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My eyes flash open. I roll over and check the clock. Fifteen minutes before my alarm goes off. My heart starts to race. Dread sets in. The thought of putting my foot down off the side of the bed to start another day at the office floods my soul with anxiety.  It doesn’t matter how hard I wish, I simply cannot stop the passage of time. The inevitable will arrive. The second I put that foot down I vow to myself that today will be different. Today I would leave my career in pursuit of my passions.

I’m digressing a bit from my normal topics to discuss why I’ve been less than available these past couple of months. The thing is, I’ve got an exciting announcement to make. I pulled the plug on an 11 ½ year career in order to pursue a career in freelance. Fox in the Forest is officially a registered LLC here in the state of Colorado. In a nutshell, you’re looking at a brand new small business owner. Yet another internet cliché for the books!

How to Quit Your Job

I Did Not Quit My Job to Travel the World

Unlike most of the dime a dozen I-Quit-My-Job-In-Pursuit-of-Happiness blog posts, I don’t plan on being a digital nomad. Not that I have anything against digital nomads, heck, if I was less established here in Colorado I would probably be one. However, it’s just not the life for me.

I still have a mortgage, you can still send me snail mail, and my dog is still by my side. I just want a little more freedom. Freedom to explore when I want and how I want. For whatever reason I have hangups with being told that I need to work a certain number of hours a day and have a certain amount of time I’m allowed to take off.

Will I be taking time to work remotely? Absolutely. But I’m not planning to sell everything I own and start over. Being your own boss means a lot of different things, but one thing it ensures is that you’re ultimately in charge of how and where you spend your day.

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Building a business may not sound like freedom. Being a business owner usually falls under the category of no money, no time, and loads of stress. But here’s the secret: It doesn’t feel that way if you hold yourself accountable. Setting your own boundaries actually increases your productivity. Sure, I have long days. Yes, I worry about money. However, I’m able to stop what I’m doing and go climbing. Or get chores done in between queries. I can even take advantage of amazing weather and get out on a hike during the week. Find a good deal on airfare to an awesome destination? Sure thing! I can work from anywhere. In fact, I just booked a ticket to Malaysia this fall.

What Are You Doing?

Surprise! I’m a writer. I focus on content and copy writing. My niche markets include outdoor recreation, travel, architecture, construction and design. In laymen’s terms I write the stuff you see on brochures, blogs, web pages, proposals, press releases, ads, you name it! Someone’s got to write it.

A lot of people ask if I am going to be a journalist. I am certainly chasing journalism work in the outdoor market as well as adventure travel pieces. These are pieces I truly enjoy writing, and I’ll be sure to let you know when some of my works-in-progress become published.

I also dabble in social media management and graphic design. Although these aren’t skills I market first, they are tasks I am perfectly capable of handling. In fact, a few of my projects currently in the works utilize this skill set.

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How Did You Know when to Quit Your Job?

I get asked this a lot. Honestly, it was hard to tell. Looking back on it I’ve been unhappy as an architect since my second year of grad school. That was 8 years ago. I always struggled to find happiness in the profession. I’m not the kind of person that can get through a job without feeling passionate about it. Believe me, I truly envy those people sometimes. However, determined to finish what I started I decided to go after my license last year. Once I got it I realized that this simply wasn’t my calling.

I cannot stress the importance of being honest with yourself. A lot of people look at me sideways when I tell them it took me 8 years to get here. Life is messy. Stuff happens, you simply don’t realize what’s going on when you are in the thick of it. I spent a good long time thinking that it was where I was working, not what I was doing.

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Furthermore, I grew up in a family that holds tight the traditional life path. Grow up, go to school, find a career, work for a firm, meet someone, get married, have kids. There was no “other way.” I traveled rather far down this path. Little known fact about me, I was once engaged to a guy who wanted just that. A traditional “secure” life. That simply isn’t who I am. It took me quite a while to realize that I was not wrong for disliking where I ended up. Nothing bad existed within me. I simply want something different. Being untraditional in life is often frowned upon, but that doesn’t mean you have to fit some mold you do not belong in.

What Does it Take?

A lot. Anyone who tells you otherwise is either a sociopath or is simply lying. In fact, it’s probably much simpler to choose to be unhappy at a desk job. It took me five years to save enough money to feel confident enough to quit my job. I wrote two business plans. I had more meetings with various people across different industries than I can count. My free time was spent in classes with the Small Business Development Center in Colorado. In a nutshell, I made a plan and executed it.

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Since I’ve quit I’ve felt every emotion, nearly every single day. I’m strong then utterly terrified. Hopeful then doubting myself. Motivated and infinitely exhausted. The process is exhilarating. I’ve contemplated if what I’m doing is actually going to work, or if I’m on some crazy downward spiral. Your entire mindset has to shift or you will fail. Being constantly optimistic despite all of the challenges can become extremely taxing. But at the end of every piece of bad news something new arises. In order to succeed you must constantly look towards the positive and chase the next opportunity with the same sense of optimism and enthusiasm that you started with.

Despite all the work and emotional turmoil I’ve still had to maintain a normal life, pay my bills on time, and of course get my adventure on. Sleep and moments of down time are precious. However, I no longer have that tightness in my chest or the dread to let my feet touch the ground each morning. Every day brings a new challenge and every day I know that I’m working towards something that is entirely my own. Building the life you want takes endless effort. However, as each day passes I’m one step closer to making that dream a reality.

What’s Next?

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past several years it’s life has a crazy way of working itself out. Every day more unique doors open to me. It’s tough to determine where I will end up. What I do know is that I am exactly where I need to be.

We've all thought about what life would be like if we left our 9-5. This article gets down and dirty with what it's actually like to drop everything and start over.

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Adventure, travel, and the outdoors

38 Thoughts on “How to Quit Your Job and Pursue Adventure”

  • Congrats on making the leap, going to self-employed is very scary but it sounds like you have a very solid foundation for what your plan is. I look forward to following your success! Yay more adventure time!

  • I NEEDED this today! I am actually in the last week at my current job, after quitting to be able to do just what you are talking about- having more freedom to explore more! While I do hope that this step will eventually lead to being more of a digital nomad and working from our RV, that is in no way the case right now. We still have a permanent address and probably will for at least a little bit longer. But the initial step to quit my job (one that I love actually) and try something that can be done more remotely will get us closer, but it definitely comes with such a huge mix of feelings and emotions! Glad to know I am not alone! Thank you!

    • You can do it Melani! You certainly aren’t alone. No one likes to admit it in writing, but it is scary and that’s ok. One day we’ll both look back and think wow! How did we do that?!?

  • Good for you! While I might blog just for the fun of it, I’m always a little envious of those of you who are making a living out of it. I just wish I’d known about monetization back when I was traveling full time…you’re living in a very exciting time for sure!

  • I love this post. I’m working on this very thing myself, but like you said, life can be messy sometimes. For now I’m going to keep my day job and getting small sponsors along with way, but I’m hopeful I can make it in the travel world one day.

    • You can Leah! I love your stuff! But hey, if you’re happy then you’re happy. Enjoying life’s mess is sometimes hard to do, but it’s the only way to make it through sometimes!

  • When you described having to get up for a job that you don’t want to go to… been there. I was lucky enough to leave that behind by treading a more traditional path. Now that my kid is almost self-sufficient, I have started to pursue less traditional/more precarious choices.

    Good luck to you!

    • That’s awesome! I truly believe everyone has their own unique path in life and the point is to answer that call, whatever it may be. I’m glad that you got out of that awful situation. For me, it was round 4 of having dread of getting out of bed. Nothing against where I was specifically, it was time for a greater change!

  • I took the same step in the beginning of the year and have no regrets so far. I feel free and take the time to travel and figure out what to do next. It’s nice to see similar minded people like you 🙂

    • Thanks Toni! I’m definitely taking some time to travel. I’m super excited to go to Malaysia, Indonesia, and Colombia this fall! In hindsight I should have booked those tickets sooner, but to me they are a motivator to stay on top of building things. I’m glad you took the leap too and aren’t looking back! Much love to chasing your dreams! <3

  • It’s incredible that you made it, congratulations. But, how did you turn yourself into a business? It’s so incredible to me and I’m still working on it myself. Just feel stuck in no man’s land. Thanks.

    • Hi Renee,

      I get that feeling a lot, and to be honest it’s totally normal. There are so many things to keep track of it’s hard not to wonder what the hell you’re doing sometimes. But a big difference is I am not a business, I created one. I treated my idea like a business. I wrote a business plan, I have projected/real cash flows, an accounting system, created a brand, refined an idea, and took classes to learn about those things. I spoke with A LOT of people, especially people I knew who had their own business. I officially registered my business with my state, have a bank account for it, all of that jazz. After that was all set up I started networking my ass off. I’m still networking my ass off and I will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. I can’t stress the importance of having a network, and not just a digital one. You need to be willing to put yourself out there in person as well as online. My biggest suggestion is to invest some time and money into learning and translate that learning into action. You can do it!

  • I’m so jealous. I’ve been wanting to do this for a while now, but I need to get my income stream up from freelancing before I pull the trigger. Best of luck!

    • It’s all about what you are comfortable with. If it makes you feel better, I did not have a steady income stream, but I had a lot of savings. I just found it too difficult to juggle two different careers at once. Best of luck to you girl!

  • This is an excellent expression of what had to be a tough and confusing journey at times. I love your honestly, with yourself and others, about what you really want in life. And you are brave for going after it. Good luck to you!

  • I was in the same boat. I quit my day job and started doing my side job (Lifestyle Photography) full-time as I travel the world for a year. People always ask me the same questions about HOW I travel the world. Not many people ask WHY I do it. *shrug*

    • Why is way more important than how. How is easy. You just do it. The end :). I’m glad you’re out there giving it a go too! It’s amazing to see all of the support out there!

  • I quit my job in on the career path I had been pursing for almost 10 years last year for very similar reasons (abet with way less planning/ security, I like to live life on the edge…). It is a hard but exciting road ahead! Congratulations and enjoy your new found freedom!

  • Congrats on making the change! I absolutely loved working remotely and would definitely consider going back to full-time freelancing. Thanks so much for sharing your journey!

  • This is fantastic. I do a lot of freelancing too, but recently started a new website that needs more of my time. I am struggling with the fact that I need to work less for other people and more for myself. I hope you are extremely successful, and I wish you all the best.

  • Congrats! This post really resonated with me. Ive been in high tech for almost 20 years and either the software automation will get me (my company is actively working on it) or i will lose whats left left of my soul and i will have to quit. Im trying to prep for life 2.0 through dramatically lowering housing and food costs but i have no idea what to do for a job in life 2.0. By the standards of my peers i write quickly and well. Ive googled ‘how to be a copywriter?’ – If i have learned anything in tech its that most texts are confusing at best and downright anti-helpful at worst and maybe i could be of some assistance in that realm.

    I have no idea how to go about snagging a gig but, again, i guess that is what google is for.

    Again, congratulations on taking a chance and i hope it works out well for you. Btw, i follow you on IG and that is how i came across this.

    • Hi Charles!
      I’m glad you like my Instagram antics enough to follow along! Hopefully you quit before technology eats your soul!! That sounds…terrifying actually. I think it’s an excellent idea to leverage your expertise. I am certainly doing that. There are a lot of great resources out there about how to land freelance copywriting gigs. I also know that tech is HIGHLY sought after. With a little know how and some solid self-marketing you should be able to find work. If you’re interested in a list of resources I find helpful I’d be happy to help. I would recommend hitting me up via my contact info page – I’m terrible at checking Instagram messages.

      I’m glad you’re inspired by my post. My aim is to get people out there and take risk. You never know where you’ll end up.

      Be awesome today!

  • The most important is to be free to choose and to stand behind one’s choice. Good luck with your endeavors! I am sure it’s all hard working but anything is, although it looks so alluring from a distance.

  • I enjoyed reading your article because I can relate to your experiences. I also grew up in a family where I think I have to follow the ‘traditional life path’. I did not do that because it is just my preference. I also quit my job and felt every emotion too. My loved ones were unsure of my decision but that was okay. Things can always get better. I am currently a social media Virtual Assistant. I am still figuring out my specific niche. I will get there someday. I wish you the best.

  • Your post motivated me once again! I was in your shoes about 4 years back when I had to make a decision of choosing between a boring job and freelancing at my own whim. Needless to say, I chose to follow my passion and today I am one satisfied soul and of course a happy bloggeR! Your honest post brought a smile to my face, Meg! I wish you all the very best for your future adventures! Take care 🙂

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