How a New Dream Became My Reality

A few years ago, when I worked for Tyco Federal Credit Union, I was approached by a small publisher who felt I had a story to share. I remember letting my executive team and Board of Directors know about the opportunity. Nothing happened with that book but it did plant the seed that would grow into a bucket list item–to be published one day.

That was back in 2011. That was the same year I was trying to figure out what the next chapter of my life would be. I enjoyed the work I was doing and loved the people I worked with and my CEO, Chris Petro was someone I respected. When I had the opportunity to continue to grow into a much larger role, I had a moment of pause. I wasn’t quite sure if that’s what I wanted to do. I did ask for more money thinking that was the answer to my dissatisfaction. I got the raise and I got a lot more.

Eventually, things happened or the universe conspired against (to help) me and I handed my resignation to my CEO instead. It wasn’t an easy decision. In fact, I stayed on for over 6 months after the day I sent in my letter.

Often times, we might say how we don’t know if we can leave a job we hate. I wasn’t in that frame of mind. I enjoyed the job and the people. It was difficult to leave a job that I enjoyed and people that I cared about.

I just knew deep inside me that I had to make a change.

Since I left on January 2012 and went backpacking around the world. I had many doubts about the decision I made to leave. I left financial security and career stability. I left comforts for the unknown. I remember, a week into my backpacking trip, I had a panic attack.

All in all the decision to leave (although difficult) was the right choice. It has now been 4 years since I left my corporate job for the unpredictable world of entrepreneurship. The entrepreneurial roller coaster isn’t at all easy either. Sure there are moments of joy but lots more moments where I just had no clue what was going to happen.

It’s quite scary.

I kept on and believed I was on this path because I chose to be. I can get back on the path I was but my gut instinct was telling me, “stay the course.”

Since January of 2012, when I left my secure job for the unknown some amazing things have happened (and some really stressful ones). I learned to let go of what others hoped for me to be or what people envisioned me to do. I set off on the road knowing I had a purpose – to live my life fully without harm to myself and to others.

In the years after leaving that career, I discovered 20 countries in 12 months, and I founded a personal finance blog and became part of an amazing community. I successfully crowd funded my startup raising $78,501 in 30 days. My startup, Phroogal, made it to the final rounds of startup challenges and winning a few too. I found myself making new friends whose interests closely aligned with my values. And I met other entrepreneurs who had more than a profit motive but a purpose that extended far beyond their wallets.

I also saw myself driving with a team across the United States in 2015 passing 38 states with over 10,000 miles. I worked with some amazing organizations from credit unions, nonprofits, government agencies and more who also share in my vision.

This has all led to a book deal.

From a time when someone said to me, “You’re not an authority unless you’re an author” to now just a week away from having my book, You Only Live Once: The Roadmap to Financial Wellness and a Purposeful Life, will be released to the public (June 7, 2016).

Through this all I learned something quite valuable – dreams do come true even if they weren’t dreams you had to begin with. The most important thing to do in your life is to continue dreaming.

Jason Vitug

Jason Vitug is a bestselling author, writer, producer, entrepreneur, and founder of The Smile Lifestyle Brands and the financial wellness marketplace, phroogal.com.

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