Forging your own path

When I was a kid, I grew up in the kind of household where my parents told me I could do anything I set my mind to. When you’re eight years old, you believe them. I love my parents dearly, but low and behold I’m an adult now, and I’m not selling out stadium tours or topping the billboard charts. It turns out there’s a small caveat to this “you can do anything” cliché. Sometimes you need natural-born talent. When you’re eight, no one tells you about the * at the end of the platitude (and probably for good reason, as we don’t need a bunch of cynical school children running around). Needless to say, I’m not Adele, but I can happily report there is a lot of truth to the message they instilled in me, and for that I do thank them.

I’ve always wanted to start my own company. Even when working for others, I’ve always enjoyed doing things that didn’t exist before I started. I find a very strong fulfillment in forging my own path and building something from scratch. I also personally find I’m most productive when I have the freedom to build my own schedule. For this and many other reasons it made sense that one day I would create something of my own.

For a long time, I didn’t know what that was and I didn’t know how I would start.  I wasn’t sure how I would muster up the courage to take the plunge and leave my corporate security blanket behind. Here’s the thing I’ve since learned. Nothing truly fulfilling comes without a little fear. Most people don’t know how to be parents before they have children, or know how to be good spouses before they get married, and similarly, most people don’t have all the answers on how to start and succeed at running a business before they do it. What ends up happening though is the fear is what pushes us to actually do it.

“You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over.”

This great piece of wisdom from one of my business idols, Richard Branson pretty much sums it up. Sometimes you have to push yourself outside of your comfort zone and try new things. It’s how we develop and grow as people. When you stop evolving and stop feeling that tiny bit of fear in your life, that’s when you need to take a minute and reevaluate if you’re living life to the fullest.

I’ve pushed past the uneasiness and with the help of a strong support system around me, and the know-how and experience I’ve collected along the way, I am following my True North.