That was the question my Pepperdine University Leadership Professor, Vance Caesar, asked me and my fellow doctoral students during one of our classes eight years ago.
I recently put that question to the test this past June when I dropped everything and moved from Los Angeles, California, to Bloomington, Indiana. For the past 22 years, I was fortunate to have created a successful career in the music industry; however, I was not following my true creative path.
Seven years ago, I became restless. I knew I was ready for a new challenge, but I didn’t want to leave my job and have to start all over again somewhere else after so many years. That is what I told myself, but the truth was: I was afraid. I had spent so many years doing things that never made me happy, while at the same time completely letting go of my creative pursuits which was why I moved to Los Angeles in the first place.
Last October, my frustration came to a head when I found myself overweight, under-utilized at work, and completely unhappy living in Los Angeles. It was Mark Twain who once said, “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” I had finally had enough.
When I started to work on my exit plan, I began to think about ways that I could use both my long overdue creative talents along with my acquired leadership skills to help others. I started to really focus on my strengths and what I wanted to do next. I began seeking the help and advice of friends and professionals.
Within six months, I lost 50 pounds, guest-lectured at Indiana University, ran 2 marathons and 6 half-marathons, left my record company job, and made the decision to move back to Bloomington, Indiana, where I went to graduate school to pursue teaching and consulting opportunities. It would be the perfect way to merge my creative and leadership abilities.
When I sat down and took the time to reflect on what I really wanted, I quickly came to realize that my true passions lie in educating young adults on topics such as leadership, self-esteem, goal-setting, personal finance and investing.
When I moved back to Bloomington in June, not only did I feel calmer, I was more at peace. In the past two months, I have met with several interesting people at Indiana University about future teaching and consulting opportunities—just as I planned., I got my old DJ job back at 92.3 WTTS-FM, and I am about to release my first e-book on investing, as well as publish my first educational book for young adults entitled Growing Success: A Young Adult’s Guide to Personal and Financial Success.
So, what would you do if you weren’t afraid? Are you following a path that makes you happy? If not, what could you do right now to change?
Go ahead! Take some action and make that change today!