“…reading your words has inspired me to go after my own dreams.” ~Reader email from A.J. last week

Over the time that I quit my job, started this blog and began to embark upon an unknown path to become a lifelong author and positively change the world with inspiring messages, I could have netted over $70,000 in salary plus benefits while working at any “normal” 9-to-5 desk job.

But, I chose not to.

In fact, I’ve even turned down two job opportunities in the last two years since I said “I quit”, which was prompted by a time of debilitating depression and my so-called “quarterlife” crisis.

Could I have started a blog and built my platform as a thought-leader and aspiring author on nights and weekends while still grinding it out at an ordinary job? Probably. Would it have been easy? Not likely, but it also wouldn’t have been rocket science. Would I be in the same position I find myself today? Maybe, maybe not.

So, why did I do it?

1) I’m confident that I will achieve far greater financial comfort in doing what I am 100% invested in, passionate about, and that can make (and, is already making) a remarkably positive impact in the lives of others across the globe than doing anything else.

2) I believe in my mission, in people, and in my message.

3) I believe that my alternative leadership philosophy and future book, Lead Without Followers (formerly, The Quiet Leader), will help save the meaning of leadership in our world and inspire a new wave of conventional and unconventional leaders to rise up, both at home and abroad.

4) My persuasive writing skills and my content creation and idea-curating abilities have benefited incredibly… to the tune of thousands of hours of dedicated practice.

5) I knew I could start changing lives, right now, and refused to wait until “later” — some vague and elusive point in the future that I knew, deep down, I would really never “arrive” at unless I made the outright decision to begin, now.

6) Escaping from ego-dominated work environments and unhealthy social cultures that skew morals, forcibly distort values, and discourage people from taking the initiative and embodying leadership.

7) I want it all to fall on my shoulders. No excuses, no one else to blame. I can shoulder the weight of the world… on behalf of something I truly believe in. Whether that means saving it, helping people, inspiring good…

8) I want to be a superhero. And no radioactive spiders have bitten me… yet.

9) If I died today, I know I have lived true to myself and will have left a positive, inspiring, and lasting impact on this world — however quietly.

10) I think I’ve personally matured and learned far more in the last couple of years than I would have in any other walk of life — something that I really believe would have taken me upwards of a full decade to achieve, otherwise.

11) Every moment I invest in this blog is an investment in my digital platform — my own personal “writing enterprise” — and contributes to my dreamed career as an author and speaker.

Yes, I want this blog and my writing to transition into a wildly successful career

I want to travel the country (and the world) speaking to diverse audiences of all ages with people from different walks of life on how to become genuine leaders, devoid of the corrupting forces that have plagued the human species over history. I’m getting close to that point already.

I know I will author best-selling books — my goal is to write 15 — that challenge the status quo and propel inspired growth in readers while blending genres of spirituality, positive psychology, personal leadership, science, political theory and more to create wildly life-changing works.

This endeavor is not a get-rich-quick dream. Hardly.

And, while I’m ready (really!) to create and offer some truly fantastic e-book products and guides for you in the next few weeks that I will — gasp! — actually encourage you to buy, after two full years of living off of savings and the mish-mash of freelance work and scraping coins off the sidewalk just to get by, I can officially say that I’m ready :)

And I hope you are too.

Yeah, I gave up $70,000 to write this blog for you, patiently confident and ever-determined that it will be a major — if not the most significant — factor that I’ll look back upon many years from now and know that it truly set me up for financial comfort for the rest of my life.

But by that point, any concerns about my own financial well-being will have been long-since replaced by altruistic motivations and philanthropic endeavors that will endure far beyond my lifetime. And maybe even my own comic book, too… no spiders bites required.

Flickr photo credit: Nick Ares