Eight years ago today, on Lunar New Year Day, I left the corporate mother ship to begin an unknown venture towards entrepreneurship. I saw the Lunar New Year theme as a sign of new beginnings and fortune, and it’s fitting that it’s 8 years to the day, as the number 8 symbolizes prosperity.
It’s important to go back and reflect because you can only connect the dots looking backward, so the first thing I did was to go back and read my blog post talking about that last day. The tone of the post was very lighthearted, probably from the feeling of liberation. I’m guessing the fear and uncertainty hadn’t set in yet.
Facebook memories helped me look back some more. My post from the day after I left:
The weather was really bad in Cincinnati those couple days, one of those “wintry mixes” where it half rains and half snows, only to freeze later into a layer of ice. My sump pump had stopped working and the basement of my house flooded with icy cold water, so I spent the first day of freedom taking stabilizing that situation. I moved out of the house a few months later, not about to let anything get in the way of my freedom!
After I stabilized that situation, I started back to Milwaukee to join my family for SuperBowl XLV, where the Packers were playing the Steelers… What a great game as the Aaron Rodgers-led Packers brought the Lombardi trophy back home.
I had posted about this being my 8 year anniversary, and a long time friend reminded me of a Facebook conversation I had with her back in 2009 about my vision for the future. This is an excerpt 2/19/09, in response to talking about my “early life crisis.” This was 2 full years before I left (10 years ago this month):
I’m in a slightly different position than people who are typically in a “crisis”: I actually know what I want, just trying to figure out how to get there in the least painful way possible.
Work: I want to own my own business doing something I love doing, make a lot of money at it, and then doing more of what I love doing.
Life: I want to play softball, watch sports, do stuff I love doing, see my family, and have a place with a view of the water
Personal: I want to marry a hot chick (she doesn’t need to be rich because I plan on being rich) who’s compassionate and intelligent, and have a family of my own (ideally after I’ve made a lot of money so I don’t hafta worry about balancing work)
One thing I’m strongly considering is taking a 3 month leave of absence… the company lets you do that every 7 years. Would give me a nice taste of life without a paycheck and might give me the right motivation…
How fun and interesting to look at this ten years later! I’ve almost accomplished the work part. I would say I’m running my own business and making money on it, but “a lot of money” yet. I still play softball, watch a lot of sports, I have a place with the view of the Pacific Ocean on Redondo Beach, and my family has moved to the area too so I see them once a week. I also took the leave of absence that I talked about as well that gave me a feeling for what being on your own would be like. I’m still missing the hot chick. 🙂
But anyways, if I could show my 8 or 10 year ago self what I would become, he would no doubt be ecstatic. This year, business was good enough to point of me making my exiting corporate salary. As mentioned above, I have a nice view of the beach from my apartment. Interesting to see where I will be in the next 5-10 years!