How Quitting the Family Business for my dream f****d my life up

October 1, 2014 at 11:24am


I read an article written by ALI MESE it spoke to me, why because it is what I am experiencing at the moment on my Hero’s Journey


Finally the end of May arrived:

“Tomorrow morning I am on my own I am going to follow my Dream.”

I was working for one of the top Independent Family Run Furniture business in Limpopo .

A life packed in 10 years of building the family business from 10 to 27 stores, 20-150 employees. A life where you miss out on everything and everyone in life, why because every December or holiday guess who had to work and stay behind? Yes, me while the rest of the family is on vacation in Hartenbos. In a fancy business life we are taught to be ideal slaves of those who are actually living their dream so in the end we are slaves to some one else’s dreams, at top business schools whose degrees I am proud to hold is only a degree and brings in no happiness.

After few hours of sleep, every night giving everything to a business that no matter how much was given was never good enough.

The salary? It was fancy, too. The company as a family business provided everything vehicles, a big house 2000sqm with a swimming pool,trampoline etc, properties, overseas vacations the newest gadgets, yet my life was still empty even thou we did it for a family business it was still being part of the Rat Race.




There was something wrong with this life, though. I couldn’t stand this bullsh*t any longer and one day I called my parents:

“Dad, mom, I want to quit my job and the family(lol). I want to start my own startup.”

My mom almost had a heart attack. It wasn’t the first thing a perfectionist mother wanted to hear after encouraging me to stay in the business as I had 2 sons and a wife to support. I “tried” to ease her distress. No chance.

My dad was also not happy as he is getting closer to retirement and want his sons to do all the work as he trusts no one else.


As I am a Haemophiliac (a medical condition where blood doesn’t clot, I bleed very easily and one big accident can mean death. At the moment having pain 24/7, Dr’s say I need to get elbow and ankle replacements etc will post my story) my dad said thats why he built the business because I will never make it outside of the business and I will fail.


“Mom, Dad I hate it. All this time I have been pretending to be happy and not only me but everyone in the business are taking happiness pills. I get to sleep only 3–4 hours a day. All those benefits the company promised don’t exist. Remember the holidays overseas? I am working almost 20 hours a day and I don’t even enjoy it. Breakfast? We never have time to have that. Fancy lunch, dinner? It’s just a sandwich in front of my computer or Junk food on the road visiting the shops. Then my one brother has left the business and started his own Gym and he has grown that business to 4 gyms.  My youngest brother is in the business and he loves it.  Why?  Just like me he is chasing money, making money more money money money money.”

The fancy salary? I never have time to spend a single penny of it.

I hate my life, Mom Dad, it’s such a loser life. I don’t even see my wife and 2 children. I can’t fake it anymore. I want to start and follow my dream bringing lasting transformation to everyone to those who can afford it and those that cannot afford it.”


I told myself and them there must be something more to life 

If I fail I can say that I failed at something I love than to work for life in business where I die everyday


My parents had left their secure and boring government jobs to start their own business.

I knew that coming from a family with entrepreneurial background, it would not be difficult to explain my situation to them, they should understand, yet to my surprise they did not understand.

but I didn’t expect the call next morning or the day after or after……


It was my mom on the phone:

“Sooooooooo, how is your business doing?! Is it growing?! are you having fun? what are you actually doing?”

No matter what I said, I couldn’t explain to her that a business needs more than one day to grow and energy and time.


Wife, Friends & Social Circle


Having had the most supportive wife ever, it was now time I shared the news with my friends who were busy climbing the fancy career steps in the fancy corporate world.

I told everyone that I just quit my job to follow my dream. Some of my friends gradually stopped seeing me, probably because they thought there was something wrong with me since it was the “fancy,secure,no worries” job I had quit.

While the rest of my friends were supportive, there was, however, still something wrong with my relationship with them:

I soon realised I was starting to pull myself away from social gatherings and from my family.


Every time I met with those friends, I didn’t have many updates to give them in response to their repeated questions, such as, “So, how is your startup going? You are going to be the next Zuckerberg, right?” how much are you making? how is it to not stress? having fun following your dream?” “Oh man, we are so proud of you and we are so sure you will soon receive a huge round of investment.”


Following your dream is a long journey and I was putting myself under so much pressure by giving such a big f*ck about what other people think.

Day by day, I was getting lonelier and more depressive(yes we can get depressed) as I avoided social occasions. My startup progress was not as fast as my social circle imagined it to be and I was fed up with telling people it took eg years for startups like Facebook, Virgin and Apple to arrive at where they are now.

The only comfortable place was next to my few friends that where following their dreams and where Entrepreneurs as well. It was true, only a dream chaser and an entrepreneur could understand an entrepreneur.


Cash, cash, cash.


As if the social pressure and all the loneliness were not enough, I was meeting the mother of all stresses: running out of cash much faster than I had imagined.

This was killing my productivity and ability to make proper decisions. I was panicking and rushing to be successful and to make money. what again focusing on money, money, money.


One day, I even found myself asking a friend for a few cents because I had no money to buy bottled water, going through a day without eating or going to bed hungry. I am having to scrape by so that my family could have food to eat.

I didn’t know it was just the beginning of such a difficult life full of ups and downs… ups and downs…


Wait, I am not selling a dream. No, I haven’t become a millionaire dream startup founder.

However, my business My DREAM has possibility, energy it has LIFE and it has that something special and it is growing day by day.


There are, however, a few things I wish I had asked myself before starting this painful journey. Questions I believe every future entrepreneur should ask himself before taking the first step to Following their dream and entrepreneurship:


  • Are you ready for the social pressure?


If you have friends and family who are not entrepreneurs, they won’t truly understand what you are trying to achieve and the public pressure will be even higher.

I cared so much about what other people think of me – so much that it was busy ruining my life.

I was so hard on myself and punished myself with even more work so I could announce my success as soon as possible. That is, until the day that is today I realised no one gave a f*ck about me, so why would I?

You are no more than a few seconds of attention to other people give to a Facebook status.

In 2014, no one has time to care about others in such a crowded, noisy world.

If you care so much about what others think, you will waste your time “trying” to prove that you are successful instead of focusing on your dream.

Get a life. I got mine quite late.



  1. Are you single or do you have an extremely supportive partner?


As we grow up, we share more of our life with our partners than with our friends or family. While I was lucky to have such an amazing wife, it was so sad to see many of my entrepreneur friends breaking up with their girlfriends along the way

Doing your own business is tough – way tougher than I could have ever imagined. Your mind is constantly f*cked up with a million things going on inside and no other person, including your wife or girlfriend, has a single clue what is going on in there.

If you are not single, make sure your partner understands it’s sometimes normal not to have a mindset even for a simple kiss or hug.

Yes, for a simple proper French kiss.


  1. Do you have enough cash to last at least a year?


Good, then multiply that amount at least by three because you will be running out of your savings way faster than you ever imagined. Along the way, there will be so many hidden costs, servicing of vehicles(vehicle it is only transport you have), Tyres, cellphone contract, monthly debit orders, Petrol, accounting fees, lawyer needs, broken iPhones or PCs, etc.

Get ready for a smaller apartment, smaller food portions, or counting your cents, which you never cared about in your life previously.

The last few months before you totally run out of your cash it will be especially difficult and the pressure will grow so exponentially that you won’t be able to sleep properly.

Success will come slowly, and cash will burn fast very fast. Be smart – plan from day one.


  1. Are you ready to sleep only few hours a day?


Having escaped from the corporate world, I was thinking I was finally going to live the dream by working whenever I wanted to work – until I read Lori Greiner’s following quote:

“Entrepreneurs are willing to work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week.”


It all started by little wake-ups in the middle of the night. At the beginning, it was because I was too excited about my ideas and I had so many of them. I simply couldn’t wait for the morning to arrive so that I could start working again.

Then came the exaggeration phase. I was working too much because I never had enough of working for my idea and I wanted to do more. However, the more I worked and the later I went to bed, the more difficult it was to fall asleep and the lower the quality of my sleep became.

As a result, at least two or three days of every week I was having days with almost no productivity.

Don’t be fooled by those who say you can sleep less and do more. Don’t be fooled by over-hyped funding news about startup founders becoming millionaires. Don’t be fooled by quick get rich schemes

The stories behind the scenes have so many painful days, sleepless nights, and continuous rejections and failures.

The journey to success is long. Very long. Very often, too long.


  1. How do you define success?


Each of us has a different priority list in life. For most people, money is the number one priority on the list, while work-life balance ranks higher for others. Consequently, people define success differently.

Depending on your definition of success, the difficulty of your entrepreneurial journey will differ, too. If money and public success are what matters to you the most, you are likely to have a hard time along your journey.


Remember Hemingway’s wise words:

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”


Successful entrepreneurs are not necessarily those who raise millions of investment rounds. Don’t forget, they are one in a million.

There are, however, thousands of dreamers out there who manage to bootstrap their startups or live so well off on their own, but even they do not make it to the top of tech news.

No matter how much your journey f*cks up your life or how difficult it will be, enjoy the ride and keep following your passion.


As Tony Gaskin puts it perfectly:

“If you don’t build your dream, someone will hire you to help build theirs.”


  1. Never Give Up


Never give up and never surrender, do Whatever it Takes to live your dream.


“I am here for a purpose and that purpose is to grow into a mountain

and not to shrink into a grain of sand

henceforth will I apply all my efforts to grow into the highest mountain of all

and I will strain my potential until it cries for mercy” – Og Mandino


I will be certified October 2014 as the first and only Master Firewalk Instructor by the same Institute that trained speakers like Tony Robbins, T Harv Eker, Andy Harrington, Eric Ho, Phill Kambe, Barry Mitchell, Willem Gous, Nick Hawke etc



Go and Live your dream no matter what happens it will be tough so just enjoy it grow and learn.

In the End life is to short to not have given your dream a chance and know if the must/why is big enough you will make it happen and you will never give up,


You will have lived and be a Hero you where meant to be. – sign up for the training coming up in May2015 South Africa


Written by:

\S/upermanlife – Cobus


all credits go to Ali Mese

I copied and modified it from Ali Mese

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