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Corporate escapee, Paul Higgins. Corporate escapee, Paul Higgins.
28 September 2018 Posted by 

Why escaping your corporate job might be a good idea

PAUL Higgins was out picking olives at his parents’ farm when he made the fateful decision to give up his high-flying corporate job.

It ended five torturous years of secretly harboring a desire to give away  the suits and ties, the high pressure lifestyle and the family shattering commitments to work which had dominated his life at global giant Coca Cola.

And it led to Paul setting up Build Live Give, an organization designed help corporate jetsetters make the giant leap into giving it all away and running their own business.

“The day I decided to give it all away, I was picking olives on my parent’s farm. I was very unhappy at work and I was talking to my father about it.”

“He had spent 25 years at the same company and had taken early retirement. I was not the person I wanted to be. I was angry, short tempered and disillusioned. I was offered a role one day and it was taken back the next.

“I was excited to be finally making the move. Having thought about it for more than five years, it was like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. On the flip side I was nervous as to what I was going to do.

Into the unknown

“I was stepping into the unknown. I had no title, limited experience and most of my friends and family thought I was crazy. I had always put on a brave face to my friends and family and they didn't realise how unhappy I was. To them it seemed like a knee jerk decision.

“Would I change the decision? No. However I would have sought more help in leaving and spoken to more people who had done it successfully.

Paul admits it was a rollercoaster ride to start with. He had learned the importance of ‘thinking global and acting local’ during his impressive 18 year career at Coca Cola. 

Inspired by his own journey, he founded the Build Live Give community to help fellow corporate escapees to wipe off years of struggle to arrive at both lifestyle and financial freedom.

Now, at the end of the journey to life freedom,  Paul is an entrepreneur, community owner, podcaster and Head Coach for his own community at Build Live Give.

No safe option

“And I am a better father, husband and person because of the change,” he said.

Paul grew up in a household where working for a global brand like Coca Cola was a status symbol. It was safe, he had amazing travel and development experiences and he was always welcome at parties.


Fast forward 25 years and working in a global brand like Coca Cola had become a risky option for many. As profits declined, the pressure to cut jobs was high. People with experience were on the target list and Paul said hundreds of employees had been made redundant in the past 12 months.

“What was once a safe option was no longer. A great option for many ‘corporate escapees’ in this situation  is to run their own business.

“This option used to be seen as one that was fraught with risk and possible danger but the risk is not as high as people may think. And the upside is that you are in control of your own career and lifestyle.”

If you are thinking of making the leap from corporate to being a business owner, here are Paul’s tips to help you on your journey:

Sort your finances

Most people will need a 12-month financial runway to start off with. This should include at least $50K for the company setup and to cover your living expenses.

Align your goals with your family

Your family will go on this journey with you and they may need to change their lifestyle as finances change. Agreeing what income you will contribute is essential.

Get a coach

You have built experiences and skills over decades which are not as applicable to running a small business as you would like. If you have 12 months’ financial run way, you can expedite your results by getting advice from someone who went before you.

Build your sales muscle

In many corporate roles, people are not responsible for new business development. In small business, this is your essential role. You will not grow without closing sales. Doing five new business calls every day is the new normal. You can get help with this aspect if you need it – ask your coach!


To find out more about how to make the leap from a corporate job to being a business owner, go to

www.buildlivegive.com It could be just the move you have been looking for!



Publisher and editor, Michael Walls.
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Email: info@wsba.com.au
Mail: PO Box 186, Kurrajong NSW 2758
Office phone: 61 2 4572 2336

Western Sydney Business Access (WSBA) covers the business and community issues of the Greater Western Sydney region of Australia. WSBA is the popular media source for connecting with the pulse of the region and tapping into it's vast opportunities and networks.