“Don’t rush it.” - A review of Quitter

As much as Fire Starter Sessions lit my fire to find my dream, Quitter by Jon Acuff helped me create a plan to make my dream a reality. I’m trying to figure out how I got to this book. (I love regressions.) Nathan’s brother got him Stuff Christians Like for Christmas last year. Nathan enjoyed it. Started following Jon Acuff on twitter. Nathan retweeted a few of his tweets that I found enjoyable, so I started following him on twitter. And then Jon Acuff retweeted someone who is recording a podcast with people who attend his Quitter conferences. I was listening to those podcasts on the plane on my way home from Miami and I was hooked. I sent Nathan to find the book for me as soon as I got home.

When I left the RRCA training in Miami, I was on fire. I was going to be a coach. Full time. Immediately. I met many people who were coaching for a living. I could do it too! Between my internet and local running connections, surely I could do this. I had even convinced myself that I could work part-time at Starbucks for health insurance. I was going to get on that plane and figure out a way to quit my job in 3 months.

I’m so glad I listened to those podcasts.

Quitter really spoke to my fear. I learned that the smartest way to go about this career shift is to work my dream job in addition to my day job. By keeping my day job, my dream job can stay fun for a while. I will be able to say “no” to clients that aren’t a great fit. I’ll be able to make mistakes with a smaller audience. I won’t have to make any compromises in my dream job when I’m not depending on it for income. I don’t have to go from zero to 100 all at once.

This shift in thinking has been so calming. I don’t have have a business name and a website and business cards right now. I don’t have to figure out my fee rubric by the end of the week. I don’t have to be afraid of clients quitting. Or where to find clients. Or how to draw the line between what I do with the group and what I do with clients.

I just get to figure it out. And I get to have fun doing it because nothing is riding on this. My dream is totally stress-free right now. My mortgage doesn’t depend on it. I don’t have to take my electric bill into consideration when I negotiate fees with a new client. I don’t have to worry about being unable to help someone because they can’t afford me. I don’t have to worry about making one stupid decision and screwing everything up. I get to have fun. I get to hone my craft without having bills looming. I get to take whatever money I’m making and buy new Lululemon pants or new running socks. I don’t have a big scary “what if this fails?” looming above me because there is no fear in that. I have a job that is taking care of my needs.

I get to have fun while I’m figuring it out.

Quitter also reiterated that I don’t have to know all details right now. By working my dream job in conjunction with my day job, my dream job will be able to evolve and develop more naturally and unforced. I’ll be able to make shifts as I want. I’ll be able to explore and amend and make hard turns if I want to. According to Acuff, a plan is the third thing I need. A plan comes after passion and practice. I’ve got the passion. I’m getting the practice. A plan on making my dream job my day job isn’t something I need to have just yet. And that is incredibly comforting.

I also loved the talk about using day job and dream job as catalysts to improve the other. Working both requires hustle and creativity. Working hard at both will strengthen my work ethic and I will be accustomed to the hard work necessary to be fully financially dependent on myself. By using every spare moment on my dream job – early in the morning, lunch break, late into the evening – I’ll learn how to be inspired instead of drained by my dream work. I’ll learn how to phase out the things that I do that just aren’t that important.

What I loved most about Quitter is that it was process oriented. It wasn’t “This is how you quit your job today!” Instead it was “How to set the groundwork to eventually quit your job the right way.” And that was very comforting to me. I learned how to enjoy where I am now instead of worrying about how to get where I eventually want to be. I learned how to respect my day job by seeing it as a fundraiser for my dream job. I learned how to make sure that I take the time to develop my dream job in a way that I will be happy making it my day job. I need to fall in love with my dream job before making it my “work.”

“Amazing things begin in the space between a day job and a dream job. Don’t rush it.”

I’m not, Jon.