Whether you follow my life adventures or not, you probably have seen or clued in that I am a huge advocate for following a path that you love in life.
Let me first take you back six months to set up the rest of this article…
Six months ago I decided to leave my startup, I lost my social media clients, and I had moved back home with my parents during the summer. In the short of it, I was living the exact life I told myself I would never live again. I was in a major entrepreneurial slump. I had no brilliant business idea to pursue, little motivation as to my own professional worth, and barely enough money to even get coffee at the local shop.
I was shit out of luck, and my ambitions and dreams seemed so much larger than my current reality at the time.
As the summer was quickly ending, I needed to figure out my next step. I set a goal that I would not live at home for longer than a month, so I quickly began to search for something, almost anything.
That’s when I came across a branding agency that was searching for someone just like me. A jack of all trades in the creative and marketing world. Don’t get me wrong, at the time this is where I thought I may belong.
Just like that, I was scheduled for an interview in a week. I had never experienced this world of interviewing for a job. I had always employed myself, and had to prove myself to clients and not employers. Luckily, it seemed that the few years I had in selling myself and my services paid off in the interview. I was offered the job a week later.
So there I was, now an entrepreneur/pilot/marketer with a job in branding. I was excited intially at the thought of the agency life. Sexy sounding, but far from it.
Again, don’t get me wrong there were great moments at the agency and I learned so much there. At the end of the day however, I felt empty and the sex appeal of being at an agency wore off. I thought the emptiness was just a feeling that would come and go.
But it never left.
I kept feeling weighed down by a life of routine, a life of desk sitting, a life that was neither very entrepreneurial or aviation related.
I quickly began having multiple nights spent sad, some could say even a bit depressed and extremely unfulfilled. This feeling can be similar to entrepreneurial struggles, but this was a different kind of unbearable. I know, it may sound dramatic but this is all true. You need to hear this.
Luckily, whenever I hit extreme low points in my life such as this I do three things: I reflect, find a better way, and then take action. This is easier said than done, but if you hit low points in your life know that there is always a better way and it is never too late to change course.
So I reflected…
I asked myself the 5 Why’s just like Ben wrote about in his article. I did this in hopes that I could find exactly what it was I wanted at my core.
I started with this: I knew I had to be around airplanes more.
WHY? Well, because airplanes are what makes me feel complete.
WHY? Because the community around airplanes is so positive.
WHY? Because pilots and aviation lovers all have a similar bond about the mission of flight.
WHY? Because aviation is challenging, but success in aviation is a culmination of so many different things coming together at once.
WHY? Because flying is challenging but so rewarding.
There! I had it, I had realized that I had been too afraid to admit to myself the one thing that had always been my deepest desire, flying as a career. I had to admit to myself that I was willing to sacrifice some of my entrepreneurial ventures, my job and current life situation in order to pursue my ultimate love which was flight.
For a time reference, this was a long time in the making, far before my job.
Found a better way…
So I knew what I wanted now, but I had to find a way to get there.
Here I was, a man who hated college but knew in order to fly for the major airlines I needed to get a degree and finish my flight training.
I also knew that if I wanted to finish my flight training AND finish my degree, that something had to give. That thing being my job.
I quickly began researching colleges and flight schools to get prepared for the massive change I was about to make. This was something that was big and I wasn’t about to mess this up.
This is also when I told my family about this change I had to make. As I expected they were all happy to hear that I was going to go back to college. I am also sure they are all apprehensive and cautious to see if I finish this time. (Don’t fret everyone, I will)
Over two weeks ago I left my 8-5 job at that creative agency. The weight that had hung over me for the better part of my stay there was instantly lifted. The negativity and cynicalness that I allowed to enter my life instantly washed away, and I was “Pilot Ian” again.
I took action and now I am working towards my shifted path.
This is why you’re reading this
There’s likely one of two reasons you’re still reading this article.
You love seeing my failures, my sporadic life changes, or my ability to fall and get back up by my own doing.
For those reading because of this, I am still hustling. Whether you think I am crazy, impatient, or just plain stupid I don’t mind. I understand one firm conviction in my life which is to never settle for mediocrity. I believe everyone should hold this conviction (in fact it’s the premise of this entire blog). The moment you settle for anything less than what you firmly desire in life, is the moment you fail. I believe in you, and I am here to help in any way I can in your pursuit as well.
You have a desire deep down to leave your own job. You likely feel unfulfilled in what you do and want to find a way to change course.
For those of you reading because of this, it’s time for you to make a change. Find a way. Follow the three steps of reflecting, finding a way, and then taking action. You can do it.
Life is never the way you plan it out to be, so stop trying to plan it. The moment you admit that life is fluid and ever changing, is the moment you can follow a path that you desire. Know your long term goals but keep them as broad goals. Limit yourself from concrete dates and life goals that could limit you from the beauty of spontaneity and maturity in your mind, body, and spirit.
I have changed my path many times in the past few years. However, I live with little regret and so should you. If you feel like you have changed or you want to change, know that it is okay to do so. There will be those who support you and those who do not. But at the end of the day, support your own vision and your own desires and you will make it. I promise.