Davey Wavey: “The Day I Quit My Job”
By Davey Wavey
When I tell people what I do—which, in a nutshell is creating YouTube videos and traveling the world—they usually stare blankly back at me. It’s really an odd job—and seems made up. It’s like when a child tells you that they want to be a princess or a dinosaur hunter. Except, I didn’t grow up wanting to be a shirtless YouTube sensation or travel guru.
When I was young, and way before I found Buddha, I wanted to be a billionaire. In fifth grade, we were assigned a class project to dress up as our hero for one day. While many of my classmates went as historical figures of significance, authors or public officials and police officers, I adorned myself with a suit, tie and comb-over—and went to school as Donald Trump.
By the time I was a business major in university, my priorities hadn’t shifted much. In fact, it wasn’t until my second semester of senior year that I started to see things differently. I enrolled in a yoga class to fulfill my elective requirements—and part of the course’s reading included a book titled The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra. It was the first step in a long journey that made me rethink everything I believed, valued and prioritized.
Eventually, it came time to get a real job. With my business degree, it only seemed natural to interview at the many financial institutions whose names we’ve come to know and detest. Going through the motions, I interviewed well—but my heart was never in it. I knew what to say and how to say it, but it was empty. Soulless.
When a raccoon-eyed interviewer told me that I’d have no personal life for a decade—but that someday I’d be able to afford a Porsche like his—I knew I was done. I came to terms with the reality that this job—and this industry—wasn’t for me.
Instead, I took a job at a small nonprofit that advocates for gay and lesbian families. I did their online marketing and social media. It was a good fit. But it wasn’t perfect—and I still found a lack of personal time. Forgoing raises, bonuses and promotions, I scaled back my work hours and started working remotely. I wanted to work to live, not live to work.
In my free time, I started creating YouTube videos as I traveled the globe. First, I went to Toronto. Then, I journeyed on to Buenos Aires. Much to my surprise, people started following along by subscribing to my channel. First there were hundreds. Then thousands. Then tens of thousands.
Eventually, YouTube approached me about running advertisements on my channel. They promised that it would be a great source of income. In my mind, it was a welcomed side gig—but I didn’t give it much thought. But as the months passed, and as my audience grew into the millions, I started to look at things differently.
On January 1, 2011, I quit my real job. I remember the day so clearly. And I remember the fear and uncertainty of being my own boss and forgoing a steady paycheck. Looking back, I know that the real risk would have been to continue forward with the status quo—and to someday look back and wonder, “What if?”
Though I was unsure of my decision to quit my real job, I am quite certain of one very important truth. I think it might have even been something that Deepak taught me. When you tap into your passions and do what you love in a way that helps other people, you will live in abundance. And though I may never become a billionaire in dollars and cents, my life is rich in adventure, zest and spirit—and poor in regret.
Have you ever considered quitting your job? What would you do with your life? And why aren’t you doing it? Let me know in the comments below.