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You Have my Permission to Quit

(8 minute read, get cozy)

Maybe due to the lack of viable options of people “like me” who I could emulate-Scary Spice was my preferred role model in the 90s, hence, the hair (seriously)-, I always wanted to be myself. Before we all stumbled on the profundity of the journey to be our “best selves” I dedicated my life to being “unapologetically myself” (just check my original Facebook wall). This gave me the self-assurance to know that I’d met the man of my dreams within seconds of talking to him, it gave me the confidence to quit my near-6 figure job, sell my big house in the ‘burbs and move to my tiny condo, start my own business and land my first client within my first week… The thing is, those are the more recent highlights. I’ve been taking insane chances my whole life in the name of “doing me.” But not in the “middle fingers up to the world and live in my parents’ house while I ‘find myself'” type of way but in the if the shoe doesn’t fit then get a different size type of way.

I consistently take risks other people think are crazy, that feel crazy to me and all I can say is- I wake up every day feeling like I’m living the life of my dreams. I’ve said before that taking a look at yourself gives you the freedom to decide if that’s who you want to be. I’d like to suggest an amendment- Taking a look at yourself gives you the freedom to decide if that’s who you’re meant to be. The thing is- you are exactly right. You just have to stop trying to fit your round peg into their square hole.

Here are the 9 way I figure out where I fit into this world:

  1. I learn all the things– This is what I call putting in the work. How in the world can you be sure what you want is what you want if you don’t know EVERYTHING about it? I was a Communications Coordinator at a local hospice going through a merger with 1,200 employees when I made the jump to Comcast, a national Fortune 50 company with more than 100,000 employees in a brand-new position. How? I learned all.the.things about the position I was applying for and how my current role translated. I had a lime green binder where I printed hundreds of articles and templates…There wasn’t a question about the industry you couldn’t ask me that I didn’t know something about.
  1. I stake out the competition, starting at the top– If I want to do something, I want to know who’s the best at it and how they got there. Coaching? The coach that inspired me had an article in Forbes talking about how she made $60k in one month. I basically memorized her website. Then I found a million other coaches and stalked them. I read their bios, checked them out on LinkedIn and learned everything I could about them and their stories.
  1. I quit– I know it feels like I’ve done a lot of work to quit here, and you’re right. But only at this point do I feel like I have enough information to make that decision. I won’t quit before I’m sure it’s not what I want.
  1. I don’t wait– When I was working at hospice during the merger, I saw an opportunity- No one was figuring out how to bring turn two competing organizations together into one big happy (read: productive) team, so I devised a plan and presented it to my COO. He loved it and let me run with it with a promise of a promotion. For my new role, I was asked to write a job description, which is where I stumbled on the Comcast job post. I was being promised a promotion that I was super-excited about and I applied to Comcast anyway. The job at Comcast came before the promised promotion, I didn’t wait, so I took it.
  1. I quit– I know you’re thinking- WTF. But yes, sometimes I make it all the way here and the second it feels like I’m forcing my puzzle piece to fit in, especially If it doesn’t feel good, I don’t do it. I renovated and sold my house for the sole purpose of buying this amazing 100 year old Spanish style home straight of an Isabel Allende novel. I fell so hard for this house that I wrote the owner a love letter about the house asking him to wait for us to renovate and sell our house so we could put an offer down and he said yes. He not only said yes, he accepted an offer from us based on hopes and dreams, because there was certainly no banks involved at that point. 24 hours after our newly-renovated home sold and 48 hours after we put down the earnest money, I reneged. Yup. I decided that I no longer wanted to move into that house and we didn’t.
  1. I go all in– I believe the only way to know if something isn’t meant to be is if you try everything in your power to get it and it doesn’t work out. That includes your willpower…There’s always more you COULD do, but did you do everything you’re WILLING to do to make this work out? When Philippe told me he loved me after 6 days, I was still living in Maryland and he was down here. I knew I didn’t want to be in a long-distance relationship and I knew that my personal relationships were the most important thing to me. I’d sworn off south Florida when I left but I knew I’d regret it if I didn’t go all in. So I broke my own heart and left the home I had with my sister and nieces to be with a man I barely knew.
  1. I quit– You heard that right. I started at Comcast as the Manager of Employee Experience with my sights set on being the Vice President of Employee Experience. I’d met her and I knew I wanted to be her, I started courting her boss and mapping out my career trajectory… Three years, 15 lbs and a tobacco addiction later, I realized, this isn’t who I was meant to be. Right before I left, Comcast introduced this “Value of Staying” chart that translates your benefits into dollars and cents. They produce this nice little document for each individual, which made it very clear that I wouldn’t just be leaving my salary, but my discount on cable and internet which is like $1 million in savings alone, theme park tickets and health benefits all amounting to like $20k more than I was making… I clenched my asshole real tight and I left anyway.
  1. I call my shot– I set my sights high. I used to believe that it was best to set low expectations so you’re never disappointed. Firstly, I suck at setting low expectations. And secondly, you know what low expectations get you? Constant disappointment. I called my shot with Comcast and got it. I called my shot with that house and got it. I called my shot with my hubby and I love him more than I even thought possible. I don’t make all my shots but I wouldn’t have made any of them if I didn’t call it first, which leads into my last point..
  1. I’m not scared of rejection– I grew up first generation Haitian American, my father’s default answer to any request I had was “no.” No, you can’t sleep over that friend’s house. No, you can’t have a 16th birthday party. No, you can’t drive my luxury vehicle. No to me just meant that I had to come up with a better proposition, and guess what? I had tons of sleepovers. I had an 18th birthday party. AND I drove the Benz a few times.

You think the way to success is to change who you are to become who you think you should be and I’m here to tell you that the path to success is to be who are. You just haven’t done the work to figure out who that is and you think you’re too far gone to change direction. Even though she wasn’t paying my bills at the time, my mom gave me permission to quit my first job. It was so hard, I was so ashamed that I hated the job I thought I’d love, I’d invested so much time working toward this-countless internships and a whole degree in the field…Her permission meant the world to me. If you need it, I give you permission to quit right where you are. It sucked every.single.time I quit but I can attest- “sometimes things fall apart so better things can fall together.” (Marilyn Monroe) Don’t let who you think you should be get in the way of who you are.

If you need help figuring out who you’re meant to be, give me call. The first conversation is always free.

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1 thought on “You Have my Permission to Quit”

  1. I love this and agree 100%: “You think the way to success is to change who you are to become who you think you should be and I’m here to tell you that the path to success is to be who are.”

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