Brett Farmiloe is the founder of pursuethepassion.com and author of a book of the same name. His website is a resource for inspiration, guidance and support when contemplating the “what should I do with my life” question. Here, Brett talks about how he decided to quit his day job to become an entrepreneur.
“Am I closer to where I ultimately want to be now, compared to where I was two months ago?” This was the question I posed to my fiance over some dinner table conversation one recent evening. She looked at me and said, “I don’t know. You tell me.”
Two months ago, I walked into the building I’d been going to for four years and quit my job. When I told my boss, she kept repeating, “Are you sure? You don’t sound sure. Are you sure?” The truth was, I wasn’t sure of what was going to happen next. But I was sure that I wanted to be an entrepreneur.
I had been grappling with the decision with for a few months, but it wasn’t until I had lunch with a colleague that I decided to take the leap. I told him about this crazy idea that involved me traveling around the world and starting a website that would bring a person’s experiences out of their head and onto the Internet. I interrupted myself halfway through the pitch and asked him, “What do you think? Am I crazy for wanting to do this?”
He said, “I’ll tell you what. In five years, you won’t have the option to do what you’re talking about. The Internet will have changed. You’ll have two kids and a wife. You’ll need your paycheck more than you do now.” He was right. The risk of remaining tight in the bud was looking more painful than the risk it would take to blossom.
So the next day, I quit without notice. The following week, I launched an iPhone app with the help of a friend. Then we launched another app. Then I decided that starting a business that launches iPhone apps for professional sports teams wouldn’t be that bad, so we launched that. To date, we have a handful of apps available in the iTunes store that teams have paid us to develop, and we’re working on developing an Android and Blackberry solution as we expand to other leagues outside of minor league baseball.
Despite the small success of launching a business, things are still really stressful when it comes to money. I knew money would be tight, but things get much more real when you leave behind a steady paycheck but you still have a car loan, a mortgage and a lifestyle you’re accustomed to. Now I rarely wear a shirt to work because my thermostat is set at 87 degrees in order to save on my electric bill. I’ve started biking everywhere to reduce the expense of filling the gas tank on my car. And when I eat out, I pay with a gift card and leave with a to-go box in hand.
But hey, at least I’m two months closer to being the entrepreneur that I want to be.
Founded by Scott Gerber, the Young Entrepreneur Council (Y.E.C.) is an invite-only nonprofit organization comprised of the country’s most promising young entrepreneurs. The Y.E.C promotes entrepreneurship as a solution to youth unemployment and underemployment and provides its members with access to tools, mentorship, and resources that support each stage of a business’s development and growth.