9 Telltale Signs It's Time to Quit Your Job

My office on my last day
My office on my last day

There were several signs that told me it was time for me to quit my job. The most glaring of which was every morning the first thing out of my mouth was “f*@k!”  I never wanted to go to work. NEVER.  Even on the days that I worked from home I didn’t want to get out of bed. I got a promotion which should have been a good thing but it was over 50 miles away from my house and in LA traffic that often equaled up to 2 hours of traffic.  There is nothing worse than spending 2 hours trying to get to a job you don’t want to go to.

The second thing was I worked for the IRS. You would think that would be a pretty secure job. But between the Tea Party and a Republican controlled Congress, the constant threat of defunding, budget cuts and promotion and hiring freezes killed employee morale. I was also way too educated for my job. I’m not saying that I was smarter than everyone else. Just over educated. I began to get annoyed by the fact that I had a BA, an MA and an MBA and many of the people in my chain of command couldn’t say the same. I’d come from the private sector where your education was your ticket in.  But in this branch of the government, education is completely disregarded.  I felt that my efforts and talents would be better served in private practice. I also really got irritated every time I wanted to take a trip and I had to “request” the time off! See how it all comes back around to the travel?

Most people can’t just quit. Thankfully I have a great support system. No kids and I live at home with my dad. The bills I have are my own fault. So once I figured out how to set aside a few months worth of bill money. I walked. But I did it the right way. At least I think I did. I gave my boss plenty of warning. I didn’t leave with any hard feelings or regret. I wasn’t bitter. I was just ready to go. I still see and talk to my former co-workers often. I didn’t hate my job or the IRS. I just wanted a different life for myself. And here I am!

9 Telltale Signs It’s Time to Quit Your Job by Travis Bradberry

If you’re like most people, you spend more of your valuable waking hours at work than you do anywhere else. It’s critical that you spend your time at the right company, pursuing the right opportunity.

Choosing to leave a job can be a gut-wrenching decision. You need to know that you’re making the right choice.

Here are the telltale signs that it might be time to move on.

 1. You dread going to work. We all get a case of the Mondays from time to time, but if even thinking about your job fills you with dread, it’s probably time to leave. Don’t keep telling yourself you’re having a bad week if what you really have is a job that’s a bad fit.

 2. You know more than your boss. It’s frustrating to work for someone you believe to be less skilled or knowledgeable than you are, but the real issue is deeper than that. If you can’t trust your company’s leadership to make good decisions and steer the ship in the right direction, you’ll be living in a constant state of anxiety. And, if you’re right that your bosses don’t know what they’re doing, you could find yourself out of a job when the company goes under.

 3. The company is circling the drain. A recent study showed that 71 percent of small businesses close their doors by their 10th year of operation. If you’re worried about your company’s health, there’s a good chance you’re right. Watch for clues, like suddenly needing management approval for even minor expenses, an increase in closed-door meetings, or an increased number of upper-management departures. If you suspect that the business is in trouble, it may be time to leave. If you wait until the company closes, you’ll be in the job market competing against your former co-workers.

 4. You’re out of the loop. Does it seem like you’re always the last one to hear about what’s going on at work? If you’re left out of meetings, rarely get face time with upper management, and have never even heard of the big project everyone else is so excited about, that could mean that your bosses just see you as a body filling a desk, rather than as a valuable contributor. That’s bad news for your career and may mean it’s time to leave.

 5. You’ve lost your passion. Even if you love the company, your boss, and your co-workers, it’s not worth the effort if you hate the work. Passion is a necessary ingredient for success. If you’re unenthusiastic or even indifferent about the work you do, it’s time to reassess your career.

 6. You have a bad boss who isn’t going anywhere. Bosses come and go, which is why conventional wisdom says that it’s best to just wait a bad boss out. But that’s not always the right move. If you have a bad boss who’s well-liked by upper management, it may be time to leave. In addition to making you miserable every day, a two-faced manager who’s loved by the higher ups can wreak havoc on your career by taking credit for your work, bad-mouthing you to others, and blaming you for things that go wrong.

 7. There’s no room for advancement. It’s easy to get stuck in a job and, if you love what you’re doing, getting stuck can be comfortable. However, it’s important to remember that every job should enhance your skills, and add to your value as an employee. If you’re not learning anything new, and are just puttering around doing the same old thing while people around you get promotions and plum assignments, it’s time to look elsewhere.

 8. Your health is suffering. No paycheck is worth sacrificing your health. Job stress can lead to depression, insomnia, headaches, frequent illness, and worse. Don’t let this happen to you.

 9. Your personal life is suffering. Whether you work too many hours or you’re stressed and miserable when you come home, it’s time to leave when your job starts affecting your personal life.

 Bringing it all together. Staying in a bad job for too long can be very harmful to your career. If you’ve tried everything you can think of to make things better and haven’t seen any big changes, it may be time to move on.

If you do decide to leave, be smart about it. Don’t burn bridges by venting about all of the reasons you’re leaving. That accomplishes nothing, and could even haunt you later. Instead, simply explain that you’re leaving to pursue another opportunity, and then do so graciously.


The 4 Easy Ways to Get Access to Anyone, Even Warren Buffett

A few weeks ago I was on a plane to Kansas City working on a proposal for a client who owns a medical marijuana dispensary. I was on Spirit Airlines so it was tight. (Sidebar – don’t fly Spirit Airlines) For most of the flight I had to hold the laptop up at eye level to see what the presentation looked like because the reclined seat in front of me kept me from opening my screen all the way. When we landed and were waiting to exit the plane a man behind me leans over and starts asking me a lot of questions about the cannabis company; if they are a franchise, if they plan to open any locations in Missouri if/when medical or recreational marijuana becomes legal and where the dispensary is located, yada yada yada.  After answering his questions we talked more as we exited the plane and said our goodbyes.  It was an eye opening experience. I’d spent 3 hours on a plane not realizing that the man behind me was reading the PowerPoint presentation the whole time.  In this instance, he was no Warren Buffett.  But it is true. You never know who is watching you.

The 4 Easy Ways to Get Access to Anyone, Even Warren Buffett by Betty Liu

Put the six degrees of separation theory to work and use the tips below to reach almost anyone you want. by Betty Liu

Most people in business dream about getting a call from Warren Buffett. It happened to my friend–or rather, an associate at my friend’s investment firm, Third Avenue Management. A decade ago, this associate was concerned about a proposed deal made by a company that the firm was invested in. He asked a series of pointed questions on a conference call with the management team. Other analysts and investors were on the call. And unbeknownst to everyone, so was Buffett.

After the call ended, Buffett rang up the associate and left a voicemail. At first, he thought it was a prank call. He later verified it was indeed the billionaire founder of Berkshire Hathaway who had called to commend him for some careful work on the company. Lesson learned: You never know who’s listening or watching what you do.

I wasn’t so lucky. I had to spend years trying to get Buffett to speak to me. That was the mandate when I first joined Bloomberg Television–nab the first interview with him for the network. And in my quest to do so, I learned a few things about what it takes to get anyone–even the world’s third richest person–to speak to you.

  1. Have a credible background.

Let’s just call a spade a spade. I was able to call Buffett’s office because I already had the backing of a global media organization. I was legit. The same for you when you cold-call someone’s office–be prepared to explain your status. Are you with a large firm? A recent grad? Do you own your own business? Anything you can use to underscore why you’re important and why anyone should spend a minute talking with you is critical.

  1. Don’t expect calls returned.

Many people feel dejected if they don’t hear from someone after several attempts. I’ve faced this many times and for the first year, Buffett would always decline any requests for an interview or not answer at all. People call back only if they want something too and if you aren’t providing that for them, then they most likely won’t answer. It’s OK. Just remember that more times than not, they’ve seen your requests–they just don’t have any reason to reply. I’ve sat down with many CEOs who tell me about people who’ve reached out to them for this or that or show me emails from various strangers asking about one thing or another. They do see much of the communication, even if they don’t reply. You don’t want to make yourself a pest, but look at this way: If they really don’t want to talk with you, then at some point, they’ll make that known.

  1. Be a net giver.

One of the things that helped is my sending Buffett articles that could inform his everyday life. I knew he was a voracious reader and consumer of information. So anytime I saw something that could strike his fancy–be it a piece of news about his favorite sports team or a report on the Chinese economy–I sent it along. Whenever the network did any pieces on him, I sent those pieces, too. And I knew I was starting to get somewhere when his assistant would call or email asking me for more information.

  1. Watch/consume as much information on the person as you can.

Do your homework. Read up on the person you want to pitch to and stay on top of his or her comings/goings in the press. It’s amazing to me how many people approach what might be their most important meeting ever without any preparation. They just wing it and it shows. I made sure to set my Bloomberg terminal on to notify me of any news alerts associated with Buffett and his companies. It helped me understand his world better and how I could tailor my approach. I “read in” every day. That helped set the stage for a much better conversation should the day finally arrive when I would sit across from him.

After years of pursuing, Buffett finally agreed to an interview. I knew it would happen after he sent me a note by mail that he appreciated one of the stories I sent him. Here is one of our interviews from Sun Valley. We’ve done half a dozen or more interviews over the years at his Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting, his office in Omaha, and here in our New York studios. It’s been the beginning of a fruitful relationship with him, his CEOs, and even his children, including his eldest son, Howard.

So whenever you think you’re never going to exercise those six degrees of Kevin Bacon and get to the top dog, just remember the tips above and, who knows, you might find yourself getting a call from Warren Buffett.



Seeing Things Differently

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking recently about creativity. About seeing things in ways that others don’t. About taking a traditional idea and flipping it in an unconventional way. I had a conversation a few weeks ago with a friend about her Master’s thesis and how there are really no truly originally movie ideas any more. Everything is a re-make or a re-vamp of a “classic”.  Did we really need another Carrie?  And can I tell you how annoyed I am about the movie Vacation that is coming out later this month?  There will never and should never be another failed trip to Wally World. But I digress.

One of the things I enjoy most about this new venture of mine is learning about new and exciting companies that other people have started. Companies that I wouldn’t have thought of in a million years. And now I don’t have to.

Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way. –Edward de Bono


Does that make me crazy? Possibly.

I used to have these conversations with people and they would look at me like I was certifiably insane. I used to say “I don’t want a job. I don’t mind working but I don’t want a job. I want to work and travel. I don’t want to own a house. I want to rent. Yes. I lease my car. No I don’t care that it is a waste of money. I don’t want own a car. I don’t want to be tied down. I want to travel. I want to work and travel.”  I want to work from the top of the Eiffel Tower! I’ve been having that conversation for about 5 years now. And for 5 years my friends and family have been giving me that look. The one that says, “we always knew there was something a little off about her.”

So finally one day I just said screw it. They are never going to get me and I’m never going to get them. And I’m ok with that. I’m ok with not wanting that traditional lifestyle. I talked to my boyfriend and I talked to my dad and said “I’m going to quit my job and start my own business.” My dad said “ok, do it.” So I did.  But there was still this piece missing. The whole “I don’t want a job piece.” The “I just want to travel and work where ever I happen to be at the time piece.”  Then I met Richard.

Richard lives in Bali, Indonesia. Richard lives in Bali and owns 2 businesses in Provo, Utah. Huh?  Richard says, “Have you ever read The 4-hour Work Week?”  Nope. I downloaded the book from Amazon  and read it on the plane ride home. It was like the heavens opened up. I couldn’t wait to land to tell my business partners that it all made sense! This is what I was waiting for. VALIDATION! I’m not crazy! What I want does exist. It is out there and there are other people living this life! So now Tim Ferriss (and Richard Gregory) and people like them are my heroes. People who write their own rules and say screw the conventional. Who says that we all have to live our lives a certain way? Work for 38.2 years and retire (un)happily at 62 with a pension and SSA? Not me!

But the interesting thing is there are plenty of professions that don’t operate on a 9 to 5 and no one calls them crazy – flight attendants, pilots, firemen, nurses, doctors – they all work off hours or 3 days on 4 days off and what not and that’s perfectly normal. But if I only want to work Tuesday through Thursday from a cafe in Limon then I have a problem?

The other thing conventional thinkers don’t understand is it’s not about the money.  Yes, I need to eat, have a roof over my head, some kind of rainy day fund, and I would like to be debt free (eventually). But other than that, I have a retirement plan from IRS.  I have Social Security, which may or may not be there in 20 years when I’m eligible. But am I going to live the rest of my life hedging bets on what Congress may do?  When I become of retirement age I will have enough money to live a comfortable life and honestly. That’s all I want.  But for today. I just want enough money to pay for my trips! Oh and my purses!

That is the beauty of being an entrepreneur. It is a lifestyle that you design the way you want it to be. There is no rule book. Granted there are some limitations to the type of business that allows for a flexible and nomadic lifestyle but you can figure it out. And don’t wait for the right time. There is no right time. You will make mistakes. Things won’t go as planned. But you make adjustments and you move forward.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs


30 Surprising Facts About Female Founders

In several global studies, the United States leads the world in high performance entrepreneurship. Female founders in particular contribute some of the most eye-popping stats around growth in revenue, growth in employment, financial efficiency, and entrepreneurial spirit. See how many of these facts you know already and how many surprise you:

Facts about female founders and starting companies

1. Women start companies at 1.5 times the average rate in the United States.

2. The absolute number of startups in Crunchbase with at least one female founder has more than quadrupled in the last five years, from 117 in 2009 to 555 in 2014.

3. Women entrepreneurs in the United States rank their happiness at nearly three times that of women who are not entrepreneurs or established business owners.

4. The U.S. ranks No. 1 among 31 countries considered by Dell on the support of women’s entrepreneurship.

5. Today, 18 percent of all startups have at least one female founder.

6. There are just over 9 million women-owned companies in the United States.

7. Brooklyn, New York, banks more female startups than any other single city in the United States.

8. Las Vegas has the honor of the highest percentage of venture-backed companies with at least one female founder: 26 percent.

9. The cities with the shrimpiest numbers of female founders, by percentage, are Silicon Valley’s Palo Alto and San Jose, California.

10. Texas claims the worst record of supporting women seeking venture capital

Source: Inc.

SJC Financial Solutions

In February 2015 I went into partnership with 2 other dynamic and ambitious women who shared the same dream of living the entrepreneurial lifestyle as I do. While we all have a financial service background we share a love for travel, adventure and leisure! We thought long and hard about how we could pool our talents to start a business that would exploit our knowledge while giving us the freedom to live our lives to the fullest!

Together we started SJC Financial Solutions, a full service tax preparation and financial consultation firm. As former IRS employees we saw on a daily basis the way certain tax firms misrepresent their abilities and take advantage of clients during the worst and scariest time of their lives. No one is ever happy to see the IRS knocking on their door. In fact most people are anxious, scared and worried about their livelihood. The last thing they need is to be taken advantage of by someone who claims to be able to help. Our goal is to provide you excellent customer service by offering an honest assessment of your financial position and possible means of resolution. SJC Financial Solutions specializes in tax liability resolution cases. We aim to help our resolve and meet their tax responsibilities in the most efficient way possible. And the scary thing is… we really like doing it!

Every day I wake up excited to the possibilities the day has to offer.  It isn’t easy building a business and getting our name out there.  But I wouldn’t trade these last few months for the monotony of a 9 to 5 ever again.

Around the World in a Day

I read this article on Lonely Planet about booking a round-the-world plane ticket. I’d never heard of such a thing so I decided to do some research.  Basically you are buying the ticket through an airline alliance. So you might book on Delta but you are eligible to fly on all Delta partner airlines. The tickets must be booked in advance and you must end in the same country to begin in, but not necessarily the same city. You also don’t have to fly to each and every city. So you might fly to London and then take the train to Paris. Then fly from Paris to Rome.  Whatever the case, you must book all travel up front. So make sure you have your routes well planned out before you go.

Star Alliance has a membership of 27 airlines. The site lets you book the Round the World Fare to over 1,300 destinations. Other sites that offer the fares are Air Treks and One World and these might be cheaper than booking with the airline directly.

Before buying do your research. If you only plan on going to one or two destinations it may not be worth it. But if you plan, like I do, to do a long trip to multiple locations a Round the World ticket my be an excellent option for you.

Skinny Girl Problems

So I’ve started back going to the gym (hold your applause).  I’m taking baby steps, not putting too much pressure on myself. But also not letting myself off the hook for not doing what needs to be done. I mean, really, I quit my job 4 months ago so it’s not like I don’t have the time. I really should be further along in this process by now.

Anyhow. So I’m walking on the treadmill this morning at my 2.5-3.0 pace with random hills. Watching Bones and Wendy Williams. Minding my own business. When Sally Sunshine, all 86lbs of her jumps her skinny ass on the treadmill next to me and starts out walking at 4.0.  Next thing I know she’s doing full on sprints like she’s in the 100 meter dash in the Olympics.  Now, this is the time for my cool down so I’m going 1.5 while enjoying Hot Topics and she’s at least going 7.0.  All I could think is that we must look like Before and After videos on YouTube.  Then next thing I know she’s done. So while I did 50+ minutes she did about 10. What’s wrong with this picture?  Granted she didn’t need to do 50 minutes but still, break a sweat Barbie!

This is the problem with going to a public gym.  The amount of self loathing and lack of self confidence you have gets exacerbated by those around you.  Just when you are feeling good about yourself someone shows up to remind you of how far you still have to go. But it is important to get past all of that. And I constantly tell myself “Don’t compare yourself to that skinny bitch next to you. Does she have a great family? Great friends? Is she happy? Educated? Accomplished? She might be a size 0 1/2 but she’s probably miserable!” Not nice but hey whatever gets you through.

Paris: Musée du Louvre

No trip to Paris would be complete without a trip to the Louvre Museum.  Even if you aren’t an art lover or don’t know the Venus de Milo from the Mona Lisa, your life will forever be changed within the first few seconds of walking in the door.  I was lucky enough to be part of a group. So our tickets were pre-purchased and we had a tour guide.  It is my understanding that the lines can get very long during peak travel season so advanced tickets are strongly recommended. I would also recommend the guided tour.  I cannot adequately describe how HUGE this museum is.  It is the former home of the King of France for goodness sake.  The museum itself is over 650,000 square feet. That is more than 120 miles of museum! It would be impossible for you to see everything is one day.

The guided tour allows you the opportunity to see all of the highlights.  These are the art pieces that you’ve read about or seen on TV (yes I’m talking about the Da Vinci Code).  My cousin told me she was surprised when she went and saw that the Mona Lisa was the size of a postage stamp. Well, she’s not quite that small maybe closer to a portrait you’d have on your living room wall.  But still just as breathtaking.

My only regret is that we arrived late and so I wasn’t able to spend the time to see things that weren’t part of the tour. Even if you don’t have time to tour the museum the grounds alone are a must see. In the main courtyard is the IM Pei glass and metal pyramid. I tried really hard to look down, through the glass to see if I could spot Mary Magdalene’s tomb…. but no luck.

Utah is the new Black

Well, maybe I’m making Utah out to be a little more cool than it actually is. But it is still pretty cool.  I like it. It’s very clean. The streets are clean. The air is clean. There are scenic views everywhere you turn. I’ve been to Utah twice now. Both times were in the Spring. When I went last year in April it snowed the day I arrived but the weather was great after that. This year the weather was just perfect for the whole week.

If you are an active person (like my friend Norma), there is a lot to do in Utah no matter what the weather. From skiing to hiking to canoeing to paddle boarding to a whole bunch of other stuff I don’t do.  The road is filled with Jeeps and four-wheelers and pick up trucks pulling boats and stuff. Active people doing active things. There’s even some top (not so) secret NASA rocket testing site thingy in the middle of the desert.

And for the rest of us, there’s food!  I had everything from bison to really disappointing Mexican food. But I was surprisingly pleased with most of the restaurants I visited. I had an awesome steak salad in Park City at a place called 501 on Main and really good pasta and big old bread sticks at the Pizza Factory near Antelope Island.  Ogden has a street, Historic 25th Street, with a ton of cute restaurants and bars – one of which is a biker bar. And not the cute, sexy Sons of Anarchy bikers… like real bikers!  I saw a woman with a tattooed face, yeah I did. We had dinner one night at Texas Roadhouse. The server asked if we’d been there before. I said no. Next thing I know the manager comes over wit a free sample of pulled pork and rolls.  After we ate she came back to make sure that I’d enjoyed the food and then gave me a little “thank you kit” with a menu, a coupon and a bag of peanuts. So cute!

There was an adorable Mexican restaurant across the street from my hotel. I had such high hopes. When I went in there were only 4 customers. The owner’s daughter was drawing Easter decorations on the chalk board. The “cook”, not chef, was chatting it up with customers that were obviously regulars.  It was like a scene out of a movie. I was so excited…. until I heard the microwave ding.  The food was bad. Even the chips and salsa were bad. Just bad.

So to make up for that I ate cupcakes. A good cupcake makes everything alright!