Committing to the curve

When I decided to pack everything into a suitcase and head to Nashville for a few months, I took an educated risk. I thought it would be an experience that I would walk away from with some life lessons learned.

I didn’t expect to fall in love with the city or the lifestyle of building ideas. Within the first week, I felt like I had arrived.

The reality of life outside a large corporation is confronting on a few levels. There is never a guaranteed paycheck. You have moments of bringing in large sums of money and moments where you experiment, iterate and fail hard (and often). This requires a serious adjustment to your mental model and no choice but to grow thick skin very quickly.

When you commit to embracing a curve in your career, you also commit to the unwavering instinct that everything will fall into place because the common thread seems to be that innovation and outcomes are spurred when one’s back is against the wall.

When I return to Melbourne next week I’ll be heading back to family, friends, amazing coffee and the city I call home. Logic would have me settle there for a while. Fortunately I left logic at the gate when I boarded the flight back in July.

I am in a unique position where I have nothing but time on my hands, so committing to a bootstrapped life isn’t crazy. I am most tranquil when I am delivering a meaningful piece of work and drinking coffee. The good news is that this feeling is not tied to any location. It just requires the attack pack, Macbook Air and Lucchese boots.

Committing to the curve is a scary prospect, but it yields a payoff that I’m not sure can be found in Melbourne right now.

Why stick to the grid when the world is wide open?

I’m sitting at the communal table in a quiet St Kilda cafe. A German couple are sitting at the other end of with a Lonely Planet Melbourne & Victoria travel Guide. The man is methodically mapping out the St Kilda area and making plans for the day.

His eggs arrive and he closes the book. He exchanges brief pleasantries with the waiter and asks him what they should do for the day.

The waiter suggests that they visit the penguins at St Kilda Pier and then explore the area on foot. The German man appears surprised by the advice, “Why?” he asks.

The St Kilda local’s response is simple, “You can visit the beach or you can experience Melbourne.”

Drop everything now, grab the essentials (keys, cash, cards and phone) and see where the day takes you.

Why stick to the grid when the world is wide open?