There is nothing to fear about making a bold move. Really. In fact, Seth Godin resumed it very well; playing safe is very risky. Throughout my young life (I’m only 35 after all), I’ve already made several bold moves. While others thought I was taking risks, I thought I was living. Getting up in the morning with a smile, that’s all that matters!
Today, I thought I would share a few stories with you and I hope I will give you the guts to make a bold move by the end of this summer ;-).
Moving Out Without a Job
My first apartment was located in one of the nicest neighborhoods of Montreal (Outremont). I found a great deal, 10 minutes away from University and directly in the middle of all the cool places. I had a brand new car and was living a great life… all that at the age of 22 while I wasn’t working yet.
How did that happen? My girlfriend (now my wife) and I used to live in my parent’s basement. I ran into an argument with my father and he said the magic words:
“What are you going to do, son? Loading your credit card and go get yourself an apartment?”
Less than 30 days later, I was sipping my beer on the balcony of my apartment in Montreal… with $5,000 loaded on my credit card.
The risk was obvious: how is it smart to load your credit card because you run into a fight with someone? To prove you are right? That’s silly stupid. I could fall into some kind of very bad debt spiral and take years to recover from my young boldness.
During this tough economic time, I learned how to budget and manage cash flow. I focused on generating money and shortly after I got a job when I finished my bachelor’s degree. In fact, I wrote my last exam on a Saturday and I was at work the following Monday. I automatically started saving money and paid all my credit debts by the end of summer. Throughout this bold move, I learned how to work hard and save money aside to pay off my debts.
Borrowing 20K to Leverage the Market
Right after paying my credit card debt, I got a new job with a better salary. On the very same week, I got a $20,000 line of credit and took all of it to invest through a brokerage account. At that time, I was spending 3-4 hours per day looking at the stock market and potential trades.
Then again, when you borrow money to make speculative moves, the risk is obvious: I could have lost a good part of the 20K and ended up with a nasty debt. Many people would have said, “no thanks” to this opportunity.
3 years later, my trading account was showing a healthy balance of +70,000$. I cashed my investment, payed off my debt and used the remaining 50K as cash down for my house. Lucky me, I did all this back in 2017 and avoided most of the 2008 crash! Throughout this bold move, I learned how the financial market works and how to make money from investing.
Doing an MBA, Writing a CFP title, Shifting Job and Having a Second Baby
I went through my busiest year in 2008. At the beginning of the year, I decided to shift jobs and become a financial planner. I was about to finish my CFP title and was completing my MBA at the same time. I couldn’t go to all classes of both projects and had to prioritize tasks between tons of pages to read and to write! I also had to perform at work as a new financial planner, since it wasn’t enough, and Amy was born 2 weeks after I started the MBA.
I’ll be honest, this time, I almost lost everything. The risk of failing somewhere in my career (failing a test or being a good financial planner at work) was adding lots of pressure on my shoulders, but I nearly lost the most important thing in my life; my marriage. I wasn’t home often and when I was, I hid in my basement to study and work. My wife was stuck with two young kids and things weren’t going great.
Fortunately for the both of us, we finally got through the storm together. In 2009, when I finished my MBA and ranked #3 in all the financial planners of Montreal, I decided I would never work more than 4 days a week. Throughout this bold move, I earned a quality of life in the financial industry. I learned how to optimize my time and become more efficient.
12 Months in an RV, Driving Down to Costa Rica
After 2009, my life got pretty boring. We moved a third time outside the suburbs, we had a third child and I got a promotion in the private banking industry only 5 minutes away from home. Nothing exciting, but life was good. Then, my wife brought the idea of leaving everything behind and going for an RV trip across Central America for a year. The rest is history.
Then again, risks of doing such bold moves were many. I could have lost my job, dig myself in a debt hole for good, get sick in a third world country, get attacked or kidnapped, etc. etc. etc. Most people in my entourage didn’t understand the urge to throw ourselves in such delicate situation. I mean, who dream of traveling through El Salvador with his family, right?
While this was probably the biggest risk I have ever taken in my life, this was also coming with the biggest reward: a full year spent with the people I love most doing the things I’ve always wanted. I’ve done so many things on my bucket list that I have to write another one now that I’m back! Throughout this bold move, I lived the most amazing year of my life. I learned to let go, become Zen and fearless. I’ve also learned that I could do anything I want.
Leaving a 6 Figure Job to Build my Own
My latest bold move happened upon my return. I left on a sabbatical and on the promise to come back to my comfy well paid job. I decided life was more exciting than doing a job I was good at, but that had become without any challenge. This is how I decided to quit my job and start my own business.
This one comes financial risks too. I still have a mortgage to pay and three children to send to school. I could practically destroy everything that I’ve built and even lose my house. But between you and me, I lived 12 months in a 25ft RV…. I don’t really care about losing my house anymore!
It’s a bit early to call the reward on this one. As I’m writing this post, I’m jobless for only 5 weeks now. However, what I can tell you is that I’m excited to wake up every day and go in my office to work. I’m motivated to reap the results of my hard work and I can see where I can get in a few years from now. I’m currently building a new life where I will be able to do what I want, when I want… to make even boldest moves! Because life is about making it interesting, and making bold moves help a lot!