From a Nice Salary to a Minimum Wage Job

From a Nice Salary to a Minimum Wage Job

Written by Mark

Topics: Uncategorized

Here is a real life snapshot of one my best friends:

Jeremy Smith had a comfortable finance job with a nice salary at a large multinational telecommunications company.  He now works a minimum wage job at a pizza restaurant.

Success or failure?

I know what conclusion you jumped to when you first read that.  Don’t you think you ought to have more information before coming to your conclusion?  It’s easy to assume the complexities of a situation based solely on a few pieces of information.  Society has indoctrinated us to label people with defined boundaries.  Someone who was making a nice salary and is now working an hourly minimum wage job is automatically assumed to be failing and categorized as a failure.  Let’s delve into this further.

The commute to this job was approximately an hour and a half each way.  During the winter, this rose to 2 hours or more.  That’s 3 to 4 hours everyday and 15 to 20 hours every week sitting in a car.  That’s like a part time job!  Not only was he working at a job he didn’t like, but he was spending countless hours stuck in traffic and hundreds of dollars on gas each month! Something had to change.  But change is hard even if we don’t like our current situation.  We get complacent. We get addicted to the life we are trying to escape. Are you successful when you stay in a job you hate with a commute you don’t have to do?

Jeremy had a dream.

He had always wanted to own and run his own pizza place.  After being laid off from his salaried position he decided to take his life in a different direction.  He could have applied for another finance job, but decided to apply for a job at his favorite pizza place.  He now has no commute.  He simply walks to work.  Yes, that’s right he has 15 to 20 hours a week of his life back.  You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure out how those hours add up over the course of months and years.

He took the risk and took a HUGE pay cut so he could follow his dreams and find a way to make a living doing something he was passionate about. He has never been happier and loves the atmosphere and people at work.   Each day he is constantly learning and striving towards his goals.  He hopes one day to  take a minority stake in a pizza place with the ultimate goal of one day owning his own.

I wrote a post about how my most successful friend was the one who dropped out of college to start a mortgage company.  His subsequent success trumped all the people who viewed his decision to drop out of college as reckless.  Will Jeremy be successful?  I have no idea, though if I had to put my money on it I would say so.

Will Jeremy Succeed?

If Jeremy doesn’t succeed in this venture, he WILL succeed in another.  The point is, it doesn’t matter if he is successful in this endeavor.  Just the fact that he is taking the risk to become successful is success to me.  He is daring to be great, not just good, but great. Many of us have dreams, yet there are few of us that actually take action and attempt to follow them. Unless you are a fortune teller, there is no way to tell how a decision made today will play out in the future.  You can be fired from that “safe” salaried position at any time and you can go bankrupt starting the business of your dreams.  You could also rise through the corporate ranks or have an incredibly successful pizza business.  You just never know.  Now, would you rather be successful at something you hate, or fail at trying to do something you love? There’s no way to tell what the future holds, but my hats off to those taking those “risks” and trying.  Risk isn’t so risky, and safe isn’t so safe.  Live your dreams, follow your passions, and ignite your lifestyle!  Jeremy, show those lifestyle igniters just how possible it all is!

***Disclaimer:  This post may cause you to consume massive amounts of pizza which may or may not be hazardous to your health.

Photo from flickr

Related Posts with Thumbnails

78 Comments Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Srinivas Rao says:

    Solid post Mark. As I said most people will settle for average than risk being extraordinary because they fear failure so much. We give so much meaning to the terms success and failure that it’s out of control. We tell ourselves a story based on these and then it all becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.

    • Mark says:

      “Most people will settle for average than risk being extraordinary because they fear failure so much.”

      Srini that quote of yours deserves to be framed up or printed on a poster. Chilling and profound words. That sums up the essence of this post and of the journey that my friend is taking. Jeremy is pushing through that fear of failure that is ingrained in us since birth and pressing ahead to be successful on him own terms. His quality of life has certainly gone through the roof already. I’m excited to see how things will turn out as he forges ahead with his dreams and not out of fear.

    • Jeremy Smith says:

      Srinivas, thank you for making your voice heard. I think you are right and that most people fear failure, and they will never act. I have come to realize that failure is a necessity in moving forward. As you can ask Mark, I had a two month long period where I felt I was failing everyday. It has taken until now for me to turn all of those failures into daily successes. Had I not encountered those failures before, I would not have been having the successes I am experiencing Today. Dare to be great. Embrace the times you struggle and learn from them.

  2. Patrick Miller says:

    That pizza looks way better than the slices I’ve purchased at Ian’s.

    JEREMY don’t FEAR climbing to the next TIER! I believe in my eyes and EARS that this kid will PERSEVERE!


    – Antoine Jamal Tyrone Hodkins (yeeeeaaa dawg!)

    • Mark says:

      Patrick I warned that reading this may cause excessive pizza consumption. As you are one of the number one consumers of Ian’s Pizza, I didn’t think it was possible for your consumption to increase but it somehow did. That pizza in the picture looks delicious. It’s amazing how a photo can evoke such hunger. Thanks for dropping by Pat! Deeeyaaaahh!

    • Jeremy Smith says:

      Good luck on your GMAT tomorrow Pat. Oh yea, no celebratory pizza for you.

  3. Dan says:

    Great post! I love once you ditch the ‘supposed to’s’ it can just be a lot of fun. Good luck Jeremy if you are reading this, if the pizza gig doesn’t work out you could always get a job as a GQ model.

    • Mark says:

      Dan you bring up an awesome point that I missed. Besides the benefits of becoming successful and happy, living life out of hope instead of fear is just plain more fun. That more fun aspect is something often overlooked but is absolutely true! As for being a GQ model, are you going to start a recruiting firm for lifestyle designers? It would really compliment your outsourcing to the Philippines business :)

    • Jeremy Smith says:


      Thanks for your support. Until I get a six pack and learn about style, I don’t think that I will have to worry about trying out for Gentleman’s Quarterly. Thanks for the compliment though, that is the attitude we all need to have!

  4. “Just the fact that he is taking the risk to become successful is success to me…”

    I think doing what you want to do is success. If you want to be a bum, you are being successful by living under a bridge. It really doesn’t matter what other people think success is, but it’s just what success is in the eyes of the beholder.

    Especially with that traffic commute comparison, that was totally saving a life. The Art of Manliness wrote a post that featured how people to earn happiness for over 75,000 dollars. If you could make that money in 2 months then you’ll be set for the rest of the 10 months. Go bananas!

    Great post Mark.

    • Mark says:

      Jonathan, well said. Success is in the eye of the beholder. There are all these rules to dictate what “success” is. The truly successful are those that follow their dreams and do what they want.

      The lack of a traffic commute did save a life. Besides the hours wasted, there is also the added stress and degradation of the rest of the day because of the painful commute. A horribly long commute is like a poison that seeps into the rest of your day and life.

    • Jeremy Smith says:


      On my last day of the job, I told myself that I would drive in the slowest lane the whole way home from the suburbs to the city just to savor the fact that I would never have to make that drive again. Sure enough, on the one last time I had to make that drive, I pulled off halfway to visit my parents (in Skokie) because I couldn’t handle how painfully slow it was. To this day, I haven’t missed a single thing about the commute or job and am much happier than I was 7 months ago. Those people who hyper commute are also subject to factors out of their control. I had a few situations where I was in a car accident due to someones reckless driving. Luckily I was never hurt, but there have been THOUSANDS of dollars spent repairing my car from such events. How much worse could this have been had I been physically injured? I promise you that I could not quantify the impact if that ever did happen. My life could be irreparably different, and over what, commuting to a job that didn’t fulfill me? Maybe Pizza isn’t that bad in the end…

  5. Joel Runyon says:

    This is cool mark :)

    It’s amazing how much time you could spend in a commute doing NOTHING. I think I started to realize that time suck when I talked to Crandall about his commute =)

    • Mark says:

      Joel, “every cloud has a silver lining”. As horribly against inefficiently long commutes (for both quality of life, and environmental reasons), I cannot disregard that there can be some benefits. The fact that you and David started a friendship during these hours makes it worth it. There will be benefits of this friendship that will last a lifetime. It strengthened the entourage. You got to your triathlon earlier since you could stay at an entourage member’s house close to the start line instead of out in the suburbs. There are many ingenious people that have been able to take advantage of this time in the car and i say hats off to them.

    • Jeremy Smith says:


      doing NOTHING couldn’t be further from the truth. There is nothing cool about scrolling through the radio at 500pm and hearing the same Black Eyed Peas club hit on four major stations at the same time.
      Keep challenging the Impossible Joel!

  6. Very nice post Mark!

    Given the option I would choose to fail at trying to do something I love.

    It takes guts to do what Jeremy did, and I just know that he will put that 15-20 hours he just gained back to very good use.

    Good luck Jeremy…..the dream is ALWAYS worth the effort.

    • Mark says:

      Maria, if you fail at doing something you love, at least you can say you tried. Then you can move on to attempting something else you love. Rinse and repeat! You will end up succeeding at something if you keep trying and don’t settle.

      It definitely takes guts to take a completely different life direction like Jeremy did. There is so much societal pressure to conform. It’s not only necessary to push through one’s own fears, but those that other’s instill in you.

      Maria, this is perfect, “the dream is ALWAYS worth the effort.”

      Good luck in your endeavors also!

      • Jeremy Smith says:


        Honestly you just rock. That is the kind of positive reinforcement that makes me want to push the envelope further and make more progress. The dream is ALWAYS worth the effort, and I’m glad you are prepared to make sacrifices to achieve what you want. Thanks for reaching out!

  7. Shepherd Smith says:


    This is your father.

    Get your ass out of that pizza shop and get a real job.

    Thanks for supporting this tomfoolery Mark.

    • Mark says:

      Mr. Smith, Shep, (or Danny Weiss), great word usage. I love that word. “Tomfoolery”. I actually had to look it up. For those that also don’t know it’s meaning:

      tom·fool·er·y (tm-fl-r)
      n. pl. tom·fool·er·ies
      1. Foolish behavior.
      2. Something trivial or foolish; nonsense.

      Tomfoolery behavior is awesome. It is not only fun, but at the root and pinnacle of most success stories in the world. It was tomfoolery of Christopher Columbus to sail out into the unknown to “discover” the new world. And on and on. I love that word! I think it’s my new favorite! Seriously. THANK YOU :)

    • Jeremy Smith says:

      Thanks for the support Father

  8. Adriana says:

    You know what?!?! You made me think that I’m successful person.. lol
    I’m gonna tell you a little bit about it!
    Right after High School I went to a good University in my city.. I was going to be a Food Engineer. I needed 5 years to graduate but when I was in my 3rd year I realized that I didn’t really like the course.. But I’m kinda proud person and I thought.. “How can I leave a good course in a named University?” Well.. after I talked to my family I dropped the course. My family always supports me on my choices if they think that I’ll be happy with it. So did they.
    Now I am a Business student and I know that’s what I like but… not very satisfied yet.. I decided to stop for a while. Well, I had two jobs and my studies.. crazy and busy life!! So, I just left everything in Brazil and here I am, in USA as an AU PAIR. And of course, who supported me?? My family.. (I didn’t think about my family’s support before I write this, now I see how important it was for me and how successful they are).
    Anyway.. Everybody knows that AU PAIR job is so boring and it sucks sometimes.. or always lol.. but who cares? And who comes here to be an au pair?? We came here because we wanna live a different thing in our lives, we wanna know about other culture, we wanna study another language, etc… and it doesn’t matter the way it is.
    Who has the audacity to leave their country and families, their studies and jobs to live this huge opportunity??? That’s not for many people..

    Serious, after I read this I started to think about my life, because I always thought I mess up everything.. but I’m just living my dreams and DOING WHAT I WANT!

    Thanks for sharing Jeremy’s life!!! You guys rock!!!!!!!!!!!!! 😀

    • Mark says:

      Adriana, I am happy that this post has provided some inspiration and made you feel like you are on the right track. It can be scary to do what you believe is right. There is so much pressure to be a certain way. You are lucky to have such supportive family. A lot of times out of good intentions, family and friends can stress, and provide life crippling, and stifling advice. It must have been a hard decision to go down a different path once you had invested so much time and effort into one. The benefits are wonderful though. You cut your losses and moved on. This is hard to do. Often “sunk costs” get in the way of the decision making process and provide more many more losses and future unhappiness in the years to come. It something is not working out, change it. It’s hard but you did it.

      Being an Au Pair from Brazil, you have been able to experience an entirely different culture and way of life. It seems that you are taking advantage of your time here and not only learning invaluable skills and perfecting your English, but you are enjoying yourself even if you are not in love with your job. Being an Au Pair is a means to an end, and not just a means. It is a stepping stone in your journey of life.

      I am so happy that you are living your dreams and doing what you want! I have no doubt that you will be both successful AND happy. You rock!!! :)

    • Jeremy Smith says:


      You rock for many reasons. One, you have totally changed gears in your life and put yourself out for an experience that you will never forget. I can only imagine how difficult it would be to uproot your whole social and family foundation, to travel to a place far away and deal with people who are quite demanding. I have seen you do an amazing job at this, while maintaining an optimistic and excited view of things to come. You are an inspiration. You push your comfort zone, and I promise you will ultimately be a better person for it. Secondly you rock because you were willing to break free on the social norms and follow your own interests. I think it is awesome how your family supports you. Through the highest highs and the lowest lows, they will always be there for you. I admire your relationship with them, and you eternally lucky to have them in your life!

  9. Jennifer Engelhart says:

    How is he going to afford bottle service though?!! I love this post thank you for writing it! I think this is a great example of how you can’t define “success” or “failure” and link it to certain things. In our society money=success but this shows that being happy and giving your all to something even if you fail is the real sign of success, even though it seems scary as hell. The question “Would you rather be successful at something you hate, or fail at something you love?” has definitely got me thinking. Kudos to Jeremy and to you Mark for writing this. I will be thinking about this post as I sit in traffic on 90 tonight considering what it is that I would really love to do with my life. MARKLAR!

    • Mark says:

      HAHA yes Jennifer, bottle service! TI! Anyone can afford bottle service if they forgo “non-essentials” like gas and electric utilities, cell phone, toilet paper and food.

      We live in a stability=success world. In this stability = success world, taking risks to follow your dreams is viewed as dangerous. However, it’s those that take those risks that actually end up being the most successful in the money = success society and standard status quo and template life views.

      Hope you can figure out something great during that commute of yours! Thanks for dropping by Jennifer!

    • Jeremy Smith says:


      A thorough analysis of my party habits will allow you to realize that there are not many issues with me affording bottle service. I am not very big on booze, and if anything would be ordering a bottle of Voss out a club (prob something I could manage to afford on a pizza salary!). I think you hit the nail on the heads that in our society money = success, although there are soooo many more things that I believe define success than the accumulation of money. If you are doing what you love, or attempting to, you will have more success than you could imagine. Kudos to you Jennifer for being open and real about your situation. I know how smart and talented you are, and that you will have an incredible success when you find what it is you love. Stay hungry and optimistic, and make sure that you drive safely in winter times!!! FartKlar!

  10. Awesome post that is very well-written. I especially love how you allow the reader to draw conclusions and make assumptions before explaining your stance — powerful stuff! Such a great read.

    On a separate note, I fully support tomfoolery. So does Peoria.

    • Mark says:

      Long live tomfoolery! Drawing conclusions without knowing all the information is only natural. What isn’t natural is blindly and dogmatically clinging to outdated conclusions and opinions once new information becomes available or is known.

    • Jeremy Smith says:

      Honestly Christian, you’re just a G. Kid got game ya’ll

  11. Steven says:

    Reading this post really gives me a boost of confidence in what I am planning on doing. I am graduating this December with a degree in communications. I am determined not to work in an office and not to do political campaign work (it’s fun, but it’s too much then too little and not enough money). So, when I graduate, I am going to be starting a late night business selling fried sweets (think bananas, oreos, snicker’s bars, mini doughnuts) to drunken college students. I am passionate about food. I work a lot harder when it’s for myself. The only path to success that I am really going to be follow is one where I am working for myself. I am also going to be making $50,000-$80,000 a year doing it in city where $1,000 a month gets me a top notch apartment downtown. Hello, early retirement.

    • Kevin says:

      As long as I get free doughnuts…

    • Mark says:

      Awesome to hear Steven! Follow your heart or in this case your stomach (and heart)! I can’t wait to see how this works out. It is much “safer” to get a job closely aligned to your major. You are daring to be great. I am proud of you. I have always known you would be successful. I am happy that you are attempting this on your own terms. It’s incredibly difficult to start your own business. But incredibly rewarding also. Rock this out! Getting hungry!

    • Jeremy Smith says:

      Steven you rock man. Serving food to drunk people can be a ton of fun! Your idea is going to be a hit. Everyone loves sweets. Everyone loves shit fried. And most importantly, every drunk kid in the world would love to double up that combo (and they will hand over cash in fistfulls for it). You could start an empire with something like that because you are really into it. Don’t worry about the money. It will come as a by product of you doing what you like. When you get that $1,000 a month sick pad in the city, come let me surf your couch so that I can experience luxury. Good luck and keep your eye on the prize!

  12. Deb says:

    And when will Jeremy be making pizzas for us??? I can hardly wait to taste some of these experiments. The kitchen is OPEN.

  13. Nina Yau says:

    Just like Srini said, solid post. I wish Jeremy all the best. When one follows his dreams, that is already success. Failure is in the eye of the beholder. Ignore the nay-sayers, live your own life. Love it.

    • Mark says:

      Nina, you summed up the entire post’s essence with “When one follows his dreams, that is already success.” Success should not be bound by narrow confines and other people. It truly is in the eye of the beholder. Live and love life. We’ve only got one.

    • Jeremy Smith says:


      In so few words have you made such a good point. I’m living for me, and I know you live for you. Do your thing girl!

  14. Angela says:

    I love that your friend has defined success on his term and that he is not afraid to LIVE. I believe there is more risk in living a complacent life and wasting in away in a long ass commute. Kudos to Jeremy for going after what he truly wants! Sometimes being laid off is a blessing in disguise.

    • Mark says:

      Getting back 15 to 20 hours a week of his life back is truly amazing. Some of the best things can result from a layoff as we reassess our own values, life direction and what is important to us. Angela, complacency is evil!

  15. Earl says:

    I’d absolutely agree that because Jeremy can now say that he’s as happy as he’s ever been, he has already succeeded. And after tasting this happiness, he has probably realized that there’s really no reason to return to the less fulfilling lifestyle he was leading before. As a result, he’s overcome the most challenging obstacle we must face when we decide to take full control of our lives.

    This is an inspirational post and I also wish Jeremy (and anyone else who decides to make a similar move) continued success!

    • Mark says:

      He’s successful because he’s happy. Why can’t this mantra be more common?! It’s horrible that “success” is usually judged by a number. When the number doesn’t move it’t even more stressful, because of the perceived lack of “success”. Quality of life and happiness should be considered when assessing one’s success. Most people say they take this into account but few rarely practice this. That taste of happiness is sweet and it’s refreshing to be friends with someone like Jeremy who is striving to find his own way; and succeeding!

    • Jeremy Smith says:


      It’s kinda of cool going into work and being excited for a shift. I notice that I do all the little things on the job that I wouldn’t do for a job I disliked. It just comes naturally. When things happen in that manner (think of your best relationships, your hobbies, etc) you are going to have the most success. Thank you for reaching out, and I can only wish continued success for you as well friend!

  16. NomadicNeill says:

    I used to have a 1.5 hour commute as well. Though mine was in the underground so I could do some reading if I wasn’t too tired.

    I remember sometimes falling asleep and not remembering if I was going to work or on my way home! :S

    • Mark says:

      Wow! A 1.5 hour commute! Although I do agree, it is definitely different than a 1.5 hour commute in the car! You save on gas and most importantly, frustration. It can be a good time to decompress or get some reading done if you take advantage of the time.

      You should come up with a trick so when you wake up from a train nap you know what part of the day it is LOL. Maybe untie your shoelaces on the way home from work, that way you can wake up, look down at your feet and automatically know if you are going to work or going home :)

    • Jeremy Smith says:


      I’m glad to hear that you at least took a proactive approach in that situation. I think it would be easy for a lot of people to just get angry, be resentful and do nothing with that time. I remember that I used to get on a handsfree device and make a lot of my calls when I was in the car. That way I was at least able to keep in touch with my friends and loved ones. It definitely made the time pass quicker. Thanks for commenting!

  17. Really nice post Mark. It’s great to hear about people taking their dreams into their own hands and doing something. I agree that just the act of trying is a success, especially in a society that values stability and thinks your crazy for trying something new (until it “succeeds”).

    Really glad I found your blog.


    • Mark says:

      Todd, It’s awesome when like minded individuals come together. We realize that we aren’t totally crazy since there are others that feel, and think the same way. We believe the act of trying to do something you love is success. Many people don’t. Some believe it, but don’t think it’s worth the risk. I say hogwash and tomfoolery to that line of thinking! Rock on Todd!

    • Jeremy Smith says:


      Thank you for making your voice heard! I think we are lucky to realize that it takes people who think against the grain to get things achieved. I don’t believe that a majority of the people are ignorant, however they might not want the things that we desire. With that said, I plan to keep trying until something succeeds, and I hope you do as well.

      Good luck!


  18. wilson says:

    “taking the risk to become successful is success to me” so so flipping agree.

    I mean just the fact that he took the chance to do what 99% of the people don’t do (take risks) is a win for Jeremy.

    …definitely fail at something you love doing. I don’t think we’ve ever heard yet of those who have failed at doing what they love though. Kudos to Jeremy for following his passion. I’m with you man!

    • Mark says:

      Yes Wilson Yes! Score! Add another notch to the voting tally! Another in favor of failing at something you love over succeeding at something you hate. If more people believed and acted on this, the world would be a better and happier place!

    • Jeremy Smith says:


      Risks are what really determine who we are. I would rather take a risk and learn something new about myself than to maintain the status quo. If you are doing something you love, there is no such thing as failure. You will be happy and you will be driven to succeed.



  19. Farnoosh says:

    Jeremy and Mark, a great story to read before I call it the night! There is no doubt in my mind that not only has Jeremy already succeeded, he will continue to thrive and I am delighted to hear of such a brave soul! I wish you both the very best…. Continue going after those dreams and setting your own path! :)

    • Mark says:

      Farnoosh, glad this was some good before bed time reading. The support for Jeremy has been awesome. Jeremy’s success will not end here. We will see the chain of events unfold as he braves the world to conquer his dreams. Thanks for the kind support and good wishes.

      On another note, does this post make up for the “When work gets overwhelming remember you’re going to die?” Topic is still about work, but a bit warmer of a subject :)

    • Jeremy Smith says:


      Reading your post makes me envision the Rocky scene where Sylvester Stalone is climbing the steps in Philadelphia and he does his fists in the air dance once he reaches the top. I feel like that is the ultimate goal of our search. To go through the pain and discomfort to realize the reward and joy at the end. I know that you will be following your own dreams, and I wish you the best!


  20. Ignacio says:

    As I see it, this is a matter of alienation in the workplace, as the Marxist concept goes. Besides the senseless commuting Jeremy may have felt a lack of purpose or *reality* in his finance job, whereas in the pizza business he is dealing with more concrete materials and people, seeing the immediate results of his actions: the nice smell of pizza, the smiles on the satisfied customers faces, cash in hand, whatever. I can imagine that in the finance world there are numbers and computer files that are created only to go down the cybernetic drain to some far-away place where they may have their effect, but basically in the corporate world the tendency is to feel like a small cog in the big machinery, impotent to jump out of your tiny axis, pinned down by that screw. You’re screwed, basically. Reality-based work, though, like the pizza place for Jeremy now, gives you a broader picture; you’re in touch with many more stages of the process. However, even in a pizza place you can have also alienation: imagine being limited to doing the same repetitive procedure, e.g., working only as a cashier, or only putting mushrooms on pizzas in an assembly line type of setup. You would go crazy. Still, in the case of the finance and corporate world work, it’s a dirty job and somebody has to do it (is it?), so the alternative (once you’re “in the hole”) would be to put oneself in the proper state of mind, sort of like making lemonade out of lemons, until you save enough to get out. A more social-structural solution would be to have enough people downsize, reducing our artificial consumerist needs so we can live equally well, if not better, with less, and people could work 15 or 20 hours a week, everyone could take longer vacations, sabbaticals, etc.

    • Jeremy Smith says:


      You have obviously thought this through a bit. I agree that there is more instant gratification in the current pizza job than there was in my previous career. Also, I agree that the job has aspects where you are doing repetitive procedures. With that said there is a people element to the job that is completely unique to the restaurant. Every day there are hundreds of new faces who come in, all with different backgrounds and tastes. There is always a new opportunity to interact and connect with someone, if even for just a short while. For a people person like myself, that is something special. There is going to be something unique to each job that will cater to someone’s skills and interests. I am really glad to hear your opinions, and I am glad that you are addressing some of the less talked about pieces.


    • Mark says:

      Ignacio, you can definitely see a complete change in his body language and overall satisfaction in general just from talking with him. There has been a complete paradigm shift in the nature of the work. The hands on reality based work analogy hits the nail on the head. Thanks for dropping by Ignacio.

  21. Nick Laborde says:

    At one point or another every successful person acted in a Tomfoolery way. It’s that foolish behavior that has lead to so many great things. Look at Edison, most people probably thought he was foolish for thinking he could create light without fire.

    He only had to fail several thousand times before he got it right, but he made it happen.

    It takes a lot of courage to do what Jeremy has decided to do and I admire him for that.

  22. Nick Laborde says:

    I almost forgot, Will Jeremy succeed? I would invest in that stock.

    • Jeremy Smith says:


      Thanks for the support man! If you need some of that stock, I’ve got a good broker who can hook you up. Haha. Keep the positivity flowing.


    • Mark says:

      So true Nick! I would definitely invest in that stock! Wait! I actually did! First public announcement of this will be in a comment response to you. I have started a business with Jeremy Smith. More details to come. Been charging away with him on this project.

  23. kiki says:


    I’m super happy that this is on this blog! I think you’re terrific!
    Just remember, keep asking yourself questions that you’re subconcious will positively answer for you!

    – “Why am I going to be so successful?”
    – “Why am I surrounded by great friends?”
    – “How am I going to get through this?”
    – “Why am I so good looking?”

    much love and success!!

    • Mark says:

      Kiki! I’m glad you love the story. You live and understand the rendition of this firsthand in real life, since you know Jeremy in person. You understand the awesome positive energy that has been flowing. These are great questions you have posed here. Awesome support Kiki!

  24. Dude, this post elevated you to Tim Ferris Status as far as comments go good work, I think it has to do with the Nation love batter that was mixed in, you’re irresistable kid!

  25. Mark says:

    Alan, your story sounds incredible. So awesome how you get along now without the stress and are living a much happier life. Nobody wants to be the one to have a heart attack at their desk. Congrats on the small business. Let it continue to thrive and let you continue to ignite your lifestyle!

  26. Alan says:

    That’s absolutely where I was Mark… Nice salary and lifestyle – but drinking way to much and under far to much stress. Had not long turned 40 and was convinced I was heading down the heart attack route.

    I’ve never been materialistic and have always thought memories and experience far more valuable than cash and the stuff people accumulate. As fate would have it about the time I decided to get the hell out of Dodge I met the right woman to do it with – and here we are.

    As well as the business I’m doing a bit of charity fund raising and also planning a non-profit project of my own. Wouldn’t change it for the world. I think we’ve become nomads now – if I was to tire of the island I’m on we certainly wouldn’t go back, we’d just move on somewhere else…

  27. Love this brother!! Can’t believe it took me so long to find your site here… Glad Joel tossed your link up on the article today… This is what it’s all about man. Following your dreams when nothing makes sense. Trying to figure out things into the future never brings any answers… it’s when we look into the past that it all makes sense.

    Love it man!


    • Mark says:

      Hey Patrick!!! “Following your dreams when nothing makes sense.” That’s it! That’s it! Dreams don’t have to make sense. Life doesn’t have to make sense. They are dreams! This is life! Trying to make sense of it all hinders growth and possibility. Thanks for dropping by. Great to hear your words man!

  28. Kevin says:

    Just posted this on my fb and got a great convo going. Awesome post, although it’s like half a year later, but awesome nonetheless. Nice meeting you at wds Mark.

  29. Shinith says:

    I always want to become a photographer, but still tangled in my Logistics job. Hope I will soon get out of this mess. Inspiring !
    Congrats, Mark and Jeremy.

78 Comments Trackbacks For This Post

  1. Tweets that mention From a Nice Salary to a Minimum Wage Job | Life Style Ignition --
  2. From a nice salary to working a minimum wage job at a pizza place
  3. Epic World Journey to Chicago Entrepreneur | Life Style Ignition

Leave a Comment Here's Your Chance to Be Heard!