A couple of years ago, my friend Bryan Allain left a secure job at a Fortune 500 company, where he’d been slowly climbing the corporate ladder for nearly a decade, to venture out on his own as a writer. When I asked him how his colleagues reacted, he said they were surprisingly supportive, some even envious. But something disturbed him.
Every conversation ended the same way. “I wish I could do that,” they would say. “Well, you can, you know,” Bryan would respond. To which they would usually list out the reasons why they felt they couldn’t. They wouldn’t know where to begin or what to do. They’d be scared of losing their health benefits or risking their family’s well-being. What if you failed, they wondered. What then?
The Problem isn’t Fear
This bothered Bryan because he felt like what they were really saying was that they were afraid—and rightly so. Quitting a job to chase a dream is anything but safe. If you’re not feeling a little insecure about taking such a leap, then you probably haven’t considered the cost. The problem, then, isn’t the fear; that’s natural. It’s that many get afraid and stay there.