Like A Girl

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9 Ways My Life Changed After I Quit My Full-Time Job To Build A Mobile App Startup

One year ago I quit my job and walked out of the sleek modern office block in Dublin city centre.

I’d decided to take a chance, enjoy the summer and see if I could make money developing iPhone and iPad apps.

Most people thought I was crazy

But I needed some time off after a busy year. I didn’t want to stay in work, being moderately happy. I didn’t want to look back in a years time and say ‘I wish I had done that’.

The worst part was saying goodbye to my colleagues. One year later, here is an overview of what has happened since then.

  1. How hard I work is now directly related to how much I earn.

In the past, hard work was directly related to how successful I was. Products were shipped on time, targets were met, everyone was happy.

The difference now is that while I am still shipping on time, meeting my own targets and being happy in the process, I don’t have to wait for a yearly performance review.

My salary is not dependent on other people’s decisions.

2. I can work wherever I want. I can also take holidays, travel and meet friends whenever I like.

I don’t need permission, I don’t need advance warning and I don’t feel guilty about temporarily abandoning my projects.

3. I can work in any country.

All I need is a laptop and wifi.

4. I can pay others to do my work for me.

Outsourcing and building a strong team, is one of the most amazing aspects of scaling a startup.

This is the next stage for me. I want to be able to know what’s going on, steer the ship in the right direction, but have a great team working for me so I don’t need to be online every day.

5. I have an opportunity to help people.

When you get a chance to help someone through your knowledge, and they put in the effort and execute, and you see their success it’s incredible.

6. I can go on any business trip I choose.

A poll in the office one day agreed that the ultimate business trip was a conference in California.

But there was zero chance or getting something like this approved with budget cuts, fiscal curtailments, etc. (I did try!)

Since I started my own business, I have flown out to network at a conference on the beach in California. And it won’t be the last time.

7. Constant learning.

Whenever I started a new job there was always pressure because you were playing catch up, but it was always really exciting as you were learning a ton of new stuff. I really enjoyed this stage. Then after a while in your job, you tended to have it all under control and it could be more mundane, with not much to learn any more in that role.

Sometimes you could be pushed to learn things you had no interest in, which can be exasperating. I learn so much every day in this job and that shows no signs of changing any time soon.

Instead of learning what a million other people learn in standard professional courses taught the world over,

I am learning from people who have already achieved tons, from online blogs, publications, books and international seminars.

8. You can never have too many friends.

I was worried a year ago that I would end up as some kind of weird hermit, banging on the keyword and only seen out once a week while I grew my business. There’d be no office chat, no water cooler moments and things were going to get quite lonely.

What actually happened is that because I was really motivated and enraptured by the app business, I didn’t notice the hours flying past during the day.

I made more of an effort to catch up with friends outside of work. And this year I have met TONS of new friends that I would never have met otherwise, from all around the world. This is crazy stuff

9. My commute is about 10 seconds from my kitchen to my desk.

I don’t waste time anymore.

10. I don’t get paid any more, I make money.

The satisfaction that I actually have the ability to turn $100 into $200 using my own knowledge and skills is mind blowing to me. I don’t think that will ever change.

This was all possible because I choose freedom, not security — by taking a risk and choosing a different life making photo apps.

Life is too short to waste your time doing something you don’t love.