IT JUST GOT REAL: Quitting My Sales Job to Start My Own Business

This week, I tendered my resignation to my employer, National Instruments, in order to focus on my own internet marketing business that I started.

I spent 1.5 years as an Applications Engineer at NI Corporate in Austin, TX, and almost 4 years as a technical sales manager in the South Bay / Aerospace Corridor of Los Angeles (where I currently plan to stay).

There is never a good time to leave a sales job. It wasn’t even my intent to put my notice in this week, but after discovering that there were other changes occurring in the territory, I thought it would be best to notify my managers as soon as possible so that they could get their house in order.

My original plan was to stay until the end of the quarter to help transition the next guy in, but that’s nearly two months out and we don’t need that much time. So as of September 1, 2010, I will be self-employed.

As with any job, there are ups and downs. However, I have little ill will towards NI, and this was a decision that was going to happen no matter what I was doing or who I was working for. I simply want to run my own ship. National Instruments is a decent company to work for – but sales has given me a taste of freedom and now I want even more.

You will NOT find a finer, nicer group of ridiculously talented engineers than those that work at NI. I am serious about this. A few of the relationships I’ve developed at NI will last a lifetime, and I know that many of you NI employees are on to doing some great, world-changing things. I may even join you. The reactions I’ve received from fellow employees regarding my decision have been extraordinary, and honestly the most interesting part of this process.

As a salesperson, you are the face of the company to thousands of people. As such, I often had to temper the things that I publicly wrote here. Over time, I simply stopped blogging because of this. You can’t risk a business relationship because of some opinions that you hold (and those who know me know that I hold my opinions). But starting in September, I won’t have that concern.

I’m not going to go into my future plans just yet, as I am still an employee of NI and have a job to finish (and I WILL finish it right), but I just wanted to chime in that things are going to change around here. One of those changes is that I plan to write more about my experiences as an entrepreneur who admittedly has very little clue what he’s doing. I hope you can join me on my journey.

It’s been a wild, weird week, and I’m ready for it to end. But first, I am going to enjoy Austin, TX with some of my best friends.

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