There’s a story in Sun Tzu’s “Art of War”, about general Hsiang Yu, who sank his ships after crossing a river, to motivate his men to fight like they have nothing to lose. As they couldn’t run back to the ships, their only option was to go forward and fight for their lives.
Last year I was working as a Marketing Manager for a U.K. based company. While I was earning pretty well, about four times the medium wage in Romania, I was already fed-up with my job and have already thought of quitting several times. But I was scared!
What will I do? What if things don’t work out? What if I’m just giving away something good for nothing?
I was aware of the fact that things never end up being as bad as you imagine them to be, but I was too corrupted by fear and influenced by questions like the ones above. I was a slave to my monthly income, something I have never wished to become.
As days went by without me doing nothing else but thinking of a better future, I realized that I would either have to take a radical decision, or spend all my life working to make someone else’s dream come true, instead of my own. I knew I had to sink all my ships to the point of no return so that my only option would be to go forward.
It was the 24th of January 2014 when I sent my resignation and set myself free from the modern world of a corporatist robot and into the unknown world of freelancing. It was a mixed feeling of excitement and fear, and a strong desire of doing everything in my power to be my own boss from that point forward. My girlfriend, that was also my colleague in the same marketing team resigned 24 days before me (she had more guts than me 🙂 ).
To be honest, I had some help – The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris. Not that I needed any extra motivation, but the book encouraged me to see that there are other options besides a job and that being free is utterly amazing! For me, it’s probably one of the best books I have ever read and I’m glad I stumbled upon it at the right time.
It’s been about 18 months since that moment. Although we’re not even half-way into the battle, I do feel like sinking the ships at that moment was the best thing I could have done and that freelancing is the best job anyone can have.
Our next step was giving birth to our copywriting agency, but that’s another story, for another time.