Taking the Plunge: 1 Year Quitiversary!!!

Some of the links in this post are from our sponsors. Read our disclosure to see how we make money.

Unhappy in Your Job

Happy Monday everyone! If you’ve been a reader of Frugal Rules for very long you know already that Mrs. Frugal Rules and I run our own advertising and copywriting business. In all fairness, Mrs. Frugal Rules started this little venture into entrepreneurship just over three years ago and as of this past Saturday I have been at this ‘running a business’ thing for one year now! I remember spending several years in a job where I was expected to sell bad financial products to elderly clients and had the “pleasure” of sitting next to someone who thought it was cool to groom himself while at the office and thinking there HAD to be more. This was beyond misery, it just felt like something was wrong and something had to be done about it and I could wait no longer.  If you’re just new to the site, or have not read the series I encourage you to check out some of the posts that make up my “Taking the Plunge” series:

What My Quitiversary Means to Me

I remember the months leading up to making the decision and we were discussing on a seemingly nightly basis the issue of whether or not we could do it. We looked at our finances inside and out. We came up with our bare minimum budget and looked at what kind of cash reserve we’d need. We also looked at the client base Mrs. Frugal Rules had managed to build up and the prospects she had created. Those were all the easy parts. The difficult part was the three little blessings we have and the fear of what it would look like and the fear that we would be living off of government cheese and in a refrigerator box by month three. I don’t know if it was sheer stupidity, or the desire for something more, but we did take the leap after much introspection. Now that we’re a year in to this I can look back and see how I have grown personally and professionally and what that means going forward. It means that I am no longer going to let fear hold me back. For years I had the desire to be my own boss and start something from the ground up and I did nothing about it. There are many reasons why I did not, but fear was no doubt the leading cause. It also means that I am no longer looking at what’s expected or what is considered “normal” , but am pushing the boundaries to find something that works for us. Ultimately, it has meant being more comfortable with the idea of creating something for ourselves in order to provide a better financial future for our family and enjoying the flexibility that comes with running our own business. I have said it before and it warrants repeating, that freedom of creating something yourself and being paid directly for it is quite intoxicating and once you get that taste you want more of it. I will be the first to admit that running your own business is not for everyone and that is ok, but I find it to be incredibly rewarding. Here are a few of the other rewarding things I have discovered since quitting my job:

  • While I wanted to tell my boss to take his job and shove it I am SO glad that I did not.
  • There will be times that you doubt yourself. That is ok; it can and does make you stronger.
  • Keep your goals in front of you. As a visionary, that is what keeps me going many days.
  • There will be both good days and bad days; learn to appreciate them both.
  • You may have to work on a Holiday, but you’ll also get to take the next two days off…learn to be flexible. (I am still learning that one).
  • People will lie right to your face. Don’t count on that new client until you get the first job. Don’t spend the payment until you see the check.
  • Contracts, contracts, contracts…enough said.
  • People will look at you quizzically when you tell them what you do…I guess advertising is a confusing term. 😉
  • Some will think that you have the easiest job in the world. Newsflash…you won’t be working for yourself long if you sleep in until 1:00 p.m. to watch Jerry Springer reruns and to give in to your Cheetos and Coke habit.
  • Don’t work yourself in the ground, you’ll only pay for it in the long run.
  • There are few things in the world as gratifying as seeing something you have created benefitting others.
  • It still is possible to be a part of something bigger than yourself. It’s simply more rewarding when you’re the one who helped create it.

I am sure there are other things I could list, but these are the ones that come to my mind at first thought. I would also like to add that many of these things can also be applied to money and finances. We have seen it personally ourselves and when it comes down to it you need to do what’s best for you and your family, not to mention the fact of what will put you on more solid ground in the long run. It’s funny how life can be that way sometimes. You learn something in one area and see how it can be translated to another. The key is, do not let fear hold you back! Find what you want and go for it. Enjoy the ride too because that’s half the fun.


What about you? What is something you want but are being held back from for some reason? What do you think the most rewarding thing would be to you in running your own business?


Photo courtesy of: Kalyan Chakravarthy

The following two tabs change content below.

John is the founder of Frugal Rules, a dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry whose writing has been featured in Forbes, CNBC, Yahoo Finance and more.

Passionate about helping people learn from his mistakes, John shares financial tools and tips to help you enjoy the freedom that comes from living frugally. One of his favorite tools is Personal Capital , which he used to plan for retirement and keep track of his finances in less than 15 minutes each month.

Another one of John's passions is helping people save $80 per month by axing their expensive cable subscriptions and replacing them with more affordable ones, like Hulu with Live TV.


  • Glen @ Monster Piggy Bank says:

    The most rewarding thing would be avoiding the peak hour traffic rush and being able to work in my PJ’s from home.

  • Jon @ MoneySmartGuides says:

    I really enjoy reading the posts about this. I might be in a situation where my significant other works while I stay home to raise the kids in the next few years. It will be interesting to balance out raising kids and blogging full-time but I am excited about the possibility. But right now, there is plenty of work to do. We are “practicing” by living off of one paycheck and trying to save as much as possible and keep all debt to an absolute minimum so that we have the option of affording one person to stay at home.

    • John says:

      That is a really great way to approach it Jon. Truth be told, I wish that we could go back and do that. Thankfully we had a pretty solid plan and budget in place that we turned out just fine.

  • DC @ Young Adult Money says:

    Congratulations! I have been reading your site for a LONG time now and definitely have enjoyed reading about your transition. I think having the ability to prioritize everything on my own without clearing it by a manager, director, vp, etc. would be the most rewarding thing about self-employment. The ability to make as much (or little) as I want would be very high on the list.

    • John says:

      Thanks DC! It really is something, personally, to sit back and read those older posts and see again this journey. Not having to clear things by others is HUGE for us. We just discuss it, come to a plan and go from there. The lack of bureaucracy is awesome! πŸ™‚

  • Greg@ClubThrifty says:

    Congratulations! I hope that we are feeling the same a year from now πŸ™‚

  • Matt Becker says:

    Congrats on making it this far! It’s definitely inspiring for the rest of us. For a while I was scared to start a blog. But you’re absolutely right that you just have to face the fear and get started. I have another venture that I’m considering, that’s a bigger financial commitment and is even scarier. Fear is still definitely part of what’s holding me back, so I’m trying to make progress one little piece at a time. Hearing that others have done it and seeing their thought process is always helpful.

    • John says:

      Thanks Matt! I think fear can be a good thing, on one hand, as it helps you take a step back but I see now how I was just allowing it to hold me back. It definitely is encouraging to see how others fare, especially something like this.

  • Canadian Budget Binder says:

    You are both such brave people where I don’t think I could do what you did. Fear is a strong hold however in my case it’s just not my life long dream, I love my job. I think for those that are so passionate about something that they can breathe it in every day, I say don’t let anything hold you back. When I moved to Canada and left my life behind I was scared. A new way of life, a new world where people talked fast and with an accent to me (yes Canadians have an accent) even though the wife says no I’m the one with the accent. We each hear what we want to hear, feel what we want to feel and take risks when we want to because it feels like the right thing to do. You John are correct running an online business or blog is MUCH work and for those that think it’s an easy job is sadly mistaken. On that note I wish you many more years of success, you deserve it.
    Cheers mate

    • John says:

      Thanks for your kind words Mr. CBB! That is awesome you love your job, that is something not many have and really is a blessing to have. I do agree though, do not allow anything to hold you back…you never know what life might have for you.

  • Laurie @thefrugalfarmer says:

    Happy Quitiversary, my friend!!! I just love your honesty here. You’re so right about how often we let fear dictate our decisions, you know? Good for you for kicking your fear to the curb and taking the plunge, and thanks for inspiring the rest of us. πŸ™‚

    • John says:

      Thanks Laurie! Yes, fear can totally run our lives if you allow it. Healthy fear is one thing, but allowing it to dictate your life as a whole is something else altogether.

  • Michelle says:

    Love this post! I can’t wait until my quitiversary πŸ™‚

  • Jen @ Healthful Saver says:

    Congratulations! I think the most rewarding thing about running one’s own business would be that you aren’t limited by other people’s work ethic. If you want to go at a project full-steam, you can!

    • John says:

      Thanks Jen! Yes, that is a great benefit to running your own business. You can take the work you want and do not have to clear it b anyone else.

  • Jai Catalano says:

    I stayed home with both of my kids and then we decided after they turned 1 to send them to daycare. It’s not cheap but we are very blessed that we did.

  • Mr. 1500 says:

    Wow, this is pretty awesome and inspiring.

    My issue is a chicken and egg situation. Mrs. 1500 and I have plenty of ideas, but with 2 kids and a job, we just don’t have the time to put into them. We will make them happen, but after I am financially independent and can leave my job without fear. I am probably being too conservative, but memories of growing up almost poor haunt me strongly, 30 years later.

    • John says:

      Thanks Mr. 1500!

      I completely understand what you’re saying, especially with having little ones. I was there just over a year ago. Ultimately “you” have to do what is right for you and your family, though for us it just made too much sense to not do it.

  • Grayson @ Debt Roundup says:

    Congratulations on the one year John. That is a great achievement and I am sure you will be celebrating many more of these. When I was running my business, my most rewarding part was watching the business grow into something I could be proud of. That was why I got into it and I enjoyed it.

    • John says:

      Thanks Grayson & I hope it’s a lot more. πŸ™‚ I can totally relate to that sense of pride, it just makes me want to see it grow bigger.

  • Kim@Eyesonthedollar says:

    I think the first year would have to be the hardest. Congrats on having the life you want. I’m not quite in the same boat, but I do know how scary it is to leave a traditional schedule in favor of doing your own thing. With doing fill in work, I’m working the whole weed of the 4th of July, except the actual holiday. Everyone else wants to be off that week, so I can make bank, then take off the next week. Time and days really become irrelevant when you decide your own schedule. Looking forward to hearing about year two.

    • John says:

      I would tend to agree Kim, especially as so much can happen in that first year. Great point about time becoming irrelevant once you can set your own schedule, that is a huge bonus.

  • Andrew@LivingRichCheaply says:

    Happy Quitiversary! My wife is leaving her job in a few weeks as we have a little one coming soon. Your story is definitely inspiring and hopefully we will be able to to do something similar.

  • Thomas says:

    Congrats! i took a look at the older posts and there are a lot of good tips about what is needed to help build your business. I thought my previous employer would have been my first client since I handled all the PPC, digital marketing and SEO for them but still nothing. I need to get those boxes of doughnuts and head out with my business cards. Letting people know who you and what you do is big. Networking is a key aspect. A lot of people thought I was crazy for leaving a great paying job but I am great a what I do so why not do it on my own. My family and friends for the most part supported my. A lot of people know I already have the working for others so it was just the right thing to do. Congrats on the quitiversary!!!

    • John says:

      Thanks Thomas! We thought the same thing about my wife’s previous employer, but have seen nothing from them. Ultimately, that’s likely a good thing. I agree, networking is vital and so many miss that. How is anyone going to know about a business if they do not hear about it? Congrats to you for taking the plunge and – if you love it AND do a good job at it, then that’s half of the battle.

  • Kurt @ Money Counselor says:

    Congratulations John, I think your plunge took loads of courage on both of your parts, especially with the three “blessings.” You clearly didn’t feel good about the work you were doing before, and that’s a tough way to live–working purely for cash, not personal satisfaction. Glad you started the blog too!

    • John says:

      Thanks Kurt! I still look back many days and wonder if we were foolish doing what we did since we have three little ones, but it provides for a wealth of lessons for them and we’re happy doing what we’re doing.

  • Jake @ Common Cents Wealth says:

    Awesome post and congrats on the 1 year quitiversary! I’m currently reading Jon Acuff’s newest book “Quitter” and it talks about this very topic. Fear can be a good thing because it’ll keep you out of trouble, but it also has a tendancy to hold you back. I hope to one day work for myself and I really hope that fear does not stop me when that opportunity arises.

    • John says:

      Thanks Jake! I should take a look at that book, as I am sure I could learn from it. Yes, fear can be good, but when it holds you back is when it becomes a problem. Much like the rest of life, it’s a balance.

  • Girl Meets Debt says:

    Congrats on 1 year since taking the plunge John! They say the first year of self-employment is the hardest but you’ve made it look ilke a breeze πŸ˜› Running your own business and working on a successful PF blog – You must be a machine! πŸ™‚

    • John says:

      Thanks GMD! Lol, I wish it was a breeze. πŸ˜‰ It has been a lot of hard work, but well worth it.

      Ha ha…I wish I was a machine, then I wouldn’t need sleep. πŸ˜‰ Sadly, I am all too human. πŸ™‚

  • Adam @ Money Bulldog says:

    Congratulations John. I think I’m 10 years in now and the good news is it doesn’t get any less challenging! πŸ™‚ All the best to you and Mrs Frugal Rules in the future.

    • John says:

      Thanks Adam! Wow, I did not know you’ve been at it for that long, that’s awesome sir! I am sure there is much I could learn from you. πŸ™‚

  • Shannon @ The Heavy Purse says:

    Congratulations, John! One year down and many more successful years ahead of you, my friend! It is a big scary leap, but when you want something so badly, you have to at least give it a try. Otherwise, you live with the woulda, shoulda, couldas, which is hard to do. Congrats, again, on taking the plunge!

  • Mike@WeOnlyDoThisOnce says:

    Great points in retrospect. I agree with you on the boss issue; always better not to burn bridges, even if it gives you temporary satisfaction.

    • John says:

      I agree Mike. It would’ve felt good in the moment, but just would not have been worth it in the long run.

  • anna says:

    Congratulations, John, and those are some great learning lessons! You took the leap to do what many want but few ever take action to do, and look at you now. I think facing fear in the face is a huge one, and very relate-able to many other goals beyond one’s comfort zone. Best wishes for many more successful years ahead of you!

    • John says:

      Thanks Anna! I agree they have been great learning lessons and ones that I hope to take with us for the long run.

  • Pauline says:

    congrats! hope the next year is even better! for me the best of no office work is doing my schedule and working if and when I want to. Nap at 2pm, work at 2am? sure!

  • Nick @ says:

    I’m very happy for you John!

  • Greg@Thriftgenuity says:

    Happy anniversary of striking out on your own. I think that as you mention, the gratification of seeing something you created grow and help others would be the best reward to me. I’ve been looking at plating some seeds here and there to see what might come up. It’s nice to see examples of folks that have made it work.

    • John says:

      Thanks Greg. Yes, seeing things like that come to fruition really is neat to see and shows us that we’re really doing something. It just encourages me to continue to run the race and find new ways to grow.

  • AverageJoe says:

    Congrats, crazy man! I do love it when people think I have an easy job because I work from home. It could be an incredibly easy job….if I didn’t want to make any money.

  • E.M. says:

    Congratulations to you and Mrs. Frugal Rules! I can’t imagine how rewarding it must feel to look back on a year of growth and seeing everything you accomplished. Imagine how it will feel at 5 years πŸ™‚ Best of luck and thanks for offering inspiration to the rest of us!

    I think having control over all the operations would be the best part. You get to dictate everything on your own terms – when you work, how much you work, who you work with, no commuting and not having to wait on an answer from someone else before you make a move.

    • John says:

      Thanks E.M.! Yes, I do wonder what it’ll look like five years from now and hope that it gets even better from here.

      Yes, having control over the operations is a great bonus. We dictate what we want to do, whether or not we want the work or even what the specific client – it can be very rewarding.

  • Budget & the Beach says:

    Congratulations and absolutely great advice! Especially about burning any bridges with people you used to work for..even if they were idiots! πŸ™‚

    • John says:

      Thanks Tonya! It was awfully tempting to do so, especially with my boss…though I am glad that I did not looking back on it.

  • Marissa @ Thirtysixmonths says:

    Congrats on your 1 year! We should have a virtual twitter party!

  • Alexa says:

    I have been wanting to rely on myself for income and have been practicing more here lately. I am such a good employee for other people so when I sit down to do my writing assignments I ask myself how hard I would work if it were for someone else and then I try to do that for myself.

    I hope to build up enough income streams to work for myself in the near future. Congratulations to you and good luck in the future!!

    • John says:

      I think you’d be amazed at how hard you’d work for yourself if given the opportunity. Putting food on the table is quite the motivation. πŸ™‚ That said, looking to build up various streams of income is definitely the wise way to go.

  • The First Million is the Hardest says:

    Congrats! I’m a firm believer in not burning bridges. It can be SO tempting, but it will never be worth it in the long run. You never know when you might meet that person again down the line.

  • Daisy @ Prairie Eco Thrifter says:

    Happy 1 year quitiversary! I’m sure you’ll continue to learn and evolve. It seems to be a trend, quitting ones job for self employment, at least in the blogosphere, so I’m glad it’s working out so well for you!

    • John says:

      Thanks Daisy! Yes it does seem to be the trend these days and hope that we never stop learning and growing at this.

  • Pretired Nick says:

    Wow, quitiversary! I wish I’d thought to write something like this on my one-year mark (April 1 of this year). I haven’t missed it even once! I love this piece so much!

  • John@MoneyPrinciple says:

    Congrats. Now for the quinquitiversary in 4 years time!

  • Troy says:

    Congradulations! I knew when I was a kid that I never wanted to work for someone else, so I didn’t. Glad I made the career choice that I did.

  • Squirrelers says:

    Congrats on a year! Great that it’s worked out, and it’s good to see encouragement in the sense of suggesting that people let go of fears. It means something when the person suggesting that has been through a year.

  • KK @ Student Debt Survivor says:

    Happy Quitiversary! (the first time I read that I read it as “quiltiversary” and I thought to myself I didn’t know that John’s a quilter). Strangely this is the 2nd or 3rd time this week I’ve misread someone’s blog post title. Ii think I’m losing it a little bit lol. Anyway, I’m so happy that you guys are living the dream and working for yourselves. I’m hoping in the next few years I’ll be doing the same. It’s a big risk, but one that I think it worth taking.

    • John says:

      Lol, thanks KK. If I was a quilter then we’d all be in trouble. πŸ˜‰ It is a big risk to take, but if you can swing it then it can be a great payoff.

  • Jim says:

    Happy Quitversary John, we shall celebrate next time I am in Buffett Country! Enjoy, and I look forward to the year two!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *