JUNE 24, 2022
I did it y’all! I finally took the leap of faith. I’ve been praying and dreaming of this moment for years. It all just so cohesively worked out the way it should. I’ve decided to retire on FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early/Entrepreneur) to focus on my dreams. Today is my last day working at Zappos. Well, technically July 6 is my last day which lands on my 7 year anniversary. But I have sick time saved and need to use it or lose it. So today is my last actual working day. Gahhhhh! The fear is real, ya’ll!
It's wild how things just work out. I have been planning my exit strategy plan for years and there was a job profile alignment within my department which I had to start from the bottom again. So I knew my time there one day had to come to an end. It seriously worked out the way it should and I am grateful. It helped give me the push I needed. Plus I’m leaving Zappos on a high note, that is volunteering at the most rewarding event of my career there, The Special Olympics in Orlando. This event made me realize I love interacting and serving those who need a voice.
Scottie and I built my FIRE exit strategy plan since 2018. Learning how to have multiple streams of income and not solely rely on my W2 was something I had to train my brain and understand. It’s especially hard since I love the company and my team. I never had a team where I was so comfortable and so close to. So it was extremely tough to walk away.
I'll be able to go with the flow of life and see where God wants me to be. Just know I’ll be ok. As you all know how much Zappos meant to me but I've learned I’m not meant to work a desk job. There was no room for me to grow where I could creatively serve the company. So I knew I was meant to chase after my dreams. Plus, I have been wanting to leave for hecka long to focus on our side hustles that need me but I was too damn scared to say bye to my 9-5. It’s the comfort of a consistent paycheck and the best benefits a company could ever offer.
But being diagnosed with Lupus 6 years ago, I’d call out sick a lot. Using up all my sick time. After realizing that at any time I can lose my job, I knew I had to learn about other ways to make an income. Thankfully, I was able to manage my Lupus with extensive research, lots of tests, and a lot of trial and error with medications. Once I figured out it was the meds that made me more sick, I completely stopped all my autoimmune meds. Since then, I haven’t called out sick for my Lupus in a few years. Yes, I’ll still have days where my inflammation held me down, but I never wanted to make Lupus an excuse. But ultimately I realized it challenged me with my memory and caused cognitive dysfunction. So yah girl was going nuts trying to figure out why I could not remember the most basic things. I felt like a failure and realized I couldn’t do the most easiest tasks. It was embarrassing and extremely exhausting because sometimes it took me 10 times longer to do something. But I’m so extremely grateful I found the root cause. No pity parties y’all, I’m just blessed my Lupus is under control and mild. 🙏
Once I understood that my autoimmune disease was my road block, I went hard on saving, learning to invest in real estate and building businesses. Also, having sugar Scottie take travel Covid nurse assignments so we could fuel our FIRE to be able to fund our investments and dreams. I’m so blessed that Scottie believes in me. I had many self doubts, fears of failure and ultimately it came down to that I didn’t believe in myself. I have such a supportive husband who has been telling me for years to quit so I could focus on my dreams. But I didn’t listen to him because I thought having a career was part of life and I felt Zappos was apart of my identity. But we both knew I wasn’t meant to work a desk job.
So many emotions, but I knew it was time. I mean who the fuck quits their job during what seems to be a crazy time where a recession is coming and inflation is nuts. Plus, we just dropped hella money on our baby, Lil Miss Sugar Mama. Lol! But I prayed and right when I was about to hit send on my resignation email to HR, a moth flew on my computer screen. It’s a Filipino superstition that when a moth visits you it’s someone who passed away. I truly believe my Mom was with me at that very moment when I needed her. It was comforting and it reassured me that everything will be ok. I started crying and balled my eyes out. I prayed more and I hit send. There's no turning back now!
Quitting Zappos is like grieving a loss because I’m leaving behind a company I gave my heart to and leaving behind so many great coworkers that turned into friends and some even family. I went in 7 years ago thinking I’d retire there. You see, Zappos teaches you how to better yourself and I took every advantage of all the upskilling they offered. I took every entrepreneur workshop at Zappos, linked up with mentors, and read most of Tony’s books he recommended. Throughout my time there, I was able to pursue a lot of my passions within Zappos and most importantly outside of work.
Now, I’ll be able to apply what I learned and finally pursue what I prayed for and that’s my dreams. Taking myself out the E quadrant and hyper focus on all the businesses we started during our FIRE Journey. Yes, our investments replaced my monthly income. So I was able to reach my FIRE goal. We managed to save 2 years worth of my salary as cushion which our plan was for renovations but now we pivot our plans on renovations and stretch it out over time. I 💯 believe in building an emergency fund for cases like these. But this means no more buying stupid shit I don’t need or saying it’s on sugar daddy. Haha! I really gotta practice what I preach to people all the time. That’s budgeting, paying off your debt, and only buying assets. This is how Scottie and I was able to position ourselves to where we are today.
If you’re curious about our FIRE journey, I’ve been blogging about it for years. So you’ll be able to learn the path we took. I transparently wrote what we did, how we saved, how we budgeted, and how much we spent on each investment. I’m so glad I captured and blogged about our journey along the way. My hopes was to inspire others. But it also helped me remember what and when we invested in things when I needed to reference it. Haha!
Scottie and I came from similar backgrounds where we didn’t grow up with a lot. We both came from single family homes. I grew up on welfare, food stamps and section 8. I was just a section 8 kid with a dream. So our background has helped motivate us to provide for our boys and allow them to live a better life than how we grew up. Over the years while we were married we found Jesus and from there, our faith grew. We started to put God first and everything started to fall into place. We solely believe because we are faithful with our tithes, we have been nothing but blessed. Yes, life happens and never perfect but because of our faith we feel God has catapulted us to a life we could have only dreamed of. Never in a million years would I ever thought I could leave a 9-5.
Also, just last month the boys and I finally got approved for Champ VA medical and that’s under Scotties military benefits. It was a long 8 month wait. But you see how everything just magically worked out. Scottie and I have been slowly planning my departure. But I stayed longer than I should have because I was hella scared and mostly it was because of the people. 💙
My decision was hard because I love the company and my team. But I knew deep down I was meant to chase after my dreams… I just had to believe in myself. Letting go of all the negative self talk, fear, and trust in Gods plan on what he has for me. I know my faith will help me transition through this new chapter. I was juggling so much outside of work, I would have many break downs. People would ask how I did it all. I’d always say, “Jesus and wine!” Lol!
Now, I’ll have more free time to work on all things we started but I was never able to fully devote my time to. We have a lot of passion projects in the works. See below. ⬇️
We partnered with the Prorok family and created an 8 bed memory care home going 3 years strong. Helping serve our senior community to get the quality care they need and help families have the peace of mind knowing their loved one is in great hands. To learn more about this venture or if you need help placing a family member in a home, peep ohanaseniorliving.com. We have a lot of resources and heavily connected in this industry and we would love to help guide you in the right direction.
Our investments, our portfolio is very diversified and grateful that we started back in 2018 to start investing. Which included our live in flips that turned into rentals, passively invest in multi family in North Carolina, Alabama and Florida, seed funding a few projects including a documentary, Crunch Fitness Gyms in CA, and a gas/oil company that’s drilling in Texas. You can see our diversified portfolio on our site, as I love to be transparent and create content around our journey to FIRE. I’m also excited to focus on managing our two rentals in Vegas. Our single family home and casita which both are currently being renovated and almost done. Peep our investment deets at: https://www.dreambiginvestments.com/financesandinvestments
It’s been on my heart for the longest time to write a children’s finance book course. So I bought a course a few years ago to help me but I had to put this dream on the back burner because I didn’t have enough time. So now, I’ll have more free time and the boys are out of school. This is the perfect time to get back on that grind and write these children’s finance book courses as a family. I also got discouraged because I outsourced the drawings of the family and it was an expensive mistake. The drawings came out horrendous and so cheaply drawn. So lessened learned, spend a lot more money to get the quality you want.
I’ve also bought an FBA course and had to put that on the back burner too. This dream is probably last on the list. I have to prioritize what I’m going to chase after so I’m not all over the place, like I always am, lol! But this is something I have always wanted to try because I have so many ideas of what products I feel will do well on Amazon. So we’ll see if and when I’ll ever get to this dream.
Lastly, as a family of 4 and zoo, we have found our niche, our calling, what God had in store for us. We never planned to get into the Frenchie industry, but it organically kind of just came to us. This is where we knew we needed to fully focus our time on. Scottie suffering from PTSD (from being a machine gunner in the Marines) and me having anxiety/depression (from losing my Mom, both grandfathers and Dad in a year and a half), we learned that Frenchies helped us cope with our mental health. Frenchies saved us with their love, goofiness, cuddles and cuteness. We didn’t think these lil fluff balls would steal our hearts and turn us into Frenchie Freaks. Lol! So here we are, providing them with a home and so much love. We only want to improve the breed and as we learn and grow in this industry we’re grateful for those who trust in us and our fur babies.
If anyone is having a bad day and needs puppy cuddles, we got you. You’re more than welcomed to come over to get your cuddle fix. I’m being 💯 serious, Scottie and I love seeing our pups bring joy to others. We’re looking into getting our dogs trained as therapy dogs so we can bring them to nursing homes and hospitals so they can light up peoples lives. They are scheduled to start their training in July. You can follow the pups journey on Insta. @dream.big.frenchies and dreambigfrenchies.com
Change is scary, leaving a W2 is scary, but I know one thing holds true, God has my back! No matter the failures, the challenges, and the lessons we’ll learn, this is what is so beautiful about life. You can create your own happiness. I thank Zappos and Tony’s vision for giving me the educational work experience to pursue my dreams. 💙
Who knows, in the near future I may just go back and find another job cuz I can’t keep still. Haha! But I’ll be taking some time off to work on myself, our family and our businesses. Also, I’ll be free if anyone needs drone/video/photo/editing/content/renovation idea help, I would love to build my portfolio. My goal is to create content to create an impact.
P.S. I listen to YouTube a lot for motivation. If anyone needs fuel to their FIRE, I recommend listening to this. https://youtu.be/F2c7AFYvsYA
Thanks for reading ya'll I know it was long. But its an update to my FIRE journey. 🔥🔥🔥🔥
(Financial Independence Retire Early/Entrepreneur)