It was back in 2007 when I first heard of the idea of my friend’s business. I had met him online playing video games while I was in college. As a life long introvert I had always struggled to get outside of my comfort zone. Comfort was, well, comforting to me. I really enjoyed being around people that I knew, but otherwise I was more or less an introvert. I may now consider myself somewhat of an ambivert, which is in between an introvert and an extrovert, however, if I had to lean one way it would definitely be to the introverted side.
I had never imagined owning my own business until I moved to California to work with my friend. In 2010, I first went to meet my friend and I ended up going to meet him two times before I decided to take the leap of faith and move to California. I decided to step outside of my comfort zone, to leave my family, friends and everything I knew in North Carolina, and move all the way across the country to California. I knew someday I would make it back to North Carolina, but I didn’t know when, how or doing what.
This opportunity came pretty much out of nowhere however, it was a welcome change for me as I was working a job that I didn’t enjoy in corporate America. It was time for something new but I didn’t really know what that was until I made it to California. After a long debate, mulling over the idea for days and weeks, I decided to present the idea to my dad, who was my, and still is, the person I look up to the most. He told me that he thought it was a good idea since I was only 25-years-old, maybe 24 at the time, and I didn’t have many strings attached other than my family, which I knew I would always stay in touch with and come back to. It was a great opportunity for me to go try something new, learn something new, meet some new people and also to grow as a man. Little did I know this decision would alter the trajectory and path of my life completely.
I would end up going on to meet the woman of my dreams, my lovely wife, Chrissy, and also to find out a new side of myself that I never knew existed. All of this simply by stepping out of my comfort zone. While some of you may think this sounds like a big jump and leap of faith, while it certainly was, I really didn’t have much to lose. It was an opportunity for me at 25-years-old, to try something new with little or no consequences, if it didn’t work out I could simply move back, get a similar job and move back in with my parents. I had those luxuries and I definitely kept that in the back of my mind.
After seeing the opportunities that existed in the entrepreneurial world, I knew that I could never go back. It would take me a while to gain the confidence to step out on my own and my beautiful wife and girlfriend at the time, Chrissy, was the one that really pushed me to go out and try things, she believed in me before I even believed in myself. Since that time, I’ve quit working with my friend, I now run my business in fact, multiple businesses on my own. While these businesses may not be a wild success, to me they give me the opportunity to work for something and for people that I really enjoy working with, and also to carve my own path in my life.
Stepping outside of the comfort zone is something I still try to do all the time, in fact I launched a podcast and a couple of softwares to service businesses that I would have never had the chance to do if I didn’t step outside my comfort zone and just go for it. I didn’t really know what I was doing, but I knew that I could learn along the way, and I know that everyone else can do the same. All of these chances that I’ve taken have led me to the point where I am now. While I know I’m not nearly done with the things I want to achieve in my life, I know that in order to get to the next level and take the next step, I’m going to have to step outside of my comfort zone again. I really harness that opportunity and I will always look forward to the next time that I get to take that leap of faith. That leap of faith that may take me to the next level of my life.
Comfort really is a killer of all things. In my mind I feel like a lot of people never step outside of their comfort zone and they never get to achieve the things that they want to achieve because, well, they enjoy being comfortable more than they enjoy challenges and going after things that can make them successful. We as a society, are raised in a way that they always want us to be comfortable in school, in college, anything that we do is all about comfort and feeling good about yourself, rather than taking a leap of faith and going outside of your normal day-to-day operations in order to push yourself to become more and to grow as a person.
I know this leap of faith that I took, and these wonderful opportunities that were presented to me by a power much greater than me or anyone else, have changed the path of my life completely, and for that I’m forever grateful.