How To “Quit Your Job, Move To Paradise, And Change The World”
“I’ll Show You How To Quit Your Job, Move To Paradise, And Change The World” …This was a statement I heard in a call earlier.
We’ve all heard it. It’s the clarion call of the world today. You usually expect it from schlocky sales guys.
This certainly wasn’t snake oil, yet something about that whole call just rubbed me the wrong way. The invitation to this call was made on the premise that it was a teaching session, offered by a leader in the field. And yet, something was off.
The pretext sounded familiar, but I couldn’t put my finger on just why. The team leader had credentials and was successful. But something about this pitch wasn’t hitting the sweet spot I had hoped it would.
Basically, I was unfulfilled. I felt betrayed, disappointed. And then, it dawned on me. I had been through this before.
“Can I get a confirmation, that we agree this is why we are here today?” our speaker said.
“Would it be alright with you if I just told you a little about myself before we start?” he added.
“Do you believe that this would make a difference in your life? Do you believe this will happen if you just follow these steps?” The leader went on with all the sincerity of a traveling evangelist.
By this time I was ready to disengage the call and chalk it up to a soap sales meeting.
That was it. I had been through exactly that, a soap sales meeting.
It was my 21st birthday all over again. The day my mom gave me a “kit”- “guaranteed to change my life” she said. That was the hardest “gift” to return…ever. Books, tapes, rallies. “Follow these steps and you’ll soon be making 6 figures each and every year, with residual income that will allow you to ‘quit your job, move to paradise and change your world’. And change the world for everyone who is part of your efforts.”
Same approach. I didn’t like it then, and I don’t care for it now.
But… What’s wrong with the premise? Don’t I always say that I want to make a difference?
Well, yes, I guess I do say that. But…
“Ok, then, come on. I’ll show you how I made 5 figures in my first month,” the leader exhorted.
Wait, wait, wait! That’s what it is that bothers me. That’s the issue!
I did leave my job. I already moved to paradise (well, it depends on your definition, I suppose) and I believe that I did change the world- my corner of it anyway.
And I feel pretty good about that.
But the way you talk about it, it’s always about the money… I don’t know any of my expat friends who went to those hardship postings thinking it was only about money. The people I know, the NGOs and PVOs, the oil company engineers and the teachers, they were all there because they had a passion for the mission. Discovering the world, learning about new places and meeting new friends.
It wasn’t whether they were making “7 figures” their first month or not.
When expats make the decision to move abroad, it’s not a decision one makes in isolation or that is taken lightly. Families with children weigh carefully the impact and the risks.
But they also factor in the learning opportunities that might never be had at home. It’s a calculated trade-off, but it isn’t about selling out and trading up in most cases.
So yes, I was more than a little annoyed when the leader of the call told everyone he was going to explain how to improve business, then spent the next hour basically teaching everyone through a pitch designed to convince us that we needed yet more training- a course whose cost was more than some people make in a month these days.
I felt like I could have stood up then and there and explained to the leader a thing or two about success.
Success is being authentic– caring about those you serve, instead of those who pay.
Paradise is being where you are needed, where you can alleviate problems.
Changing the world is about seeing a young person with an “Aha” moment, a moment where the light bulb goes on because of how you explained a concept.
That’s a job I don’t want to quit!
For a long time after I repatriated I doubted my move home- thinking maybe the USA was no longer paradise as I had hoped.
But after watching some of my new friends, many of whom I have thanked out loud in these pages recently, making a difference in my life and impacting others who read their words and see their actions, I am coming to the realization that this may indeed be another “expat assignment” here in Washington DC. It may be my new paradise (and as I said, it does depend on your definition of that word!).
To continue to contribute, I have signed up to mentor some college students in business and strategic planning. I like to think I know something about entrepreneurship.
I may yet change the world…
At least, I’m changing what I can for the better in 2014. I don’t need to pay for that lesson, because as the speaker asked today, yes, I already believe!