I Just Quit My Corporate Job! Now What?
As of Friday May 4th I am no longer employed in the corporate world. Not only did I quit my job, but my life partner did as well. We both quit our jobs on the same day. We have been planning this day since November 2017. Some of you may think this is crazy. Don’t worry, I think it’s crazy too. There have been many times since November where I have woken up in the middle of the night having an anxiety attack about this choice we have made.
Let’s start at the inception of this decision. My partner and I have been best friends for almost 13 years now. Somewhere along the way, we became more than just friends and finally near the end of 2016, we decided to start doing this “life thing” together.
I have always been very frugal, as has my partner. So when we moved in together we found the cheapest apartment we could find and started to join forces saving for an unknown future. Since we were being so frugal, we had very little furniture, and no television or computers (other than the computer that I had for work at my home office). So we started to entertain ourselves by listening to audiobooks as well as reading books out loud to each other. Many of these books were about financial management. Books like “The Richest Man in Babylon”, “The 4 Hour Work Week”, “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”. There were many books that we devoured in our new found free time without any television.
We soon started to formulate an idea that we needed to eventually own our own business if we were ever to exit the “rat race” of life in a timeline that fit our goals. At this time, we were living near Seattle, WA. The cost of a 2000 sf home with no land, was going for around $650,000. We felt we could never justify spending so much on a home that would only become a liability to us, and not an asset. Our ultimate dream is to buy a 40+ acre farm and live off what we grow, raise and sell. However, to purchase such a property, it would require quite a bit of money. Like around $1,000,000 plus. Having a mortgage while trying to earn your living farming is really not what we want to do. So here we are today. Quitting our jobs to buy a business to hopefully someday be able to buy the farm of our dreams.
We decided we should own a business that we were familiar with. Since I was a business development consultant for a franchise company, we decided that buying a franchise would be our safest bet. And in November of 2017, an opportunity to purchase a small franchise became available. It took until February, but we finally closed on the deal. We informed our employers and made May 4th our last day.
The franchise location will be in Phoenix, AZ. This requires a very dramatic move from beautiful and wet Seattle, WA to the desert of Arizona. We will also be living with my father-in-law as we start building the business. We’re hoping to have a place of our own as soon as possible, but I know it could take up to a year for the business to financially be in a position to allow us to have a place of our own.
We have paid off debt and saved to make this day possible. Combined, we gave up around $200,000 a year in salary and benefits. This was the most either of us had ever made in our lives. And now we are walking away. We are betting on ourselves. We believe that we can build this business to a point where we can pay all or most of our dream farm, quicker than we can save for the farm at our corporate jobs. At our corporate jobs, we usually saved about $80,000 a year. Our savings was stifled by a very high cost of living. We moved to be close to my partner's job. Her previous commute took almost 4 hours round trip. Now she walks to work every morning. But that means our rent is now around $1,700 including utilities for a 500+ SF apartment. We live very frugally, and yet are still only to save about $80,000 a year combined. This includes cash and retirement savings. I had some medical issues over the last two years as well as having to move twice (soon to be three times) in 18 months. One of those moves was across the country from New York to Seattle.
So the question is, will buying and building a small business get us to our dream of owning a mortgage free farm quicker than sticking with our corporate jobs? That is our belief and hope. So come along on the journey with us and see how we do. For now, we have set a goal to have a $1,000,000 net worth by the end of the year 2022. I will be sharing this journey with you to keep us accountable. I too am curious to see if our business idea will out pace our past savings pace.