Just Say No…

Sometimes just saying NO is the best thing you can do. It worked for me when at a career fork in the road 33 years ago.

The post was inspired by Cubert at Abandoned Cublicle.  Cubert is a young family man on his quest to financial independence, who blogs about his journey. For obvious reasons, he keeps his identity private.

Here is my reply to his most recent blog post on saying NO: 

Here is a favorite personal “NO” story:

Started a new job with a great boss. Like me, an engineer, and who also had an MBA. He kindly encouraged me to do the same, as the company would fully reimburse for the MBA. The school had an excellent reputation, and many years later my older son got his MBA at the same school.

But I had this terrible itch to start my own engineering consulting firm. Not yet FI (financially independent,) I was seeking OI (occupational independence.) BTW, the OI soon led to FI. It also led to LI (location independence.) Funny how those things work out.

Back to the story. After one class, which I enjoyed, it was apparent my fellow students were primarily interested in climbing the corporate ladder. I was not. So I said “NO” to the MBA, and devoted my time to learning how to start my own firm while beginning to build a client base through moonlighting. (BTW, I was VERY careful to avoid conflicts of interest.)

Three years later, about the time I would have received the MBA, I hung out my consulting shingle. That was 30 years ago, and I NEVER regretted saying NO the the MBA. Instead, I said YES to what I wanted to do. Not only satisfying, it has been financially quite rewarding.

Finally, this is not a knock on MBAs or any other degrees. (Both sons have advanced degrees that have served them well.) But just make sure they will take you where you want to go. And don’t be afraid to say NO.

I had the pleasure of coffee with Cubert recently when in MN* – he is well on his way to independence. Way.to.go. If you are interested in independence (FI, OI, FI, or ???) hop over to his blog.  Stick around here and I’ll share my advice too.

* For 20 years , LI for me has meant winters in AZ and summers in MN – another bonus of saying NO.


Today’s Take-away – Saying NO to something means saying YES to something else…


Here are some past posts you may find relevant to this post:

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One Response to Just Say No…

  • Hey, Daryl!

    Thanks for the shout-out! You’re a wonderful inspiration and I’m glad we’ve had the chance to connect. I’m looking forward to the day I can “remove the mask” and not have to blog anonymously as “Cubert.” About a year and a half to go!

    All the best and Merry Christmas!
    Cube

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