To be alive is to make decisions about tomorrow. Who's to say if those decisions are justified or even the most appropriate choice for your path. What I DO know, is that if TODAY isn't challenging you, look to take the road less taken for TOMORROW.
Little known fact about me, I used to work in sales/marketing for 5 years before I became a personal trainer. Even before that I was a foreman for a fiber optics construction crew, pipe fitter apprentice for fire protections systems and a tire shop lead. It's been quite a search for my profession and passion.
If I'm honest with myself, I loved all of those jobs. I've always had a passion for what I work on. I didn't look elsewhere because of money or a need to fulfill a self righteous ''mission''. Something just didn't feel like it clicked. Usually, it was my constant disagreement with my peers in those roles. I would simply get to a point that I no longer was feeling fulfilled in my education, or wasn't being challenged anymore, or sometimes my 'vision' didn't align with that of my superior.
There was one thing that I did know about myself, I loved doing many things and solving problems, an eclectic of sorts. This was a point of contention with my family in my younger years. "I don't know what I want to do, I just want to do it all!".
The most significant career change of my life wasn't intentional. When working at a startup 5 years ago there was a round of layoffs and I was included in that downsizing. It seemed like a good time to sit back and look at my life and spend a few months looking inward.
Those two same thoughts creeped in over that time, "I want to do it all, I want to solve problems". Sadly, there wasn't the revelation that I had expected. I waited, yet nothing. Instead I pursued an industry I had always had a passion since I was young, and aligned with my studies in college, biology and sport.
The physical transformation that came with studying and becoming a personal trainer came with a newfound mental aptitude and focus in my life. It felt, for lack of a better word, right. The idea was to start at a 'Big Box' gym and learn how the training world operated and then go independent because I knew how to sale, I just needed to learn the trade (contracts, licensing, insurance, partnerships, markets).
It was less than a year and I had quit the gym and went independent. Though, not because I took the initiative, I had a property that I worked with asked me to work with their tenants directly, without the gym. I was kinda amazed because at the time I didn't know I could do that. I knew I was going to go independent but to work with, the most iconic, corporate building in Austin, within my first year in the industry, seemed like such an undertaking.
From that moment to today has been a combination of 'doing everything and solving problems'
Almost immediately, I became a llc, acquired corporate insurance, brought in a trainer I trusted to help me write curriculum for new potential hires and I went out to find new properties that would work with us. Unintentionally, creating a business model in downtown Austin that hadn't existed yet. A strictly mobile service that catered to hotels, apartments and office buildings. Using the facilities that existed within the buildings themselves. Low overhead, and an almost immediate monopoly within the relationships I had developed.
It has been surreal. Having a respected colleague, and friend, manage the trainers and educate them to become the most knowledgeable trainers in the city, has been a very big help. Yet, all this has happened because I followed that instinct in me that has been subtly screaming at me for years. Do everything and solve problems. It has been a rush and a feeling of highness these years, the learning curve alone kept me busy. Speaking with executives about what we could bring to their clients, tenants, partners, would scare the crap out of someone, like me, who spent most of his life working with his hands on cars, pipes, drills. When you are the least qualified person in the room, you are forced to rise to a new level. This is what has given me life. A real life.
Do everything and solve problems.
I know of no one else who has had a path like mine. I'm sure they exist, but that is not the point. The point is that there wasn't a roadmap, not even suggestions, to what I should do. Every step I take, I am questioned if it is the right thing for my business or for myself. At this point in my career, I no longer care. I just want to continue to feed the beast because I know what it feels like when he is starved.