For the longest time I thought comfort was the ultimate goal in life.
I thought, if I can control my environment than I could eliminate the uncertainty that destroys this desired comfort.
I thought that this certainty was the desirable end result.
What I didn’t realize at the time is that being comfortable also meant I wasn’t growing.
When it comes to my money, my biggest progress has come outside of comfort.
A few years ago, I was very comfortable as a mortgage loan officer.
Despite being a good income, it had stalled out because I was comfortable.
I also noticed that discontent was slowly creeping into my career.
The lack of progress was causing me to be unfulfilled.
As I was progressing towards making a change, the institution I worked for decided to close their mortgage department.
It was a forced change.
What was a very comfortable situation, had now quickly turned towards discomfort.
I had a decision to make.
Was I going to just switch to another company and continue in my comfort zone, or do something BIG?
I Chose Discomfort
Knowing that my heart’s desire was being an entrepreneur, and that I would never be fully content in what I was doing as a loan officer, I decided to follow my dream.
Knowing that it was unwise to quit a profession completely that provided income for my family, I elected to find a place I could do mortgages that gave me full flexibility with starting a business.
A place where I wouldn’t get distracted and comfortable.
A place that didn’t need my full attention.
This decision no doubt plunged me directly into discomfort.
Knowing that I needed to get a business going quickly, I knew I had to get to work immediately.
Fortunately, two amazing opportunities came my way.
First, I had been working on 1911 Apparel with one of my best friends from high school.
The brand was growing, but not as quickly as we wanted it to.
Being in my present state of discomfort, I knew this needed to get more of my attention – and quickly.
Jacob and I started working hard to build that brand.
We have made 10X more progress in the last year than we did in the prior year.
The second opportunity came my way because of the financial consulting I had started prior to that mortgage department closing.
I had a business owner who was struggling with the finances of their business.
He told me he would give me a considerable stake in his business if I would come over and manage the finances and help grow the business.
I decided to go for it.
Talk about more discomfort.
I knew nothing about the industry I would now be an owner in, but I was up for the challenge.
I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but being a business owner is what I wanted.
I was ready for the challenge.
I learned two important lessons from these experiences:
First, discomfort causes you to create opportunities for yourself.
Often, they are already there and you just don’t see them because of the blinders that come with being comfortable.
Second, this last year has been extremely fulfilling.
I love what I am doing.
I feel excited to get started each morning when I wake up.
This may seem cliché, but it is true.
This is NOT how I felt each morning when I was waking up to do mortgages.
Some people may enjoy that work, but it wasn’t my purpose.
It wasn’t challenging me.
I needed some discomfort to grow my income and to challenge me personally.
I desired growth in both of those areas.
I will be honest, I was upset when they announced that they were closing that mortgage department.
I didn’t like them taking away something that was comfortable for me.
In hindsight, I am grateful.
I should send them a thank you card.
It got me out of my rut.
If I had just fallen into another similar loan officer position, I would have ended up feeling the same way.
Instead I chose discomfort.
I learned that growth comes in the uncertainty.
This is when we find who we are, and what we are capable of doing.
Having that department close was one of the best things professionally that has ever happened to me.
That discomfort has resulted in increased income and financial assets.
And more importantly, it has increased how happy I am with what I am doing for work - and that's more important than money.
I challenge you to look for that discomfort.
Don’t avoid the unknown.
I am confident as you do, that you will find fulfillment and massive growth on the other side of that uncertainty and discomfort.
Thanks for reading,
Founder of 1911 Apparel