be in her job, regardless of what happened.

Before this moment in coaching, there was a lot of, “Well, I don’t want to make the wrong decision and leave my job and have it not work out.”

And listen, this was my story too! I really just didn’t like my job that much, but I also had all these thoughts like, “What if I never make as much money ever again?” I was making more in my job than I ever, ever thought I’d make in my life with a master’s in counseling. 

Or I’d have thoughts like, “What if this doesn’t work out and I regret leaving.” Or “What if I fall flat on my face?” Or “What if I’m leaving the best job I’ll ever have?” Which...what??? I didn’t like the work, how was it the best I could ever have?

And I’m sharing this because it’s so easy to get shackled into the golden handcuffs of our jobs for so many reasons, many of them caused by our brain’s natural biases.

First, I want to talk about one of my biggest hurdles for quitting: leaving my almost 6 figure salary behind. I was terrified I could never make that much in my business. First, that’s wrong! I’ve had months where I’ve met my old salary, so I absolutely know it’s possible and that it will happen in time.

It’s important to point out to you all: I went the large majority of my life until I took my promotion making a little over half what I was making in my almost 6 figure job and we did just fine. This is really interesting because it felt really, really hard to walk away from the extra money, even though I didn’t like the work. And honestly, I don’t even care that much about money in the sense of living an extravagant lifestyle, but my brain had anchored on the money and for some reason, believed I needed to replace that level of income in my business before I could leave.

Luckily, I sat down and really looked at my finances to see, “Oh, wait, I actually DON’T need that much money to live comfortably on…”. And in fact, it was around the same time that I figured this out that I also realized we had just about enough savings for me to feel comfortable quitting my job and relying on the income I had coming in from the business to live for quite some time. 

All this to say: our brains like to tell us that we need more. It likes to tell us that going backwards, even for just a moment in time, is a grave mistake. But what my brain struggles to remember is that my income is limitless now, whereas in my job, they could have let me go at any moment, and I could only ever make so much. I have so much more control now than I did before, but I definitely didn’t see it like that at first.

Our brains get stuck on what we think we need, even when we don’t really need it.

And something I’ve found to be very true for me: Ever since I started doing work that lights me up, I no longer feel the pull to spend so much money.

I don’t need a bunch of new clothes to impress my non-existent co-workers. I don’t need to spend money to make myself feel better at the end of a long work day.

I don’t need extra money to fill up the hole of doing meaningless work anymore. I realized that my fulfillment can’t be bought, and that allowed me to see that I didn’t need as much money as I thought.

Another bias that is common when leaving your job: sunk-cost bias. If you don’t know sunk-cost bias, it’s basically the idea that when you put a lot of money or time into something, it becomes harder and harder to walk away from.

This is why we sit through boring movies, or eat gross overpriced meals. We’ve already paid for it, so we might as well waste our lives, right? There was actually a study on this where they told people they’d mistakenly paid for two different ski trips to two different locations on the same weekend, one you REALLY wanted to go on, but that cost $50, and one that they were just feeling so-so about, that cost $150. Guess which one participants chose to go on? 

The so-so $150 trip! WHAT? 

And we do this with our careers too. “Well...I spent all that time and money on grad school, and all the time and energy in my internships and jobs...I can’t leave it now. I’ll just live my life in misery…” Tell me you don’t know someone like this. I know I do!

There’s also the endowment effect: that we undervalue things that aren’t ours and overvalue things we already have --- like our current jobs. 

But just like my client, a great exercise is to pretend that you don’t have your job right now. Would you apply for it or would you run for the hills? Be honest with yourself!

Our brains LOVE safety and security, and they naturally believe that having a so-called steady job is the safest thing you can do. But if 2020 taught us anything, it’s that job security can change in the blink of an eye. We actually have very little control when we have jobs working for other people. 

Now, I’m not saying that small businesses didn’t suffer, but I am saying that our brains tend to believe something that just isn’t true: that having a job is more safe and secure than having a business.

I was recently talking to my husband about a mutual friend of ours who was let go from a job a few years ago and has struggled to get back on their feet ever since. And it makes me so sad and angry that just one decision by one person in one company could have that level of impact on someone’s life, and I know that for me, I would rather have the risk of entrepreneurship than the risk of a job.

I don’t want someone else to have the ability to pull the rug out from under me with no warning, I don’t want to be lulled into a false sense of security because I have what I assume to be a “secure job.” 

And even worse than that, I’ve been working with clients this last year that have been strong-armed into taking on others’ job responsibilities due to hiring freezes, without a pay increase or any support. And it just plain sucks that even with responsible action, nothing is happening to change it.

But still: it comes up so often. “I don’t want to lose this job...that I hate with every fiber of my being.” 

And listen, I coach my clients to get past the hate because hating your job wastes a whole lot of energy that you need to save to work on your business, but I always find it very funny that most of us still want to do well in jobs we really don’t even like.

I hear from clients that they want to be seen as a team player, that they don’t want anyone to think they’re not giving 100%. 

And by the way, I want to set the record straight right now: You don’t EVER have to give your job 100%. You don’t even have to give your business 100%. When you give something 100%, it means there’s nothing left for yourself.

Don’t give your job your best, just get your job done. That’s enough. 

When you’re building a business on the side, you don’t have the energy to spare to get “Employee of the Month.” You don’t even really want it. Your ego does. Just remember that you have bigger fish to fry: working on your dreams.

Another thing to consider: You don’t have to full-on quit and leap into entrepreneurship. There are options. You can ask to slowly scale back your hours. You can take an easier full-time job that’s not so draining. You can get a part-time job. There is no failure in doing it slowly. One of my favorite mantras is “go slow to go fast” because it fits so many situations, and this is one of them.

The best advice I can give to someone who is scared to quit. Ask yourself: What will you regret most? Staying and never knowing? Or trying and knowing for sure?

I knew for myself that I would regret doing the so-called safe thing and never knowing if I could have made it happen for myself. And when you’re as serious as I am about mindset work, the funny thing that happens is that your success becomes inevitable. 

It doesn’t matter what happens: eventually, I will have a super successful business. I may fail a whole lot and cry and want to quit, but there’s no doubt in my mind that I will keep going.

And that’s the secret to getting up the courage to quit: whether or not I’m successful now has no bearing on my inevitable success in business. And the same is true for you.

Now, I want you to hear me because this is important: I’m not saying to quit without a plan. I’m not saying to quit before you have the foundations of a business under you, unless you have the financial ability to do so.

What I’m saying is not to give up on your dreams because you’re scared of leaving a “sure thing” -- your job -- behind. 

There’s a way to make the jump from employee to entrepreneur without it putting your lifestyle at risk and without burning out on the way. And it comes from building a simple, constrained business in the limited hours you have while creating a sound, realistic plan to quit your job.

If this sounds like something you want, this is the focus of the Simple Success Collective which I mentioned at the beginning of the podcast. To learn more, go to staciemitchell.com/collective.

In the meantime, start to question: 

  • Is my job the safest, most secure way to make a living? 
  • Would I even want my job if I didn’t currently have it? 
  • Will I regret not putting my all into becoming my own boss and owning my own business?


And if you’re open to it, share a screenshot of this podcast episode in your stories and tag me on Instagram @staciemitchell. I love knowing who’s listening! And if you’re feeling really generous, I’d love a 5 star review over on iTunes. This helps grow the podcast and is an easy way to show your support for the show! 

Until next time...