Your Story: Michael Good

How I Quit My Job
shared by Michael Good

On December 30, 2011, I went to my last day of work as I knew it. I was quitting my job to launch a business with my wife, Claudia. Just three months prior, our first child was born and Claudia had cut her hours way back to stay home with our son. Our total monthly business income at the time I quit: $140.

A little background

At the time I quit my job, we had been married for 8 years. I had recently turned 30. We had been living a pretty dull existence up to this point, a life scripted by society’s expectations.

Michael and Claudia

I was extremely unhappy at work, but felt trapped. I didn’t know what else to do, so indecision caused me to remain in my awful work environment for years.

However, a new wind was blowing much needed courage into the hearts of my wife and I with the fast approaching birth of our first child.

July 4 weekend, 2011 was a truly pivotal moment for us. We went away, identified our life goals, and drew a proverbial line in the sand. We decided where we wanted to go in life and haven’t turned back since. We called it our “life commencement weekend” and it was exactly that.

One of the main things we identified over that weekend was that I needed to quit my job. What I would do, we didn’t yet know. We just knew I needed to get out of there. We set my deadline to quit for December 30 of that year.

This plan along with the plan for Claudia to cut her work hours back to one day a week meant our income would no longer support the lifestyle we had created. We knew we had a challenge ahead of us.

We pressed forward

Jude. 🙂

On August 25, 2011, our son, Jude, was born. We were excited, proud parents. I was planning to quit my job 4 months later. Our financial challenge loomed in the distance like a huge mountain.

As we witnessed our savings plummeting each month with Claudia now at home, we were scared, frustrated, and still didn’t have a clue what we were going to do to transition me out of my job. Even though I wanted to start my own business, I considered just getting another job, any job that would pay more than my current one. We needed to bring more money in!

We pressed forward and the road became clear

During those difficult moments with our backs up against the wall, we came up with our business idea! It was right under our noses, but we had never thought of it before.

The idea was to start a music school, something I had a lot of experience in and knew I could grow pretty quickly.

Taking an honest look

We trimmed our expenses as much as possible and then put everything on the table in terms of income generation. We sold items, budgeted tediously and both picked up odd jobs to cover expenses.

We certainly didn’t have it all figured out, but we developed a plan and were determined to make it work. We had no backup plan! We knew this was our best option to get us going in the right direction.

We moved quickly and didn’t look back. This was our chance!

Getting through the middle

Since starting the business in January, the past eight months, have been a roller coaster of emotions. There were months where we had to decide which bills were going to get paid and which weren’t.

There were definitely days where we questioned whether we made the best decision. We were in it together, however, and would encourage one another during the tough moments. Somehow we knew we had, we just needed to get through the middle.

We continued to press forward. The end was not clear, but the next step was, so we took the next step, and the next one. We took life one day at a time.

We held fast to our plan, to each other and both listened constantly to audiobooks and podcasts that brought us encouragement and new ideas. We worked incredibly hard budgeting, planning, and incorporating new ideas. We forced ourselves to make our finances stretch, knowing we had no other choice.

We burned the bridge and there was no going back!

Where we’re at now

This month of August has been a special month for us. Our business has officially replaced my previous income and we are celebrating! We did it! I got out of my unhealthy job situation and we started our own business! A business that is supporting our family!

While it took three times longer than projected, we are now hitting our stride and the business is picking up a lot of momentum. We are presently looking to hire our first teacher and are on track to pick up many new students as the fall semester begins.

We are at the point where we can take a breather, step back and say, “We reached our goal, we actually did it! Where to from here?!”

Looking back and what I’ve learned

While quitting my job and starting a business certainly has been a wild ride of ups and downs, we wouldn’t have it any other way.

I learned you have to make a clear plan, and then force yourself to take the leap!

We now have freedom and flexibility we never had before. I set my own teaching schedule and I am able to be home more with Claudia and Jude. This has proven invaluable for our family. I feel alive again and Claudia says the life has come back into my eyes. I never want to go back!

We’re thankful for the experience we have had. The challenges drew us together and have made us stronger. We are confident and excited about the possibilities that lie ahead!

The Good Family


Michael is a writer, entrepreneur, and lifelong learner. He helps others escape normal, regain their fizz, and recreate the way they make a living. He enjoys technology, and revels in going fast on things such as snowboards and mountain bikes. He makes a rockin’ cup of coffee in his french press.

To learn more about the Good family adventure, check out: rise365.com or follow Michael on Twitter.

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11 thoughts on “Your Story: Michael Good

  1. Michael,

    Thanks for sharing your story. It’s encouraging to know that we can move forward from bad working environments and succeed, sometimes even surpassing our previous income.

    Keep up the great work! Can’t wait to see where you’re going to go.

  2. I love your story. I read things that I didn’t know before. You guys continue to inspire Steve and me as we continue our journey. In six days, we’ll be starting the next phase of our adventure as Steve picks up his first 13-week placement. Each season has brought forth new adventures, people, and challenges. We’re blessed to be on this journey with such great friends. You guys made it!!!

  3. Michael, I have enjoyed following your family’s story at rise365.com. It has been inspiring to watch you and Claudia continue to press forward despite any changes in plan, hiccups, etc. I’m so impressed that you have made this happen in less than a year! Kent Julian asked us at his Speak It Forward conference, “What is your low hanging fruit? Go for that first.” Hearing you mention that the idea to start a music school was right under your noses made me think of what Kent said and also started me wondering, “What is MY low hanging fruit?”

    Thank you for guest posting! I enjoyed hearing your story again and like Jody Berkey said, I read things that I had not read before!

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