I'm not sure if I took the leap or if I got nudged (probably a bit of
both). In 1998 I was in a job I disliked more and more, I'd been making
beads for a year and getting restless, and had wanted to go off on my
own into making jewelry for about a year prior to discovering glass.
Unfortunately my ex (who wasn't ex yet) was a deadbeat so I HAD to work
to support our kids. I made up my mind to quit my job in January and
find something else part-time so I could make more beads.
Then, right before Thanksgiving, my boss told me I was being laid off,
not to come back after Thanksgiving. I was bummed because I was looking
forward to the Christmas party (always fun) and my bonus. Then I
realized that in exchanged I would be getting unemployment. I'd worked
for them for 2-1/2 years so I more than qualified. Believe me, I milked
it down to the last week! I got calls from my former boss (well, his
wife, who handled payroll, etc) asking why I hadn't found work yet, etc.
I couldn't quite bring myself to apologize, explain, or feel bad about
them paying the max on me. It was somewhat vengeful, but it was ALSO my
startup capital. I had six precious months to work up to full swing with
my beadmaking and managing auction scheduling and all that fun stuff,
and it made my learning curve much kinder than it could've been.
During lulls (like in the summer when it's too hot to work) I've done
some pickup work, mostly medical transcription done through an online
service, but I haven't set foot in an office or done the 9-5 thing again
since 1998. It's been wonderful!