TLS #107: Quitting a Full-Time Business For More Joy with Melissa Gruntkosky


How many times have you heard a story – here on the Lively Show or elsewhere online – which goes along the lines of, ‘I didn’t like my job… so I worked really hard and quit my job to start a full-time business’?

Though this narrative has been shared by many people online, there are also many times when quitting a full-time business and getting a full-time job is an even truer extension of our Values — and ultimately brings even more joy to our lives.

This is exactly what we’re talking about with letterpress designer, Melissa Gruntkosky. Melissa had a full-time business for four years, until she followed her intuition and took a fulfilling full-time job instead.

This episode is perfect for anyone who wants to hear an important (and less spoken about) perspective on the challenges of running a full-time business and an inspiring journey of someone who made a bold choice to live her Values.







  • How Melissa went from a teacher and business owner to employee and why.
  • She tells us how she started her letterpress business while working other jobs.
  • She tells us about her mistake of ignoring her intuition and not living from her values.
  • How Melissa’s letterpress business was an emotional rollercoaster in her life.
  • She shares how she has been able to rebuild the boundaries of her personal identity by stepping away from her business.
  • Melissa tells us how uplifting her life became after leaving her business and how it improved her quality of life.
  • She tells us about how much she gave up in her personal, family and social life in order to be a business owner and the effect it had on her.
  • Melissa tells us how she learned that there are no specific rules for entrepreneurship.





The E-Myth Revisited

The Guesthouse Hotel lobby design

Gary Vaynerchuk

Style & Pepper









This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Lizelly

    Your podcasts have always been a guiding light in my life, Jess; thank you for this eye-opening interview with Melissa. I don’t have words to express how incredibly parallel her life situation is to mine at this precise moment, but to hear her story regarding following her Values in their current Season really sparked a major note.

    While my ‘aha’ may not necessarily be that I want to return to a full-time job working for someone else, I have discovered that more than wanting to run my own business and have autonomy in life, I want to be involved in something greater and with purpose contributing to the betterment of the world. Whether that’s something I create or I help someone else in their endeavor, that’s still to be discovered.

    Again, thank you both Jess and Melissa.

    1. Jess Lively

      It’s wonderful to hear this episode resonated with you so much, Lizelly!! There is so much to be gained by partnering with others to make a broader impact that one can in a solo venture. Bravo! I hope the right opportunity or circumstances reveal themselves for you to connect with that next exciting chapter of your journey. : )

  2. Amber

    I can totally relate to the shifting interests thing. I try not to give myself such a hard time about it. I need to accept that it’s just what I do! Keeps life interesting.

  3. Heidi Efner

    I am a little behind on episodes so just caught this one today. It meant so much to me! After 13 years of consulting, I took a “real” job December 1 and I’m loving it. All I have to do is show up and do what you tell me and you cut me a check?! AWESOME. And I so appreciate the health insurance. My out-of-pocket as a self-employed person was $15K this year and $12K last year! My new job has a $450 deductible and will pay 90% of my medical. That’s a serious raise for me. But I do feel the conflict of leaving what I thought was so great for so long and not knowing the future of how this new job will go over time. I could relate to so much of the conversation you two had! When I arrived home, I received a reply from a client who is so disappointed I’m unable to finish his project, and I immediately got sucked back into the soul-destroying place I was in a month ago. He wants his money back but didn’t account for the fact that he takes weeks to give me feedback and I can’t pay bills on a promise. I will do my best to “consciously uncouple” from that business relationship but I was extra aware of how it all made me feel – the built up resentment that came from waiting and waiting and waiting for them to give me what I need to do a good job. For, like, 13 years. I can still do Mood Sprays on the side because I enjoy it and I enjoy my customers, but I’m done with stressing about how to make my bills, find new work, do a good job, promote myself etc. etc. and then circle back and start the cycle all over again.

    1. Jess Lively

      It’s wonderful to hear you are living your Values in the present moment so well, Heidi! : ) Cheers to living your truth!

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