Have you ever dreamed of just ditching it all? Moving to Hawaii and opening a bar on the beach? Or how about a B & B in Vermont? Come on, admit it.
What if you lost your job, as so many Americans have in the past few months? Would you, could you, consider it an opportunity?
Chris Robbins did.
Four years ago he was working as a salesman in the tech industry. He earned a lot of frequent-flier miles, was on the road three days a week, used PowerPoint, wore a suit and tie. He earned a good living for his family—a wife and two kids, with one more on the way.
Just one problem.
"I hated it," Robbins said.
Then one day, Robbins was fired. Out of the blue. He suddenly found himself packing up his office with a security guard looking on.
"I stood with my box in hand looking out into a sea of cars with the office behind me thinking, 'This is what it's come to'," Robbins said.
"What was going through my mind was, 'I will not go through this again.' Not the firing piece but -- I was unhappy in there. I did not want to be doing that anyway. So while it was tough to swallow that pill at the time, I did recognize that it was happening for a reason. That it was time for me to stop talking about doing something on my own and start doing something on my own for real … Somebody had just shown me the door, so to speak."
But first, he had to go home and tell his wife about his decision. That didn't go over so well.
"He sort of strolled down the side path and I remember because I was in the back yard, and he had the box with him, and he kinda walked in, shuffling his feet," Chris' wife, Mel Robbins, said.
After Chris announced he'd been fired, Mel went into problem-solving mode.
"I'm like, 'No problem, no problem, just call that recruiter that was calling you last week and you can get a different job.' And he sat down and he said, 'Mel, I'm not getting a job.' And I said 'What, what do you mean you're not getting a job?' And he looked at me and said, 'I am never getting on another plane, to do some dumb PowerPoint presentation for a company I do not care about. I'm going to figure out what I want to do.'"
Mel had at that time just started her own business as a life coach. Later she would launch a radio show (now syndicated nationwide) in Boston.
"And you know it's funny, because I, now on the radio every day, I tell people what to do, how to make things happen," Mel Robbins said. "But on that day, I turned to my husband, and I go, 'Look, all this inspiration crap is for strangers. You go get a job. You're going to pay the mortgage. And that's what you're going to do. And if you want to pursue some dream, you can do it while you're working. End of story.'"
Mel said she was scared, terrified actually. At that moment all she could think about was her two kids, another baby on the way, the day care payments, the mortgage, the car payment. And she had just quit her job. Plus, she now admits, she realized that she had an expectation that Chris would always be the breadwinner in their relationship.
It was the low point of their marriage. Until one day, Mel realized that Chris really was never going back to the corporate world.