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Why I escaped the City: the one way journey to entrepreneurship

IMG_4906For those of you who don’t know yet, I quit banking quite a while back now and have joined the world of ¬†entrepreneurs and freelancers. Of the many reactions I got, this was my favourite note from a fellow freelancer:

“Well done you for leaving banking and going on that one way journey to self-employed status. Once one works for oneself, there really is never any going back!”

I couldn’t agree more! My still employed friends, on the other hand, sometimes ask me funny questions like

– “do you miss banking?” or

– “do you regret quitting your job?”

and it usually makes me burst out with laughter. Seriously? I love the freedom of working for myself, even though it means spending evenings / nights and part of my weekends on work. My work is with me all the time now because it is part of me and part of my life, rather than a separate activity I have to endure to earn money.

I remember when I worked at McKinsey, leaving my home town at 6am on Mondays and then collapsing in bed on Friday evenings, waking around noon when the bakeries were just starting to close, I saw nothing of real life that was going on in my community. On rare occasions, when I took a morning off to renew my passport or attend a dentist appointment, I would see people having coffee somewhere or walking to work around 9am in the morning, and I was wondering who all these people were who didn’t sit in offices and how they were paying their bills?

Now my life is very different. I know the mail woman by name, I know my neighbours, I know the people in the shops, the waiters in the local cafes and restaurants, and many other freelancers and entrepreneurs who are free to meet up and exchange ideas in the middle of the day. I pick my favourite coffee shops and restaurants for meetings, or work quietly on my own sofa when I want to be by myself, and it works perfectly. Sometimes, I meet other entrepreneurs in co-working spaces, such as the lovely Forge & Co in Shoreditch, and I feel like the luckiest person on the planet.

It really is a one way journey! There is no going back. Are you thinking of quitting your job? I highly recommend it!

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