The Real World Doesn’t Come With Instructions: How The Biggest Failure Of My Life Became The Best Thing To Ever Happen To Me

It was the Spring of 2011 in NYC, I was 27 years old and felt trapped at my marketing job. I wanted my work to have an impact, to matter, but I didn’t know what to do.I decided I would finally take action—I decided to become a teacher. I joined Teach For America, quit my job, and drove 1,200 miles south to the Mississippi Delta (yes Mississippi) where I had committed to teach for the next 2 years. As the summer training progressed I was getting more anxious about having my own class in the fall. I started to get physically sick and on the first day of school, I quit.

That 20 hour drive back home was pretty much the most dreadful experience in my life. I no longer had my NYC apartment, I no longer had my job…so I moved back in with my mom. What followed was 6 months of straight up confusion, frustration and depression. “What do I do?” “What have I done?” The self-questioning was non-stop.

Eventually I was able to take a step back and realize I’m not alone in having no idea what do with my life. There are so many options out there, what’s the “right” one? At the same time some of my friends were taking risks and making their dreams happen. I wanted to get their stories out there to inspire people like me to see what’s possible if you say yes to yourself and go for it. Today, in 2013.

And so I created a podcast. It’s called Prologue Profiles and people like Jeff Laub of the Blind Barber, Rameet Chawla of Fueled and Colin Wright of ExileLifestyle candidly share their stories of how they overcame their fears to live the life they want. And from interviewing over 40 people over the past year, I realized those who are doing amazing things are no different than you or I, they just got connected to what they wanted to do, dropped their fear, and took action. In other words, it comes down to their mindset. 

This realization led to the creation of Prologue Sessions, the live event series for realizing your career dreams. The next event is on Tuesday July 2nd, from 7:00pm to 8:45pm at Ella Lounge in the East Village. It’s free and you can RSVP here.

I love what I’m building with Prologue because of the difference it’s making with those who listen to the podcast and attend the events. I frequently think back on what I went through two years ago. I’d just be returning now, actually. Sometimes, it turns out, the things we think are our biggest failures are actually our biggest breakthroughs.

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