One of my favorite things to do is to encourage people. I’m especially passionate about encouraging people to live out their passions. It makes me incredibly sad when people find themselves stuck in jobs they hate, punching a clock with no joy, or living under undue stress. I’ve had the opportunity to encourage people in this way no less than three times within the past week. But I’m especially proud of my friend, Justin Fricke. He took a risk and it paid off.
I’ve written about him on this blog before. Justin and his brother, Adam, cooked up an idea called “The Bro’d Trip.” They were going to live in a van and visit all fifty states within the course of a year.
Well…they did it.
The year 2016 saw them hiking, biking, surfing, climbing, and driving their way through every state, Puerto Rico, and three Canadian provinces. They drove the Alaska Highway, took photos of Hawaii from a helicopter, and won a lottery to hike in and see Utah’s “Wave” (Check it out here). They saved their money, set a goal, purchased a sprinter van, and made it happen. These two did what other people only dream of doing.
I like to think that I had at least a small hand in this adventurous journey. Justin was part of my mentoring group while he was contemplating all this. He and I rode 100 miles together in bikes. And just before The Bro’d Trop commenced, we sat in a coffee shop to say our good-byes.
It was a surprising discussion. Justin was getting cold feet. He wondered if he had made a big mistake. Thoughts started entering his mind about missing home, his friends, and his parents. But I reminded him that this dream was built on a solid foundation. He had no debt. His savings account was well-stocked. And most importantly, he was gifted with a spirit of adventure.
Needless to say, the brothers went on the trip. It changed their lives. They learned important lessons. The skills they gained and networking they did set them up well for the future.
The point is this: There is always fear when taking a leap. That fear is natural. But many of our most important actions take place outside of our comfort zone. Adam and Justin had fear as they embarked on this adventure. But now they wouldn’t trade their experience for the world.
In fact, Justin is selling the sprinter van and has just bought a traditional panel van. In another month or so he’ll be heading out west on his own to keep the journey going. He’s got some sponsors. He has a few freelance jobs lined up. And he’s looking to make more connections.
Another leap. A continuing adventure. More lessons. Another risk.
But all worth it so that he doesn’t have to sit behind a desk in a corporate job.
What risk are you willing to take?