I’m going to tell you some huge news in this post (but not until the end… so stick around). And it has a lot to do with learning that normal and safe AREN’T the only options! We tend to get stuck in the “normal” and “safe” path, and I want to talk about how to get out of it and deal with people who aren’t helpful in that realm.
Normal and Safe aren’t the only options
Want to listen to the podcast version of this post? I’ve got you covered!
If doing something different scares you and you’re working through the fear of quitting your job or worrying about what people will say, THIS is the place for you. I promise, the normal and safe options that other people tell you about aren’t the only pathway you can take.
Here’s what I mean by normal and safe.
The “normal” path in life sounds a little something like this… Do good in school, go to college, get the job, work it for 30 years, retire and then go on about your day. That is what people think we’re supposed to do with our lives, generally speaking. Obviously, there are outliers, but you know what I mean.
That idea is VERY ingrained in our culture and family values most of the time. And I’m here to tell you it isn’t the only way. You can live a good life, be happy, and be stable financially in the normal path OR on a DIFFERENT path. If the normal path is for you, GREAT! But if that’s not the path for you, then you can ALSO do that!
Maybe your dream is to buy an RV and travel the country while you work your business. If you see someone doing that on YouTube, then you’re going to see them as successful because that’s something you aspire to do.
If you see financial security as successful, like being debt free or having certain physical things, then that is your version of success. And you can have that with or without the 30 year job post-college-degree.
I am sick and tired of the message that you cannot have your version of success unless you go the normal and safe route. Because that is just not true, and normal and safe aren't the only options.
Maybe you think going against normal and safe is fine, but your family doesn’t.
Sometimes, you can be fine with taking the risk and “bucking” against normality, but the people in your life are way less cool and supportive of that dream. That can totally get in our heads and make us worry about the thing we’re doing.
I saw a quote on Instagram the other day that speaks to this well. It said in some form, “don’t take constructive criticism from people who have never constructed anything.”
WOW is that true here! If you are going against the norm, building your own business, or constructing your own pathway, then you can’t take “advice” from people who have never built their own thing. That doesn’t make sense.
Maybe you’re leaving that high paying job for one that doesn’t pay as much because you’ll be happier. Or you’re quitting your job, packing up and moving to a totally different part of the country. And someone comes to you who has NEVER done that thing to tell you it’s a bad idea.
Remember that they have never done it – so what do they know?
I’m NOT saying to never listen to anyone’s advice, because people can give great advice that comes from a really well-meaning place. But it’s something to keep in mind. You might realize that normal and safe aren't the only options, but someone else might not.
Most people operate from a place with fear.
Most people operate from within their safe zone because their fear stops them from doing anything else.
That normal path is appealing to most people because it’s consistent and easy. They go to work, get a paycheck, buy things they can afford, rinse and repeat. I’m probably miserable for most of that, but my dad was too so that’s normal.
Then you turn 60, retire, draw retirement and do your thing.
People are okay with that because they’ve seen it done, it feels safe, and it’s been taught to them that way.
We live in a culture set up to keep people in “normal and safe.” And as humans, we don’t innately want to put ourselves in risky situations. But you have to know that normal and safe aren't the only options.
I’m generally not a risk-taker… I hate roller coasters for that exact reason. But when it comes to my business, I’m absolutely a risk-taker. I will take the risk before I stay miserable. Anytime I truly WISH I could do something, I find a way to do it. And that isn’t typically understood by other people.
When you’re ready to take that risk and you voice that to your family or friends who are still operating from a place of fear, it can be VERY hard to get them to understand your motivation. And you may never get them to understand, truthfully.
It can also be really hard to stop others' fears from influencing you and impacting your choices.
Someone else’s comfort zone DOES NOT CONSTRAIN YOU.
I see this happen all the time. Someone wants to quit their job, switch jobs, start a business, move, or take some major jump. Aunt Suzy over here will start asking you a billion questions and totally doubting you.
You’ve probably figured out all the things she’s questioning you about (we’re adults – we’re not jumping into things blindly). But that doesn’t mean all of those questions and fear doesn’t impact you.
You have decided to live a life outside of THEIR comfort zone, so they reflect that fear onto you. But you are not required to fit inside their idea of “safe” or “normal.” Because normal and safe aren’t the only options.
Understand that those doubts are coming from their fears. And they are projecting their own fears onto you.
It was really scary for me to switch from web design to infopreneur/content creator
I’ve been talking about these major life changes, but smaller changes within your business can feel scary, too. It was terrifying for me to stop offering web design and lean into the infopreneur and content creator space.
After five years, the web design business and process felt safe to me. So it was very scary for me to then make that shift.
Sometimes, we’ll want to do things but the fear of getting out of our comfort zone holds us back. That’s what I want you to see could happen to you.
If you’re thinking about making a major change and you can’t get it out of your head, and you don’t do it because of the fear, I promise you that will be the thing you regret FOREVER.
I personally don’t want to get to 80 years old with a life of regrets.
I’m not encouraging you to go out here and make rash decisions, because I think you should think through things before you do them. But I want you to know that normal and safe aren’t the only options. If you want to take that risk, do it. Don’t let someone else’s fear condition you to stay there.
Here’s my big news: My husband, Jonathan, is quitting his job!
His final day at his job will be September 30. He has already put in his notice and he’s working with a very long notice because of the nature of his job.
As of October 1, he will officially be a self-employed person!
That was very scary at first, but it’s not anymore. Jonathan has wanted to quit for the past few years. He farms, pastors, and has a full time job (that was essentially two jobs). There aren’t full-time preachers where I live, so that isn’t a job for him. Farming isn’t providing an income that would allow him to quit at this current moment either.
The end-goal is for him to be farming full-time, but he isn’t there yet. So we started thinking about him becoming self-employed.
Financially, we’d be okay if he didn’t work – but he would NOT be okay with that, so that wasn’t ever part of the equation.
Honestly, I’m really excited to have him home more. He’ll be able to help more around the house and with the kids on days when one of the kids is sick and I have meetings that I would have to cancel.
My point is – he is starting a business! I’m not going to share exactly what the business is yet for a few different reasons.
Right now, he has a little bit of farm income. But this business that he is starting will be a VERY easy and natural business because of his past experience. I truly think he’ll make more money from what he’s about to be doing even if he doesn’t do it full-time.
“But what about insurance?”
You CAN have insurance, retirement, and all those other things as a self-employed person just like you can as a traditionally-employed person.
If you make more money when you’re self-employed, then you have the ability to have those things, too. And retirement can look different than a traditional retirement fund. In the next few years, I want to build out a portfolio of short-term rental income. Things we could sell off or change to long-term rentals as we get older. That will really protect us in our older years. I look at that as retirement rather than pulling a paycheck from a company.
So, my husband is quitting his job, starting a business, and will be focused on farming. When you listen to this, people knew he was quitting about one month ago.
When people in our lives heard about this, they had so many irrational fears. It was easy for me to say “woah” and dispute them because I’ve been in the entrepreneurial world for so long. Those fears haven’t crossed my mind for a long time!
His parents think we’re going to be homeless, basically.
To be honest, it’s been a bit offensive because people seem to assume we’d make these decisions that would harm our children and we would never! We made this decision with a lot of prayer and a lot of preparation. But it’s also funny to see how extreme the fear is.
My husband has a good job that pays well for our area – but it’s not like he’s rolling in the dough.
I think a lot of the fear stems from people not understanding my business or knowing how much money I make. Which I understand because it’s a weird business. But I’ve also heard the most comical fears come our way, and it’s almost sad to me.
Not everybody wants to be an entrepreneur, and I don’t mean that you need to be. But the thought that having a job at a certain company with certain benefits is more important than your happiness or freedom is BULL.
We have been saving up to buy a used tractor for Jonathan, because I refuse to have a tractor payment. He was asking his dad questions about tractors, and his dad said “but how will you have money to buy that if you quit your job?”
As if you can’t do for yourself or afford anything if you aren’t working a traditional job.
You have ONE LIFE. Don't waste it.
I got that tattooed on my wrist for this exact reason. You only have one life. Don’t live one full of regrets or unhappiness because you didn’t believe that normal and safe aren’t the only options.
Do the scary thing! Take the risk. Quit your job, move across the country, become a content creator – whatever it is that’s taking up space in your head.
Our generation wants freedom, and we’re willing to go out and do our own things to get that freedom! I LOVE that my kids won’t grow up feeling the pressure to do the normal or safe thing if they don’t want to do that.
My 10 year old invested in cattle this year, and we were having a conversation about what that could look like when he gets older. If he keeps investing all of his profit into cattle, then he might not have to get a traditional job when he turns 16. Or he could get a traditional job and that would be fine too! I just want to make sure that I provide them with options and don’t share the fear that I learned in school about taking the “road less traveled.”
If you are scared to do something because of fear that has been ingrained in you, know that normal and safe aren't the only options!
If you know that you’ll be okay and want to take a different path, you can do that. There will be people who won’t understand and will reflect their fears on you. Or make you adhere to your comfort zones. But those people aren’t living your life, and if your decision does not affect them, they don’t get a say.
If you’re looking for a sign to do that scary thing, this is your sign.