Gary Vaynerchuk often says “don’t quit your day job”. Get started following your passion in your spare time, work your face off during the evenings and nights, cut back on sleep, hustle, and then when you can see the money coming in, make the switch to fulltime.
That’s definitely sound advice. It’s just never worked for me.
I’m sure it can work, but none of the important life changes for me have been like that. And I’ve probably wasted considerable time trying to make the change gradually rather than abruptly.
It was only when I decided to say firmly no to all freelance gigs or other hourly work that I finally got my first product off the ground.
It was only when I decided that I wasn’t going to do another product until I could be in full integrity about it, that I got anywhere with that.
It was only when I fully decided to embrace my spiritual side and surrender to what life wanted me to do that I started to feel the momentum building.
It was only when I decided to just move to the US that that ever happened. Tried the gradual approach for nine fucking years!
I wish it was different. I really do, because it can be pretty hard on everybody involved. But I can just see, historically, that this is the way it’s been.
I’m not saying this is the only way it’s going to be for you or for anyone else. But I do want to open you up to the possibility that perhaps, if you’ve tried to make a gradual change for several years now and aren’t really getting anywhere, perhaps you’re like me in this regard. And if so, perhaps you should stop beating yourself up about it and just embrace it, and get on with your life.
A lot of it has to do with making a firm decision.
Almost all of the time, unless we’ve really committed and taken an honest look inside, we want something, but at the same time we’re afraid of it, perhaps unconsciously. So we’ll work towards it, but we also unconsciously pull back and sabotage ourselves at the crucial moments. You hesitate and doubt.
Like the W. H. Murray quote says:
Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness concerning all acts of initiative and creation. There is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans; that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too.
All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen events, meetings and material assistance which no one could have dreamed would have come their way.
It’s easy for a plan for gradual change to mask the fact that you haven’t fully decided. That there’s still hesitancy and doubt in you.
And by putting yourself in a position where you have to find a way, there’s a chance you’ll be more creative and resourceful. Like that old myth about Cortés burning the ships of his army, so they had no option but to win the battle.
All in all, just remember that abrupt is an option, too.