Imagine telling your newlywed partner that you are quitting your job. Imagine saying this one month after buying a house. Imagine deciding this without another clear job or opportunity to grab onto. Imagine quitting because you’re job is alright, but you want something better.
Welcome to my life.
Like so many stories of people who love their careers, my story of career awesomeness also starts with the words, “I finally decided to quit my job…”
The success stories we hear go from corporate boredom to entrepreneurial freedom, whisking away all traces of office politics and unfulfilling work.
I’m no exception. To live my perpetual vacation, first I had to quit my job. Then, I had to decide what to do with myself. After many mornings in my pajamas and afternoons at coffee shops, I launched my startup — slowly.
Let me give you some backstory.
Like most people my age, life after college meant a few years of work and a master’s degree hiatus. I followed the pack down this path. After wrapping up a master’s program in Spain, I came home to Managua, happily engaged to be married and ready to set the world aflame.
Within a few months, I was married and secured a great job at an advertising agency. Did I mention we bought a house? It felt like a picture perfect life — except for every time I walked into work.
When there is a bad fit between a person and a job, it could be anyone’s fault — the person or the job. In my case, we were both at fault.
There was very little to do, while I was looking for projects that could shake the world a bit. The two extremes didn’t sit well together.
Sitting in a cubicle with no work to do for hours on end sounds like heaven to some. To me, it was just shy of torture. I don’t know anyone who can handle torture.
A few weeks later, I bid farewell to the great job and walked bravely into the abyss.
To make it happen, you must jump.
When I first jumped out of the beautiful corporate building and let go of the enormous 27 inch monitor, I replaced it all with my living room and a Macbook Air.
Instead of waking up at 7:30am, I started waking up at 5:45. Sounds counterintuitive, to quit your job to work harder, but that is exactly what I did.
Every single night I went to sleep thinking about how exciting the morning would be. I’d spring out of bed with the alarm and get to work.
Work of my own making turned me into a machine.
I made a plan, and I went for it.
I dreamt of a web design startup, so I created a website for it, amassed some clients, and recruited talent online. Within a month of my corporate departure, everything was set.
Focus will make or break you.
Since all of that happened, the little startup that could now has an office, a bigger staff, and more clients than I can handle.
We may not be the most focused group of dreamers, and that’s where the risk comes in strong.
Apart from serving our clients with web design, we’ve veered to other random projects: an iPhone app, a ticketing website, a creativity web app, and more.
If we can focus, we’ll survive. If we don’t, it will be a short road to failure.
The same goes for everything in our lives. Going after your dream projects and truly reaching for something fulfilling won’t be possible without choosing and limiting our scope.
To be quite honest, I don’t know if I’ll make it on this perpetual vacation of mine. I’m not sure if I’ll succeed in making every single day enjoyable (feeling like vacation) and sustainable (allowing me to do it forever). But I’m going to try, by refocusing.
I invite you to answer this question with me:
If you could choose one thing and make it awesome, what would you choose?
Let’s focus on that. Just that.
PS. After my TEDx Talk last week, the biggest question I’ve received is what I do. I guess I was great at talking about how much I enjoy my work, but I wasn’t allowed to specifically mention what I do. A glimpse of Marcella at work:
- I write this blog and books on marketing and becoming an awesome writer.
- I founded a startup that provides brands with awesome design focused on users.
- I consult for businesses on all sorts of stuff that I have learned (like digital marketing).
- I speak at events (like this week’s Claro event on mobile apps).
- I’m working on an online course on opening up to who you truly are. (Stay tuned for this one.)
I hope that gives you a better idea of what I’m up to these days. It’s a little bit of everything, but apparently I love it that way.
If you want to follow along on my quest to living a perpetual vacation, sign up here: