Independence Day is a good time to think about your own artistic independence: Is it time to quit your Day Job?

This is what the day brought up for me. Back in 2016 I quit my day job as Director of the Center for Music Entrepreneurship at Manhattan School of Music. After 5 terrific years in that job, I needed a change.

I’d been living a double life: working three days a week in New York and commuting there from Boston, while building my private coaching practice.

Working with the students, faculty, and staff at MSM and having a foot in both cities—all good. But after 5 years it was high time for me to follow my own advice and fully commit to my coaching business.

And now that I’ve been out on my own since 2016—I find myself asking why I didn’t make the leap any earlier.

I’d like to think I could have done it earlier—I love working this way . . . but the truth is I just wasn’t ready: I was too scared.

Thinking about quitting your day job?

Americans are now quitting jobs in record numbers. It’s one thing if you’ve got a better job lined up, but if you’re setting out to pursue your own path as a freelancer, there are many factors to consider. There’s health insurance, savings, lifestyle, spending habits, support system, and the ability to promote yourself.

And, as I know only too well, change is both exhilarating and terrifying.

If the job you want to quit involves work and colleagues you love, it’s all the more difficult to leave. For me, what helped me most was that the commute was getting harder and harder on me physically.

But no matter what, choosing to quit is a big decision, one that warrants careful consideration.

Once you’ve weighed the pros and cons, and have a workable financial plan for life after the day job, there’s still the ultimate question:

Are you READY to do the scary thing?

Ready for the uncertainty, ready to take full responsibility, ready for the emotional roller coaster of going out on your own?

The #1 factor it comes down to is fear of change.

Here are some of my favorite resources for converting fear into the energy needed to move ahead

1. Secrets to making your desired change

This is a short video segment from a presentation I did for Chamber Music America a while back on tips for managing through the change you fear:

2. What to ask yourself before quitting your day job

Check out this excellent article by Lisa Girard in Entrepreneur. Although it’s aimed at business people, Lisa’s questions apply equally well to freelance musicians.

3. Take it from the pros

Here are my favorite quotes on managing the fear of making real change in your life:

“Nothing diminishes anxiety faster than action.” — Walter Anderson

“Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.” — Jim Rohn

“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.” — Michael Jordan

“You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” — Eleanor Roosevelt

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.” — Mary Anne Radmacher

“Remembering you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.” — Steve Jobs

4. How to get this going

Last, ask yourself these essentials:

A. What’s a concrete example of a fear of change you experienced in the past and were able to overcome? Remember HOW you did it.

B. What’s something you fear now that you could use the same intervention on?

C. So what’s stopping you? Remember: everything you want to accomplish is on the other side of that fear.

As always, I love getting comments and feedback.

If you’d like to get help moving past your own resistance to change into the future you desire, and want to find out how coaching can help you achieve your goals, let’s set up a time to talk HERE.

Looking forward,

Dream Big, Plan Smart, Live Well

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