Everyone kept telling him how lucky he was, or how crazy he was. It’s not by luck he decided to leave, and ultimately he wasn’t that crazy.

He didn’t have a job or safety net lined up. He was taking a risk. But he had a plan. He’d be heading in the right direction and simultaneously away from a source of pain and stagnation.

Charlie was leaving his cushy six figure corporate gig in Finance for an expensive, multi-month coding bootcamp, unrelated to his field, without a job lined up at it’s conclusion.

Despite the whispers of ‘crazy’ that floated around the office, he was one of the least crazy of the group. People so often had asked themselves why they were working there, wallowing in their despair. And yet, they’d do absolutely nothing about it.

I too was one of those people. I had just reached the 18 month mark in my third position at the prestigious hedge fund. Historically that was around when I moved on to something better. It didn’t help that job stress was chronically high, management was in a tail-spin, and my on-the-job learning was tailing off for longer than I could remember.

Now, I also had massively high aspirations. I had recently pushed through some serious challenges and internalized that literally anything was possible with the right resources, persistence, and know-how.

Having DJed for several years I was in the process of building up my business & client base, and things were starting to really gain traction. The whirlwind of events around me kicked off a series of events that pushed me away from ‘playing it safe’, all while using the below quotes as a blueprint of guidance.

Like Charlie, I was ready to make a move.

    • “If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.”

      –Jim Rohn

    • “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”

      –Steve Jobs

    • “In the movies there’s this idea that you should just go for your dream, but I don’t believe that. Things happen in stages. It takes time to get good at anything.”  “The key thing is to force yourself through the work, force the skills to come; that’s the hardest phase.”

      -Ira Glass

    • “I realized that on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being nothing and 10 being permanently life changing, my so-called worst-case scenario might have a temporary impact of 3 or 4. On the other hand, if I realized my best-case scenario, or even a probable-case scenario, it would easily have a permanent 9 or 10 positive life-changing effect.”

      -Tim Ferriss

    • It’s often easier to make something 10x better than it is to make it 10% better.

      -Astro Teller

    • “The net worth of America’s wealthy is directly related to the assets they own and not the salary they collect.”

      -Matt DiLallo

Fast forward 18 months.

Charlie is killing it at a startup based in SF, well into 9 months on the job.

“I’m happier and more fulfilled knowing that I’m on a path consistent with what I value.  Although this path has had its challenges and will continue to, I feel more at [ease] than ever before because [I’m in] alignment [with] the direction I’m heading and the purpose I’ve given the next few years of my life.”

It was a risk that paid off in the end. While his first move may not have been the perfect move, he took action towards his goal knowing he’d get there eventually.

On my own front, I’ve continued to double my revenue every year since incorporating and expanded headstrong into weddings. I’m building up consistent gigs at bars & clubs throughout the area and  locked down my first big-time festival concert opening for the Plain White T’s.

Ultimately I knew staying at the desk job wasn’t for me. I could have transferred to another position and played it safe, but remaining in my comfort zone would have been the easy way out.

And at the end of the day it’s much harder doing something you’re not entirely enamored with than remaining chronically miserable in the long run.

Inaction ensures you have a 100% chance that things will remain the way they are. But with action, you have a non-zero chance of getting it right. Maybe the first change isn’t the right one… but roll the dice enough times and eventually you’ll end up on top.

Per Bruce Lee:

“Running water never grows stale. So you just have to keep on flowing.”