Why I Left Google: Solopreneurship and the Freedom Lifestyle

by / ⠀Startup Advice / October 31, 2012

In July of 2012, I made the decision to leave Google and start my own business—I’ve never looked back.

A question I’ve been asked countless times (usually coupled with a look of disbelief) since making the decision to leave is, “Why!? Isn’t Google an incredible company to work for?”

Absolutely. Brilliant people, unbelievable benefits, an over $100,000/year salary, free gourmet breakfast, lunch, and dinner—the list goes on!

Nevertheless, like many of you, I have been itching to become an entrepreneur for almost ten years now, and always knew I would eventually make the leap (once I overcame my fears) to solopreneurship and design my own “Freedom Lifestyle,” as I like it call it.

I have gained more experience in the three short months since leaving Google, than in the past three years alone. All of the worries, fears, “hows,” and “what ifs” I had about venturing off on my own continue to fade away. And with each new thing I learn, I smile and think “I can’t believe I was so worried about that!” All the resources, knowledge, and partnerships I needed in order to get started seemed to magically appear as soon as I committed to the decision and stepped forward.

The most difficult aspect of the transition is actually making the transition, or rather, decision itself. Like many of you, I’ve read every entrepreneurship and startup book under the sun. Like many of you, I’ve dreamt of that billion dollar idea that will provide complete financial freedom. If you have yet to make the leap, you’re probably fascinated with the idea of working for yourself, having total creative freedom, unlimited vacation and time-off, true passion for your work, and no ceiling on your income.

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There’s only one problem with the above thinking: You don’t actually need a billion-dollar idea. In fact, other than the nonsense fears and worries, that’s probably one of the biggest things that has been holding you back. If you are looking for concrete proof of a concept and success, you’re never going to make the leap. I spent so much time thinking about when it would be the “right time” and whether my business idea was successful and sustainable.

The truth is, you already have everything you need in order to make this transition and be successful. With each passing day, you are only making the “weight” of the decision heavier and more difficult. You will continue to build obstacles for yourself that are impossible to overcome.

In fact, one of the best things you can do is get started today. If your current life situation requires a guaranteed level of security, start your business on the side and grow it until you’re more comfortable making the leap full-time.

My business model revolves around a few different micro-businesses. I can quickly shift my attention, time, and resources to each of those as needed. It also gives me flexibility, and I can quickly move onto new opportunities as needed. The key is that I am committed to the idea of making this work. This is how I define solopreneurship—multiple streams of income with no investors and no full-time employees.

The traditional definition of entrepreneurship not need apply here. Find the convergence between your passions and the topics/areas you have expertise in. Then look into the countless ways you can build a business based on that niche. Decide—then—commit!

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When it comes to things like health insurance, a guaranteed income, free food and other benefits/perks a company can provide, don’t even think about letting those things stop you. You will be able to provide yourself all that and more once you’re on your own. For reasons unbeknownst to myself and many others that have made the transition, it seems that when you truly decide and commit to your dream, doors open, opportunities come knocking, and all the resources fall into your lap.

It’s time you started living the life you know you were destined to live. “If you don’t build your dream, someone will hire you to help build theirs.”

My final advice is simple: fully commit, surround yourself with others you can learn from, raise your standards, ignore the naysayers (because there will be many), and celebrate—this decision will change your life forever.

As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “When a resolute young fellow steps up to the great bully, the world, and takes him boldly by the beard, he is often surprised to find out it comes off in his hand, and that it was only tied on to scare away the timid adventurers.”

This could not be a more true metaphor for the leap one takes when venturing into entrepreneurship. Step up, and you’ll see for yourself…

p.s. If you still need more justification on why becoming an entrepreneur will be the best decision you’ve ever made, check out my recent 7 Reasons article from the Freedom Lifestyle community. For more on Solopreneurship and the Freedom Lifestyle, check out our most popular post.

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Arman Assadi is the creator of the WhyILeftGoogle.com—Freedom Lifestyle community. Arman is an ex-Googler turned solopreneur, internet marketer, results coach, professional speaker, soccer player, and obsessive world traveler. Be sure to follow him on Twitter: @ArmanAssadi

About The Author

Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson is Co-Founder of Under30Experiences, a travel company for young people ages 21-35. He is the original Co-founder of Under30CEO (Acquired 2016). Matt is the Host of the Live Different Podcast and has 50+ Five Star iTunes Ratings on Health, Fitness, Business and Travel. He brings a unique, uncensored approach to his interviews and writing. His work is published on Under30CEO.com, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Huffington Post, Reuters, and many others. Matt hosts yoga and fitness retreats in his free time and buys all his food from an organic farm in the jungle of Costa Rica where he lives. He is a shareholder of the Green Bay Packers.


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