Mr. Misunderstood (Walking Away From Amazon Was The Easy Part)

Wednesday, March 5th of this year was my last day at Amazon. Since then I have traveled over 12 thousand miles back and forth across the country visiting family and friends, temporarily unplugging before what lies ahead.

This is the second (and final) time leaving Amazon. Thank you to the many talented and focused people I’ve met over my three and half years, it honestly has been worth 10x what I was paid. The company culture is not for everyone, but it was a perfect fit for me – for that, I’m genuinely thankful. The final program I managed has not launched yet, but here is a sample of the team and work I’m proud to have been a part of.

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In the short term, I’m running a marathon May 6th in Vancouver with my brother. Beyond that, the next moves work-wise will be several freelance consulting projects that I’ve been lining up for months.

All that is to say this. Since leaving Amazon and on vacation (which I’ve deemed mini-retirement) I’ve endured more questions and confused looks from people than ever in my life.

On the surface, it seems rational. Here are a few (whitewashed) sample questions received from family and closest friends:

“Are you on drugs?”
“Is your ego in check?”
“Are you…okay?”

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You need to keep people in your life who care about you and will say what needs to be said, no matter the circumstances. For my particular story, the hard part has been that all of these same people have known for months or years that I would be leaving the large company I was at, generally how I would do it, what would happen in this new year and ultimately how I could afford to not be homeless and lost in life.

No need to delve into the elevator pitch responses, examples, finances or green-lit projects shared with some that squelched their fears – but suffice to say I am comfortable betting on myself and the smart people I’ve met and learned from over the years.

In the near future, there will be more share. Frankly not because I have some desire broadcast how bills will be paid – but instead to go forward and “walk the walk”. Many people in my life do not quite understand simply because it is non-conventional, but some do.

Finally, there is an obvious theme in terms of titles from posts. Like many things in my life, there is a vague outline of how they’ll go . . .

Best,
Brooks

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