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Today, we are joined by Scott Skrivan, who followed an incredible journey from the Navy to full-time systems engineer at Lockheed Martin to quitting in order to become a tattoo artist.

As he was in his final year at school, Scott was trying to figure out next steps. He ended up enlisting in the Navy for a 4 year tour. He followed a path into the intelligence sector as a cryptologic technician that focused on collections.

Towards the end of his tour, Scott was ready for a change. He was struggling with his work schedule where sometimes he was working nights and others he was working weekends. He felt the role was affecting his quality of life, his personal health, and his relationships. As his enlistment ended, he had the opportunity to interview for the same exact role with Lockheed Martin, but he would only need to work 9-5 style Monday through Friday. Also, he was able to start traveling for work and ended up heading to places like Japan and Thailand.

During these travels, Scott became fascinated by the meaning and history behind tattoos. He started getting more tattoos on each trip. The more he spoke with tattoo artists, the more he learned about the industry as a whole. Throughout Scott’s life, he had always found peace in drawing. He would spend hours on end with pencil and paper. Eventually this translated into Scott designing his own tattoos. Then he started putting together his own drawing portfolio to hopefully receive a tattoo apprenticeship.

When the opportunity arose, he would work his full-time job from 6am-2pm and would head to the tattoo shop from 3-7pm. He was learning as much as he could. He even completed his first tattoo on himself as training. He started recruiting buddies by offering free tattoos to help him practice.

Scott had serious discussions with his wife about what this meant and how feasible this was for their lifestyle. They sat down with their financial planner to come up with a plan. They set benchmarks to make sure they could achieve their short term, medium term, and long term goals. He spent 8 months until he got to the point he would enough clients to make the leap to becoming a full-time tattoo artist.

If you are interested in getting a tattoo or want to see his amazing work, check out his Instagram. Stop by and visit him at Spell Craft Tattoos in Baltimore!

Check out the conversation as we dive into the following:

  • How drawing was always his safe space throughout his life

  • How he learned the ins and outs of the tattoo industry by talking to the artists while getting his own tattoos

  • How quality of life became a higher priority when considering next career opportunities

  • How he learned to tattoo by first tattooing himself

  • How he came up with a feasible plan to make sure tattooing was a long term viable career

Listen to Scott share his story and get inspired with his amazing advice to people thinking about following a similar path. Check out the full conversation on YouTube or Spotify by clicking the links below.

Listen on Spotify

Listen on Apple Podcasts

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.