I Quit My Job Today!//This Whole F.I.R.E. Thing is Real
On May 1, 2014 I took a deep breath and hit the publish button. Eat the Financial Elephant was born. My first post was titled: I’M not QUITTING MY JOB TODAY!
Today, February 28, 2017 I can finally say that this blog is more than a thought exercise. More than a series of hypothetical situations, a series of what ifs. I quit my job today.
I didn’t plan to sit down and write a post, but my mind is racing. So, in a minimally edited form here are my thoughts.
Unlike some people probably picture things, I had no desire to march into my boss’ office, hand in a two week notice, and maybe give him a piece of my mind or toss the finger on the way out. Instead, I was a basket case bouncing back and forth between anxiety and fear as this moment approached. I have not slept for nights.
- Would I be laughed at by people I respect for doing something they perceived as stupid?
- Would I be told to pack up my desk, and not allowed to leave on my terms?
- Would they feel betrayed or angry as I shared how long I have been developing our plans to achieve F.I.R.E. and figuring out how to execute these plans without sharing any of it with them?
- Was I really ready to leave behind a career that took seven years of school, enabled me to make a high five-figure salary, while offering me tremendous benefits and great autonomy just as I was entering my peak earning years?
How It Actually Went Down
First, I went to my boss’ office before lunch and asked if he had a few minutes to talk. We had a great discussion for about 40 minutes. Then, when we were done, I sat down and shared the news with my friend, mentor, office mate and “work wife” of the past 15 years. We also had a great talk for about a half hour. They both were surprised, but not shocked.
There was no anger, no resentment. They did both express genuine concern for me and my family. Had I thought things through? Were we sure we had enough money? Was I sure I wanted to do this? What would I do next? Was there anything that they could do to make things different?
I explained that we had spent a lot of time thinking things through, writing about our ideas, and constantly learning and evolving over the past 4 years. I assured them that I entertained many ideas in my head including approaching them about working part-time, considered offering to buy into the company, or buy out the company, or work for another company, or in a different area of practice. None were appealing.
I truly could not improve on my situation. They were great to work for and with. More money would not make me more happy. More time off or working part-time would make me less satisfied as I would have less continuity of care and less of a personal bond with patients, which is the part of my job that I still actually love and will miss.
I am certain that I am done with this phase of my life. I will probably keep my physical therapy license as a back up for a few years and may work a few rotations as a travel PT or do some fill in work if money gets tight or to pad the investment accounts, but I have no desire to go elsewhere and start over.
I have worked and planned hard to have the freedom to do things that are most important to me. I have always stated that time is more valuable to me than money. Now it is time to put my money where my mouth is.
I emphasized that I was eternally grateful for all that my employers had provided to me. I explained that if they desired, I was ready to be done as soon as they had a replacement for me, but I would be willing to work through November if they wanted me to help provide as smooth of a transition as possible. I desire nothing but the best for them going forward and want to leave on as good of terms as earthly possible. That said, I need to go.
Why This All Matters
Two and a half years after pushing the publish button for the first time, I still question how I have managed to build such an army of loyal and intelligent readers. I also question why anyone really cares about our personal story. I realize that many of you have become vested in our story and for that I am tremendously grateful for your feedback and support. I felt the need to share this news with you.
All that said, this is not and never has been about us. When starting on our journey, there were only a few blogs like this one. We honestly didn’t 100% believe they were authentic, or that this was actually possible.
We started this blog to be an inspiration to others to question assumptions and seek ways to make the best of the short number of years that we have on earth. We wanted to show that a couple of average everyday people who had made many financial mistakes and were starting with little technical knowledge of investing or financial planning could actually pull this off. We wanted to educate others and help them avoid repeating the financial mistakes we have made. Hopefully, we have and will continue to serve each of you in this mission.
This day is one that I have thought about for a long time. That said, this is not the destination. Instead, it is only the first step on the next phase of our journey.
I can not put into words all that I have learned and how rewarding writing and sharing this blog has been throughout our journey. Growing and expanding the mission of this blog and serving people in a variety of ways will be a big part of my retired life. I look forward to sharing our challenges and adventures ahead as we begin to live out our “Dirtbag Millionaire” vision. I also am excited to drop the veil of anonymity and share details that we have been unable to share until this point in time. However, we a not quite there yet.
Until I am officially done with my job, whether that ends up being a few more weeks or several months, I remain committed to the “Less but Better” philosophy and will continue to take my own advice and do my best not to be a “donkey”. I will not be retired until I am retired. Until then, I will honor my commitments to family first and my employers and patients to whom I have committed to serve to the best of my ability. The blog will remain a side hobby when I have time.
Thank you to all of you who have supported us, helped us, inspired us, and been patient with us on our journey as we celebrate this day!