Author Topic: Guilt about quitting?  (Read 5351 times)


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Guilt about quitting?
« Reply #50 on: September 04, 2018, 06:44:35 AM »
So here is a post that hits me the hardest.  I have had a Mustachian path before MMM due to difficult work situations and an ability to keep expenses well below earnings.  Through the help of a good friend who encouraged me to start a business to support his business, of which he is one of many partners, I've had a very successful run (we are very good at what we do, unique I think).  My FIRE number 10 years ago was $1 - $1.5M, and I'm at my $3M fatfire now (which doesnt even include the full 529s for the kids, the DAF and the paid for home).  Of course this happened thru growth which has included a half dozen employees who depend upon me (and I care about) and a business venture partner who depends upon me (and I care about).  I've been working for 2 years on 'handing off' my team to the big business as i feel I owe that to everyone.  My plan is to stick around for at least 2 more years to help the transition though at a half-time position.  The funniest part has been one of the sticking points is literally the large company wondering what "trick" is up my sleeve for giving up this profitable company.... no one understands the word "enough" I guess anymore...

I'm close to saying screw it but I feel I owe more to everyone than that.  I frankly like what I do to an extent but don't want to take on the risk involved in owning a company given I already have more than enough, and would rather do what I do a reasonable 20 hour work week instead of 60 hours a week. My oldest is 2 years from leaving the nest and I'm realizing time is passing me by.  And I'm tired. Just very F***king tired.

I feel this way. I have six employees. It's not the same as leaving a corp. If I leave or close the business, everyone loses their job. We also fill a niche in the market that, when we close, will probably just be left unfulfilled and would negatively impact all the people who can't have access to our services. It's a law firm and our client's are part of an "underserved community." We figured out how to make it profitable and offer high quality service.

But, at the same time, how much do I owe to everyone else? When is my duty complete? To my employees, to my clients and community. And what about that and the tension with my duty to my family and friends?

BTW, I also deal with many people who can't comprehend enough. In the law, there are many, many "lifers." Heck, we just had a judge die in his office at 63 who had announced his retirement date a few months before. Dead. In his office. I'm not going to die in my office and I don't want to deal with heavy shit forever. I'm constantly talking about how much time in jail, how much money for horrific injuries, racism going from idea to reality in our courts, disability discrimination, all kinds of stuff. That is what lawyers do! (Some of us, anyway). I don't want to steep in the problems of my society for another few decades - one decade is plenty! It would be very nice to simply enjoy the abundant fruit of my past labor.

Anyway, it is a conundrum and I hope I can figure out a solution sometime in the next couple years.

Couldnít one of your solutions be, hire a junior that you train to do what you do? Or let your partners run the firm? You can always stay on as adviser or silent partner. Put your focus on a succession plan now. If you died tomorrow, what would happen? Itís good to plan for that because you very well could, or you could live to 100. No one knows.

My FIL owned hos own company, together with a partner. I think they had about 25 employees and offered a niche product to their customers. They did the management together. When FIL FIREd at 50, he let his partner buy him out. There was an arrangement that the money was to be paid over 2 or 3 years, because the partners did not have the funds available.
It ended up in a way that the company didn't do well without FIL as a manager. The partner was also not fully able to fulfill all his payments to FIL. I am not sure the company still exists. I guess it is painful for FIL that his company went bad after he left, but it isn't his fault. He had all the right in the world to leave.

Maybe selling it to a big consultancy firm would have been an other option. Although that would have given the employees a very different working atmosphere.

Your story perfectly illustrates the problem. I've learned over the years that you can't just put anyone else in the ownership position. Most people are not naturally inclined to the various tasks it takes to run a business. I do have another attorney working for me, but he feels overwhelmed just by the technical law stuff. How would he do with management of business processes and systems, employees, cashflow, marketing, etcetera? You have to do all that and only get paid when business is good and sometimes make no money or lose money! Lol. It just doesn't seem appealing to many people, I've learned.

For the record, the business has been good enough to think about retiring by 35, but the lack of security is what seems to be the big obstacle for others. Just the thought that they wouldn't earn money every two weeks or might need to float the business for a month or two scares them.

But, don't count me as a naysayer. I'll keep plugging along and dealing with the "guilt" so that I can, eventually, walk away.


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Guilt about quitting?
« Reply #51 on: September 05, 2018, 07:20:58 AM »

I was asked to work One More Month. I saw the thin end of a wedge and said no.

I was asked to do this at my last company.  I told them "Sure!  My consulting rate is $150/ hr.  Let me know when you have the Statement of Work for my review."  That way, there was no stringing along.  A month is a month. 


  • Bristles
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Re: Guilt about quitting?
« Reply #52 on: September 15, 2018, 03:46:45 PM »

I was asked to work One More Month. I saw the thin end of a wedge and said no.

I was asked to do this at my last company.  I told them "Sure!  My consulting rate is $150/ hr.  Let me know when you have the Statement of Work for my review."  That way, there was no stringing along.  A month is a month.

Realising that a month was too big an increment, my colleagues tried a different approach. They planted a situation that meant it would be difficult for me not to work two extra days, which I offered to do. Then one of them asked me to cover for them four days after that. Yet again, I saw the thin end of a wedge and said no.

I no longer feel any guilt at all. Just a whole lot of relief that I'm getting away.