Why I Quit My High Paying Career to Walk Dogs Instead!

If you're reading this, you're more then likely a part of my immediate family, or a friend or perhaps you're in the same position I was in about 4 years ago. Reading every book and article you can find about someone who's quit their career for let's just say....an unconventional lifestyle. You're looking for something to give you that extra push so you can gain the courage to make a change. Well, that's why I'm writing this, maybe this will be your push!

Four years ago I remember sitting in a hospital lobby waiting for a surgery to begin that I  needed to support because I was a Clinical Specialist for a medical device company. However, all I could think about was how fast my heart was racing, praying it would be a smooth surgery to make my job in the operating room a heck of a lot less stressful and how badly I didn't want to be there. Cue the internal monologue...I use to love my job...what's wrong with me...I always do this...I have to stick it out, I just need to suck it up...is this what adulting is all about, it sucks....ahhh, but the pay is good and people are going to think I'm crazy if I quit!

So I took to Google on my company iPhone to distract myself from what was to come that afternoon. That's when I found MY push, Noelle Hancock's viral Cosmopolitan article and that was it, I knew my days in the corporate world where numbered.  
Distracting myself from the inevitable at work was definitely not a one time occurrence, especially in the last year I was with that company. Any chance I could get I was researching other jobs, other career paths, school courses, places I could move (ahhumm, BC), pretty much anything to get me out of the cushy, listless situation I was in. 

You see, in my family I'm kinda known for just packing up and taking off. Like the many times I moved across the country or to a completely different country all together. I adore traveling but part of me has also never felt at home where ever I tried to live, so off again I'd go. I also have a long list of career paths that I've attempted and quit, hence my dilemma with resigning from my career, this was obviously becoming a pattern. Take for example, the aesthetician certificate I got but never used, the 1.5 years of Registered Massage Therapy training I did but dropped out halfway through, the online hollistic nutrition course that I also gave up on...ohhh and as of late, the online interior design course that I signed up for and only completed a few modules. 

This all looks pretty bad now that's it written down but hear me out folks! I've just ALWAYS listened to that nagging voice in my heart or maybe it's my gut....I've yet to figure that out, but it lets me know when it's time for a change. And I do LOVE change! I've also always told myself that I would never be one of those people stuck in a job or place that they weren't excited about. Or maybe that's just all the millennial entitlement propaganda I've been eating up all these years, you know...FOLLOW YOUR PASSION! 

Anyway, some might consider all these failed attempts a bad character trait. Maybe you think I'm not driven or I lack motivation but I like to think of them as learning opportunities for my hummingbird type personality, which I learned all about while watching Elizabeth Gilberts SuperSoul Sessions, The Flight of the Hummingbird: The Curiosity-Driven Life. I finally understand why I do what I do and that it's OK, (I highly recommend you watch it)! I've learned something different from everything that I've tried and when I feel I've gained enough from it, I tend to move onto the next venture. 
I was 30 years old when I finally made the decision to hand in my resignation. After 8 years of my professional career, I left a brilliant group of colleagues and friends to start a new chapter. I did it for ME. For personal development. For the hunt for happiness and fulfillment, as cliche as that may sound. I was going to start a dog walking business, it made perfect sense. I LOVE dogs, love being outdoors, can never sit still, I get to be my own boss and I had reason to believe there was a demand for it in the town we were moving to.

Don't get me wrong, I didn't just peace outta my corporate career with no back up plan or financial stability. There was a strategy in place with my ultra supportive long-term boyfriend (who has a wonderful career of his own). I would sell my condo and we'd invest in a house in the country, he would add me to his benefit plan, I'd pay off my car and then put enough money away to cover my living expenses for at least a year. I should also mention we have no kids to provide for, we only had one adorable puppy at the time. We were more then capable to handle such a big change and I was itching to get started on a new adventure in life!
Cut to two years later after leaving the big city and I've just trekked 16km through snowy forest trails all day, sweaty, covered in dog hair and paw prints, a poop bag in one hand and dog leash in the other. I'm EXHAUSTED and happy! I'm an entrepreneur and proud owner of a growing dog walking business. I no longer wake up in the morning in a panic attack worrying about my work day. I set my own schedule, do my own marketing and have created something out of nothing but an idea. My partner and I now have two dogs, still no kids (that deserves an entire post of its own) and I'm finally learning to get grounded in one place. 

My hummingbird ways still show themselves every now and then, like this blog for instance. I always need to be creating and trying new things, this is what keeps me going and makes life exciting.

All-in-all, I can say with 100% certainty, I have no regrets about quitting my $100K year career to start walking dogs. It's not all rainbows and puppy kisses though, I don't want to give you the wrong impression. Running a small business obviously has its struggles. I work longer hours then I ever have before and I'm constantly thinking about the business, there's no down time (I'm still learning to create balance and boundaries) but the benefits are so damn rewarding. Like when you reach a new milestone and all your hard work starts paying off, literally!

So, dog walking may not be your ultimate goal but whatever it is, I hope you find that extra push, make a plan and make it happen. You may surprise yourself of where you'll end up!

But most of all, enjoy the journey my friends!