I used to follow other people's advice. I'm so glad I stopped. It began with my mom. "Be a teacher," she had said, because she was a teacher herself. So I did it. Six years later, I leveled up into a quasi-administrative role and started craving more growth. But I was working at a top school district, where advancement was slow. I thought about leaving for a lesser district, where I could move up faster. That's when everyone I trusted told me: Don't leave. Just wait.
I almost listened. But as I contemplated what to do, I stared at a sign that hung in my office. The mother of one of my students had given it to me as a gift years earlier. It said: "We must take adventures in order to know where we truly belong." I agreed with that. So for first time in my life, I ignored my family's advice. I took the leap. had no idea just how much truth that sign really contained. After I took one leap, I felt emboldened to take more. Two years later, I quit the new job, sold my townhouse, and moved from New York to Florida. My loved ones thought I was crazy. I had no plans, but I brought the sign with me. The only thing I knew for sure was this: I needed more adventure.
After a year of dabbling in different jobs, I decided to create my own. I trained as a coach for people with ADHD, opened my own company, and scored my first client within the first week. Then, by sheer coincidence, my former boss at that first school district called me up: The job I once wanted the one my family and friends told me to wait for-was now available! Did I still want it? "No, thank you," I said.
I have moved to many new offices since then. I have served more than 1,000 clients. But wherever I work, that sign hangs within eye- shot to remind me that adventure and whats-and that, because was willing to take its path, I could find where I truly belong.