While I’m writing this, I’m sitting in a small room in London while enjoying a fantastic (but cloudy) view outside. I’ve spent the whole afternoon practicing programming after a 3 hours walk alone in the center.
I’m in London because I’ve started a new job at a small company where we do lots of mac and iPhone programming. Before that, I was doing mostly web development full time. I was a little scary at first before starting this job, but it’s paying off day after day and I’m learning a lot. I’ll eventually get back to Italy at the end of the week, but plans are that I move here early next year.
From time to time, especially when I’m alone for more than a few days I start to think about all those scary things that I did to get where I am now (which is nothing special really).
For example, when I quit school I didn’t know much about what I wanted to do in my life, so I did whatever job I could find. That turned out to be factories jobs where I lived.
When I learned that I could make some bucks selling stuff online, I did that, but it wasn’t easy. I had to open a company (I was 19 years old), find someone to buy in stock, and then sell. I can perfectly remember the day when I got offered a new job at a construction company, and I turned it down in order to start my company. It was scary, but I knew I had to do it.
Eventually, I quit selling on eBay and started to do consulting full time. Again, that was scary. Until then I’d been programming only for things that I personally needed, and I was lacking real world experience and education. After 5 years I now know that this is what I want to do all day.
Big changes are not only career-related though. Last year I decided to move to another country with my girlfriend and a friend who I’d never meet in person. Neither of us knew the language well, and never visited that country before, but everything turned out to be just right, and we all made lots of experience. After that, me and my girlfriend moved back to Italy in winter and moved to a new apartment, and we’ll probably move out again next year to England. We just got a dog and we’re getting married next month.
All of these “changes” are not taken lightly by us. There are many things we have to consider each time I say no to a client or accept a new job. I’m very uncertain as to what we’ll be doing two months from now, yet at the same time I know that I’m only going to regret the things that I won’t do, so I’d better do them while I can Sure, we’ll be making a lot of mistakes along the way, but are we really learning something if we’re not failing from time to time?
Don’t let your fears stop from doing what you love. Want to start your own thing? Save a little money and then go for it. Want to travel the world? Find a job you can do from home, and then let the world be your home. Will it be easy? No, but nothing that’s worth something is easy to get.
Whatever you do, make sure you’re a little scared from time to time, that’s how you’ll know you’re pushing your limits.