Living Adventurously - Joe McRoberts

7th October 2023

One year ago I quit my job as Managing Director at a good marketing agency in London to start my own company. It was a scary and exciting feeling. Ahead of me I had no clients, no leads, no guaranteed income.

With six month’s worth of savings in my bank account, I knew that by month four, the panic might start setting in. How would I pay the mortgage?

If I didn’t get any clients in the first six months, was there something wrong with the concept, was it just bad luck, or maybe unfortunate timing? If things don’t go as planned, should I persevere - moving steadily further into the minus - or should I call it a day and say ‘I’m happy I tried?’

As long as I can remember I wanted to run my own business. At seven years old I wanted to become a stockbroker, visualising myself in a pinstriped suit, braces, and clutching an enormous 1980’s mobile phone. My Aunt once asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, and I said ‘rich’.

While my priorities in life may have changed, my entrepreneurial spirit is still a core part of my being.

Quitting my job to start a marketing agency was a daunting prospect, but what I experienced during Quaker meetings helped me conclude that it was the right thing for me to do.

I started attending Quaker meetings at Ettington Meeting House - near Stratford upon Avon - in Spring 2022, having been introduced to Quakerism by a neighbour. From the first time I attended a Quaker meeting it just felt right. Quaker values echoed those I already held, and I felt like I had found my spiritual home.

As I attended Quaker meetings every Sunday, little nudges and insights came to me. ‘Text that person to see if they’re okay’. ‘Give Amanda as much love and attention as I can this week’. And it was the following excerpt from Quaker Advices and Queries that encouraged me to take the leap and quit my job:

Live adventurously. When choices arise, do you take the way that offers the fullest opportunity for the use of your gifts in the service of God and the community? Let your life speak. When decisions have to be made, are you ready to join with others in seeking clearness, asking for God’s guidance and offering counsel to one another?

The words ‘use your gifts in the service of God and the community’ resonated with me strongly. I knew that I had a talent for communication, and I wanted to use those skills to have a positive impact, whether by helping people find jobs, helping companies grow, or helping people live happier lives.

It’s now one year since I quit my job and I run McROBERTS marketing agency, which is doing well and continuing to grow. But the pressure is never truly gone; the thought ‘what happens if all my clients leave’ occasionally looms. This level of fear is a healthy motivator for me, and there are still challenges in running an established business, with lots of decisions to make about the direction of the company.

Living adventurously doesn’t mean taking huge risks all the time. It can simply mean standing up for what you believe in, or making decisions with integrity. Another excerpt from Advices and Queries comes to mind: ‘If pressure is brought upon you to lower your standard of integrity, are you prepared to resist it?’

Today, I truly feel like I am letting my life speak, using my talents to make a positive impact. I try to run my company with strict integrity, being guided by Quaker principles, and I am grateful to Quakerism for guiding me on this journey.

What does ‘living adventurously’ mean to you? We’d love to hear. Email

Joe McRoberts – Ettington Quaker Meeting