In Michael’s cover story, he talks about the Genius Conference we attended. I can also say it was an amazing experience. Not only was it great to see people we know, it was nice to meet new people. One day at lunch, I was talking to someone attending the conference for the first time. He was in his 30s and shared that he lived in the Midwest and is a house flipper. He said he purchased, fixed up, and sold around 40 houses every year for the last few years, and he really enjoyed it. After talking with him a little longer, I learned it wasn’t his day job but instead his side job that he wished would turn into a full-time career. He told me the profit margin wasn’t that much for flipping houses in the area he lived, and he hadn’t felt comfortable enough to quit his day job.
“You can never really walk into another room until you let go of the door you are holding on to.”
I found what he said interesting in the sense that what he talked about first was his passion, only to realize he wasn’t 100 percent committed to it. I told him, “You can never really walk into another room until you let go of the door you are holding on to.” He responded by saying that he never thought of it that way. I took it one step further and said, “Literally, if you were holding onto a door and opened another door, and you liked what you saw in the room, the only way to really know what’s going on is to let go of the doorknob and fully walk into the next room.”
I hear his kind of thinking a lot from others, whether it’s a friend, a client, or a casual acquaintance — someone wanting to pursue something particular in their life but giving a host of reasons why it can’t be done. For me, once I’ve made a commitment to do something, I don’t look at the obstacles. Instead I think, “What do I need to do to make this happen?”
Of course, there’s no guarantee that all will be perfect once you’ve made that commitment or walked in the next room. Following your passion, whatever it is, will come with challenges and obstacles. Sometimes, the act of following a passion leads you to something else you would have never thought of pursuing but couldn’t unless you took that first action step. In the case of the man I had lunch with, it seemed that the fear of letting go of that weekly paycheck was his biggest obstacle of all.
Here is my question to you: What is the one thing in the back of your mind that you’ve wanted to pursue but haven’t because you’re holding on to a doorknob for security? Instead of thinking of the obstacles keeping you from following your dream, think of ways to make it happen. It’s a new year, which always brings the promise of new beginnings. No time like the present to pursue a vision or dream that’s been on your mind. And I don’t mean just career related; this pertains to all areas of your life. I hope you find all kinds of ways to open new doors in 2019, and happy New Year’s!