One of the cardinal rules of life: Don’t burn your bridges.
Well, I have to make confession. I’ve burned so many bridges that I have a standing offer of employment from Al Qaeda.
But somewhere along the path of dumb mistakes and bad decisions, I learned perhaps the most important lesson of business and in life: Know Yourself.
To explain what I mean, let me give you a quick description of the worst carnage:
- Just when I was starting to make money, I abandoned my college-backed career to move to Italy. Just because I could.
- A few years later, I left a great job, an enviable lifestyle, and an interesting social circle in Italy to become a freelance writer.
- When a recession slowed down my business, I became a full-time teacher in order to pay the mortgage.
- When I realized I wasn’t helping anyone as a teacher, and that it was slowly choking my dreams, I resigned in order...wait for it… to become a freelance writer again.
Maybe you have a similar story.
Maybe you should.
Because if you want to be truly successful, you have to know two things: First, what can you offer to the world that is truly valuable? And second, what will genuinely make you happy?
All of my bridge-burning moves seem impulsive and foolish in hindsight. But I wouldn’t change a single one of them. They each got me a little bit closer to finding my way.