Why I quit my job

I had an ideal job. I worked remotely and on my own hours. I had a good salary. I had friendly and smart teammates. And I learned a ton about building software and working on a team—especially coming from working on my own for most of my career.

Still—after more than three years at the company—I was bored.

I could name a few reasons for why I quit. Like not enjoying the big, enterprisey project I was working on. Or feeling that I had little room left to grow professionally. But the deeper reason is that I don’t want to be an employee for the rest of my life.

Even with all the flexibility I had, it was still a regular job. On a regular job your pay is directly proportional to the amount of time you work. You deliver value to your company and they, usually, compensate you with a fixed salary. You exchange time for money.

I don’t like that equation. I haven’t liked it since realizing that it’s possible to build systems that can deliver value—and generate an income—even while you’re not actively working on them. That can make money while you sleep.

My goal, eventually, is to live off such systems. Not to be rich, but to have the freedom to do what I want, when I want it. Not to not work anymore, but to only work on things that I enjoy working on.

I’m using this time to do exactly that—at least temporarily. I saved enough money to cover my expenses for well over a year. My plan, for now, is to do work I enjoy and that can serve as a way to update my portfolio for when I start looking for a job in a few months. If some of it becomes a real business that can support my lifestyle, even better.

That work includes a small product idea I had recently (I’ll be sharing more about it soon), open-sourcing some code from previous side-projects and writing on this blog.

I’m also treating this time a mini-retirement, as Tim Ferris defines in The 4-Hour Workweek. The idea of taking extended periods of time off throughout your life—while you’re still young—rather than saving it all for the end. It’s been almost three months since I quit and so far I’m enjoying it.