Last week in Nashville, a woman walked up to me after the book event. She was an accountant, and told me about her dream to become a blogger. What surprised me was what she said scared her most: it wasn't trying and failing. It was if she tried blogging, and she found success. What happens next?
Unfortunately, it seems like many people don't get far enough with their jump to reach the "what happens next?" question.
And that's because, ironically, the fear of possibly achieving success (and/or happiness?) in doing something we love prevents many of us from taking any step toward trying to achieve it. From putting even just a toe in the water.
We start our first-ever When to Jump online learning program next week. I've wanted to do this from the day I came up with the concept for the When to Jump community in 2013. And yet, for the past 5 years, I've danced around actually trying to do this. "Ok," I'd think, "what happens when people sign up? What happens next?"
Turns out, that's the wrong question to ask. Joe Gebbia, co-founder of Airbnb, told me on the When to Jump podcast that Kevin Costner had it all wrong in his famous quote from the movie Field of Dreams: from Joe's perspective, if you build it, they won't come.
To me, that's a relief. If we assume nothing critical will happen when we take our jump, it takes the pressure off. You can try. You can fail. And you don't have to worry about what happens next, because what will happen next will..just...happen, next.
In talking with Joe, my sense was that his jumps around building and evolving and switching and restarting were all critical in helping form what Airbnb is today. For the accountant in Nashville, those first blog posts will serve as the start, and not the end, of her jump. And if and when she builds the blog, and no one comes? Perfect. No one sees the mistakes, the learnings, the do-overs that any jump will require.
And in doing this part - living and breathing the jump and figuring it out - she's going to forget to ask what happens next.