That Time I Went Back to an Office Job and Quit After 24 Hours (or, How to Get Fully Committed to What You Want)

It was late 2013. I'd been away travelling and had just returned to London. I got scared. I panicked about the money I didn't have in the bank and what I'd need to get by back in the capital. I'd been kinda sorta working on my online coaching business but progress was slow. I definitely wasn't earning any sort of reliable income.

So I got in touch with a recruitment agency I had ties with through my previous job. They invited me in immediately and a few days later they hadn't found me a job with any of their clients, but had, instead, offered me a job with them.

It was the perfect solution, I told myself. They were a small team. They were friendly. And for once in my life I'd specifically stated what I WAS and was NOT willing to accept. Two days a week, I said. And I'd start at 10am instead of 9am to avoid the rush hour commute and I'd finish a little later instead.

They agreed to everything I asked for. And the money was good. 

And then I went in for my first day.

And I sat staring at the computer screen. And the emails flooded in. And I tried to look at them, I really did. I tried to read them. I tried to do what I was supposed to do. 

But it was as if a fog had descended. I was looking at the screen but not really seeing anything. I understood what I was supposed to do but couldn't actually do it. The energy evaporated from my body like water from a puddle on a scorching day.

MASSIVE mistake. I knew it immediately.

So I did the only thing that made sense. I quit. And I vowed there and then that I would NEVER take another job again. I vowed I would find another way to make the money I needed. The only criteria was that it had to be all on MY terms.

I felt lighter the second I told them I was done. That I wouldn't be going back. 

The next day I posted an ad on Gumtree offering private French conversation lessons. Why not finally make that 4 year degree and £16,000 worth of student debt pay? I got clients immediately. It wasn't what I really wanted to be doing, but it was fun. More importantly, I was the one calling the shots. I was the one who said how much, how often and where to meet. 

So that's what I did. I taught French conversation and continued hustling like a crazy lady on my coaching business. I invited people to coaching conversations left, right and centre. I ran workshops to earn a little extra cash and to bring more people into my world. I helped host events where my dream clients were hanging out. 

Life was hectic. My attention was split in a thousand different ways and I hacked at my own hair with a pair of kitchen scissors because I could no longer afford a hair cut. But none of it mattered. I would have done it 'til it killed me if it meant I was doing it on my own terms.

And that's how important my freedom is to me. So important I'd rather die trying to make it than go back to a job.

I know how crazy that sounds to most people. I know it's pretty incomprehensible, actually. But for better or worse that's what's alive inside me. That's how much this matters. And that's how I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I'll either create everything I want in this life, or I'll die trying.

For me, there IS no other way.

And honestly, that's what it takes. 

You have to make a commitment to yourself that's so far beyond a commitment that it becomes an obsession. You have to say, definitively, this is what I AM willing to do and this is what I'm NOT. And then you have to stick to it. And do whatever it takes to stay on your path. 

My one day job taught me this:

If you want it enough, you'll find a way.

And it's really all I can do sometimes to keep my mouth shut when I hear people come up with the thousand and one excuses about why they can't do something and why their situation is different. Have you not seen what people in this world have created despite their background, despite their circumstances, despite not having the funds or the education or the support network?

Everything you can say about why you're not doing the work to create the life you want is an excuse. Is that harsh? Yes, it's harsh. I've been there. It's not like I think I'm better than you. But at some point you have to take responsibility. If you don't, no one's going to do that for you. You either want it, or you don't.

So if you DO want it, get on and do the work.

And if you know you don't want it enough, there's nothing wrong with that, but give it up now and save yourself the energy. This create a business and life you love stuff? It's either all in, or not at all. There is no other way.

Love and courage,

Leah