Grabbing Life by the Balls

September 10, 2012

Accountability, Adventure, Fear, Individuality

I decided a few months ago that it was time for the next major change in my life. I get the urge from time to time to shake things up. As Chris Guillebeau pointed out in his post ‘The Decision to Be Remarkable’, those who have a penchant for challenging the status quo can’t help being addicted to it. Once you’ve made a big change and the dust has settled, you start craving your next fix.

4 months ago I decided to quit my safe, comfortable corporate job. I’ve quit jobs before in the past without having something lined up, but it was always with the intention of finding another job later. This time round, I decided on something totally different. For years I’ve known that I don’t belong in cubicle nation. It’s just never felt right for me, despite having done it for almost 10 years. This time I decided I would start up something of my own. The idea had been lurking at the back of my mind for the past year, but it wasn’t until a few months ago that I started seriously considering it.

The problem was, I didn’t know what I wanted to do at that point in time. I decided to take a leap of faith anyway. My job was sucking the life out of me. I was stressed all the time and couldn’t focus. I needed some time and space to think. I was desperate for a change. I had started reading Chris Guillebeau’s ‘The $100 Startup’ and was very much inspired by the real life case studies highlighted in the book. So I handed in my notice not quite knowing what to expect in the coming months. What happened next was completely out of the blue.

I had resisted getting on the Twitter bandwagon up to that point, mainly because it looked like some sort of secret code which I didn’t get(!) Plus, I didn’t want to do it just because everyone else was doing it. There goes the rebel in me. One day my curiosity got the better of me, and I decided to try it out just for kicks. I followed a handful of people, including Chris Guillebeau, just to check it out. A few days after I opened my Twitter account, I read Chris’ tweet about some bloke by the name of Rob Young and a project he was starting called ‘The Hundred Dollar Club’. It had something to do with the recent World Domination Summit that Chris had organised in Portland. I knew about WDS and was gutted I wasn’t there this year, so that got my attention. It turned out that Chris had handed out $100 in cash to each of the 1,000 WDS participants at the close of the summit (‘The $100 Startup’ is his latest book). There were no specific requirements, though he encouraged them to invest it in a cause or use it to start up something. Rob Young decided to multiply his $100 by 10 and invest it in 10 people to help them start up their individual business ideas.

I had been struggling to pin down my idea up to that point, so this was the perfect reason for me to buckle down and come up with a plan. I sent in my application a few days after that, and within the next week, I received an email from Rob saying that I was in! It has been 6 weeks since Rob initiated THDC group interactions, and it has been an absolutely mind-blowing experience for me. There are 22 of us in the group. The others who didn’t receive the seed money opted to remain in the group to provide moral support, advice and to benefit from the experience. Something truly amazing happens when you surround yourself with people who share your beliefs and values. The energy is infectious. I’m constantly inspired and motivated by this bunch of awesome individuals.

The key message behind tdc – it’s the small actions that define and change your world – was largely inspired by the group.

This is also a tribute to Chris Guillebeau, as none of this would have happened if he hadn’t initiated it at WDS 2012. His not-so-small-action has definitely changed my world! This is just the start and I have no idea how this is all going to pan out, but my gut instincts tell me I’m on the right track.

Part of me is absolutely terrified by this huge leap of faith I’ve taken. I only have enough to sustain myself for another couple of months. I’ve always been a bit of a risk-taker, but this is by far the biggest risk I have ever taken. Despite the fear, I know that this is the best place for me to be right now, and somehow I just know that I’ll figure it out as I go along. I’m not saying this is the best way, but radical changes have always worked best for me. My intuition has always been my compass.

You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself – Alan Alda

When was the last time you grabbed life by the balls? What did you do to push yourself out of the city of your comfort? I’d love to hear from you!


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  1. Is Information Overload Killing Your Creativity? | the dot connect - October 24, 2012

    […] the problem. Something just didn’t feel right. I attributed it to stress from the uncertainty of my latest radical lifestyle change. I sought inspiration from insightful articles written by professional bloggers, and I kept […]

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