Life Lesson No.3 - Why I Quit My High Paying Job to Start My Own Business

A few years ago I took the massive step of quitting my high paying corporate job to start my own personal business. Why? It sure wasn't to work less and earn more! I now work harder than I ever have and earn less than I did 15 year ago, so why risk it all to make this crazy transition? For two very good reasons.

I had spent 15 years selling and marketing IT systems to companies, making them a ton of money and building myself a great reputation in the industry for innovative use of digital marketing and social media. I could have continued to fly around the world running interesting marketing programs for large corporations, building my portfolio and have a cushy life. Sounds pretty good as I write this blog even! So why didn't I?

The reason is I didn't feel inspired by what I was doing. It was enjoyable, challenging work with nice people, but what contribution was I making to the world. What could my kids be proud of me for? Would they really care if my company gained another 5% market share for enterprise software or met their profit goals for a quarter?  I needed something more.

I also wanted to spend time with my kids while they were young. They really don't car what car I drive as long as I am there to drive them to football, the beach and school. That's what they remember, the time with me, not my investment portfolio.

So I searched inside myself to what I really wanted to do. Teaching has always been a passion and I had all this cool digital knowledge.  Plus I realised many others felt the same as me. There were loads of 'corporate-escapees' wanting to move out of 8-7 life, but didn't know how.   But I did. Personal Branding was my way out.  I realised I had the skills, passion and knowledge to help people understand themselves more, build their own business and live a more fulfilling lives. 

Social Star was born that year and I haven't looked back. Three years later (2 years part time), I have two staff, a cool city office, wonderful clients I love working with, a published book and most importantly - freedom to spend time with my kids when I want to.

Was it easy? Hell no. In fact it is very hard. But was it worth it? Definitely.

The key is to start. Take one step. For me two key people inspired me to give it a go - Emily Gowor who encouraged me to write my book 'Creating a Powerful Brand' and Glen Carlson from Key Person of Influence who showed me the process to kick started my business dream. To them I am extremely grateful and thank them for their words of encouragement.

Don't wait, set the intention today to make your life the way you want it to be, whatever that may be.  If you need help, call me I would be happy to inspire you the way I have been inspired by others. Attend a course, I recommend KPI because my mates work there and I like the content, but any start is a good one. Good luck and I would love to hear your stories.


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Andrew Ford

Marketing expert Andrew Ford, the founder of Social Star, has discovered the secret of ‘Powerful Branding’. With a fire for unleashing people’s inner brand and developing business models to generate profit from an individual’s passions, Andrew leverages ground-breaking digital and social media marketing techniques to create digital strategies for clients to attract maximum opportunities. Having established a strong name for himself in the field, Andrew blends traditional business techniques with now-necessary tools for entrepreneurs to achieve scale, quality, and influence in their niche. Andrew’s comprehensive business background and qualifications consist of a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) (RMIT 2003), a Graduate Certificate in Management (MBA Executive Program, University of Sydney 2005), and a Masters of Entrepreneurship and Innovation (Swinburne University 2011). Continually on the cutting edge of his own education, Andrew has tested his marketing theories in forums such as the BCG Business Strategy Competition, which he won in 2005 against all Victorian MBA schools, and the Venture Cup Business Plan Competition (Swinburne University 2003), which he won in the Masters category. With experience working at Hewlett-Packard, Sensis (Telstra) and IBM, Andrew also has mentored dozens of junior staffs to help them achieve their professional goals. Meeting and influencing high-profile public figures helped Andrew to realise just how many professionals require more understanding and control of their public brands or appearance, and need help with the skills to use the many amazing free tools at their disposal to generate success. At Social Star, Andrew consults with clients to uncover their personal brand – both where it is today and where it can be tomorrow – and refine and define how that should be displayed in social media in order to attract their perfect target audience. Andrew mentors his clients to rapidly grow their business’ audiences, resulting in larger potential client bases and higher revenue. Applying formulas that integrate over twenty years of Andrew’s business experience and fifteen years of formal business education, Social Star specialises in building clarity and velocity for clients’ brands using the ‘Understand, Build and Leverage’ methodology. ‘Having a Personal Business enables people to have an authentic, congruent connection with their valued clients and partners, using their brand as the bridge,’ says Andrew. ‘I’m highly driven to work with the new breed of entrepreneurs and small business owners – people who have a passion for making the world a better place. Traditional business models are stepping aside as people follow their innermost dreams and my role is to see them operate within their values while creating wealth. Some people think you have to sacrifice what you love to be successful in your business, yet it is actually the opposite. Follow your passion and success will come.’ Lecturing at Swinburne University from 2009 to 2011 on brand dynamics and digital marketing, presenting at numerous conferences, and consulting to hundreds of clients, Andrew has seen his philosophy work that if you follow your unique path, based on your skills, experience, values and goals, you will automatically attract the opportunities you desire and achieve the success you deserve. Living his mantra, Andrew has created a successful business and attracts high-profile clients including musicians, athletes, authors, models, entrepreneurs, professionals and small business owners, helping them find their ‘why’ in their business and fulfilment in their lives. Business for Andrew is more than work, it’s personal. Running a personal business means that he is able to fulfil all of his values rather than separating his life from work. It supports his two boys while providing social opportunities, educational development, fitness opportunities, spiritual fulfilment and many valuable friendships. Social Star has now become the vehicle for Andrew to crystallise his mission in the world, to help people love what they do, supporting his ‘why’, that if more people loved what they did, the world would be a better place.