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A race where quitters win

The only way to take control of your life, raise your standard of living and move beyond merely surviving is to create your own unique product or service that you offer to increasing numbers of people in exchange for the things of value that you desire. This simple formula applies to countries as well as people. A self-sufficient economy has its own products or services of value to export to the world. Similarly, a self-sufficient individual has something of value to exchange in the global marketplace. That thing of value is based on your natural talent, skill, or interest—in other words, your passion!

I’d like to share a recent e-mail from a subscriber to my weekly e-mails whose words inspired today’s article.--Walt

Hello Mr. Goodridge,

I’ve been on your list for a long time now, counting in years. I’ve read some of your books, and I love getting your Friday inspirations, but I’ve never really followed up on anything. It’s always been like a seed waiting to sprout.

A few years ago I got a degree in audio recording from OIART (Ontario Institute of Audio Recording Technology). ...It’s been real busy for me, studying, practicing, and working to pay my rent and bills etc. Lately, I’d had this burning feeling that I should quit my job, and plunge into my studio work. In the past three months I’ve had [several paid gigs]. In the past few days this itch to quit my job came to a boiling point, even haunting me in my dreams. Tonight I just snapped and did it. As soon as I got off the phone with my EX-boss I felt almost drunk with excitement. My head was full of ideas for my portfolio. AND... not even a half hour after I quit, I got a call from one of my teachers at school asking me to record his band! What timing! Could that be a sign?

I’ll admit that I’m a little scared. I just got married a few months ago, and I currently have just enough money saved to last about two months. My wife has been very encouraging though. I’m very lucky to have her support.

Mr. Goodridge, I’ve been reading your [Life Rhyme] poems for years, and I feel like I’m finally starting to believe you. I don’t expect a reply. I know that you must hear stories like this a lot. I just wanted to share my happiness with you.

Thanks for sharing YOUR PASSION so consistently for so long.

Peace, _Ljubo*

*Unfortunately I wasn’t able to contact Ljubo in time for the deadline. So I’m going to assume he pronounces it LYOO-bo.

WALT’S REPLY: Hey Ljubo,_I can totally relate to the euphoria you feel.

Support from others was the key to me having the courage to walk away from my job. In the chapter on “Purpose” in Turn Your Passion Into Profit, I told the story of the leadership workshop that changed my whole outlook on life. The courage came not from the money I was making from my passion at the time, because nothing had changed financially between the Friday before the workshop and the Monday following it. It didn’t come from the two people at my job who knew of my plans, and who advised me to wait. It came from people who were on the same path I was on, people with whom I could talk who would understand my frustrations and who wouldn’t belittle my aspirations as baseless fantasies. It came from people for whom a life lived with uncertainty but with passion was infinitely more desirable than one lived with security, but with frustration. It came from people I could meet with on a regular basis whenever I needed to remind myself of my potential.

It’s important to learn that the people who do the things we want to do are no different from us. They have the same fears, the same doubts, the same crazy voice talking to them and urging them on, and the equally forceful voice knocking them down. My point is that even with these doubts and ramblings, I was able to make the leap.

And so shall it be for you as well. Those closest to you may never fully appreciate what you are determined to create for yourself. Their worlds may be limited by their past, their courage may be mitigated by their beliefs, and their faith in you may be colored by their expectations of themselves. Like me, you may feel that though all of us may be on the same journey, that you’re sometimes too far out in front in your thinking to communicate with others traveling right beside you.

Now 11 years after I quit my own job I’m still reeling and enjoying the freedom of being able to go see movies in the middle of the day! Be ready to maintain the commitment through both the lean and lush times, and please accept this Life Rhyme as a token of support for your journey.

A Race Where Quitters Win

Ljubo quit his job today
no more is he confined
He bid his boss goodbye
then left the rat race far behind

Ljubo quit his job today
and took charge of his life
Encouraged by good fortune
and a sweet supportive wife

Ljubo quit his job today
and some think him insane
But mad are those who curse their lot
then still choose to remain

Yes, Ljubo quit his job
and learned a truth that’s always been:
That life rewards the "losers"
in a race where quitters win!

* * *

Until next week, remember, success is a journey, not a destination!—Walt


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