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Quitting Work, Lifestyle Design & Freedom Myths. What Do People Really Crave?

Freedom There is a lot of discussion online about quitting work, lifestyle design and similar topics and the “freedom” such initiatives bring to a person’s life.

This discussion is highly prevalent in the internet marketing space where it almost seems that every writer is out there to convince you that your job is the worst thing that can happen to you.

But is this message delusional? Are we fooling ourselves? Or are we simply justifying or rationalizing our feelings and decisions?

In other words, are we sick and tired of our jobs for other reasons and tend to gravitate to any message that helps support what we already feel or have decided? Why do we need false outside validation if that’s the case?

Are there more myths than truths around this topic? Or is the truth simply not fully disclosed? What is it that people truly crave for?

There is a very specific personality type that the message of “quitting your job” and “lifestyle design” really resonate with, and from what I have experienced this group generally wants the same things.

The Myths Around Lifestyle Design

This personality type wants more freedom to design their own day to day schedule. However, don’t fool yourself into thinking that this means you can work for 4 hours a day and 2 days a week all the time.

Maybe eventually, but if that’s the plan, make sure you understand what it takes to get to that point, as well as the risks involved which may mean you never get there. This personality type values time spent with family and friends more.

That sounds great, but don’t forget that time must still be spent working on whatever it is that you are working on, no matter where you do that from. Perhaps this should be rephrased as freedom of location or mobility, in which case while you have the choice to work from wherever, you still have to work.

This personality craves freedom from “the man”, or working in a corporate setting. But why? If it’s the bosses, clients and customers, these types of constituents will also be there no matter what you decide to do for a living. There will always be someone you will have to answer to, the only difference is that you get to choose who.

No matter what the argument is, there is always a flip side to the coin. One must evaluate the pros and cons in depth and in totality, certainly not by letting emotions take over and making rash decisions in the process.

Either option can be the right option for you depending on what it is that YOU truly want. If you don’t fit this personality type, then you are likely happy with what you are doing as it is, which is fabulous. And if you fit this personality type, that is also fantastic. Just understand that not everyone out there hates their job and wants to do something else.

You don’t necessarily have to love your job or career to do well in it and stay the full course. As I have often said, there are a lot of good things to be said for a successful career working for someone. (Working for someone, in the context of this post, refers to working for a paycheck) In fact, most top earners in the United States work for wages.

Get Clarity and Focus Around What’s Important to YOU

No matter what personality type you are, the most important thing is to get clarity on what you want out of life and what you truly enjoy doing. Clarity helps us focus on the correct path. Without clarity, we will find our hearts and minds wandering aimlessly, swaying in either direction based on the next internet marketing message we hear or read.

If you simply want out of your job because you hate it so much, don’t just get out and take drastic and uncalculated actions without really understanding what is it that you truly want. For example, many people quit their careers and get a franchise, which many times turns out to be just like “buying yourself a job” that pays a lot less and comes with a lot more stress.

And if you don’t necessarily want out of your job, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Let the decision come from within. Let it be as unbiased as it can be. Don’t let anyone misguide you.

Take your time to assess the pros and cons involved on both sides of the fence. Unfortunately, human instinct is such that many times the grass may always seem greener on the other side even if its brown in reality. Be wary of this.

Sure, leaving your office job may mean that you are free from your boss’ commands, but no matter what business you get into, you will have a set of constituencies to please. If you own a franchise, you must cater to your employees, your customers and your franchisor. If you are a blogger, you have to cater to your readers or you don’t do well.

Sure, leaving a rigid lifestyle behind where finding an ideal work life balance can be challenging is understandable, but also understand that anything else you do will require you to put in the adequate time. Yes, you still have to put in the hard work. You will have to establish systems from scratch.

In fact, going on your own is a lot more work in many ways. For example, in an organization, systems are already set for you. You simply plug and play into the system. When you are on your own, you design everything on your own. Now that is truly some lifestyle design.

What are You Truly Getting by Quitting Work and Designing Your Lifestyle?

What you are really doing by quitting work and designing your own lifestyle is gaining the freedom and flexibility of choice. You are giving  yourself the option(s) to decide between several alternatives.

You are NOT eliminating or evading the work and sometimes stress required to do well. You are not completely getting rid of the inconveniences. If anything, you may be adding more, at least initially.

Obviously the true outcome of how life would really be like after leaving your employer will heavily depend on what you decide to get involved in, but the general premise of my argument remains. Quitting your job and proactively designing your lifestyle is more about options and choice, which is what those who fit the profile really want. This is truly what they crave for.

Here are some more of my thoughts on why you shouldn’t necessarily quit your job. But if you fit the personality type and know exactly what your next move is, don’t quit without negotiating a profitable separation package for yourself.

Read this to find out how you can profit significantly by separating from your employer.

What personality type are you? What do you think people who quit work really crave for? What percentage do you think are delusional about reality and find ways to rationalize or justify their decisions? Why do they do that?

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61 Responses to “Quitting Work, Lifestyle Design & Freedom Myths. What Do People Really Crave?”

  1. I received excellent on advice on my blog recently – when leaving your job make sure you are running towards something rather than just running away.

  2. Steve says:

    Great post. I still have a part of me that would like to work from home – moreso to avoid a commute and have that, “do work in your own time and way” thing going on.
    I even may still want to go that way in the future.

    But in the meantime, I have come to very much appreciate what I have with my job – a steady (and decent) pay, that is pretty much “plug ‘n’ play”. So I can also see my job as something I’d like to continue with (and not only continue with, but continue to climb the ladder with), whilst being someone who has that “thing” on the side.

    I’m reminded of the executive in Chris G’s book, The $100 Start Up who made what some would consider a full time income from a side business.

    I hear some bloggers (especially when I’ve read the “lifestyle design / minimalist” stuff (which is not my domain) talk about annual incomes (from online business) that I’d never dream of leaving my job for. As a young sub-25yo, sure – I might’ve seen things differently. But as a family man etc, the amounts required go up.

    Some of us are in an ideal situation where we can reduce our hours at work. So for example, if I had a business making ‘x’ amount and I wanted to pull back to 3 or 4 days a week, that would be possible. That’s a concept I never see mentioned anywhere. A little bit more “lifestyle freedom” because of an online business, combined with a little more security through a decent job @ part time hours…

    Awesome food for thought Sunil…

    • Sunil says:

      that’s a perfectly fine alternative Steve, but the issue with most jobs is that they are so rigid that such an arrangement is difficult to negotiate, also because it sets the “wrong” precedent for others (they too may demand similar arrangements). with that said, I can completely understand your position and was nodding my head reading your comments. you also bring up an interesting point. a “full time” income is relative, and like you I’d never accept what full time income is the most in the online space. my personal thresholds are higher by several multiples of the figures that get tossed around.

      we already know that the magic number for most Americans is 75k based on multiple years’s of surveys. that is not enough for me. curious, what would be that magic number for you?

      • Steve says:

        I’m thankful to be in the type of industry that allows people to move into part time roles (not always, but can be done). I could see myself being able to negotiate a 4 day week for example.

        We’re not snobs, but I’m with you – 75k doesn’t really cut it. Mind you, it’s a family thing. i.e. Both working full time with no kids (our story until now) is a different thing. But I’d like for my wife to not have to go back to work (at least not full time), which means a business income that *I* derived from a part part time effort becomes an even more valuable idea.

  3. Kevin says:

    Fascinating post, and it makes a lot of sense. On one hand those promoting an independent lifestyle might be guilt my of overhyping things, especially if they have something to sell. On the other hand, there is something about the traditional treadmill that seems not right, and the typical corporate/govt world can become spiritually draining. As someone who took the leap and is doing alright, would be awfully tough for me to go back. The freedom is definitely worth something. 😉

    • Sunil says:

      what’s interesting is that while it may have been tough to take the initial leap, it’s even tougher to go back once you have a taste of that freedom. you may or may not end up making more money, but you likely dictate the phase and direction of your lifestyle

      • Steve says:

        This really is a great topic. As well as the idea of it being tough to go back (something I’d like to experience!)…there’s also the numbers (dollars) thing we were talking about above: it gets even more interesting when you look at some of the advantages (a)of having a business at all, and (b) some of the cost reductions that (could) happen as a result of working from home.

        And then, if you are loving what you are doing (whatever it is) – who can honestly even put a price on that?

        • Sunil says:

          ditto Steve. and I am with you on your other comment as well. of us who want/desire to “work from home” and/or have more freedom and flexibility in life, there are several sub breeds within the broader breed

  4. Shafi says:

    I get so many emails telling me to buy into what they are selling. When I search for reviews of the product, I get turned off. Somebody was ripped off.

    A question:
    Why is it that the price most often ends with 7? For example, $27, $47, $77, $97. What’s the magic about 7 in the eyes of these marketing guys.

  5. Mike says:

    When I have a chance to pause from my work for a few days (and this is infrequent), I find that I’m more energetic, clever, creative, and capable with other pursuits.

    All of those things are tapped by my work, which I still enjoy, but I have the certain knowledge that there is another version of me that could be doing something different very well.

    • Sunil says:

      are you saying that if it wasn’t for the day job you’d be less effective with your side gigs? if so, many are in the same situation including myself. this is helpful in more than one way. there is so much to be learned in certain professions and organizations that have overlapping effects to your life outside work

  6. This post of yours really got me thinking Sunil,

    You know, most people don’t just put all these into consideration before quoting their job, they will just do because they heard that their friend did and is doing well working for himself.

    But they will fail to find out what plans their friend already made before quoting.

    I think most people normally quit because they feel that they are tired from their boss orders, they just want to start doing their own things without first trying to analyze their strength and weakness .

    I’m sure this post will really help and reposition the mind and thoughts of many people on this subject as it just did mine.

    Very amazing post Sunil, thanks for sharing.

    • Sunil says:

      more than analyzing strengths and weaknesses I feel one must have something they are going to be focusing on rather than simply running away from the boss

  7. Sorry Sunil,
    I made some mistake on the name I called you, please correct them.


  8. Great post, I find my online business efforts are a great break from my day job. Its different enough that its fresh but there are enough similarities that I feel the skills I learn online make me better at work and the skills I learn at work make me better online.

    • Sunil says:

      but what is it that you really are after? it can’t be just a break for the sake of experiencing something different? after all sitting on the couch with a nice flick on would also accomplish that right?

  9. Jacob says:

    I like your point “Get Clarity and Focus Around”.If you have a lot of goals, it’s easy to fall into the trap of jumping around between different goals and making little progress on any of them. If you want to actually achieve a goal, focus on one key goal single-mindedly until it’s achieved. Then move on to another goal. This is what top achievers do. Having too many competing goals will simply scatter your energies.

    • Sunil says:

      the curse of a scatter brained entrepreneur Jacob – it still gets me into trouble. my businesses can be more successful if I focused more on them rather than stretching myself too thin. that said, sometimes this is the best route for some of us. just programmed that way

  10. cherry says:

    Great post. I still have a part of me that would like to work from home – moreso to avoid a commute and have that, “do work in your own time and way” thing going on.
    I even may still want to go that way in the future.

    But in the meantime, I have come to very much appreciate what I have with my job – a steady (and decent) pay, that is pretty much “plug ‘n’ play”. So I can also see my job as something I’d like to continue with (and not only continue with, but continue to climb the ladder with), whilst being someone who has that “thing” on the side.

    • Sunil says:

      you are exactly who this blog is meant for Cherry. I think overtime you will find more autonomy and flexibility as you progress in your profession and as your side businesses start producing a significant enough amount of profit for you

  11. “Your personality type affects your satisfaction with the job, your productivity in it, and the likelihood that you will persist in this type of work,” write Farr and Shatkin in their book “Best Jobs for Your Personality”.

    • Sunil says:

      this is further echoed in Strengths Finder. if one is hard set on doing something of their own, it only makes sense to get involved in something that would make full use of their strong qualities

  12. Exactly. I work from home because I’m a homeschooler, but I am VERY glad my husband works for a company with a steady paycheck. My money has always been extremely variable, and having to negotiate self-pay insurance, etc….. No, thanks!

    • Sunil says:

      you point out a common concern – insurance. the thought of not having one, or a heavily subsidized one concerns many who contemplate going on their own.

  13. Hey Sunil,

    Good post and good thoughts. I wrote a guest article a few weeks ago on Mr Money Mustache about this exact topic and how “retirement sucks.” I thought I wanted to get enough rental properties to retire, but after I did it – I realized I was bored to death and had to find something else to “conquer.” Which is why, in addition to taking my real estate investing to the next level, I play with online businesses all day! 🙂

    Keep up the great writing!

    • Sunil says:

      good stuff Brandon. give us an idea of how many properties it took for you to retire? where are they located? also interested in hearing about how you took the rental business to the next level. I have rentals as well and surely will be learning a lot from your contributions.

  14. LaTusha says:

    Hi Sunil

    I think my motivation is having more control of my life and the income that I may potentially earn. I dont have a problem with working hard, but I want to be the one who really reaps the rewards of that hard work. I also want to decide the direction I go and when I want to stop and not being forced out because of layoffs.

    • Sunil says:

      great point. corporate and similar environments do erect certain barriers around that. there is plenty to be said about autonomy. but do you fear there will be a point after which even if you wanted to grow you wouldn’t be able to without expending significant effort/stress that may be more so than if you were in a structured environment like a company later on in your career?

  15. Fernando R says:

    This is a great post. I have learned the hard way that by having too many goals to meet, you only make it harder on yourself to accomplish them. You have to narrow down to a specific goal and give it all your energy. That way you will accomplish something bigger than what you set forth on.

    • Sunil says:

      clarity and focus is important Fernando and will def get you closer to your goals quicker. that said, many prefer having several irons in the fire. as long as one understands the downfalls of such an approach and is ok with it, this too can be a slow and steady path to achieving goals don’t you think?

  16. David says:

    Hi Sunil!

    I did NOT like the job I had but was still shocked when the Big Boss called me to say my “Position had been eliminated”. But that event did give me a kick in the rear to get started on creating my own income. So far I have 2 ebooks on Amazon and another in the planning stages. It may be small but it is a start!



    • Sunil says:

      awesome David. tell us more about how your books are performing and how you are marketing them? ebooks are one of the most turnkey ways to profit from your knowledge in a mostly passive basis wouldn’t you agree?

      • David says:

        Hello Sunil,

        My ebooks are not doing so well at this time. I need to learn how to market them better. It would seem that one of the key points (and one of the hardest points)to doing well on Amazon is getting reviews and good reviews. Have you ever thought of starting an area on this blog where authors/publishers could go and ask others to read and give an honest review of ebooks? Also share tips and clues to writing and marketing ebooks.

        Best regards,


        • Sunil says:

          an ebook forum? it’s not a bad idea, though I suspect there are several dedicated just to this topic. my blog is broader in nature so it may be a stretch? has Amazon stated that reviews (quality and amount) factor into the ebook’s rank? if so can you forward me a link? as far as I know their algorithm is undisclosed similar to Google. moreover, Amazon is quite savvy and normally detects reciprocal reviews. that said, asking for fair/honest reviews is not a bad practice. how are you doing this? what are you doing to market your ebooks? any other thoughts? I love the ideas, we just have to continue to think of how to put them into action that drives results

  17. People want to be recognized, validated, and have an overall sense of euphoria.

    With the sea of information available, more people are stepping outside the boxes that they’ve lived in for so long and are questioning their current reality.

    Many of these people turn to internet marketing as a means to get the lifestyle they really want.

    Sadly, many get swept away at sea, and never get the helping hand they really need.

    We build our businesses with passion, and one way we help people is by finding them on forums.

    I wrote about it here and would love your input (feel free to stop by):

    Once we come to accept that we are living in our own dream and can shape it the way we want, we can help others come to the same enlightenment.

    • Sunil says:

      interesting point Matt. lots of validity to that. we have the platform today to make our dream a reality. how long have you been working with Danny I? how has FPM evolved since its inception and who would you say your target audience/reader is today?

  18. Adam says:

    I found this post to be extremely helpful as I was searching what all the information was about regarding Quitting Work, Lifestyle Design & Freedom Myths. What Do People Really Crave?

    Thanks for sharing

  19. This system for categorizing personality types obviously isn’t perfect. Many people, for instance, are an amalgam of two or three different types. A few people might feel they don’t fit into any of these categories. But whatever your attributes and idiosyncrasies, the odds of finding a fulfilling career are greater if you match your job to your personality. That’s why, under each entry, we’ve also included additional resources for folks who want to do more research. It may not be as easy as jumping at the first opportunity that comes along. But most people probably wouldn’t marry their first dates, either.

  20. Excellent post. This post give me a good idea about pursuing a new carrer or even trying a home business. Thankk you so much for sharing so a great information.

  21. John Gough says:

    I think the key building plan B on the side of your job, until it is big enough for you to jump ship. In my experience it takes a lot of time and hard work to build an income for an alternative lifestyle. However it is so worth going for. Best of luck.

    • Sunil S. says:

      absolutely John. when you’re busy with a full time endeavor, it takes a lot of time, energy and effort to build a side gig. after a long day’s work, the last thing many need is “work”, which makes it more important to have a deep desire/reason and passion for what you are doing on the side.

  22. Catherine says:

    Such a nice post….. Interesting… One should have an option before leaving the job.Working from home or a self business is great..

  23. pachymoney says:

    i think it is one of the best guidance to earn money from home with apple as a partner

  24. Son Bush says:

    Choosing a career that is not a fit for your personality is likely to leave you feeling unhappy and apathetic. If you don’t know yourself as well as you’d like to, there are a variety of personality assessment tests such as Myers-Briggs available to help you identify your personality type. Assessments like the Myers Briggs can help you to determine what careers are a good fit for your personality type. If you aren’t into assessments and feel you have a good understanding of yourself already, resources like the U.S. News Best Careers guide offers six general types of people and the types of jobs most likely to suit them.

  25. When you identify what roles fit your personality type , you’ll be able to quickly identify whether a position meets those needs, bringing you one step closer to finding your dream job – and yes, making that much-needed change.

  26. AdMamu says:

    Good tips, Thanks.

  27. When you identify what roles fit your personality type , you’ll be able to quickly identify whether a position meets those needs, bringing you one step closer to finding your dream job – and yes, making that much-needed change.

  28. Peter says:

    Great advice..thanks

  29. Much informative and nice post. Thanks for sharing this awesome post with us

  30. fawad says:

    Fantastic and interesting post.Nice advice here.As well as informative article.Thank you for sharing.

  31. Sunil

    Prior to starting my accounting practice in 2003 I worked for a firm that required a long commute. 30 minutes every morning and 45 min to an hour on the was home.

    I opened a practice one half mile from my house in 2003. While opening my on firm gave me the freedom to be responsible for my own decision making, it also had an unexpected result.

    I had gained any extra hour per day. And if I have to run home quick for a family matter it is so easy. And anything my son participates in at school I do not have to miss. I can literally be to the school in 5 minutes. I can enjoy the event and get right back to work.

    Working close to home is an amazing lifestyle change in itself.

    • Sunil says:

      Jeffrey, congratulations on successfully designing a career that works around the life you want to live. Give us an idea of the pros and cons of working for someone vs yourself from a financial perspective. How much business income does it take to replace a job/career income (keeping in mind the benefits to being an employee including arguably less taxes mainly drive by self employment status)? More or less – and by what factor? What would you do different if you started again today? What unexpected unpleasant surprises did you run into when pursuing entrepreneurship?

  32. The idea that quitting job is the core reason of returning balance into your life is not delusional if your job is something that deprives you of this balance. The author is right, you should realize and clearly see the reasons of misbalance before falling into conclusions your job is the problem. It’s possible, that not the job itself, but social interaction, personal position, simply, working environment are the reasons this work seems a waste of time. You should ponder on it, and take your time for analysis first. Because, indeed, it may appear that the “grass over the fence is brown despite what you saw before”. They say you should find your devotion first and you will never have to work again. That is true. Unless you realize the true nature of your dedication, unless you clearly see what makes you happy, you will keep on thinking the job is the point. Which is usually not. While the concept of downshifting is promoting less work more life, you should first consider: probably, what you do from 9 to 5 is your life. It’s true for such serious professional occupations as teaching or curing: if you are a doctor, probably, taking care of the others and nursing life is the core of your lifestyle. Everything is relative. True balance depends on yourself, not on your job.

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