I've found myself lately urging friends to quit their jobs and take six months to a year off. I made that decision mid-2004 and it was one of the best decisions I'd ever made. I had friends, Dennis Bastas and Mike Vallender who had done this a few years before me and I didn't understand their reasons at the time, but they both came out of their "breaks" with new and exciting careers, both as CEOs, leading new enterprises. I know for certain that if I had been still working a full-time job when podcasting came along, The Podcast Network wouldn't exist today. I wouldn't have been ready to jump as fast as I was. I wouldn't have been primed.
And from this perspective I've been watching some of the best minds of my generation work in jobs they admit they don't like, earning reasonable money, but who could afford to take a year off, if they really wanted to. Some of us are fortunate enough to have developed some asset wealth at a relatively young age that previous generations never saw in their lifetimes. Most of us have been conditioned to believe we have to re-invest that wealth into an ever-increasing asset portfolio, so we can die the richest guy in the block.
I had lunch with Mike V today and he made a great statement. He said something like "My great fear isn't getting to retirement age and not having an asset base to live on. My great fear is getting to the end of my life and not having done all of the things that are important to me."
He also said some interesting things about why high inflation is GOOD for us, and bad for the rich white guys who run the world. But more on that at another time.
Anyway, I've found myself urging some friends to take a year off lately so they can just "explore" their life and change direction. And I realized today who I have become. I am John Galt.