W42ST issue 55 - The Break Out Issue

Page 39



“I quit the comfortable job that was killing me.” Thomas Hutchings


was hospitalized for a week over the 2015 Christmas holiday with flu symptoms and abdominal pain. My fever was a little over 104F, and each day was a medical wake-up call for me to stop waiting around for someone else to make my life better. There's really nothing more clarifying than five nights of fasting in severe pain while living on an IV drip of constant antibiotics, sugar/salt water, and morphine to wake up a sense of mindfulness and duty about your true impact on the world. “I was consistently told by each doctor I saw over these five days that I had made it just in time. Another day and I may have had an abscess from a serious colon infection. It was a very severe diverticulitis attack that would require me to have the damaged portion of my colon removed a few months later, in February 2016.

Above: A week in hospital clarified Thomas's vision of following his dream.

“I’d been living a double life, burning the proverbial candle at both ends, with a day job at a tech company that put me in a comfortable place financially, while pursuing my passion of music and saxophone at night and on weekends. I wasn’t fulfilled at my job and the stress of it is likely what made me sick. “I had some stock equity, so I worked there until about June 2016, then launched my own business around music production and digital distribution, with a focus on building and supporting a community of artists with the same collaborative vision. “The people I worked with at the time probably thought I was crazy to leave such a secure job with great benefits, but they’ve never been on a Grammynominated album or national television, or performed for thousands of people at Lincoln Center, so I didn’t really expect them to understand.


“It felt exhilarating and terrifying all at once. I had no idea whether or not I could really make music a full-time sustainable career. But I have no regrets; just anxiety of what's next. “The most surprising thing is how serendipitous my life has become now that I’m spending most of my time being creative and spending more time around creative people. It’s been amazing seeing how the universe kind of guides you along when you show up and do what you are passionate about. “Would I do anything differently? My only regret is not doing it sooner. Sometimes I lie awake at night thinking about how I could have spent 18 years focusing on a music career. But I also feel like it was all preparation to become a better entrepreneur. I needed the experience of surviving first in order to really know when the time came that I could strike out on my own.”


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