My wife Rachel as a college student. If I had never stretched my comfort zone I never would had met her… and my daughters would not exist!
Many eclectic jobs led me to where I am today:
paid Baritone for a Presbyterian church, selling disability insurance, teaching English to children in Taiwan, nude modeling in college (for a university art class, nothing un-toward), volunteer firefighter, balloon twisting in restaurants, waiting on tables, singing in Europe, selling cars, being a door-to-door salesman, mowing lawns, working in a fruit packing house, sorting boxes for UPS, flipping burgers at Dairy Queen, being a lifeguard, etc….
I’ve tried so many unusual things in my life that nothing is that weird or unfamiliar.
In college I was always trying new jobs, every single time I got fired from one (I had a big mouth and it got me in hot water) I would look around and try something different.
I feel bad for the person who turns 18, gets a job that he hates, then stays in that job for 40 years because he is hooked to a measly paycheck. How boring, right?
Today, for instance, I’ll walk onto a college campus somewhere in Dallas and recruit students to twist balloons in restaurants. I’ve never been to Dallas in my life, but the thought of going up to perfect strangers and asking them to work for my company will be fun and quite easy for me.
Be open to new ideas and experiences, and as you get older you will continually expand your comfort zone. When you stretch yourself you will learn how to be resilient and adjust to anything.
Trying many different things also teaches you to be resourceful, a great quality to develop whether you are an entrepreneur, teacher or any profession.
Once you’ve taken off every stitch of clothing in front of a room full of art students, or traveled 12 time zones away on a ONE WAY ticket to a foreign country to work, everything else is small potatoes.
I started Balloon Distractions (when I was 29) because I never found a job that I actually liked.
Previous to that I could never hold a job longer than 24 months.
When you move OUT, way OUT, from your comfort zone you will gain tremendous confidence and trust in yourself. After living in Taiwan and learning how to speak a bit of Mandarin Chinese I was not afraid to live somewhere very far from what I knew growing up. Moving to Florida in 2003? No big deal, at least it’s still in the USA.
Consequently I feel at home everywhere I go here in the States. The entire USA is in my comfort zone.
A little job or hobby that you try out in college can lead to something significant down the road. When I was twisting balloons in college I never would have guessed that it would lead to Balloon Distractions.
Be thrilled by the potential of the unexpected, and don’t hesitate to get out of your own comfort zone!