KEN FIRED THE MAN! The Freedom Plan and Executing On Goals

Episode 30

Today’s episode is a HUGE milestone for Firing The Man Podcast.  After two and half years of building an E-commerce business Ken quits his 100K per year Engineering job.  Ken shares exactly what it took to build his business and some simple strategies he used along the way when times got tough.  Ken also shares what raw emotions he was feeling that day he walked out of the office for the last time.  This is an episode that you do NOT want to miss!

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Ken 0:00
Since I started building my company, you know, almost two and a half years ago, that’s always been the end goal of like, I don’t want to work for someone else I want to I’ve always wanted to own my own business. So it’s always been the goal of building a business and working for myself. But actually putting a strategy together was was a different story, right? Like, I fumbled around for a year, you know, getting sales and figuring something out. And then, so then I’m like, Okay, I have to put a plan together.

Intro 0:28
Welcome, everyone to the podcast show for anyone who wants to be their own boss. If you sit in a cubicle every day and know you were capable of more than join us, this show will help you build a business and grow your passive income streams in just a few short hours per day. And now your host serial entrepreneurs David shoma, and Ken Wilson.

David 0:52
Welcome everyone to the podcast. This is a very special episode. Now Ken 18 months ago when you When I met, you shared a goal with me. And that goal was I want to quit my job. And I want to be a full time ecommerce professional. And since that time, you have taken several steps to make that happen. And last week, on June 19, June 19, was a landmark day. share with us what happened on June 19.

Ken 1:25
Yeah, David, thanks. I’m excited for the show. It’s been a long time coming. So, last Friday, I left my day job. So like you said, I’ve been working for that for, you know, 18 months, you know, going on two years. And yeah, I was able to leave my day job and it feels absolutely amazing.

David 1:49
Alright, so I want to I want to go back and think about that day. So walking into your exit interview, what was going through your mind,

Ken 1:57
you know, so I thought I would be I would have a lot of fear and I would be scared like, Oh shit, like what’s gonna happen? That’s what it was none of that there was kind of, I was kind of like a little giddy. I was like kind of had this nervous energy this and, but also a calming, like, almost like I was shutting the end of a chapter, right? So I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. I was like, take all my stuff take everything I’m done. And when I when I left when I walked out, you know you were there, like, captured that and it literally felt like a ton of bricks were gone off my shoulders. Like that job was a burden to me, right. Like I was not getting anything back from that from from that company from that job, right. I was trading my time for money, and it was keeping me from doing more for myself and for my family. So yeah, when I left that job when I walked out that day, you know, I captured some stuff here. Have some stuff written down. I was excited. I was motivated. And I was laser focused when I when I left. And that that would that captures exactly how I was feeling.

David 3:11
All right. Ken you mention that you feel very calm that day. And one reason for that was you had a plan in place. Tell us about that plan.

Ken 3:21
Sure. So David, I’m going to explain mine and you know, everybody that’s listening, even yourself, you know, everyone is going to be different. So, what for me what worked was I looked, I looked at my expenses, and I cut out everything that I didn’t need, and I squeeze my expenses down as much as I could. You know, well, prior to that, I built two diverse revenue streams, actually. Okay, so I have two businesses to diverse revenue streams bringing in more cash flow than my day job. Right. So in the end, In the process, I squeezed my expenses way down and lived on just what I needed. And I paid off nearly all of my debt, any debt that I could pay off? I did. You know, another aspect is health insurance. You know, like, that’s something else people are like, Oh, well, you know, what about health insurance? What about this? What about that? So I have a plan in place for health insurance. And I had that in place prior to prior to leaving, and all this stuff that I’m going over is it we’re, you know, we’re developing in our blueprint, right. So those are the main items that I was worried about, or I you know, that that bubbled up for me, like, Hey, what about how am I going to pay my bills? What about my health insurance? You know, what about this? What about that, so I had a plan that covered all of that stuff. And I think that’s really, I mean, that’s really what helped me, you know, kind of Now something that also needs to be talked about is, as I’ve surrounded myself with, with really positive people, and that’s really helped and in a lot of ways, like our relationship, this podcast, I’ve evolved my business from from things I’ve learned from you, as an accountant, you as an entrepreneur, things I’ve learned from people coming on the show. My girlfriend, so prior to me starting a business, I was in a toxic relationship. Now I don’t I don’t want that to be a negative. You know, that person is not a bad person, but just us together was a toxic relationship. I ended that relationship. The person I’m in a relationship now is super positive. Like she will. She looks at me and says you can do anything you want in the world and like looks at me with a straight face and doesn’t laugh. So that’s super. That’s makes a huge impact. Right well Whenever my partner says, Oh, I believe in you, you know, you could go climb Mount Everest if you wanted. And she doesn’t, you know, flinch, I’m like, shit, she really believes it, you know that that’s very powerful. So surrounding myself with, you know, positive people. I hired a business coach, and several months ago, and that’s been massive, right? Like, that’s been huge to bring someone on that’s, you know, we always talk about it on the show, if you want to get somewhere, find someone that’s been there and ask them how they did it right, that it’s, it’s too easy, but not a lot of people do. You know, I finally said, Okay, I’m gonna hire a business coach. I don’t know how to get there. So that’s been huge. Helped me evolve, figure out things I didn’t know. So yeah, does that does that touch on everything, David?

David 6:50
Yeah, absolutely. You know, you had you had touched on surrounding yourself with positive people. And I think that’s a excellent point to make. About the naysayers, because I know that they exist.

Ken 7:02
Yeah, you know, there’s always going to be haters. And, you know, I don’t I have a very small inner circle, you know, so, and I, I’m not a huge on social media and that’s for a reason I don’t think there’s a lot of positive out there at least at least I have I my exposure to it is not that experience, right. So I remove negative people from my life, I don’t allow them to have my time. So if you know if I constantly see somebody that’s negative on any of my social feeds or whatever I do file or anything, I removed them, you know, now you can’t remove you know, everybody like if you have a sibling or whatever, that’s negative, maybe you just limit your time, like exposure. But But you but if you protect your time and only allow positive people to have your time, you’re going to be a lot better off, you know, you know, we have naysayers for the show. We have naysayers that are always in our lives doing everything. But, you know, I don’t let them have my time. And I would say that, you know, that’s pretty powerful.

David 8:14
Absolutely, absolutely. I know, I’ve run into that in my own life. And, and in my opinion, you, you identify the stakeholders that are going to be immediately impacted by you changing your career or changing your profession. So spouse, children, that that’s it or partner, children. And, you know, everybody else, they don’t really have skin in the game. And in so that they will voice their opinion, but at the end of the day, your decision does not impact them. And so I think it’s good, what the point that you made about limiting your exposure, because I think at the end of the day, we’re all human. And when you hear somebody say negative things, yeah, you can try to kind block it out, but it does get to you. And but I think if you limit exposure to people or things like that, then it opens you up for, you know, just surrounding yourself with positive people. Yeah,

Ken 9:14
absolutely. And I would also add to that, you know, there were people that I worked with, and I said, Hey, I’m gonna quit I’m gonna go do my you know, my own thing and oh, Ken, why would you you know, why would you do that? Oh, I don’t I don’t know. You know, you what I heard and, and the naysayers is fear. And to me, I almost felt compassion. And like, they didn’t understand. You know, so, but anytime I hear a hater naysayer or whatever, like, I shouldn’t do that, nah, you can’t do that. But that’s fear. That’s that’s, it’s it’s negativity and fear of them not understanding. You know, so for me, a lot of times I feel compassion and you know, like, Hey, I you know, you You can’t force someone to understand something, right? What is it? You can take someone to water but you can’t make them drink? Yeah,

David 10:07
your horse, right? Yeah, there you go or you take somebody, right.

So I want to go back. So pre leaving your job. So we’ve talked about, you know this to your timeline leading up to this day. At what point did you think to yourself, hey, this is feasible, I could do this. And then at what point did you say, Oh, I definitely am going to do this. And what helps you turn that corner?

Ken 10:39
Now, that’s good. That’s really good. So I would say, you know, since I started building my company, you know, almost two and a half years ago, that’s always been the end goal of like, Hey, you know, I don’t want to work for someone else. I want to I’ve always wanted to own my own business. So it’s always been the goal of building a business and working for myself, but But actually putting a strategy together was was a different story, right? Like, I fumbled around for a year, you know, getting sales and figuring something out. And then, you know, the second year was like, Okay, I want to scale this and then let me add these components and And all the while the revenue and the profits were increasing, right? So then I’m like, Okay, I have to put a plan together. So when I hired my business coach, and mentor, explained, Hey, your, your focus, whatever, whatever you focus on, is what you’re going to accomplish, right? So if you drill into, hey, this is what my goal is of leaving my job. I’m going to put 100% of my focus on leaving my job. So I really just zeroed in my focus instead of like, Hey, I’m going to build this, you know, $10 million company. I zeroed my focus in on Hey, I’m going to leave my job and I put a plan together. Like we talked about, and step by step, I just went through that plan, put it together. And I set a timeline on it. That was really, you know, before I didn’t have a timeline, and then what so so in that putting that plan together was a time it was a date. And when I first did, I was like, Oh, shit, like, like, this is real, right? And as I was going through those steps, putting that plan together, it actually I actually left earlier than that time. It was it was amazing to have that goal, set that time and then execute all of those steps. And then a hit it ahead of time was completely amazing. So I would say that alone, just just making that plan, you know, hiring a business coach, getting that plan getting dialed in and focused on that goal was was huge.

David 12:54
So Ken, one question that anybody who’s thinking about firing the man has is how much Money does my company need to generate in order for me to fire the man? And we’ve talked about it a little bit. But say you make $100,000. And you build a business that generates net income of $100,000. That probably is not the time to jump off. Right? Right, because you’re gonna reinvest all your profits into your own salary. Exactly. And so from an income standpoint, what were some things that you were thinking about, and what got you comfortable with your final decision to leave?

Ken 13:29
Okay, so David, if you have $100,000 salary, and you exit your job, and your business was making, you know, 100,000, bottom line profit, you can’t just take that directly out of your business. So one target would be to have triple what your salary is. So if you’re going to extract the equivalent of your salary, you still have, you know, double of that to reinvest into your business,

David 13:56
for sure. For sure. That’s a metric that I’ve heard before. Is the two to three times what you’re currently making and, you know, you commented on the expense side of things. That’s huge. I mean, if you look at your net worth, it’s made up of cash inflows, right. So what you make from your company, what you make from your job, then you have cash outflows, and that’s, that’s all your expenses. And, you know, Robert Kiyosaki talks about the person that makes $400,000 and spends 398 every year. And that is not a way to accumulate wealth. And so I’m glad that you know, you kind of touched on both sides of this the expense side as one you tighten down your expenses, but two on the cash inflow side, and replacing your salary, you know, three times over.

Ken 14:47
Right. Yeah, I think it’s, it takes a lot of different angles to cover that in and it is different for everyone. Right. You know, and a blueprint that we’re designing Developing, you know, will cover lots of different ranges. But, you know, getting getting so far down in the weeds with everyone, it’s it’s difficult because situations are are different, but I like that that overarching strategy of you know, triple your income and then you can grow your business.

David 15:18
Now when I think my own situation where I am still full time employees, when I think about firing the man, if I’m being totally honest, I have a little bit of fear. I’m scared. I’ve never done it before. What were some ways that you’ve dealt with the fear of firing the man?

Ken 15:37
Absolutely. Now that’s, that’s great. And, you know, the the months leading up to me, you know, quitting my job was, I’m not gonna lie, there was fear that crept in, right. And one thing that’s been really, really powerful for me to think about is, and I and I want to give credit to Scott Voelker. I believe I heard from him. It was, you know, at the end of the day I’m gonna build a business and leave my day job and work for myself. And I’m going to give it 100% of my effort, right? So if you if you are able to build a business and exit your day job, you’re you’re doing pretty well, right? You have a lot of momentum. And at the end of the day, what is the worst thing that’s going to happen? Like, at the end of the day, the worst thing that’s going to happen is you would have to go back and work and get a job. So for me to think, all these fears like Oh, the, you know, the sky’s gonna fall on me, it’s my life’s gonna be over and all these fears. And if I think about it, the worst thing that’s gonna happen is I’m gonna have to go back and get a job. That’s not that bad.

David 16:47
That’s a that is a really good point. And I think, you know, your worst case scenario is you end up where you’re at right now. You know what I mean? And so it’s a it’s not that bad. When you When you frame it that way,

Ken 17:01
and I’ll go one one step further, and one of the steps that I did, before I left, my day job was, I saved up 12 months of expenses. So I have a savings, I have a liquid cash 12 months, so I could live 12 months with nothing. So if something came through today, if a triple pandemic came through and wiped out everything that I have, after 12 months to get something going again, right, I can survive 12 months get something going again, or I go back and get a job. So there’s like layers, you can layer it up. So the more layers that you have, really will take that fear away. So But yeah, I did have that fear coming in, and those are the ways that I mitigated that. I kind of got rid of the fear.

David 17:52
So Ken, what was what was your communication with your bosses leading up to you leaving your job?

Ken 17:58
Sure. So You know, my my direct bosses. Great, great guys, right? great people. So the years leading up to me, so So three years ago, the corporation that worked for I’m not gonna mention the name but a large corporation. And they’ve went through a lot of mergers and acquisitions bought some companies and it’s a shit show. I’m not gonna lie, it’s a shit show. And they’re trying to, you know, not, you know, they’re trying to level out pay and whatever they’re doing, regardless, so, the last three years, I did not get a raise. So it burned me, you know, I worked my ass off all year. And my boss, I sat across the table from him and he slid over my performance review and I got a nine out of 10 and no raise. I’m like, what’s like, what’s this? How is this possible? How can I work my ass off all year, no race and, you know, I thank my leadership team for doing that. They did that three years in a row that first year, that impacted me so heavy that I went out and started a business. I was like, This is not gonna happen, not on my watch. So, you know, that motivated me that was one of the biggest things as motivated me was, I need to I need to control my own pay, not them. You know, I’m not gonna look across the table at my boss. And he’s not going to give me a raise because the shareholders needed more profits. Not bullshit, not on my watch. So that was huge. So I thank them for that. Because now sitting here today, I don’t have a job and I don’t work for them. I work for myself and I create my own my own pay. I can change my salary tomorrow if I wanted to. I can, you know, do whatever I want. So, yeah, that was that was huge.

David 19:51
Yeah, I think so many people can relate to that. I think if if you’ve worked, just ever, there are periods of time where you feel like you’re being underpaid. Where the amount of effort that that you’re putting forth to a company is not being rewarded in a monetary sense. And, you know, there are two types of people, there are people that will complain about that for 40 years, and then they’ll retire with that same Corporation and get their gold watch and go into retirement. Or there are people that will say, Listen, this bothers me. I’m not gonna stand for it. And I’m gonna, I’m gonna decide how much my time is worth. I’m sick of showing up to a performance review once a year, and having some schmo Tell me, Hey, you, you know, here’s how much your time is worth next year. And, and so I think it’s admirable, it’s admirable, and I think it’s really cool that you did thank them because had you gotten a 5% bump in pay you we may not be sitting here. We may not have a podcast called And so that’s I think that’s really neat.

Ken 21:00
For anyone listening to the show, you know, it is it is possible, you know, you just have to take action.

David 21:06
Can one thing I’ve noticed about you and I realized very early on is you and I share a common interest. And that is, that is quotes, motivational quotes, quotes that make you think. And, you know, I think some people may look at that and say, you know, those are cheesy. However, I have an inspiration board in my office, and I write down things that inspire me. And when I’ve been working for 10 hours, and I need to push through for you know, another hour or two, I look at that board and I get inspiration from it. And so, you have a couple things written down that, you know, were top of mind as you’re going through this process. And can you walk us through those and tell us what they mean to you?

Ken 21:50
Yeah, absolutely. So I have I have three of them to share today. And I’m my memories horrible, so I don’t know where they came from. The last one came from Tony Robbins I do know that but the other two, I don’t know where they came from. They’re not mine. But they’re very powerful. So the first one is fail early, fail often and fail forward. And that and that will equal success. Now, how that impacts me is, you know, I’m kind of a perfectionist, I think you are as well. I think a lot of entrepreneurs are perfectionist, we want to, like, be perfect at everything we do, but, and sometimes that leads to what we call analysis, paralysis and not taking action, right. So the one of the one of the most impactful things you could do is just take action, just try something, you will probably fail and try it again. You, you’ll probably fail again, try it again. You You won’t fail forever. So if the more times you try, you’re learning and you will eventually succeed. So every time you every time you try, you’re going to Fail forward, meaning you’re taking a step forward so that if you think about it, fail early, fail often and fail forward. So every time you try you make progress. And on that is I don’t personally believe that I can fail. I don’t like if I just think I’m going to learn. And also so if you can, if you can translate failing into learning, then then it’s not failing. You’re just trying, you know, and you continue to try and try and try and you’ll succeed. So, fail early fail often fail forward.

David 23:35
Yeah, that that’s huge. I think the fear of failure keeps so many people on the sidelines. And once you do it, once you feel like a, I sometimes feel like the king of failure. But once you do it a whole bunch of times, you realize, hey, this isn’t that big of a deal. I’m just gonna, I’m gonna learn. I’m gonna move forward. It’s just like reading the book. You know, I’m going to read, learn from the book, move on and I would say the same thing. With failure, except failure sometimes stings a little bit. So, you know, those lessons are sticky and and you hold on to them. And you generally don’t forget those. So I think that’s an awesome quote. What do you have up next?

Ken 24:14
Yeah, so this next one is a little bit deeper. But it’s powerful. It’s very powerful. And it’s a fear, you know, so like we talked earlier is like, hey, or do you? What fears Did you have leaving your job quitting? You know, I wish I didn’t have any. Now today, I don’t have any. Now what I do fear is on my deathbed. I don’t want to be surrounded by the ghosts of my regrets. And I heard that and I was like, holy shit, that’s super powerful. Like, you know, we’re all good. We’re all going to face that right? And and do you want to do you want to be on your deathbed and look around and have ghosts of your regrets stuff you wanted to do, but you never took action? I don’t know. That’s a fear of mine. I don’t want to have that. Right. So that is super powerful and motive. It motivates me It moves me to do shit that I would never do. Right? That like that. It’s fear, fears, motivating, and I’m like, holy shit. I don’t want to have that regret. Get out of my way. I’m doing this right now, you know. So yeah, that’s super powerful for me.

David 25:24
Absolutely. And we all know that person. And it’s sad. Yeah, you know, that person that has big dreams and big ideas and never does anything with them. And, and life passes them by it’s sad. It just, I’m thinking of someone that I know right now. And he’s an excellent person in his so much talent, but just doesn’t take action. And it just, it’s sad. I feel like it’s a total waste of talent in you know, he’s given gifts. So I think that’s huge. That’s huge. Yeah. Capital off. What’s your what’s your last one?

Ken 26:03
Yeah, absolutely. So this one is I know where this one came from. I’m gonna give him credit. Tony Robbins. I heard this from Tony Robbins. I don’t know which book or which series it’s from. But he mentioned he interviewed, like 50 or more billionaires, and he narrowed it down. He’s like, Okay, I need to figure out what they’re doing. And kind of like, let’s, let’s get the blueprint here, right. And he found three things in common with all 50 of these billionaires that he worked with or interviewed. And the first one is, they all had drive, motivation, or they knew their why. And those are all three tied together. What drives you? What motivates you and what’s your why, right? My why’s super strong. You have to know you have to have that like your drive your motivation and your why. Number two, try different things. Try different strategies. Something doesn’t work, pivot. Don’t be afraid to pivot. Try new things, try different strategies, pivot, try different things, try new things pivot, repeat. The last thing is constantly taking action. constantly taking action. Everybody knows the person that you know on January one, I’m going to go to the gym and I’m going to work out and do this and this and this. January 17 rolls around, they get sick or they’re late for the gym they don’t go that’s it they break that pattern right? So constantly taking action every day. And and what’s going to drive you to constantly take action is your drive your motivation or your why. So that it’s a loop. It’s repeats itself.

David 27:47
Yeah, that’s, and I think a lot of times entrepreneurs get so caught up in the day to day keeping inventory in stock, launching new products, product photography, dah, dah, dah, dah. There’s you don’t Take time to stop and think about that. And that’s so important, I would say, and this is more prescriptive, I don’t do this. But I do think I probably would benefit from it. It’s just carving off two hours a week, where you just sit and think about your why. And that’s so I mean, it’s so powerful in just having a full understanding of that. I mean, I think if you ask a lot of entrepreneurs, what’s your WHY? There’s gonna be a long pause before they answer, because they probably don’t have it written down anywhere. They probably haven’t given any thought to it in the last month. And it’s so important. And so, you know, this is a good I’m glad that you brought that up. And it’s a good reminder to me and to both of us and to our listeners is think about that. You know, what’s your Why? What drives you to get out of bed in the morning. And just thinking about that and understanding, you know, in your heart of hearts, what what drives you, it’s so important so Ken a year ago We decided to start a podcast called fire the man. At that time, we both had full time jobs, you have now fired the man. And I’ll say, you know, as a co host, that’s a tall order, right? And, and so I just want to say congratulations on this, this is a huge step. And you’re really putting your money where your mouth is, and taking action. I think it’s so admirable and so cool. And you also know what this means that there is I need to fire the man. And so I have learned from you the process that you described in this episode and the process that we’re going to talk about in our blueprint. That’s something that I am implementing right now. And we’ll see when the time comes, but just wanted to tip my hat to you and say congratulations.

Ken 29:48
Yeah, thank you, David. Now, that means a lot and this show has been super helpful. And, you know, if we can share and give back, you know, to the audience, like, I’m not an incredibly intelligent person, I’m just a normal guy doing this and sharing it with everyone. So you know sharing our story sharing the show. So thank you for that. And yeah, if anybody has any questions, you know, email the show we have a you can leave a voicemail on the show. If you got questions for us. We’re here to help. For sure.

David 30:19
Thanks, everyone for tuning in. Thank you everyone for tuning in to today’s podcast. If you like this episode, head on over to And check out our resource library for exclusive firing demand discounts on popular e commerce subscription services, that is You can also find a comprehensive library of over 50 books that Ken and I have read in the last few years that have made a meaningful impact on our business, or that head on over to Lastly, check us out on social media at on YouTube at for exclusive content. This is David Schomer and Ken Wilson, we’re out

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