How I quit my 6-figure corporate job to become a fulltime self-defense instructor

Frustrated, unfulfilled, irritated, manipulated and not appreciated. That is how I felt every single day for the last 10 years of my corporate career. I spent my days attending endless unproductive meetings, listening to corporate jargon and people who thought they know more about my specialized field than myself. When not in meetings, I had to draft endless strategic plans and do meaningless “window dressing” tasks to get good audit results so that everybody felt good about how wonderful the section and company was performing. Meanwhile, the actual important stuff, the stuff that really could make a difference, was always on the backburner.

Let me introduce myself. My name is Leon Myburgh. For the past 25 years I spent my life as a security and safety risk management professional for various corporate companies. 

I had the good fortune of landing high income jobs at well known companies in various sectors ranging all the way from retail to mining. At first, I felt really happy with my career. I had some great successes and quickly progressed to management level. I managed to earn a better income with every employer I joined. 

I was passionate about making a difference to improve my employer’s profitability. I thought of myself as being indispensable and a valued team member. My salary surely reflected that. I was an upper 6 figure per year income earner and enjoyed great fringe benefits and “job security”.  

Leon Myburgh COBRA Defense South Africa

Then reality set in

As I became older, I realized that the companies did not really care about me as an individual. Sure, the corporate jargon always mentioned things like “our employees are our most valuable asset”.  I realized that my value was measured in what I could bring to the table. It was not about me, it was about how the company could benefit from me. Nothing more.  

I was raised believing that if you are loyal to an employer, they will be loyal to you. Big surprise. This simply is not true. Try sticking your neck out for things you believe in which does not “gel” with the companies’ objectives and you will experience how quickly they turn on you.

It was time to get out of there

I wanted out but was stuck with the proverbial golden chain around my neck. I was earning a great salary compared to the salaries paid in my industry and finding another job was almost impossible. 

I found myself sitting in meetings dreaming about starting my own business. The only problem was that I did not know where to start and what to do. I always knew I wanted to do something to share my knowledge about security and personal safety but I had no idea how to profitably do this. 

One Sunday afternoon I surfed the internet and was looking for business ideas. I landed on a web page of C.O.B.R.A. Self-Defense International. I saw that they offered an opportunity to become a licensed C.O.B.R.A. Self-Defense Instructor. I was intrigued as I was involved with martial arts since age 6. I thought to myself that this is a great opportunity to get more skills but I doubted whether becoming a self-defense instructor would enable me to earn even remotely what I was earning at the time. 

But I was intrigued by the idea and decided to enquire.

Is this a way out?

A gentleman by the name of Chris Sutton called me shortly thereafter. He introduced himself as the founder of C.O.B.R.A. He made it clear that C.O.B.R.A. was not a martial art and also that it was not just a paper certification to get another certificate to hang on you wall. It was a complete business system designed to enable you to earn a great income teaching self-defense to men, women, children and corporations if you follow the game plan. 

He explained to me what was included in the membership and I was stunned at how much you get for the small investment you have to make. Chris mentioned that many of the owners earned 6 figure incomes and work relatively few hours to achieve that. I thought to myself that this sounded like a clever marketing tactic but nevertheless I was impressed by his passion.

He arranged free access to a portion of the online training portal so that I could experience what the system was like. I was hooked and immediately signed up. After completion of my instructor certification, I decided teach on a part time basis on weekends.  

I worked hard to market my business and to establish a great online presence. Chris supported me all the way and was always a phone call or email away to help. Imagine this, I am in South Africa and Chris is in Florida in the United States – two totally different time zones. No matter when I called or sent an e-mail, Chris always personally responded within 8 hours. I diligently implemented all his advice and slowly but surely classes started to fill up. Soon I started receiving enquiries from corporate companies looking for training for their employees. 

The only problem was that they wanted the training during weekdays when I was at work. Soon my leave days ran out and I was between a rock and a hard place. There was a need for my services but my fulltime employment severely limited me…

Jumping ship

During that time, my wife and I decided to travel to the United States to meet Chris. One day during lunch, I told Chris about my dilemma.

He said to me that he faced a similar challenge when he started out. He was a Police Officer at the time and literally took off his duty belt to put on his black belt to teach martial arts classes. He mentioned that because he was trying to juggle his job and teaching classes, he had to make a decision and decided to teach fulltime. He said that soon he exceeded his income as a police officer by far and has never looked back. He continued to explain that his opinion was that if you do things halfheartedly, you will not get great results. 

During the entire 19-hour flight back home, I kept on thinking about what he said and I turned to my wife and said: “You know what, Chris is right. We need to do this and the only way I will succeed is if I quit my job and make it work! What could possibly go wrong? If I fail, we don’t eat… meh…”  My wonderful supporting wife smiled at me and said: “Let’s do it!” 

That was 4 years ago. (PS – as predicted, my employer did not blink an eye when I resigned – they simply did not care)

From corporate slave to fulltime entrepreneur

Make no mistake, jumping ship was terrifying! I was not a businessman. Nobody in my family ever owned a business. But, I was in good company. I was part of a global brand with proven business methods. I had all the support I could ask for. Failure was not an option. I had to make it work or else my family would not be able to eat. 

The game plan worked.

I now literally work a quarter of the hours I worked at my corporate job and I earn the same income – sometimes even more. Granted, I do not have the same fringe benefits as with my corporate jobs but I have fringe benefits money cannot buy:

  1. Time – I decide when and how many hours I want to work.
  2. Freedom – I choose which assignments I want to accept and which I do not want to do. I choose how I want to structure my business and how I want to do things. I decide when I go on holiday and I do not have to go and beg for time off with a leave application form.
  3. The best boss ever – yup, I call the shots. No more yes sir, no sir.
  4. Appreciation – when you work for yourself, you suddenly value and celebrate every cent you earn.
  5. Enjoyment – there is nothing like doing what you love doing and getting paid for it. When you empower people who want to be empowered, they are deeply grateful and there is nothing like the feeling when people tell you how you have changed their lives for the better.
  6. Personal development – everything you learn when running your own business has so much more value than those courses HR Departments devise to “develop employees”.
  7. Part of an international family – All C.O.B.R.A. owners support and encourage each other. No corporate politics. Your success is my success.

On top of that I got to share my knowledge and empower people via local radio stations and tv stations.   Suddenly corporate companies wanted my advice and I got to work with some of the most well known companies. With  a lot more time at my disposal, I also managed to write my first book in which I share some of my knowledge to empower ordinary South Africans to protect themselves and their families against violent criminal attacks. 

If I could do it, so can you

If you are inspired by my story and also want to follow in my footsteps, please contact me and I will gladly guide you through the process. I am so overjoyed by my new freedom that I want to help others to experience the same. Let me put it this way, I am  angry with myself that I never had the courage to take the leap earlier in my life.  

I get so frustrated and sad at the same time when I see how other people are caught up in the same position as I was in and how they cannot see a way out. It is as if I now view the world from a different perspective. I see how people celebrate their latest qualification or promotion on social media but I  feel sad for them. I now know what is possible and how you can actually live your life to the fullest without enslaving yourself and being at the mercy of an employer who will not hesitate to fire you when the time comes. 

I see how parents send their children to university, how they spend years and tons of money to get a degree, only to struggle to find employment and if they do find employment, it is for a mediocre salary and their every minute is controlled by their employer. 

I see how people take up employment where they have to work 12-hour shifts for 5 or more days per week and earn minimum wage. C.O.B.R.A. Self-Defense Instructors earn almost the same during a 1-hour corporate seminar than a Security Officer earns in a whole month working 192 hours and more.  C.O.B.R.A. Instructors earn more per hour than most doctors, lawyers and engineers.

That is why I get frustrated. More people should be able to experience a better income and lifestyle. The only thing holding them back is fear.

When joining the C.O.B.R.A. Self-Defense Brand, you will be joining a global brand trusted by major blue-chip corporations and featured on a regular basis in local and international media. You will get access to state of the art self-defense training plus outstanding business training and support. Not only will you receive training, you will receive the complete business system with all the hard work already done for you. You just have to implement and follow the game plan.

Need more info?

If this sounds like the opportunity you have been waiting for, I encourage you to learn more about this great opportunity. Click the button below and read more plus watch a free webinar hosted by Mark McKay, the CEO of C.O.B.R.A. 

Be warned though, if you wait too long you may be disappointed as there are only so many territories available in South Africa.

See you on the other side!