Leaving a job and starting over is never easy. Even if it’s a job you hate, quitting feels like failing and giving up a steady paycheck is more risk than it’s worth. It’s scary, stressful and unstable — especially when it isn’t your decision to move on.
But turning away from a job (whether you want to or you have to) to pursue something new doesn’t make you a failure; it makes you brave enough to recognize that you are capable and deserving of a more fulfilling life.
Going your own way isn’t a decision to take lightly. If you’re unsure whether you’re ready or not, here are 5 surefire signs that it’s time.
1. You’re Uninspired
If you could choose to spend a third of your life doing anything you wanted, what would it be? Studies show that’s roughly how much time we spend working — so you should probably do something that energizes you.
Twenty-nine-year-old Mark Webb spent years trying to find a career he was passionate about. He tried finance, landscaping, and marketing — but he didn’t feel inspired. When he joined Shack Shine in its grassroots stages, he knew he’d finally found his passion.
But it's not gutter cleaning and power washing he's passionate about. “I’m passionate about what it does to my customers," Mark explains. "When you leave the customer feeling like they couldn’t have done it without you — that is what you fall in love with.”
A career should be about more than the roles and responsibilities that make up your job description. If you don’t find inspiration or fulfillment, then your creativity and productivity will plummet. So take a moment to ask yourself what lights a fire under you — and if your current job doesn’t, start exploring other options.
2. There’s No Room for Growth
Working for someone else means accepting the fact that you’ll only be able to rise so far. Some people are comfortable when someone else takes the lead — but if you’re like Curtis McDowell, it makes you feel powerless.
The 31-year-old got his start in the moving industry as operations manager for the largest moving franchisor in North America. However, the higher-ups refused to acknowledge or consider his ideas — and it stunted Curtis’ career growth and development.
“I saw that the business was fragmented and I had ideas for how to improve,” Curtis says. “None of those ideas ever took effect and I realized I could be doing this better on my own.”
So he researched his options and took control of his life. Now he’s in charge of his business and his future.
3. You Don’t Feel Valued
The strongest companies have firmly established values that guide the how and why of every decision they make. But if the company you work for doesn’t value you, then it can be a struggle to give your full effort.
At 52 years old, Mike Sandness was 20 years into a stable career — until the company suddenly restructured and he was one of many who were shoved out. As a loyal, hardworking employee, Mike was gutted. He was forced to start over when he’d planned to be with the company through to retirement. But then he found WOW 1 DAY PAINTING and decided to become his own boss instead of working for someone else.
It wasn’t easy to change directions at this stage in his life. But Mike says, “The most surprising part of owning a franchise is knowing that I can do it.” Now, he never has to worry about job security again.
Mike’s company didn’t respect the loyalty, hard work or livelihood of its employees, so when they cut him loose it was a blessing in disguise. If your boss is treating you like you’re just a means to an end, it might be time to consider parting ways.
4. There’s No Sense of Team
Everyone knows the saying, ‘you can’t choose your family’. When you work for someone else, the same holds true. You have no say in who you work with — for better and for worse.
In his previous jobs, Mike inherited a team from someone else. While some employees were aligned with the company’s values, others were not — and it lead to a toxic work environment.
As a business owner Mike gets to build his team from scratch so he can ensure that everyone fits the company culture. He still has employees who have been with him since day one.
“Watching my team grow to where we are today has been the most rewarding part of being my own boss,” Mike says. “I work with people that I trust on a different level than I ever have before, and we’re all working together towards common goals.”
When the right people come together for the right reasons, big things can happen. If it feels like your team is working against each other, you might want to think about pulling yourself out.
5. You Believe in Your Core that You Are Meant for Something Bigger
You are meant to do more than climb the corporate ladder or slave away for someone else. Going your own way is a definite risk but staying stagnant is a greater one; if you stay put for the wrong reasons, you’re sabotaging your own potential and happiness.
If there’s one thing O2E Brands franchise partners have in common, it’s an innate desire to be a part of something more. Whether they knew they wanted to own a business or not, they have a hunger and a belief that we can build something bigger and better together than any one of us could do alone.
Most of all, they refused to settle for anything less than exceptional. They took their lives into their own hands by starting their own businesses — and you can do it, too.