26 May On Strategic Quitting, Redux
I recently received some viewer mail from a person trying to make a decision on whether to keep going with a decision or call it a dead-end. It’s not always easy to know if you’re in a temporary dip or at a full-on impasse.
✔️ With my own real estate quest, I realized, “This is nucking futs. But the market will change.” FOMO is not your friend, generally speaking.
✔️ Treating anything like it’s the last lifeboat off the Titanic is usually a bad omen. Whether it’s a relationship, job, house, etc.
✔️ Strategic quitting doesn’t always mean you totally quit and walk away forever. Sometimes it can mean that you put your own best interests in first place and you wait for a more favorable situation to arise. Waiting is not always a dirty word!
✔️ A rejection or a delay is sometimes a form of protection. “Not right now” can be a means of keeping you from jumping off a cliff without a parachute.
Links I discuss in this episode:
https://archive.nytimes.com/www.nytimes.com/books/first/m/miller-ranting.html (His commentary on Gen X is found in Chapter 2.)
Need more? Email me: https://causeyconsultingllc.com/contact-causey/
Transcription by Otter.ai. Please forgive any typos!
Welcome to the Causey Consulting Podcast. You can find it online anytime at CauseyConsultingLLC.com. And now, here’s your host, Sara Causey. Hello, Hello, and thanks for tuning in. So today I want to talk about some viewer mail that I received, in particular about strategic quitting, at what point discussions? And how do you really make that decision of persisting versus giving up and walking away? It’s not an easy decision to make, regardless of the situation. So I want to get into that a little bit further today. So the person that wrote in I will just call him John Doe, obviously not his real name. I’m not going to read his viewer mail on the air because he has a very specific situation he’s grappling with. The bottom line is he is faced with one of those decisions of is this a dip? Am I at a temporary roadblock that I can maneuver around? Or is it time to walk away? Now, there’s no one set, right or wrong answer. And there’s also no guru or magical person that can make a decision for you. Now you can seek out professional help. And I really want to encourage everyone listening, depending upon what your situation is, if you need to talk to a therapist or a counselor, a financial planner or advisor, a business coach or a professional business strategist of some kind, a health coach, a doctor, etc. Make sure that you get professional input in the decision. If you feel that that would be helpful, you don’t have to go it alone. That being said, we do get back to the overarching theme in life on earth of existential aloneness. Nobody can crawl into your flesh suit and see the world exactly from your same perspective. And sometimes it’s really important to trust your own gut instincts. I understand that sometimes when we have anxiety or panic, we can get a little bit muddled. It can be difficult to suss out, am I having a panic attack? Or is my gut instinct really telling me oh, this is bad territory. And a good therapist or a good counselor can help you navigate through that choppy waters so that you do get more in tune with your own body and with your own mind. So when in doubt, always get professional help. But I will pull the curtain back a little bit on some of my own struggles, because as I said, it’s such an important, but intimate and personal decision of do I stay? Do I go? Do I persist? Do I quit? Is this ever going to gain any traction? Or is it a huge waste of time that I’ll look back on with regrets? I mean, really, you can only make that decision for yourself. But I feel like there are some steps that can be helpful. For example, in the episode I recorded called on strategic quitting and radical acceptance, I dropped a link to an article on ink.com. And I will drop a link to it again in the write up for this podcast episode, where it summarizes Seth Godin has points from his great book, The dip. That article offers us six questions that you can ponder so that you’re figuring out do I fight my way through this? Do I keep moving forward? Or am I at a dead end where I need to just cut bait and move on? So I will read those six questions now? Does the pathway you’ve chosen somehow meaningfully involve your best abilities and strengths? If you do persevere through the dip? Are the rewards on the other side worth the effort? Do you actually understand what it will take for you to get through the dip? Do you have a game plan that is likely to get you to the other side of the dip? Do you have the staying power to get to the other side finally has ever as anyone else ever done this before? So those are some great like what I would call general jumping off point questions, but as you get more and more into the thick of a situation. Now as I mentioned earlier in the episode, you may need professional help to continue sussing it out. Or at the very least, you may need to go into a space of quiet and solitude I have an area in the house that I call my meditation cave, or my meditation nook where I can really get very quiet and very still and just think get away from the hustle and bustle and the electronic devices and just think really just sit or lay down and have a good think there’s so much power to that. And I think we lose it in the modern world with all of the noise and the digital vomit that we have in our lives every day. But as I promised, I’m going to pull the curtain back so one of the things that inspired me to record that episode about strategic quitting and radical acceptance in the First place is this journey that I’ve been on in the insane real estate market. So Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation are very important to me. Even though I’m not Catholic, I have a statue of St. Francis out front. Because I LOVE what the symbology is there caring for animals caring about ecology trying to leave the earth better than you found it in the first place. That’s so important to me. And I’ve gotten to a place where I’m just, I’m running out of physical space in order to do more for the animals and to be able to take in more rescues and to rehab more animals, I need more space. That just is what it is, I’ve done a magnificent job, if I do say so myself, I will pat myself on the back in that regard, I’ve done a magnificent job in maximizing the space that I have, and doing the absolute best with it, that I possibly could. But I think sometimes in life, you know, when it’s time to move on. So unlike the the biblical parable about getting pushed through the eye of a needle, sometimes you can just feel when you’re getting pushed through the eye of a needle, and it’s time to grow. It’s time to expand, it’s time to ascend to that next level that you’re meant to achieve. And I began to see that pretty clearly last year. And my thinking was, okay, okay, I get it. We’re in this super insane No, market right now, with real estate, it’s a very heavily a seller’s market. And to bring it back to HR, it’s a lot like what we’ve seen in the great resignation, where the table’s turned, instead of corporate America and hiring managers, very obviously, being the ones in charge and candidates feeling like they had to basically grovel to get a job. Oh, please, Mister hiring manager oculis. Once you hire me for this, I’ll just do anything, I’m so devoted. It this table’s turned in the real estate market as well. So instead of it being balanced between the buyers and the sellers, or a buyers market, where they hold all the cards, and the sellers are like, please take my house, I’ll just I’ll do anything to sell this place. It was the opposite. It was really like, well, what are you is the buyer going to do for me? Are you going to show with a million dollars and a bouquet of red roses? Like no, you’re not going to have a home inspection? No, you’re not going to do this and this and that. You’re just going to show up and give me everything I asked for? If you want this place, then you better ask above the asking, you’re better off or above the asking price. So he was just nuts. It was totally nuts. And I’ve talked before about where I am in the Midwest, people putting out a shotgun shack, burned out POS places on like 10 or 12 acres and trying to get, you know, 600 700k for it, or in some cases, putting a shotgun shack or a burned out house trailer that had been used in methamphetamine manufacturing, that you set it out on, you know, 20 acres, and you ask a million dollars for it and some wacko from out of town or out of state will pay that. And it’s like, what on earth? Could you possibly be thinking you can’t really believe that a POS house trailer that was used in a meth operation is going to hold a million dollar valuation or that the 20 acres setting on is going to hold that value in the immediate future. Are you crazy? So it is so difficult for me to wrap my mind around the desperation and the intense intense FOMO of people thinking like oh my god, this is last opportunity, the last lifeboat off the Titanic. If I don’t buy a house as soon as possible, I’ll never get to again. And it’s like, okay, but Is that realistic? Mean? Does it seem like this is going to be the last chance express to ever, ever, ever buy a house again in your whole life? Probably not. And especially for those of you that tune in that are you know, Gen Z or millennials, the especially younger side of the millennial generation, you’ve got a lot of years ahead of you. So to think like, oh my god, if I don’t right now, right now, right now, I’m gonna miss the boat. Now. That’s just please, please don’t give in to desperation and fear. Living in a spirit of fear is so detrimental. And I don’t care if you’re talking about fear in your job, fear in the housing market. Fear, oh, I’m never going to find the right person or there’s no soulmate out there for me if you live in that spirit of fear, like any opportunity is last lifeboat off the Titanic. And if you don’t jump on board, you’re just going to perish on the iceberg. That is it sets you up for such a bad, bad situation. And you will not like the outcome. I have been there and done that before and it has never ever turned out well. It’s like planting good seeds and bad soil. If you do something and you’re in spasm mode and you’ve got severe FOMO it typically does not go well. For me after a year, give or take a little in either direction. It may have actually been more than a year looking back on it. But after at least a year of looking in earnest and getting all of my ducks in a row financially really making sure that I was staying on the pulse of the market. I was ready to make a move quickly, I had everything lined up the way that it should be. I just thought this, this is absurd. This was supposed to be a decision that was going to help both the humans in my life and the animals in my life, it was going to give me an opportunity to expand and take in more animals and to do more good work for the earth and for the animal kingdom. And instead, I feel like all it’s brought me is a shitload of pain. And I’m just gonna be real with you all. I’m putting it all out there because I want anybody listening to this that’s having that at what point discussion with themselves, I want you to know that you’re not alone. It is not sunshine and roses. And sometimes they can feel really isolating. So is in this situation, like a friend of mine, who I called Joe, in the episode I recorded called at what point discussions and your business, my friend Joe was having a really difficult time with people that were just rude, difficult to please nitpicky, they wanted to like suck the marrow out of his bones. And he had a lot of burnout. And he was thinking about completely shuttering the business. I mean, he was in a very exhausted, depleted space. So we talked about the anagram halt and not making some big sweeping life decision when you’re in a halt moment, hungry, angry or anxious, lonely, tired, we’re often not thinking very clear when we’re in a space like that. I mean, if you’ve ever been hangry, you know exactly what I’m talking about. You have that feeling of like, I will eat anything. Yeah, I’m not gonna stick to a healthy eating plan. And if somebody wants to give me a cheeseburger and a chocolate milkshake, I’m gonna dive in. In fact, I might eat two or three cheeseburgers like you’re you’re not, you’re not thinking about, Oh, I’m going to feel bloated and gross after this is over with, like for the burst. So we don’t want to get into that space. When we’re making huge major life decisions, like shutting down a business or filing for divorce, or making a real estate purchase or selling off all of our stocks. Like you, you want to be very cool, calm, cool, and collected, and able to ask for professional advice. And not just like Gordon Ramsay, when he goes into a restaurant, he’s all pissed off shorter Joe, that’s, that’s not what you want to do. And after my friend, Joe had a couple of weeks off, to just decompress, and get away from the business, all of it. And to really think about what do I enjoy in this business? What makes me feel happy? Where do I feel engaged? Where do I feel like I’m really using my talents, to their best possible ability versus what’s depleting me like what aspects of the business seem to be drawing in these buttholes that just want to complain all the time? How do I eliminate or at least substantially reduce the complainers and the whiners but maximize the people that I genuinely enjoy dealing with. And then how do I stay as much as possible in a space in the business where I feel happy, I feel energized, I can remember why I wanted to do this in the first place. And he was able to find that balance. But it most certainly took the two week vacation of decompression in order for him to get there and to feel clear and to feel rested and refreshed again. So that’s one thing I think that’s important is knowing when you need to hit the pause button and say I need a vacation. I’m totally effing exhausted right now. And I need that time to think I need time to be comfortable in my own skin and settle in and remember why I started this in the first place. In my situation, my real estate goals have not changed, it’s still very important to me to expand my operation and be able to help more animals and to be able to do more things that I feel are very important things that are in alignment with what I would call my true will or my true purpose or my true passion. In this life, I am really good at being able to take in animals that have not had the best lot in life. They may have been abused, neglected, starved out, I mean, I can I can take in animals in that situation and rehab them. And you would never know. I mean, you would never know that they had any hardship in their life. They gain weight. They’re happy they trust people again, it’s so amazing to watch that transformation take place and to know that you had a hand in helping that animal have a better life have a better go at it. I just love it. It’s the same thing to me when I plant a seed and then I watched New Life spring out of the ground. It never gets old. I get legit giddy whether we’re talking about like my little indoor herb garden or like the outside garden where I have, you know, a real number of plants outside. It never gets old when I see that sprout that green sprout coming out of the ground. And I’m like, there it is. I love it. So my goals have not changed. They’ve just had to morph a little bit because, as I’ve said on this podcast and on my blogs before, what someone can afford at a 2.5% interest rate is a hell of a lot different than what they can afford at 5.5 percent, then you have FOMO and greedy sellers. And that’s that’s what it is. That’s what it boils down to. And I’m gonna get some flack for this. So here it comes. But you know, guys, I like to call a thing a thing. So here we go. I’m a Gen X er, and I think it’s great that there is more attention. There was a person on LinkedIn named Sarah Adams who had a viral post about what basically asked me like, What about Gen X? We always hear about millennials and Gen Z kids and baby boomers, but it’s like us Gen Xers just seem to be this forgotten generation like kicked back in the background. And it reminded me of like an editorial type thing that I heard Dennis Miller talking about once, if I find it I’ll drop a link to it in the write up, but it’s one of the things it’s like just seems to be lost in the cosmos, which is fitting that I remember hearing him editorializing about no wonder Gen X is pissed off like the baby boomers got to have free love and they were doing all these drugs and then we Gen Xers come along and we’re being told say no to drugs, drugs are poisoned drugs are the devil. Also no more free love because aids and so you’re all gonna die. And it’s like, yeah, pretty much kind of being shoved on the backburner and not always getting the greatest end of the stick seems to be our lot. So, you know, I’m a Gen X or I don’t want to get much of hate mail about are you millennials? I don’t ever go around saying, OK, Boomer. I’m not wired like that. Okay. One of the things that I am going to say here, though, I’m gonna get some flack for and here it goes. One of the things that I have noticed out in the real estate market, particularly with greedy ass sellers that want to go way beyond is it tends to be baby boomers that have made shit financial decisions, and now they want to be bailed out. Maybe they were like the grasshopper that sang all summer that didn’t plan appropriately for retirement. And now they want to retire and they feel like their house is an ATM or a 401k. Maybe they made some lousy investments. They didn’t play their cards, right? Maybe they let their millennial kids move back in and come home and they didn’t require anything of them like going to school or getting a job and contributing to the household. They just let them live rent free and play video games in the basement all day. And I want somebody to pay them for this. And it’s like, guess what? It’s not gonna be May. So I had to really morph my goals around and say, okay, look, the market is knocking futz and I cannot justify paying some exorbitant sum of money for a complete piece of crap. And I can’t like if I buy a fixer upper, which I’m completely willing to do, by the way, it has to be at a cheap enough price that I can actually afford to like, you know, fix it up to give you an indication, and it totally was one of these Boomer situations I’m talking about where some a particular couple had made some crap financial decisions and wanted to be bailed out. So they’re asking like an insane amount of money for this house. The house itself was in okay condition. It was dated, but it was not it was not a hellhole. It wasn’t falling in or falling apart. Everything seemed to be pretty structurally sound and the bones looked good. Then yeah, like I said, a little bit dated some things that could stand to be modernized, but not terrible by any means. Literally, everything else sucked. The outbuildings were falling apart. And I like literally falling apart like caving in and floors caving in and walls starting to like dilapidated themselves. The fences were all messed up. Like the realtor was telling me the hay They run. They had been running cattle out here, so you shouldn’t have any problems. And I’m like, well did the cows run off to Nebraska? Like there were fences down there were pieces of barbed wire missing. I mean, any bovine that I know of would have just been able to walk right through, there’s no way you could have just shown up with like horses or cows or goats or sheep and said like, Okay, I just expect you to mind these fences and gates that aren’t even in good shape anymore. It’s crazy. And the area itself was not super great either. There were some concerns that I had about some of the some of the locations around it, particularly as it pertained to like expansion. The area that I’m living in right now, they just don’t give a damn, they do not give a damn about conservation. Not at all. It’s like anywhere that they can squeeze in another typical suburbanite unit of track housing where all houses are cheaply made, they all look the same, so that they can begin bringing in more people with their kids and their crappy trampolines and their above ground pools and their toys scattered all the hell in the yard. They will do it. So there were some situations like that where there were some parcels of land for sale and my spidey senses just telling me like this could turn into a subdivision and it could sort of end your your goal of having a real rural paradise where you and the people in your life and animals or in your life are deliciously unmasked with right so I’m looking around going? I don’t think so. But I saw that so many times and crappy houses that were way overpriced boomers that wanted to get a bail out for the in the form of their house for their retirement, expecting somebody else to foot the bill for and it’s like no, just absolutely not. So strategic quitting and radical acceptance as it looks like for me in that situation is just saying, You know what I can take my foot off the accelerator pedal, I was very, very close to a breakdown. This is another area where I will pull the curtain back and be very transparent. I had two very just dicey collapses. I mean, I don’t even know how to put it nervous breakdown is overstating it, but deep mental anguish is probably a good way to put it. I mean, I would just I got so frustrated a couple of different times where I felt like even just reminiscing on what that felt like I’m sitting here and I’m rubbing my face, the way that Chef Ramsay does when he’s in a bad restaurant, I just, there was a lot of pain there mental pain, emotional pain, physical pain. Because when I started this journey out, I’m like, Look, you know, I understand that I’m going to have to put forth effort. This is not just going to come to me on a silver platter, I am going to have to put forth some physical and financial effort. But at the same time, I’m a I’m a bad biatch like I’m a master manifester, when I put my mind to having something show up in this time and space reality, and I’m serious about it, it does like I mean, this business is evidence of that, to me, I got so tired of being a cog in the machine of corporate America. And when COVID hit, and we all had to go home anyway, I thought, you’re not going to get a better opportunity. If you can screw up your courage and try entrepreneurship, again, you’re never going to get a better opportunity to really leave corporate America and see if you can do it one more time. I had already had a soft launch, I had started sort of the testing and beta testing quietly back in 2019. Before COVID was even a thing before we ever even knew what was coming down the pike. And it had been gaining traction slowly but surely. And then when we all got sent home, I’m like, this is the time. So I know I’m capable of bringing my goals into reality. I just didn’t know that I was training, not for a sprint and not for a marathon but for an ultra marathon. So I exerted all of this energy, like lots and lots and lots of energy physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and to some degree financially to just trying to get answers, trying to find somebody, anybody that could really line up with me and line up with my goal and be a genuine source of help. And I feel like more often than not, I encountered people that were just yet just super sketch would say anything to try to close a deal and would stand there and lie to you. In some cases, they would lie even when the truth would suit better. But I really abhor insults to my intelligence. I abhor sexism period. But I think I really for me, personally, I find it so repellent when some man stands there and he wants to mansplain to me, he thinks that because of his genitalia, he’s automatically so much smarter than I am. So he wants to stand there and tell me things like, Oh, this isn’t the housing bubble. We’ll never see anything like 2007 2008. Again, there’s all these regulations, people aren’t just giving out mortgages willy nilly. I talked to the top brokers in the country, and they’ve assured me it’s okay to overpay for these houses. And it’s like, sir, with all due respect, you can go after yourself, because I don’t buy any of that I was there. I lived it. I bought a house in 2007. That was a foreclosure home and God, you know, I think my interest rate on that place might have been like, 7%. It’s crazy. It was crazy. But it’s like I lived it. I remember what the housing bubble was like, I remember what the great recession was like, oh, eight through 2010. I saw some video on Instagram the other day that some youngster had posted where he was talking about what it was like to be on the school bus in 2008. And I’m like, I cannot relate to that at all. I’m so sorry. But I can’t I can tell you what it was like to be on a school bus in 1988. That I don’t know what it’s like to be on a bus in 2008. In 2008, when the great recession hit, I had a 401k. Of course that was pointless to have when when it all went pear shaped. I had a mortgage and adult responsibilities and a job and I was trying like hell to do whatever it took to hold on to that job to make it through the Great Recession. So some of the people that were in school, they’re adults now and they’re out in the workforce. They just have no idea. And I feel for them because if we do get into another financial crisis, which let’s face it, we could I just don’t know that they’re going to have the equipment that they need to make it through. So I’d have these sketchy Realtors trying to just feed me total BS and it would frustrate me to no end to be treated. Like I wasn’t intelligent enough to know that I was essentially being lied to and scammed. So I burned out hard, I had a couple of like miniature breakdowns for lack of a better term. And I got to this turning point where I thought I cannot do this, this is clearly going to be a much longer term goal a much longer far out into the future longer play than I thought. This isn’t like stepping up and making a putt to get the golf ball into the hole. This is like I did barely arriving at the golf course and haven’t even started to play the game yet, even though I thought I had been playing it this whole freaking time. So I had to just adjust my strategy and say, you’re being told to wait, you’re clearly the universe could not be giving you clear signs, my love that you need to wait than it already has, like every door that you have faced has been shut in front of you. And it’s like some higher power, or your higher self, whatever you believe in is very clearly telegraphing to you, not now. And I’m so glad that I had that realization. And I was able to strategically quit and to radically accept that situation is what it is. And I’m hearing so many commentators say don’t buy a house right now, if you haven’t already done it, if you’ve put a contract and on a place and you know, you know that you know that you know that you can’t afford it, you need to be really careful. And you need to look at what your rights are about getting out of that agreement. I, I hope that I’m wrong in predicting a recession. But I think at the very least, we’re going to have a market contraction. from an HR perspective, we’re already seeing it in the job market. We’re already seeing companies that are having layoffs and doing hiring freezes that are pulling their budgets back and saying, Oh, we may have gotten our own form of FOMO. During the Great resignation, we may have gotten a little too willy nilly with the salaries that we doled out, we need to pull it back now. So we’re seeing the early signs of the squeeze that things are going to get worse before they get better. Again, we have had a pretty good run except for COVID. And all the mess that happened with that sort of prior to COVID, we had had a good run with a bull market stocks were doing well. I remember back in, I guess it was maybe 2020 is either 2018 or 2019. There were like hundreds of manufacturing jobs that were being added to the economy every single day. I remember the manufacturing plants in my area going on 24 hour shifts to try to meet demand. I mean, places that had never had a night shift suddenly did and they were clamoring for workers that could come in and weld or do machining or assembly work or just Gen labor in the middle of the night. I mean, it was just we had this like extreme rally, and then the wheels dropped off. And I think if we have another bad recession, like a really bad recession, or a really severe contraction in the market, some people are not going to be aware and they’re going to be caught off guard. And I would put people that got super duper FOMO in the real estate market in that category. And I’m not trying to sound mercenary here, I’m not trying to sound like Mr. Burns or anything like that. I’m really just pointing out some of those people that overloaded themselves are going to go into foreclosure, they’re going to have to do short sales, they’re going to have to try to figure something out with the bank. I mean, it’s going to get ugly, just like it did in 2007, I really would not be at all surprised. If we see that again, there’s a video that I will drop a link to in the write up where Orlando miner talks about this very thing. I’ve really been digging his videos, and I think he’s a very cool commentator. And he made a graphic, a freaking side by side graphic of where the housing market is overpriced now versus where it was overpriced in the housing bubble. And they’re freaking identical. It’s like have we learned nothing? Have we learned nothing? Ahhhh. I just get so frustrated. Anyway. So for me in my situation, strategic quitting, and radical acceptance has really looked like I still have this goal. It’s still extremely important to me, and it still represents a true passion and a true will in my life. That being said, Am I willing to go into poverty to do it? No. Am I willing to bankrupt myself to do it? No. Do I want to get involved in intense FOMO and have everything right down now? Like it’s an emergency? No. Am I willing to wait for more optimal economic circumstances? Yes. Am I willing to wait for the pendulum to swing so that buyers are not at such a profound disadvantage in the market? Yes. Am I willing to wait until sellers in this part of the Midwest get a freaking clue that it’s not summer of 21 anymore and the market has completely changed? Yes. If you are in that same circumstance, then it may be worth it to as my friend Joe did take a break from your job if you can So have a vacation and decompress a little bit and decide what’s best talk to a professional talk to an advisor, figure out what a good strategy might be from a professionals point of view. If you’ve been in a situation of intense FOMO, and there’s not really a need for it, if you just kind of got caught up in the moment, but there’s not really a deep seated need to make a change, then you may have to do what I did and just take your foot off the gas pedal and coast a little bit. Let them you know, kind of let the car drive itself for a little while, feel the wind in your hair, relax, chill the eff out. Back off a little bit. Give the goal some breathing room. So I mean, strategic quitting doesn’t always have to be about literally all the way quitting. Sometimes it can just be a lesson in life that we need to slow down. We hope you enjoyed today’s episode. If you haven’t already, please take a quick second to subscribe to this podcast and share it with your friends. Thanks for tuning in. We’ll see you next time.