When a golden opportunity is around the corner, many of us are oblivious to it. Most of us are conditioned to protect our future by bagging a secured job that brings in steady monthly income. While nothing is wrong with this way of thinking, there is the other side of the coin.
We constantly extol modern business icons for their magnificent triumphs and glories. It’s easy to witness their successes due to the exposure from media but we often forget or are unaware about the journey that they went through to get to that pinnacle of success. Out of many of the decisions that set these icons apart, a common one is the audacity to change their career path, entirely.
After building a worldwide electronic payment company, Elon Musk decided to use his fortune to dive into something he was truly passionate about. His drive to change the world took expression through the birth of SpaceX and Tesla. One would think someone who made millions of an internet company would create another online company or stay in a similar space, but Musk did exactly the opposite. Due to his everlasting, intrinsic drive to bring positive change into this world, he embarked on a monumental mission. Musk even failed the first few times but persisted through the trials and tribulations of a growing company. Now, both of his companies are worth over billions of dollars and more importantly, are changing the landscape of our human condition.
Vera Wang was a young prodigal figure skater who competed in the 1968 US Figure Skating Championships. When her efforts landed her short of making the US Olympic team, she entered the fashion industry and began working for Vogue. She was the youngest editor in the company’s history and had a long tenure at Vogue before moving to Ralph Lauren and then eventually starting her own brand. Wang made the bold move to switch careers which, at that time, may have seemed daunting, but she displayed courage, changed her career path, and the rest is history.
This type of risk taking, changing career paths, is not something that is seen in only widely-known international icons like Elon Musk and Vera Wang. Another fitting example is the story of CJ and how he created CJ Jewels International LLC.
CJ was initially working a nine to five job in an advertising agency. On the weekends, he would work in a jewel factory shadowing craftsmen and learning everything he could about the jewelry business. From an early age, CJ knew he wanted to build a global business. After years of working in an advertising agency and building a steady career, CJ was not satisfied. He knew his success didn’t lie in advertising as he eagerly wanted to move into the jewelry business. Not having a concrete plan, CJ embarked on his dream. One day, after making over fifty cold phone calls, he decided to take on a marketing job that he knew would eventually yield him some contacts in the jewelry space. CJ worked this job without a wage and took the risk of quitting his secure advertising job in hopes to carve his way into the world of jewelry.
If CJ had never taken this decision of quitting his financially secure job, he probably wouldn’t have created CJ Jewels International LLC. Now, the company has won several accolades in the bridal jeweler category from renown magazines such as JCK and Knot.
The lessons we can learn from these icons are endless. Every success story has the element of risk in it. It all stems from the ability to be fearless and dream big. If you ever are at a crossroad in your life that requires you to make a difficult decision that may be against the norm, go for it. If you’re genuinely passionate about it and it is something you know that will bring benefit to society, give it your all and don’t look back. Even if your idea fails, you can use those experiences to become a seasoned professional and an experienced human being. If you never try, you will never succeed. Take the leap.
Change your career to follow your heart.
Take the risk.
You only live once.