My husband has always been very inspirational to me. One of his favorite quotes is by Neale Donald Walsch: “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”
In the eleven years we have been together, he has gently nudged me well outside of my comfort zone on many occasions. One thing I have learned is that the bigger a leap in life you take, the bigger the reward.
The best example of this from my own life is when my husband and I started this blog (originally called Incredible Smoothies). We took a big leap of faith. And I mean a BIG, EPIC leap of faith.
Leaping WAY Outside Of My Comfort Zone
I was laid off from my job at a recruiting agency in January of 2010 and my husband was an independent, freelance videographer at the time. We were dependent on my income as his freelance gigs were seasonal and irregular. This was a pretty hard time for us financially.
By August of that year, my unemployment was running out and I was no closer to finding a job than I was when I was laid off. This was, after all, in the midst of the recent economic recession and companies were laying people off left and right. Nobody was hiring. Fall and winter were around the corner, which meant that my husband’s income would dry up until spring (people don’t need videographers as much over the winter). We were terrified!
Then, my husband thought of an idea. What if we sold everything we owned and moved to a cheaper place to live? That would give us a cushion so we could both work on Incredible Smoothies full time and maybe, just maybe, earn a living from it.
We read stories about people living well in places like Thailand, Costa Rica and even Mexico for a fraction of what they did in the United States. We also read stories about bloggers who were actually making a living from their websites. However, we didn’t know anybody personally who was doing either.
After lots of careful research, we decided to spend six months living in the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico.
Letting Go Of Our Old Life (And Fear)
In preparation for the move (which totally freaked out our families), we frantically sold almost every single thing we owned (including all of my husband’s videography gear) in just a couple months. It felt great to sell all the crap from our closets! But I’ll admit, when it came time to sell our dishes, silverware, bed, and wall decorations – many of these were wedding presents – it was pretty hard.
Since we didn’t live near family and the move was for financial reasons, we needed to sell everything that didn’t fit into two suitcases, two carry-on bags and our backpacks. (I still get emotional when I think about getting rid of my wedding dress.) We did keep our high-speed blender.
On November 1, 2010, we boarded a plane to Mexico. Our income from the website was just $300 per month. That was our one and only source of income. We lived in modest, local accommodations in Puerto Morelos, and then Merida, for a total of six months while we created our first product to sell through our website.
This was a very emotional experience. I have so many scary, (emotionally scary, NOT at all scared for our safety) and wonderful memories of my time there. We had almost no money coming in until February of 2011 when we launched our Green Smoothie Weight Loss Program (now Reset 28).
However, the time we spent there really helped me focus on my diet and healthy lifestyle. Most of the recipes in my RESET 28 program I created when I was living in Mexico (like the popular Mexican Rice recipe).
Doing Whatever It Takes
The ultimate reward was definitely worth the fear and uncertainty and discomfort of leaping way outside of our comfort zones to create a new life for ourselves. Our website is a full time job for me (yes, I work Monday through Friday, and check customer service, post to social media, and check in during weekends and holidays). However, I am also able to take a random Wednesday off to take my son to the beach in the summer, or have a mid-afternoon date with my husband.
I love that I can spend my days helping other people change their lives. I have no idea what my life would be like if my husband and I didn’t have the courage to push ourselves outside of our comfort zones to pursue something that made us happy.
When we were in Mexico, we didn’t have a financial safety net. We were 100% on our own. Failure wasn’t an option. If we didn’t succeed with our goal, we would run out of money in 9-10 months. There was no plan B. We had no trust fund or rich parents to bail us out.
It still took a lot of effort to get to where I am now. We returned to the United States at the end of April 2011, and lived in a studio apartment for 13 months, working 60+ hour weeks, living on very little money, before our website afforded us the opportunity to move into a decent sized apartment, then a house (and get a car).
I NEVER once thought that my job would be to help hundreds of thousands of people lose weight and improve their health (and their lives) through green smoothies and whole foods. But I took a chance and I believed in myself, although it was very hard at times. My life would be very different if I let fear stop me from taking a chance!
Don’t Be Afraid To Nudge Yourself Out Of Your Comfort Zone
I want to encourage you to look at your life and be honest about whether or not it is a life you love. Do you truly love your job? Do you truly love the place where you live? Are you 100% happy with your life or have you accepted a life that doesn’t feel like it suits you?
I’m not telling you that you HAVE to quit your job and move to a foreign country, finances-be-damned, in order to get what you want out of life. That was my path, out of necessity, and not one I care to repeat. But my point is that you should at least take little chances in life, and don’t be afraid to shake things up a little bit.
Really look at your life and consider what the reward would be if you just nudged yourself a little bit outside of your comfort zone vs. allowing fear to keep you stuck where you are. Don’t let fear steal your dreams.
Step out of your comfort zone, even a tiny bit, and see what happens!
About Davy & Tracy
Hey there! We're Davy & Tracy Russell, the husband-and-wife team behind this website. We help trailblazers break through barriers so they can turn their passion into their life's work through entrepreneurship. How can we help you?