Life Goes On: What’s Happened In A Year Since I Quit My Job

Every year, I define 3 life goals that always seem to manifest even though I don’t focus on them too much or remind myself of them all the time. I see this as a great way to simplify your life purpose and direction.

In 2014 I had 3 career goals and 3 life goals which I successfully achieved.

My 3 career goals were:

  1. Gain management experience (I thought it was a miracle after a few rejections when I finally got a Management Associate to report to me (not to sound douchey) even if it was just for 6 months and he was only a year or two younger than me)
  2. Travel to another country for work (San Francisco)
  3. Give a thought leadership presentation in front of a large corporate audience (I was invited to speak at Dreamforce, the annual Salesforce conference in San Francisco. That’s a blog post for another day).

2014 was simultaneously the best and worst year of my career because of politics and egos but I’m glad it all happened because thinking about all the times I broke down crying at work or after work led me to make the decision to leave.

My 3 life goals were:

  1. Declutter
  2. Stay fit
  3. Stay happy (I went through phases of depression)

In 2015 I simplified these goals even more and just had 3 life goals

  1. Quit my job (one of the best decisions I’ve ever made)
  2. Be married at 30 (I don’t know why I wanted this, I was pretty happy being single for the past few years but I thought 30 would be a good time to start, I guess. I didn’t really take this seriously because I turned 30 in August 2015 and didn’t know how likely it would be to find the man of my dreams let alone marry him but it bloody worked out alright)
  3. Keep finding new, positive life experiences (so many from my travels and life experiences to blog about still!)

2016

Now in 2016 I just want to continue what I’m doing in terms of collecting good memories, pushing myself to see how successful I can be in my foray into eCommerce and focusing on helping my family in whatever way I can.

What’s Happened In A Year

It’s actually been over a year since I quit my 8-year corporate job and I’ve been jobless up to now. It’s funny how people show sympathy or pity when I tell them I’m unemployed at the moment (this ends conversations with telemarketers and fundraising street teams very quickly, to my delight) when in fact it’s something I’ve been very proud of.

The journey has been pretty fun with some minor bumps but I’m here to show that it’s possible to greatly improve your life and find something that fits you better when it comes to what you ‘do for a living’.

I wrote about my journey in the lead up to my resignation and briefly what happened after. I had so many ideas, so many plans but terrified of everything at the same time. I knew anything was better than staying in a shitty situation. Most of the ideas didn’t come to fruition which is always a blessing, because eventually you’ll just find the best one for you and stick to it; focus on that one thing with all your might and become successful faster as a result of the simplicity in your life.

Oh yeah, and I met my future husband and eloped in Hawaii, all in 10 months.

The Dance Programs in Orphanages Idea

There were grandiose plans of setting up dance and life skills education programs at orphanages around the Philippines and Thailand to start, which I had discussed with my good friend Jerry Snell. Jerry was the Creative Director for the Sydney Chinese New Year Festival one year and he found out about me and my dance studio as he was looking for all sorts of performers. We quickly struck up a tight bond and I was amazed with this energetic, creative, eccentric Canadian who spoke fluent French, Mandarin and Thai (I still haven’t heard of anyone who can speak those language combinations) and probably a few others I wasn’t aware of.

He was one of the founders of Cirque Du Soleil and was heavily into social work and programs for orphans in South East Asian countries. I was continually inspired by him over the years and we had just discussed my plans to leave my company and visit him in a remote village where he lived on the Thailand/Burma border shortly after my Dirty 30 USA trip to discuss setting up hip hop dance and life skills programs. We shared a passion for educating orphans, especially the stateless children left by their families after fleeing their hometown, about sustainability and safety. They were easy targets for human traffickers and it sickened us to hear about more and more of the vulnerable kids be kidnapped and sold into slavery.

It was only two weeks after my last day of work that he passed away unexpectedly and the world was robbed of another kind-hearted soul who had major impact on the injustices of the world.

I know Jerry would be keeping an eye on me from his circus in the clouds, guiding me to make the necessary contacts and decisions towards continuing his work. Someday. When the time is right. RIP my friend.

The Freelancing Idea

I quickly realised that becoming a freelancer still meant having a ‘boss’ and working with clients and I just didn’t want to do that especially if I were on my own. I could devise digital or marketing strategies for companies or contract for an agency but that just didn’t sound very appealing. Plus I wanted to be location-independent, one of my life goals for 2015.

The Getting Another Job Idea

I actually went to a few job interviews, spoke to some recruiters and connected with pretty senior people who were interested in hiring me after I went on my extended overseas trips. I’m still not enticed by the thought of being told when and where I could work, what I could work on, etc. I just want to keep my freedom.

The Idea That Stuck – Selling Stuff

I had an unhealthy shopping habit which meant I’ve accumulated a few hundred pairs of shoes, wardrobes and boxes full of clothes, books and all sorts of material things that my large disposable income allowed me to maintain. It was a few years before I quit my job that I had embarked on a decluttering and minimalist journey after my regular overseas trips showed me how happy I was to live with just 15-20kg worth of stuff. So I started getting rid of things by donating or chucking them out. The next part was putting together the items I knew I could sell.

I had no idea that this was what I would end up becoming so good at and so passionate about. My digital (technical) and marketing background meant that selling on eBay was very easy and I quickly replaced my six-figure salary just 3 months after I started. I’m actually working less than half the time I did at my job but making the same amount of money. It’s amazing.

I started out just selling my stuff and anything lying unused and forgotten in our family home. The feeling when you clear out a space plus making some money out of it was addictive for me.

After listing 100-200 single items in a few weeks, I realised that it would be more efficient if I created one listing that sold multiple quantities of the same item. By some miracle, I settled on reselling the Cards Against Humanity, Australian version, after I played it in New York for the first time with some new friends during my birthday trip. It was a hit. I quickly become the hottest seller until the company shut me down several times from selling on eBay but the Christmas sales were just bonkers. I became even more addicted to eCommerce.

I found more and more products based on what I wanted to use, so I could buy in bulk, use what I wanted, giveaway to family and friends and then resell the rest. So it expanded to all sorts of things and I became a Top Seller after 3 months of starting on eBay.

When I met my future husband and decided I wanted to spend time in Hawaii with him, I just did the same thing with eBay and local sales and it’s becoming more and more successful. I’m pretty grateful to have stumbled on something that combines my skills, interests, passions and income source all in one. I can’t wait to expand into more international sales and my own online stores.

It hasn’t always been easy and there are times when I question my existence because of a customer complaint, or I have issues with a supplier, or I lose money because of receiving bad products etc but I remind myself that I’d rather be here than where I was over a year ago. I get to go at my own pace and create my own brands and experiment with my marketing without having to answer to anyone. I get to challenge myself and see how resourceful and creative I can be when it comes to problem solving.

It’s fun being boss.

What are your 3 life goals?

Define them, then find them. I wish you all the best.

– Katrina

2 Comments

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    21 September 2016 at 10:49 am

    […] I haven’t written much about my experiences as an eBay seller since late 2015 after quitting my corporate job, because it didn’t seem like there was anything interesting about it. Based on people who […]

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    […] I figured out I was better off leaving the desk job, I had doubts again. So I travelled for a bit, met my future husband in Hawaii, eloped after 10 months and built my online businesses to replace […]

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