Starting / Choosing a career

The Good Life Crisis

Was a serious event the catalyst for your solo journey? Mine was. But maybe it doesn’t have to be that way.


A dear friend from my Uni days, Mark Williamson, introduced me to a notion he calls the Good Life Crisis.  Mark says:

The “Good Life Crisis” is based on the observation that many people experience transformational moments during their life journey. Often, prior to this, they are living a relatively “unconscious” life – perhaps based around their parents’ or peer group’s expectations, their education, or a particular career path.

When such a transformation happens, it causes them to re-evaluate their lives and start living in a more “conscious” way. This process can often lead to people making positive and profound life changes (e.g. major career change, starting a family, rebuilding relationships, finding their purpose, doing something to make a difference), with a corresponding increase in happiness.

However, many such moments are only triggered by a major life crisis. The idea of “Good Life Crisis” is to inspire and actively encourage people to have a positive transformational moment…without it needing to be triggered by a major life trauma.

That ‘only triggered by a life crisis’ bit describes my journey to soloism perfectly. I was moderately satisfied with my Proper Job, although I knew it wasn’t for me long term.

Still, I couldn’t bring myself to break free. What if I’m not good enough? What if I don’t earn enough money? What will people think?

"A health scare of a dear friend in combination with some harsh words from my boss gave me the kick I needed to go out on my own."

These doubts were enough to keep me in my place, and I’d have probably stayed put a good while longer, had fate not intervened.

Want more articles like this? Check out the choosing a career section.

A health scare of a dear friend in combination with some harsh words from my boss gave me the kick I needed to go out on my own.

Did you have a rude awakening or did you transition painlessly? Or is the assumption that it’s a tricky choice somewhat naïve these days? I get the impression going it alone is less controversial now than it was when I first stepped out, a decade ago.

I’d love to hear your experience and opinions, and not just because as per my confession at Flying Solo LIVE!, the FS team get competitive about how many comments our articles receive.

Thanks to all those who came along to the event. We’re planning to take the show to more destinations next year, so stay tuned. Meanwhile, slides and photos from this year’s event will be available soon, we’ll keep you posted.

Sam Leader

is a former director of Flying Solo and the co-author of Flying Solo - How to go it alone in business.


128,527 people use Flying Solo to help them create a business with life. Do you?

Connect with Flying Solo

Explore the benefits of membership