My Retirement Story

Today is October 15th, 2016. My last day as an employee was yesterday. I’m retiring!

But I'm not retiring from work, I'm retiring so that I CAN work...

I've always been entrepreneurial. When I was in 3rd grade, I made $21.50 by selling erasers to my classmates. I found a great price with a local supplier ($.05 and $.15 per eraser from the student store) and charged my classmates $.50 and $1. Having an eraser like this became a fad, it became cool to buy these erasers and I was the most accessible supplier. I had a niche market.

My business only lasted a few days. Kids started getting jealous and fighting over what erasers they had and the authorities had to step in and put a stop to the whole operation. I walked away from the experience with a healthy profit, especially for my young age of 8 years old. But more importantly, I learned I was a businessman. I got to taste what it was like to set my own hours, create my own rules and enjoy the fruit of my ingenuity. Before I ever considered having a job and working for someone else, I knew I could successfully employ myself. I knew it.

I spent the first part of my adult life as an employee. From the time I was 16 to now, I've had 7 different jobs. From climbing the corporate ladder working in customer service and management to the foodservice industry, I got to taste hourly, salary and commission based incomes. But I never had the guts to go into business for myself throughout that time. I tried a network marketing company at one point but that was a painful experience that served as a great learning experience but assured me I wasn't the man I needed to be to compete in that arena.

Three years ago, I had been planning on investing in Real Estate but I didn’t have the capital to invest the way I wanted to. Spending Christmas with my family, I was on a walk in the countryside celebrating and giving thanks to God for the past year and dreaming about the next one when an idea struck me.

"If I'm going to buy a house," I began, "I'm going to need to make more money than I'm currently earning at my job. I could lobby for a raise but even then, it's still probably not enough..." I started to verbally process with God. How could I create an additional income? Then an idea struck me. I am passionate about developing people. I'm gifted in diagnosing the root of problems and helping people discover the crucial aspects of their journey to gain breakthrough and progress forward.

"What if I started a coaching business?" I shot out. I don't remember if God proposed it or if I did and at this point, I've given up trying to tell the difference.

I raced home and told my family. With varied versions of support, my resolve only deepened that I was going to do this.

I launched my coaching business a couple of weeks later. It has been an amazing, upward-moving journey ever since. If you’d like to apply for life/spirit coaching with me, you can do so here.

In August of 2015, I was reading the book “4 Hour Work Week” by Timothy Ferris. This book changed my life. It planted this deep conviction in my mind that I could not be employed for full-time work and still be able to pay my bills while having the freedom to build other things I was passionate about. I couldn’t shake the desire inside of me that I could have TIME. Time to write the books I’ve been meaning to, time to finally start a youtube channel, time to create quality posts for my instagram account, time to mentor and work with my interns, time to travel. I could schedule a trip and not need to ask anyone for permission?! Yes. I was hooked.

Anyone who knows me knows I’m not interested in laying on a beach somewhere. I’m not interested in not working. I’m not trying to not have responsibility or find the path that requires the least from me. On the contrary, I’ve been working very hard for the past few years to steward the increasing responsibility given to me. I have a message for the world and it’s going to take TIME, hard work, effort, heart, passion, money,  a team, skill, education and perseverance to broadcast what is in me to the intensity that I believe I’m supposed to.  

In January of 2016, I started an online marketing business. A friend of mine had an exciting marketing plan for the Redding area and after looking into his proposal, I couldn’t say no. I now help average households convert the money they spend on their consumables into an income. If you’re looking for a way to create an additional stream of income, you can email me at mikeclarkmaeshiro@gmail.com, put “Shopping Annuity” in the subject line.

Over the next few months, both of these businesses started growing and becoming profitable. Super exciting, right?! Wrong. It was time-consuming. Very time-consuming. Working full-time at Bethel, squeezing in coaching sessions with clients amidst my job and building my online business in the extra hours while mentoring two interns and overseeing a student housing community in town became challenging.

I also started getting invited to travel and speak a lot more than I ever had. When June hit, I knew the meaning of the word “busy.” I thought I had been busy but there were two weeks in June where I actually got a little scared of my schedule. I woke up one morning and felt, for the second time in my adult life, the invitation to panic. It’s a spirit and it sounded something like, “You’re not in control and what is on your calendar is more than you can handle. You’re alone, you’re going to fail and no one is going to understand why.” Thankfully, it didn’t make enough sense to me to choose to freak out but I was aware that it was tempting. That was a wake up call for me, something needed to change.

I led a ministry trip to Japan in July. While on that trip, I knew what I had to do. It was time for me to quit my job.

When I returned, I met with my boss, dear friend and mentor, Deborah Coombs. We caught up on the trip: the triumphs and challenges. And then, in silence, I just looked at her with a grave look. She looked back at me, registering the cue. We looked into each other’s eyes for a few seconds.

“You have a date.” She said.

“It’s time.” I affirmed.

“You have a date.”

“I don’t have a date but I think by the time I leave for Finland (in September, a month later) I should be done.”

She negotiated another month and a half out of me, so I stayed on to thoroughly train my replacement through one of our biggest events of the year in October. Yesterday was my last day at my job and it is funny to think about how I don’t have to get to the office at a certain time on Monday. I won’t need to watch the clock during my lunch break anymore. I won’t need to delay my decision-making process to verify with my team that I can afford to be away from the office.

I have a dream to raise the spiritual intelligence of the planet. There are so many people in the world who suffer frustration, disappointment, pain, fear, disconnection and all manner of dysfunction because they don’t understand how the spiritual world relates to the one they recognize. I know because I used to be one of them.

I realized a few years ago I can’t do that and have a job at the same time.

I’m not sure how many people can pursue their dreams and carry out their assignment AND have a job at the same time. There is a beast in this world who keeps people small and limited by promising to destroy them if they try to trust that the light in them is strong enough to clear the path and cover the ground. That beast is fear and he is a liar. With a little trust, nurtured over time, acted on and followed, one’s life can transform. People become who they’re supposed to be because of trust, I know this because I’m one of them.

So I don’t have a job anymore, what will I be doing now? Great question! I will still be living in Redding and part of the Bethel family.

I will be spending my time on these following passions:

-Falling more in love with Jesus

-Coaching my clients to emotional and spiritual victory

-Finding and working with entrepreneurs to build a shopping annuity

-Mentoring and working with my five amazing interns (seriously, it’s not fair how cool my life is.)

-Traveling the world preaching the gospel and teaching on spiritual and emotional intelligence

-Writing a few books

-Launching my youtube channel

-Teaching at BSSM

I am SO excited for this next chapter in my journey! This will be a year of building and taking new ground. I can’t wait to watch that trust in me grow and experience the deeper wonder it will lead me to.

To the bright ball of blinding goodness we call the future, cheers!

Mike Maeshiro