Yesterday I shared a conversation I had with an early mentor of mine a few years ago which totally changed the game for me.
If you haven’t already read it, I highly recommend checking it out as I share what I now believe to be my most important message.
Anyway, in that post, I mentioned that one of my options at the time was to go teach English in South Korea.
Something I didn’t mention, however, was that my mentor actually dropped another bit of gold which I rediscovered when going through our emails again.
Upon mentioning South Korea, he asked me if I was looking for an experience or if I was looking to build something.
Oh, how I love the impact of a simple question asked at the right time. 🙂
It’s important to note that there was zero judgment either way, and no right or wrong answer.
If I was simply looking for an experience at that point, going to Korea would have been a perfectly fine answer. But if I was looking to build something bigger, then maybe not.
The bottom line is this: Context matters.
Here’s the thing: Going to Korea (or working on ships, organic farms, etc.) would absolutely have been an amazing experience. But that doesn’t mean it’s one I needed to have.
I’m not saying those are bad options for everyone. Again, zero judgment. But if you are considering going down one of those paths, I would make sure you’re super clear on your bigger objectives for doing so.
Once I realized that I was looking for more than just a fun experience, I was able to more confidently reply to the recruiter’s email to let her know I would not be sending back my contract (which was already signed and prepared, ready to go), despite still not knowing what I was going to do.
All I knew is that I wanted to build something.
Shortly after making that decision, I went all in on my podcast, which allowed me to build my network of relationships and develop skills that others needed.
And, by combining those two assets, I’ve been able to surpass what I would have been earning at a corporate job, travel & experience the world anyway, and have more time to design my days as I please.
None of this would have been possible without context.
Get clear on what you want, for sure, but don’t forget to ask yourself why you want it in the first place.
Are you looking for an experience or are you looking to build something?
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