Every time I talk about leaving my job for a year, my desire to do it grows stronger. Over beers last night with the boss, who has encouraged me as much as anyone, we talked about the job and life. It's become my mantra to say that I don't want to wake up an old man one day and regret I never took a chance in my life. Poker is a gamble, but what I plan isn't much of one. The year off, the book, it's about more than money. It's about believing in myself, that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to. It's cliche, but true -- you can't learn to fly if you don't spread your wings. Maybe it will finally put that nagging voice of self-doubt in my head away for good.
I found my hour-long discussion with Iggy last week enlightening. Hopefully, we encouraged each other with our discussion of poker. Like Iggy, I don't plan to leave without some backup income. I'm in the process of trying to secure some freelance work. I hope to syndicate a video game review column and there shouldn't be any shortage of poker articles I could pitch to magazines. When Iggy quit his job, he took some freelance advertising contracts with him. I particularly liked this quote from him: "If I had to pay my bills playing poker I don't think I would be comfortable doing that. I want to play with impunity. I don't want to have fear."
It's also notable that when people know you are a poker player they love to start talking about poker. Partly what people like Iggy and I are doing is living the dream of millions of people who wish they could leave the cubicle and live a life of their choosing.
"When the CEO announced at the Monday morning staff meeting that I was quitting my job to play poker I nearly got lifted off the floor," Iggy said. "People were high fiving me."