Cutting a Cord
Most peoples’ lives are made almost entirely out of habits and routines. From simple routines like getting ready in the morning or reading Reddit, to larger ones that influence our social behaviors or employment positions. People spend their entire lives crafting routines and habits that make up who they are. These habits, routines, and actions become a part of our identity. This can be an amazing thing - or a terrible thing - depending on whether your habits support to your long-term goals.
As Jim Collins says in his book Good to Great, some habits are bad because they make us content with a “good” situation. Good makes us settle, reducing or halting our efforts towards greatness. “Good is, in essence, the enemy of Great”.
On November 29th, I discovered I had a great opportunity to work full-time on an early stage startup if my partner and I re-located to Chile for seven months. I would need to leave my family, friends, and girlfriend in addition to resign from a good position to which I was promoted in June. I work for a good company, consistently heading to our office 3-4 days a week for over two years. My job is a reliable and secure source of income in Santa Cruz, California, a pretty damn good place to live. I am near my entire family, group of friends, and girlfriend, so I get to spend a good amount of time with all of them.
Moving to Chile is an amazing opportunity, but I’ll have to sacrifice a stable employment situation with no guarantee everything will work out. I have almost nothing saved and there is a solid possibility I will have to move back in with my parents if our startup doesn’t receive more funding after Chile. I won’t save a dollar the entire time I’m there and could realistically be seven months away from unemployment in this incredibly competitive job market. Chile is a golden opportunity, yet at the same time a big risk.
Luckily, I have no children, am not yet married, and do not own a home or have a car payment. I don’t have any major financial commitments to hold me back, it is just the fear of the unknown, a future of more work, less money, no guarantees.
December 21st was my last day of work at my company. I decided to jump on the opportunity I have in Chile.
I had to cut a cord. It was a cord of familiarity, habits and routine, and stable income, but I know it was the right move for me. I’ve never felt so excited and liberated. I am about to embark on an unpredictable and challenging new adventure, a new chapter of my life that will either lead me back to my childhood bedroom or onto something great.
No matter where I am seven months from now, I will be okay because I am lucky to have a group of people who will always support me. Starting a business in South America will be a fascinating and educational experience and I know it will help me grow as a person and entrepreneur.
Are there any cords holding you back? If so, cut them before it’s too late.