We started the Go Hunt Life movement to uncover inspirational stories untold about normal people making seemingly impossible decision to leave their comfortable career and embark down an unknown path of personal and professional reinvention.
After 17 published podcast episodes, we’ve had the privilege to look behind the scenes of life altering decisions. Our guest have shared their fears, hopes and dreams with us and we will be forever grateful for their honesty and openness.
This ‘look back’ is for the Go Hunt Life audience and it’s a thank you to our guests that have shared their most difficult decisions with us.
Here is what we’ve learned and I’ve broken it into 11 inspirational Go Points. Fear, Kids, Safety, Health, Money, Identity, Obstacles, Saying Goodbye, Planning, Unknown and Age.
Go Point #1 Fear
Fear was reversed and used as fuel as opposed to an excuse to wait for the perfect time to make a change or stop all together.
“Do things that scare you. Forcing yourself outside of your comfort bubble can be very rewarding, even if you fail.” Rheannon Cunningham, Austin Police Officer (ep. #1)
“Fear is the thing that gets in your way the most.” Helene Godin, Baker (ep. #15)
Not only was embracing the fear of failure was the common thread that linked one episode to the next but it was also always combined with the feeling of being alive and inspired. I’m scared and I feel more alive than ever. Anything is possible.
Fear is unavoidable so once you expect it, then you can get into the mindset of using it as fuel instead of it paralyzing you into inaction.
Go Point #2 Kids
This is an area that I struggle to uncover since I personally don’t have kids. I’ve got a close friend that is an avid listener that is coaching me on this one. Thanks Kyle.
The guests with kids weren’t using them as an excuse to not do something but using them as a reason to reinvent their own lives in order to give their kids a better and more adventurous one.
Matt Meeks (ep #6) and Aaron Symons (ep. #8) both left Texas because they wanted a better life for their children. A simpler, safer life that involved being a part of a small community instead of a big city suburb where they were worried about their children’s safety.
Erica Maree (ep #3) had launched from Portland to Mexico and their source of online income was drying up fast. They had two kids to keep in school so they had to start a business to keep food on the table. She founded Erica Maree Designs and now sells handbags, purses and dresses through retailers across 9 countries and just opened a retail location of her own in Puerta Vallarta.
Go Point #3 Safety
Almost every guest that had young kids, safety was the driving force behind their decision to make a huge change. Of course, their kid’s safety is a top priority. The biggest example of this is Janel Maitland (ep. 11) of MYLO Groups app. She is single mom with two young girls and a few years ago she discovered that her 11 year old daughter was being followed by a really creepy guy on Instagram. That catapulted her into action and she went on a mission to create a group messaging app to keep kids safe. It allows kids to share information with one another and is all monitored and administered by parents.
So this is a great idea but execution is the name of the game. She didn’t know how to write a single line of code and was starting a company that was dependent upon writing code. So in her words, ‘she started running hard and fast’ to find the right people to get it started. What she found were the wrong people and it didn’t work, so she kept going and found another person and it didn’t work but she kept running hard and fast and now she’s assembled the right team, Janel just went through a re-launch a few months ago and is charging forward to keep kids safer.
Go Point #4 Health
Kathleen Byars (ep #16) quit the corporate travel and grind to move to the islands for a healthy lifestyle. A quiet life taking people SCUBA diving. It wasn’t all rosy and she shared the only near-death experience with me in a harrowing situatin in the middle of a tropical storm. Even though she could have been swept overboard and likely drowned, she considers that moment as one of the defining moments in her decision.
Go Point #5 Money
Money was a big factor both from the point of view of “Can I afford this?” to “ I’m going to do this and find the money.” This is piece that I thought would be the biggest hindrance to keep people from yanking the ripcord but it really hasn’t been. The people that started businesses found the money that they needed to keep going. Whether raising money from family and friends or private investors and venture capital. Jester King Brewery, The New Primal and MYLO Groups all had to raise money to build their businesses.
A super bootstrapped example is Neil Haapamaki (ep. #2) and his wife Sara that moved from Toronto Canada to Merida Mexico. They had purchased an old colonial house there and were converting it into a boutique hotel. They had to learn Spanish, only to discover that they really needed to learn Spanish and Mayan, complete the rebuild and build a profitable business before their savings ran out. How much savings did they have? 12 months. They did it though and The Diplomat Hotel in Merida is thriving and so are they.
Go Point #6 Saying Goodbye
Half of our guest’s reinvention involved a move away from family and friends. Facetime and Facebook were mentioned a lot as a way to stay connected to loved ones which are obviously not a replacement but technology was a huge key in helping people stay connected.
Aaron Symons (ep #8) left Ft Worth with his wife and son and moved to Stagecoach CO. They had a million reasons not to go. Leading up to their exit Aaron’s father passed away so his mom was still in Ft Worth and needing help. Their families were all in Texas and there were a number of “not meant to be” reasons to call it all off.
They kept going forward and now find themselves in the Rockies living there for a couple of years in an unbelievable community of families which sounds like they are living in a small town in the 1970s. Everyone in the town knows everyone’s kids, neighbors, friends and takes care of each other.
The best quote of this episode that now puts it into perspective a couple years later is when I asked him, “If I told you that you had to move back to Ft Worth tomorrow, how would you feel?” His answer, “devastated.”
Go Point #7 Personal Identity
This is the most surprising for me as far as how often the risk of losing their identity as a “blank,” insert the job title here, sales executive, lawyer, etc. Helene Godin (ep #15) said when she told her friends that she was quitting attorney life that thought she was crazy or kidding. She was known as the lawyer catching the 7:15am train and never being a part of their community in Hastings-on-the-Hudson NY. She quit to start a gluten-free and dairy-free bakery and is now an integral part of her community with a transformed personal identity, all in under 1 year from when she quit her law career.
Go Point #8 Obstacles
Scott Willis and Jason Burke both founded companies that were incredible complicated and much more expensive than they ever expected. They both said that if they knew everything that they know now, they might not have started their companies. When burgeoning entrepreneurs ask them for advice, they freely give it but withhold somethings so they don’t discourage anyone from doing what they are dreaming of doing.
Go Point #9 Planning
I’ve heard a quote over and over the last few weeks from a number of different people and I’ll butcher/paraphrase it. “I made the decision to go before I was actually ready, and I’m glad that I did.”
Now, some planning is crucial and necessary to make sure the landing is softened. I loved the point in my interview with Cristen and Gabe Maroney (ep #4) who were packing themselves and two kids up in their Airstream trailer to travel the western US for 6 months to find a new home. On their website, they list out a dozen or more cities that they were planning on going to on their journey.
I read the list of to them and asked them, “So what goes through your heads when you hear that list.” They responses were full of anticipation, excitement but there were definitely some nerves. But, they had a good plan that was also open for unexpected changes.
But something that Aaron Symons mentioned is that he wished that he would have enjoyed the planning process more.
Go Point #10 Unknown
Michael Hodson (ep #14) had a super simple plan which was really 10% plan and 90% unknown. He quit the courtroom to circle the globe in 12 months without getting on a plane. This turned into 7 years and creating an entirely new career. He’s the best example of just figuring it all out along the way, in the moment, right when things happened. Amazing.
When my wife and I sold everything we owned 6 years ago and moved to Merida Mexico, (ep. #000) a friend there told us that the people who plan an international move usually plan 60% of it and figure out the other 40% along the way. Michael didn’t subscribe to that and that’s made all of the difference for him.
Go Point #11 Age
The typical age of the people that I’ve interviewed so far is between 35 and 50 or at least that when they made their life change. Kristina Pescatore (ep #5) learned really quickly that she was in the wrong spot and launched out of IBM cubicle land 3 years out of college. Karen Kelly (ep #12) was 47 when she decided to reinvent her sales career to writing code and being a software developer which means that she’s about ready to compete for a job with millennials and mostly men.
The first 3 questions I ask my guests are how old are you, are you married and do you have kids. I hope that helps give some context to who they are and what their unique lives look like from a family perspective. What I’m trying to learn is if their mentality is the ever cliché, “you only live once” because that can be your driving force at any age. You are never too young and never too old.
We are 17 episodes of inspiration and reinvention in. Thank you again to my guests for taking the time out of their lives to share their unique journeys.
My commitment to listeners is that I will continue to search out the inspirational stories that inspire me and proudly present them to you.
Thanks for tuning in.