The Journey To The Jump One man’s journey from climbing the corporate ladder to turning a passion into a business
I first want to start off by telling you all a little bit about my self before we start on the journey to freedom in self employment. My name is Nolan Thompson and I am 32 years old as of June 26th, 2018. I have a family that consist of my lovely wife of 4 years and my beautiful 20 year…. I mean 2 year old daughter. I am originally from North Carolina but now reside in Hampton, Virginia. In this Blog I will bring you along with me as I walk my path to leave the cooperate world and transition to being self employed, following my heart and turning my passion into a for profit business while trying not to affect my family negatively in a financial or lifestyle way. I will do monthly post in which I will try to provide insight into all the different things I learn and do to accomplish this tall task of replacing a six figure income seamlessly. lol I don't know about the seamless part, but definitely going to try to get through this with as few bruises and bump as possible.
CLIMBING THE CORPORATE LADDER I have had one major job since graduating from high school and have been climbing the ladder that I always prided myself in climbing for the last 14 years. I earned my first promotion after 7 years and another after one and a half years later, and 4 years after that I applied and was selected for another promotion. Or so I thought, this next promotion came with more money but also came with less freedom, more overtime (unpaid) and more stress that's only caused by poor decisions made in the beginning of the project from the higher level management. And this is where my climb up the cooperate ladder went from my main focus to the last thing I wanted to do. From what I can see by observing the next levels above my current position, it only gets worse in the sense of less freedom, more time spent, and more responsibility. More money has a limit to it in my mind, and that line is drawn at the point where quality of life is compromised. It became no longer worth the money when I noticed I was spending 10 hours a day frustrated and stressed, and to make it worse, this was the first time those feeling had ever followed me home. I normally had an automatic turn off switch from work to home life, and now that separation was gone. I now have a company phone that has email capabilities and I am expected to answer phone calls and emails when I am off. So, for me, if I am going to be working all day long, I should be working all day long building my dreams, not someone else's. A great man once said " If you're going to get your personal freedom, you got to go get it! You got to go earn it, they are not giving it away!" -Dr. Eric Thomas
DON'T BE AFRAID OF HEIGHTS Most of us spend over half of our lives or more working for someone else, climbing the ladder that they built, that they control, and that they can destroy. Often time we look at these jobs or careers as safe and secure, expecting to be able to work their, trading our time for money and looking forward to a retirement check after 20-40 years of service plus meeting the age requirement of 62-67 to get full benefits with out being penalized. I have been at my current job as previously stated for 14 years and the longer I stay, the bigger the question gets of "DO I REALLY WANT TO THROW ALL THESE YEARS AWAY?" I have worked all these years to climb this ladder, maybe I can learn to like this job. Maybe I can learn to enjoy working overtime for free. Maybe I can get used to not spending that much time with my family. Maybe I can be ok with putting a key event or milestone before my child's graduation. Maybe I can find a way to be happy with spending more time with my co-workers than my family. I have to ask myself these questions in order to overcome my fear of heights, so that I can have the courage to JUMP off of this LADDER that I have been climbing for so long. With out these questions, it seems like a long way down to jump off the ladder, but with each question the ladder seems to be turning into an elevator and all I'm doing is watching the numbers "ding" as they get smaller on the way down until I am at the bottom only now needing to step forward into what I know is the only way to go.
THE PASSION BEHIND THE BUSINESS My favorite part, I get to tell you all about what I am so passionate about and why I enjoy doing it. So, about eight years ago I bought my first house and I had every intention to flip this house and sale it. So I went to my local Lowes to get some quotes, and quickly realized that I could not afford to pay someone else to do the work in my house. So I started researching how much it would cost me to buy the tools and materials needed to do the job myself with the help of a instructional DVD on how to lay tile. It turned out that I could do everything myself for a 1/4 of the price to pay someone else, so I did. From then on I was buying tools for what ever job I wanted to do and the next major tool that I purchased was a 10 inch Hitachi miter saw because I couldn't cut a straight line with a circular saw, lol! And with that miter saw, I built my first piece of furniture. I made a wooden ottoman with storage as a gift to my Pastor for our Pastor's anniversary. That Ottoman Still sits in his office till this day and I never stopped building furniture from that point on. I have continued to learn and hone my skills as a woodworker and furniture maker and one day in 2015 I decided to take some unexpected money that I received and invest into setting up my LLC (Limited Liability Company) with LegalZoom at www.legalzoom.com. This was more so to lock in my business name and URL website, because I didn't actually start taking any orders until 2018 due to my job requiring me to travel for 3-4 months at a time and about 9 months out of the year.