Written By John Sonmez
I've been asked this a lot of times what my story behind why I left my highly paid software development job.
And in this video, I'm going to share that story. So make sure you stay tuned at the end because I'm going to give you some tips if you want to be able to eventually quit your job and potentially do what I did. Build your own businesses and become financially independent, become retired, young, and become a millionaire.
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Transcript Of The Video
John Sonmez: Why I left my highly paid software development job. I've been asked this a lot of times, what my story was, I figured I'd share you this story in this video. So make sure you guys stay tuned. At the end of the video I'm going to give you some tips if you want to be able to eventually quit your job and potentially do what I did, build your own businesses and become financially independent, become retired young, and become a millionaire.
Guys, if you're just joining me for the first time, I'm John from simpleprogrammer.com. On this channel, we teach you the soft skills that you need to know as a software developer today. Not too many people out there teaching you how to actually be a good developer besides writing code. That's what we specialize on this channel and on simpleprogrammer.com. And by the way, if you haven't already picked up a copy of the Complete Software Developer's Career Guide, make sure you pick up a copy. This is my tome of how to become a software developer. All kinds of soft skills related content in here. There's also an audio version. So make sure you grab this book.
Now, I'm going to tell you my story. I was pretty successful as a software developer, all right. I had a pretty good career and I lived and worked in a lot different places. I worked as a contractor, I worked as an employee, I worked for companies like Hewlett-Packard and Xerox, and I traveled around the US being a software developer. And then eventually what ended up happening was that at some point, as you guys know with Simple Programmer, I started a blog. And eventually what ended up happening was as I was working on that blog, I got this job with another company called Trackabout, and I was doing good with this job. I was making a pretty high six figure salary in that job. Everything was going good.
But one day I remember making a meeting with my boss there, Larry, and I basically got on a Skype call with him. And I told him, I said, “Hey, Larry, I really like this job. I really like the environment and like what I'm working on, but I'm quitting.” He was shocked. His jaw was kind of dropping. It was like, “Why would you quit the job? Do you need more pay? What is it?” And I basically ended up telling him that from the work that I was doing in my side business, I was doing these Pluralsight courses plus I was doing Simple Programmer, that in one quarter I was making as much money as he was paying me in a year. Okay? And so that's why I ended up quitting the job.
And he basically said, “Well, I would have probably quit earlier if I were you.” And still guys, still guys, even with this, I still stayed on I think for an extra month. I probably shouldn't have done that. There was really no point. So that was my story. And so what happened after that? How did I actually get to that point? That's probably what you're wondering here. And what happened was that I used the skills that I developed as a software developer, okay, plus the soft skills that I'm teaching you on this channel, in order to actually build a business. Right?
Because it's one thing being a software developer and making good money, and it's good, you can make some pretty good money. I have a lot of coaching clients that they're making 200,000, $250,000 a year as a software developer, which is a lot of money. Right? But it's still capped. Okay? It's still limited because you can only make so much money as a software developer working for someone else, even as a freelancer. Even if you're freelancing, you're still going to be capped. There's still only so much that you can bill, so many clients that you can fit into your schedule. Right?
But what really uncaps your potential as a software developer is using those skills, but the way that I did it was I created a business teaching other software developers. So when I created that blog I was mentioning and Simple Programmer, that was one of the things that I did. Right? I ended up growing that company, I was writing blog posts, I was doing podcasts and YouTube videos, and eventually I created a course. My first course for that blog was How To Market Yourself as a Software Developer.
In fact, you can get the… We'll put a link up in the cards, but you can get it below as well, or you can just go to simpleprogram.com and you can check it out there. I still sell that course. And that course was basically something that I put together to teach software developers how to build a brand and how to market themselves, which was what I was learning in order to advance my career. That's how I was able to get some of the opportunities that I got. And that was how I was able to sort of become a semi-famous software developer and have my own blog and have my own book, have my book published by a major publishing company.
Now at the same time, I also was building courses. I was building courses for a company called Pluralsight. I'm no longer associated with them as they have basically disassociated with me because of social justice warriors and all of that kind of bullshit that happens in the tech community. But regardless, it was a great opportunity for me. I created all these courses. I hustled and built. I used my software development skills to teach other software developers.
And so combined with those two things, all right, and also doing real estate investment, I was able to put myself into a position using my software development skills for more than just writing code. I was able to use that to create a business and to get to a point where I could quit my job. And now, if you fast forward, I guess it's been what, like seven years since then. Has it been that long? I guess so. It's been like seven years. I'm a multimillionaire, I run multiple businesses, and I have been able to really take that opportunity and get to the point where I don't really have to work again. I can kind of travel the world. I still like doing this stuff, that's why I'm recording these videos.
But anyway, guys, that's basically my story. That's why I quit that software development job, even though it was great. And even though I still like coding, I would love to code again, but I just don't have the time for it now because I'm busy with so many other things. So I promised you that I would tell you about how you could do the same thing. So first of all, if you haven't already got a copy of How to Market Yourself as a Software Developer, it's definitely worth it, and the reason why I say so is because you need to know how to market yourself.
The thing that allowed me to get free and to basically build my business and to build a name for myself and to get my books published and all of those things was marketing myself. I built a blog, I built a podcast, I built this YouTube channel, I had another YouTube channel. I learned how to build a brand and how to market myself, and I did the same thing with my other company with Bulldog Mindset, which is growing even faster. So learning how to build a brand and how to market yourself, even if you're not going to build a business, even if you just want to be as successful as possible as a software developer, very, very important.
So that's the key, that's the first thing that you need to do is you have to have some platform so you're known. If you become a semi-famous software developer, you're going to be able to get a lot of jobs. You're going to have people knocking on the door, trying to get you to work for them. If you want to do freelance work, you're going to have that opportunity as well. And if you want to sell something, courses, videos, training, even coaching or consulting, you're going to have that opportunity as well. So that's the first thing that you need to do.
The second thing that you need to do is you need to develop some business skills. So marketing and sales skills. Right? You can read books on marketing and sales, but you basically need to learn how to do internet marketing. I'm not going to go into all the details here, but you can check out either on simpleprogrammer.com, I've got some resources on there on the resources page, or on Bulldog Mindset, I've got some business building resources as well. But that's really an important step to take.
And then I'd say the third one is that you need to have some other plan of investment. Right? So I own a lot of real estate. Okay? The reason why I am able to be completely financially independent is because I have all this real estate that generates cashflow. Right? There's no point making a bunch of money even in businesses and things like that if you don't have something stable that you can count on. Because with a business, a business could disappear overnight. Right? I mean, you can have your business go down, so you need have some other investment strategy.
Again, I talk about all these things also on my Bulldog Mindset. If you haven't checked that out, go to bulldogmindset.com and you can check that out. You can join my membership there if you want to and you can learn how to do all these things. And that's where I talk more about the personal development of financial type of things that I talk about a little bit on this channel.
So anyway, guys, I just wanted to share that story with you and give you some inspiration so you can see how valuable those software development skills are. And there's a lot of developers that have done things other than the way I've done them. Right? Some developers have used their software development skills to build real software and then to sell that software, but you still need to know how to market, you still need to build an audience. That's why I said get How to Market Yourself as a Software Developer. I'll put the link below if you haven't already, and check it out because it's going to be worth it to you. All right, guys, that's it. I will talk to you next week.