An Effective Escape
The year was 2007. I enrolled in a career change workshop at NYU’s School of Continuing Education, as I was:
(a) sick and tired of being in a job with an abusive boss that left me dreading mornings and left me with psychosomatic symptoms &
(b) I was at a job that I wasn’t passionate about, and it was unacceptable.
I finally came to terms that I was done pursuing musical theater as a career – my dream since I was 6 – and wanted to find a “grown-up job” to love. I wanted benefits. I wanted a 401K. I wanted stability. Y’know, all those things I wasn’t used to getting as an actor juggling day jobs and sales jobs. I thought I found one (it gave me insurance, at least!), but, as I mentioned above, it wasn’t a good fit (and that’s putting it veeeeeeeeeery kindly).
I worked through the exercises in class and did a lot of soul-searching to find My Passionate Career. But the more I looked within (hippy-dippy yet effective) and the more honest I was with myself, the more I realized A Big Important Thing:
I wanted to be an entrepreneur.
I wanted to be a life coach.
Once I got over the fact that I can be a life coach without people thinking I was gonna read their crystals or ask them to braid my leg-hair, I had a barrier to face:
How can I be an entrepreneur *and* be a grown-up (aka pay my bills, go out with the girls, not have to move into my Mom’s spare bedroom and eat Ramen noodles?)?
The first thing I did when I decided to pursue life coaching? I dusted off my resume, pounded the recruiter pavement, and went job hunting. I knew it’d take at least a year before I’d be comfortable taking The Plunge, and I couldn’t last in my current job with the dry-heaving during rush hour and my bully of a boss (which is also putting it kindly).
Lucky me, I found that the manager of the Executive Assistant department of a financial consulting company was a former actress. I got offered the job the next day and started working there in August 2007, which was the very same month I enrolled at the International Coach Academy.
March 19, 2010 was my last day in Corporate America. I graduated with my life coaching certificate in June of 2009 and set my sights on building my business with a kick-ass website (it didn’t always look like this!), a few months of severance in the bank (yes, I was planning to pay myself my full-time salary until I knew Plan B had to kick in), and enough consultation calls coming in that made me think people out there knew that I existed. In December of 2009 I knew I was almost there, and I gave my notice as soon as my annual bonus check cleared.
This is exactly why I created An Effective Escape, why it’s close to my heart, and why anyone who’s looking to leave their day job can do so without winding up in their parent’s basement eating Ramen noodles! I did it, and so can you.
An Effective Escape has made some HUGE changes in my life and attitude! I knew what I wanted but now I have a REAL plan and it feels a million times more reachable and not just a silly idea! I have confidence behind my dream and my business when before I felt like a total hipster when I shared it with people. I’ll have my notice date figured and eventually I’ll be my own boss lady I woke up early for myself today and it has made me so content with hitting up the 8-5. You are awesome!!!”
An Effective Escape was the wake-up call I needed to get un-stuck. I realized that my “breathe easy number” and my “fingers crossed timeline” won’t both work out unless I find 25 billable hours a month – EVERY month -until my quit date, plus time for taking Quickbooks classes, building my website and pro bono/barter design projects. (Pause for tearful hyperventilation.) Also tonight, I had a lightbulb epiphany and realized a messy emotional thing that’s held me back for years. I don’t know how to solve it yet, but just understanding is huge progress. I am once again so glad to have discovered your website, and this class was absolutely worth every penny. I wanted to say thanks for being so awesome, optimistic and perpetually perky – it’s hard to have a meltdown on my laptop when you are on the other end cheering and singing and playing “Like A Boss.” The work you do is really important and it makes a huge difference to people like me.”
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you, Michelle! I purchased An Effective Escape back in 2010, and quit my full time graphic design position in July 2012. I had no plan on how to make income after I quit, other than hitting the pavement to freelance. I had my resignation written and a meeting set up with my manager. Ten minutes before I was to turn in my letter, I received an email from a local college division chair looking for part-time adjunct graphic design instructor. The hair stood on my arms. I called her immediately. I spent the last 12 years giving back to this college. Going in to the classes and speaking to students about the industry and judging portfolios.
You see, I could not have orchestrated that plan. I had a sense of relief and joy handing in my resignation after that email knowing that I was on my way to making my dreams of owning my own business coming true.
My phone rang off the hook as soon as the notice of my leaving went out to the company. I had made a reputation for myself and my work, they were asking if and when I would be available for freelance.
For the last 3 years, I have been pursuing art licensing and building my portfolio. Sketching and creating patterns. As of August 2012, I am a creative entrepreneur, business owner, surface pattern designer, adjunct college design instructor, freelance designer and a wife and mom of one happy household!”
An Effective Escape gives you the step-by-step framework you need to create an Action Plan to leave your job with a big, fat, sturdy safety net.
I’ll be sharing….
…my story: I’ll share how I built the foundation to not only leave my day job, but to make as much money as a Woman of the World (my term for “full-time entrepreneur) as I did as an Executive Assistant for a financial consulting company.
…my safety net (and how to find yours): What do you (not yo’ Mama, yo’ colleague or yo’ man) need to feel comfortable and confident to take the leap and give your notice? Whether it’s legalizing your business or lining up insurance or having 6 months of expenses in the bank, you’ll pinpoint the things that’ll give you the strongest, sturdiest safety net possible.
…Plan B: I promise you won’t end up a bag lady, but I know that doesn’t stop the Vampires (those are the voices in our heads that stuck the good stuff outta us) from telling you otherwise! Here, you’ll come face-to-face with those fears and will come up with a fall-back plan of attack now.
…what a breathe easy number is (and why ya need one): What does your bank account statement need to say for you to give notice without starting The Final Countdown? And is it even feasible to set money aside anyway? We’ll determine the number ya need to Breathe Easy, and what you can do to start saving today with, um, having to move in to your parents basement and eat Ramen noodles. Let’s really avoid that at all costs, ‘k?
…my fave Jerky Job-Leavin’ resources and business tools: I’ll give you the specific tools, platforms, websites, people and companies that helped me give myself a 5-month severance (and pay down over 5 figures of credit card debt) and build my baby entrepreneurial business to be uber-professional (for under $500). I don’t want you to be searching high and low for this stuff when you could be using your precious time to actually make your escape!
…how to answer The Dreaded Question: Answering, “So, what do you do?” as a creative person stuck in a dead-end job (dead-end in their heart, at least) or embarking on a new “risky” career can be a cause for panic. I’ll tell ya what to do to make sure your knees won’t shake the next time you have to introduce yourself.
…8 ways to get through your day job without shooting yourself in the face: Because you’re way too good-looking.
…an open video to those who don’t like hearing that we’re quitting our jobs (and following our bliss): Now you can send me and my video over to anyone who just doesn’t understand/cuts you down/has made you cry when you told them you’re getting ready to seriously quit your job in a recession and do what you love.
…how to deal with the haters: Quips like “Consider yourself lucky to even have a job in this economy!” and “But how will you really make money?” are less than helpful – they downright sting. I’ll make sure that you get the support you need to keep your head held high and your feet pounding that pavement.
…social media sanity savers: Wondering how to take advantage of all the social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, podcasts…need I go on?) without your head exploding? My exercise helps you break it down based on your end result, what you’d most enjoy, and where your people are.
…a take-your-job and shove it playlist: Everything is funner when “Like a Boss”, “She Works Hard for the Money” and “Minimum Wage” are guiding you through the questions.
An Effective Escape: Leaving Your Day Job Without Living in your Parents Basement is a 68 page workbook that includes everything above: How I Did It, juicy questions to answer, multiple articles, a playlist (yup, I have songs at the ready so you can groove to your Effective Escape while ya work through the exercises), homework (so you’ll know what to do with everything you uncover) and resources-a-plenty.
If you wanna ditch the dead-end day job, you’ll want this life raft from Michelle. She offers concrete tools to help with the tricky bits like financial planning, talking to your spouse about your career-changin’ aspirations, and keeping out of the looney bin until you can jump ship with confidence. “Effective” is right.”
An Effective Escape is not just a litany of ‘Rah-Rah-Rah!’. It’s full of resources, from the practical (such as: Where would you get insurance? How will you track finances?) to tactical (what are you going to say to people who ask about what you’re doing?). These are all things that came up for me when I started off on my own, and it would have been nice to have had An Effective Escape with me to shorten the learning curve and save a ton of time by having one resource with everything I needed in one place–and to know that what I was experiencing as normal!
I also love that An Effective Escape ties into the emotional component of starting out on your own–for instance, it asks you to map out a plan for creating as much of a feeling of safety as possible when you’re working on your own, which is a refreshing reality to work with, amidst all of the hipster-esque ‘if you’re not scared and unable to pay your rent, you’re not a real entrepreneur’ nonsense out there. It talks the real talk about money–how to make the money transition smoother, how to think about money and fulfillment. I’d highly recommend it to anyone who is considering working for themselves, or who has already started the process and who wants a resource to help them get grounded.”
Michelle Ward has done it again with her new workbook. Michelle, in her inimitable way, cheers you on with tips, tools, resources and worksheets to help you dig deep in to your own story. Once you finish An Effective Escape, you will feel organized and clear, motivated and courageous. You will have a plan for your effective escape. You will also feel that you have made a new friend who will root for you as you go for your dreams.”
The amount of solid and useful information that Michelle has packed into this baby is astounding — anyone who’s thinking about leaving their day job to pursue their passion need look no further. Use this as your primer! Michelle details how she left her day job and built her business in the pages of An Effective Escape, and she guides you through the process of how you, too, can do it — all without any meltdowns or freak-outs! Because creating the career of your dreams is supposed to be fun, right? Michelle’s positive attitude, engaging personality, and spunky writing style will definitely inject tons of fun into the process of building your dream biz!”
You got questions about An Effective Escape? I got answers!
An Effective Escape is absolutely right for you if:
- you’re stuck in a cubicle and daydream about your freedom in those 40+ hours/week
- you spend the vast majority of your time bitching about your job to anyone who’ll listen
- your boss is so horrible he makes you psychosomatic
- you want to change careers, but know it’ll probably come with a lower title and paycheck
- you want to work for yourself, but don’t see how you can effectively make it happen without asking The Millionaire Matchmaker to set you up
- you like doing financial exercises to music by The Lonely Island (seriously, “Like a Boss” is my anthem!)
And while this is a must for those that already know what they wanna do when they grow up, An Effective Escape can absolutely help you even if you don’t know what that is yet. What’s most important is that you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired, and you’re finally ready to make a plan to reclaim your career/health/sanity. You might also find that, once you start planning your Effective Escape, you’ll start getting more clarity around What You Wanna Be When You Grow Up because there’s no longer that fear of how you’re gonna pay the bills.
When you click the Buy Now button and complete your purchase, you’ll automatically get a PDF downloaded to your computer. That way, you can read An Effective Escape on your computer, send it to your Kindle or Nook, or print it out to work through. Within the PDF are links to the audio and video recordings of the workshop, which you can click through and watch/listen to at any time, day or night.
An Effective Escape is $37 USD, and I do offer a money-back guarantee – it’s the only product I offer this with, actually! Yup, I’m that positive that – if you do all the exercises in this workbook – you can’t not find your own Effective Escape. I mean, it’s super highly unlikely. That’s why, if you send me an email at email@example.com and let me know you’re dissatisfied within 30 days of purchase – and send along with the answers to the workbook questions to show you did the work – I’ll refund your money in full.
Oh yeah, I know that folder – I have one, too. Because I’ve been there/haven’t read that, I created An Effective Escape as a workbook where the “work” part will take about two hours. Because I pair each question I have you answer with a song, you have a fun timer that’ll give you a cap on the length of your answers and how long you can belabor each piece. So, if you answer every single question (and I certainly promote skipping what you know you don’t need) and go by my playlist, you can be done in the time it takes to watch that dumb rom-com you planned to watch to dull the pain of your soul-sucking day job (harsh but true, amIright?).
Because this is a digital product, I don’t offer any returns or refunds after the initial purchase. However, I do offer a money-back guarantee within a 30-day timeframe and with proof of having done the exercises included within.
As of September 2012, there aren’t any plans to offer this as a workshop anytime soon. This is the only way the material is being released at this moment in time (when I’m all that I wanted to beeeeeee…when all of my dreams are a heartbeat away…and the answers are all up to me! Give me -…Sorry, Whitney Houston break! And how appropriate, huh?).
Of course! I live for that. You better email me at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can have an excuse to have a mimosa!
Michelle has created an amazing guide for people who want to follow their bliss but need some help getting there. She approaches the conversation in a way that is realistic and true to what people actually go through in their pursuit of a passion-filled career. Fun, straight-forward and honest! Just like Michelle! Pick it up!”
An Effective Escape is a treasure chest of goodies for folks who are seeking to get out of their current gig and either up level to job that suits their soul or start something on their own. Michelle offers practical, clear and kick ass advice on how to make that magnificent leap! I talk to people all the time who really want to hatch their own personal escape plan from their J.O.B. but don’t have a clue on how to get started. I am so excited to have something so clear and wonderful to refer them to.”
I wish I had An Effective Escape 3 years ago when I first started plotting my escape from Corporate America. The workbook answers every question that an escapee may have from how to get your finances in order to how to explain your pending escape to your loved ones. The thing I love most about An Effective Escape? It is THOROUGH! A lot of workbooks and workshops give you a general idea of what you need to do in order leave your Corporate job but leave your wondering on the specifics. Michelle does a great job at detailing everything out with worksheets and exercises to make sure that no stone is left unturned. After completing An Effective Escape you will know exactly what to do, which will give you the confidence you need to make that leap.”
An Effective Escape is the quintessential “Quit Your Day Job.” Michelle approaches this with wisdom and grace and gives you what you really need to take that big, scary step. Not only does she know what she’s talking about, she’s lived through it and is so generous in sharing all that she’s learned with the world! If you’re thinking about taking the leap into entrepreneurship, this guide will help set you up for success and will make you SO EXCITED about your new life!”
Michelle is like the Jewish mother of dream-pursuit. If you’re embarking on something as “impractical” as quitting your day job to follow your heart, then you must read this book. Michelle’s worksheets and words of inspiration will guide you by the hand, and show you exactly which financial and business tools you must have in place to make a clean and comfortable break. I can’t imagine anyone going through An Effective Escape and not quitting their day job in comfort and in style.”
If you dream of leaving your day job in order to become a creative entrepreneur but it all sounds too frightening, this is the place to go. An Effective Escape gives you a step-by-step formula in a fun, conversational style that removes the mystery and allows you to prepare for the next phase of your career. It still might be frightening to leave that day job, but at least you’ll have Michelle holding your hand as you take the big leap!”
In An Effective Escape, Michelle focuses on helping you navigate from exactly where you are—in this moment. You don’t have to have anything figured out or a huge savings account already in place. Michelle will hold your hand and gently (using her incredible cheerleader energy) take you through what you need to do in order to breathe easy and begin your escape. While focused on the details of planning your escape, I also loved the tips on how to maintain your sanity during this process (e.g., how to answer those awful questions you get asked over and over and over again!). Michelle has walked the talk. A few years ago, I watched on the sidelines in awe as Michelle navigated her own effective escape. I wondered so many times, “how does she do it?” Well, finally, I know! All the nitty gritty details are in this golden guidebook. I wholeheartedly believe that an An Effective Escape will help countless people craft their ideal lives, outside the confines of the soul-sucking cubicle.”
I’ve listened to the recording, grooved to the tunes, and have more or less finished the workbook for An Effective Escape. I loved hearing Michelle’s story, I loved her frank discussions, her tips, her tricks, her music – and I don’t actually have a product or business in mind yet! I still don’t even know what I’m going to be when I grow up, but I do know what it needs to entail, and I know what it needs to not entail. Michelle’s An Effective Escape was one large piece in helping me get a few steps closer to an answer. I now know that I’m using the technology best suited to me and my (vague) ambitions. I’ve thought about details that I haven’t thought about before (legal stuff, like copyrighting my content—oh yeah…). She’s forced me (or she’ll get mean) to sit down and start crunching my numbers. So I can plan my escape!
I JUST QUIT my job! This is my last week in corporate america and I just started my greeting card business. I’ve been doing layout print production for 7 years – which is as creative as it sounds and now I’m making my own art and cards and giving it a go full-time. An Effective Escape definitely put into perspective my situation and made it real for me to even think about quitting. I can always go back to work, get a part time job, I have my safety net, etc. Such good advice and I’m finally doing it!! It feels SO great and I can’t wait to start creating my business and seeing where it goes.
Remember, An Effective Escape is almost 70 pages chock full o’ resources-a-plenty, a take-this-job-and-shove-it playlist, and juicy exercises to craft your Effective Escape. And if you go through An Effective Escape (aka do all the exercises) and yet didn’t find your own Effective Escape, I’ll give ya a full refund as long as ya email me at email@example.com and (a) make the request within 30 days of purchase and (b) send along your answers to the workbook questions.
No more excuses to figure out when you can leave your soul-sucking job, or what it would take to not end up in your parent’s basement eating Ramen noodles. If you have two hours – which is all the time it takes to work through the exercises with the playlist I provide – you can have your Effective Escape. Today’s the day.