A few years ago, when I worked for Tyco Federal Credit Union, I was approached by a small publisher who felt I had a story to share. I remember letting my executive team and Board of Directors know about the opportunity. Nothing happened with that book but it did plant the seed that would grow into a bucket list item–to be published one day.
That was back in 2011. That was the same year I was trying to figure out what the next chapter of my life would be. I enjoyed the work I was doing and loved the people I worked with and my CEO, Chris Petro was someone I respected. When I had the opportunity to continue to grow into a much larger role, I had a moment of pause. I wasn’t quite sure if that’s what I wanted to do. I did ask for more money thinking that was the answer to my dissatisfaction. I got the raise and I got a lot more.
Eventually, things happened or the universe conspired against (to help) me and I handed my resignation to my CEO instead. It wasn’t an easy decision. In fact, I stayed on for over 6 months after the day I sent in my letter.
Often times, we might say how we don’t know if we can leave a job we hate. I wasn’t in that frame of mind. I enjoyed the job and the people. It was difficult to leave a job that I enjoyed and people that I cared about.
I just knew deep inside me that I had to make a change.
Since I left on January 2012 and went backpacking around the world. I had many doubts about the decision I made to leave. I left financial security and career stability. I left comforts for the unknown. I remember, a week into my backpacking trip, I had a panic attack.
All in all the decision to leave (although difficult) was the right choice. It has now been 4 years since I left my corporate job for the unpredictable world of entrepreneurship. The entrepreneurial roller coaster isn’t at all easy either. Sure there are moments of joy but lots more moments where I just had no clue what was going to happen.
It’s quite scary.
I kept on and believed I was on this path because I chose to be. I can get back on the path I was but my gut instinct was telling me, “stay the course.”
Since January of 2012, when I left my secure job for the unknown some amazing things have happened (and some really stressful ones). I learned to let go of what others hoped for me to be or what people envisioned me to do. I set off on the road knowing I had a purpose – to live my life fully without harm to myself and to others.
In the years after leaving that career, I discovered 20 countries in 12 months, and I founded a personal finance blog and became part of an amazing community. I successfully crowd funded my startup raising $78,501 in 30 days. My startup, Phroogal, made it to the final rounds of startup challenges and winning a few too. I found myself making new friends whose interests closely aligned with my values. And I met other entrepreneurs who had more than a profit motive but a purpose that extended far beyond their wallets.
I also saw myself driving with a team across the United States in 2015 passing 38 states with over 10,000 miles. I worked with some amazing organizations from credit unions, nonprofits, government agencies and more who also share in my vision.
This has all led to a book deal.
From a time when someone said to me, “You’re not an authority unless you’re an author” to now just a week away from having my book, You Only Live Once: The Roadmap to Financial Wellness and a Purposeful Life, will be released to the public (June 7, 2016).
Through this all I learned something quite valuable – dreams do come true even if they weren’t dreams you had to begin with. The most important thing to do in your life is to continue dreaming.