It’s been 3 months since we started the experiment of the “Why I Quit” podcast. We had never conducted interviews, edited, or even released a podcast before. We made a lot of mistakes (airpods were not a good idea for sound quality…), but we’ve listened to all of your feedback and will continue to improve. It has been an incredible learning experience and we are excited to continue the journey with new episodes every week in 2022.

To end the year, we wanted to recap what we’ve learned from the first 10 episodes:

  1. Everyone quits for different reasons – There is no consistent theme to why people quit. Some people want to start a business, some are fed up with their job, some are looking for a career change, and others are looking for more work-life balance. During the episodes, you will hear different reasons from each person. Whatever the reason, people are more empowered than ever before to make a change the fits best into their lifestyle.

  2. Quitting is not just about starting a business – There is a misconception out there that quitting a job leads to starting a business. We’ve heard from people in the podcast that talk about how “job hopping” leads to increased salary and faster promotions than staying at the same company. We’ve heard others talk about how quitting their job and starting a business, led to them finding their passion back in the corporate world. The important piece is you have the power to dictate what role best fits your priorities in terms of salary, benefits, vacation days, work life balance, etc.

  3. Quitting is not just about the money – We have a tendency to focus on the salary when talking about a job. However, there are so many others factors, such as benefits, ability to work remote, relationship with co-workers, and overall satisfaction with a role. We have episodes talking about starting a company with a 30 hour work week, negotiating a role to part-time to start a side business, and giving up high salaries to find work they are more passionate about. At the end of the day, how much do you need to live a comfortable life you enjoy and how much do you need to make to achieve that? You can reverse engineer your needs to match your work goals.

  4. The conversation to quit is one of the hardest parts – If there is one common theme throughout the episodes, it is how difficult the process of quitting can be. To start, everyone talks about how hard it is talking to their boss and how they feel like they are letting their coworkers/company down. Most people psych themselves out and immediately think about the worst case scenario. However, in the majority of scenarios, everyone is super supportive. Managers and coworkers just want to see you succeed. At the end of the day, no matter how good you are at your job, you are replaceable in that role. In many episodes, you hear people talk about how they even received a layer of security because their company told them that they could always return in the future as well. This shows the importance of being respectful and quitting on good terms.

  5. You need to have a plan on how to quit – Many times by quitting you are taking a salary cut or if you are starting a business, not having a salary at all. It is important to understand your monthly expenses. What does it cost for you to live each month, how much will health insurance cost you, etc? Understanding this number is the key to know how long you can live on your savings alone. During the episodes, people talk a lot about how much longer it took to get financial secure than expected. Some discuss living off savings while they built up their businesses or others had side jobs to cover costs in the meantime. Whatever your plan is, know your numbers. Figure out how much money and runway you need. Then come up with a plan to quit once you feel comfortable with that number.

  6. You need to know what you want before quitting – We all get tired of hearing the phrase “the grass is always greener.” However, it is the perfect analogy to think about when quitting. Why are you actually quitting? Do you want to travel more? More work-life balance? Not passionate about your current work? All of these things can be true, but does quitting actually solve that. In most episodes, we discuss how after quitting most people work more, travel less, and don’t always make more money. You need to think through what you want and why. This will help figure out if quitting is a short term fix for current unhappiness in a job or if you a building a long term career opportunity that fits your lifestyle.

  7. Failing is a necessary part of the process – Every single guest on the podcast talked about failing. It is a part of the process. People that are successful discuss failing as a learning experience. When quitting your job, many times you are taking a leap of faith or trying something new, so you will inevitably fail. However, if you are will to listen, learn, and adapt, those failures will lead to a new opportunity.

  8. Put yourself out of your comfort zone – Another part of being willing to fail is being willing to go outside of your comfort zone. Throughout the episodes, you hear stories of people’s successes from cold emailing a founder, sliding into DMs, or even starting a brand new industry. Many times you need to make your own opportunities. Do not be afraid to ask for help and advice. The majority of time people want to go out of there way to help, but you just need to ask.

  9. Work-life balance is hard – Whether you are in a corporate job or running your own business, work life balance is extremely difficult. We are more connected now than ever before. Your email is connected to your phone which we are on for the majority of the day. Throughout the episodes, people discuss how much they struggle with this. However, most people are seeking ways of improving in this area. Listen to people turning off notifications, traveling more, and blocking time. It is going to be different for every person, but you need to set your own boundaries of what works for your lifestyle.

  10. “If not now then when” – Every guest on the podcast said a version of this quote. What is interesting is that each person that said it were in different situations (some where parents, some were single, some were in the twenties, and others in their 40s). It just goes to show that there never is going to be a perfect time. You need to be prepared and ready when the opportunity comes.

We’ve talked to amazing people, who have been so generous and open sharing their stories. We have now officially released 10 episodes. Each episode is different and tells a different story. Check Out All Episodes on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Youtube:

#1 – “If not now, then when?” with Cassie Collier

Listen as Cassie discusses negotiating her job down to part-time to run a board game company with her sister on the side.

#2 “How to build a company with a 30 hour work week” with Katelyn Magnuson

Listen as Katelyn takes everything she didn’t like about her old corporate position to build an agency with a 30 hour work week.

#3 “One cold email changed the trajectory of my entire life” with Mike Malloy

Listen to Mike share his story of quitting multiple times and how he learned from past failures to start his latest venture.

#4 “You have to go all in” with Alex Bullington

Learn how Alex quit his job to launch an app, get acquired, and launch a new product for the company. During this process, he discovers his passion and finds a dream role back in the corporate world.

#5 “I was more fulfilled in 4 hours of work than I had been in years” with Jeff Chenault

Listen to Jeff share his story of achieving all of his career goals, but it not being what he expecting. Learn how he turned this into starting his own design agency to focus on work he is passionate about.

#6 “You have to be willing to fail” with Pete Jones

Listen to Pete share his story of quitting his job to backpack across South and Central America. Learn how this led to him and his wife Jordan starting five different businesses together.

#7 “You have to be comfortable in the uncomfortable” with Maria Traino

Listen to Maria discuss how she always had side hustles in addition to a full time job. Learn how she decided to make the leap to turn that into a full-time business.

#8 “We were providing a service that didn’t exist” with John Brickman

Listen as John discuss not going to law school and started a business in a new industry instead. Learn about how he and a partner started a k-9 bed bug detection company in New York City.

#9 “I knew this wasn’t going to work long term” with Kathleen Porter Kristiansen

Listen to Kathleen share how she lived abroad as a lawyer. Learn how she quit her job to go full-time as a blogger and managing Airbnb properties.

#10 “The harder it is, the more satisfying it is to complete it” with Ian Sharman

Listen to Ian share how he became the youngest person to complete 100 marathons. Learn how he turned his love of running into a full-time business in the Ultra Marathon industry.

Know someone who should be on Why I Quit? We’re looking for all types of stories and people to feature at the top of the show. To nominate yourself or someone else, email dave@foundersapproach.com and tell us your name, where you’re from and what you want to talk about.