One Giant Leap

Who in their right mind would walk away from that?

Like clockwork, for almost 20 years…the paychecks came in every two weeks. Stable, secure, content. Every two weeks the money was coming because I was earning it. I provided skills and knowledge in exchange for money. Every two weeks I got that money either in a cheque or an automatic deposit.

In addition to the paychecks, there were bonuses, pension, savings plans, RRSP’S, stock options, healthcare benefits, paid vacation days, life and disability insurances, and within the last 5 or 6 years, a pickup truck. Yes, they gave me a pickup truck for me to use, for free. Full personal use. Fuel, insurance and maintenance? That was covered too don’t worry. I had it made. The truck was very symbolic of how good I had it. The truck represented a very privileged life.

So who in their right mind would walk away from that?

Leaving something so stable and secure would probably seem crazy to anyone. I am fully aware that my skills and knowledge have allowed me to be placed in a very favourable position in terms of employment throughout my adult life. I am also fully aware that the average person on earth currently does not have access to the things I did, and that in order to live with so many privileges is a foreign concept to them. Lastly, I am aware that in our province and country right now there are people struggling to feed and cloth their families and would likely kill to be have half of the opportunities I had earned throughout my oilfield career. Hell, there are people way more qualified than me that haven’t worked in months, maybe years now. All these factors were considered ad nauseum and the same answer always came back.

You only live once.

It’s a term we often overuse and rarely fully embrace the meaning of. What if I lived the rest of my life wondering what could have been? Would I wake up every morning, when I am 90 years old thinking about that time I got really good at online marketing but never really made a go of it? Would I look back at Volo Works and wonder what could have been had I only fully committed my time and energy instead of addressing it only when I could make time, instead of making it the priority it needs to be? This is something I have really struggled with the last year or so…but man that pickup truck was nice to have.

I have had Facebook advertising clients come and go. I have seen the highs and lows with Volo Works, too. In a way, it seemed like every time these things got momentum they would stall, because I just couldn’t fully commit my time and energy. I was putting anywhere from 9-12 hours of my best, most productive time into my day job (rightfully so, there is a paycheck & pickup truck involved) and Volo Works and my passion for online marketing was taking up whatever time and energy I had left. It wasn’t fair to them, and it wasn’t fair to my employer that while I was physically there in person, my heart was here, in front of this keyboard. Nobody…especially me, benefits from that kind of relationship.  

After being rejected for Government grants and a couple of solid investor opportunities we decided that the only way this would work would be to go all-in. Commit to the cause. Why not? The pay stinks but I love it. I have always said I would take a pay cut to do something I truly love and now it’s time to put my money where my mouth is. My last day of stable, steady employment was on Friday November 29th and on December 13th will be my last guaranteed paycheck. It’s a scary thought but thank God my wife and business partner is prepared to carry the load for as long as it takes, because she is just as committed as I am.  If it wasn’t for her I never would have summoned the courage to do it.


I’m diving in. No more teetering, no more balancing act between two completely unrelated lifestyles. No more identity crisis. This is me. This is who I am.

Justin Harwood

Self Employed Online Marketer


Volo Works