It doesn't take much.
On listening to the little voice.
“I’m going to start a company.”
As I closed the pages of the book, there wasn’t a doubt in my mind that my world was about to change forever. I uttered those words to myself as the final pages fell shut, and at the time I had zero clue what that meant or what it would look like. But something was different and I knew my path in the woods had diverged into two and I was about to take the one less traveled.
I had just finished a book that I still treasure today, The $100 Startup, by Chris Guillebeau. I was working in a technology sales job that was neither here nor there. I had no horror stories or battle wounds from it, but at the same time I didn’t exactly wake up every day excited for what lay ahead. My life, for the most part, just was what it was. Neither exciting nor dull, good but not great, and fun but not on fire.
This epiphany, this moment of clarity, happened in the fall of 2012. If you fast-forward to today, a short three years later, my life looks much different than it did then. That seedling of an idea, planted by a great book with a simple message, grew into me starting a company that has since reached nearly 500,000 people across the globe, being featured on Inc.com, Men’s Journal, Men’s Fitness, and Under30CEO to name a few, and publishing my first book. In short, I went from leading a mostly uninspired and uninspiring life, to living out my passions and creativity for the world to see, in what seemed like the blink of an eye.
I write this not as a pat on the back, though I certainly need to give myself that from time to time, but more as a simple reminder. A reminder to myself and a reminder to you reading this. A reminder that...
it doesn't take much.
A book that resonates. A quote that won't go away. A video you can't stop rewinding in your head. (A post that you can't stop re-reading...) These are the small things that become big things in retrospect. They're that figurative snowflake that mushrooms into a snowball in the blink of an eye. The tipping point that takes people from standing on the outside looking in, to being on the inside along for the ride.
There's a reason so many famous peoples' stories begin with colloquial reflections not too different than mine. All it takes, in any of our lives, is that one small thing that resonates with us so deeply that we cannot pretend to be the same person after experiencing it. Call it a change in perspective. Call it a paradigm shift. Call it whatever you want. Just don't call it the way it's always been.
Life can be viewed as something to endure or something to experience. We endure when let life dictate the path we take. We experience when we take the path that looks the most fun, the most rewarding, or the most exciting. This year, as the resolutions come and they fade, as the excitement of a new year grows and then withers, simply be aware. Be aware that this moment could be right around the corner for you. Be aware that something beyond your comprehension might just be nudging you down that path of experiences. Be aware that saying "yes" to that little voice that won't go away just might lead to things you could have never imagined. Be aware of the fact that it doesn't take much.