Do you really need to move to the valley? I get asked this question a lot. The better question should be – Why should you move? Two years ago, on this day (Sep 1st) I boarded a plane destined to San Francisco with nothing more than a suitcase and a mountain bike. I had no plan. I didn’t know anyone. All I knew is that I wanted to be where all the action was.
Here are the reasons why.
To Play a Bigger Game
This is powerful, so read it slow.
“Are your goals worthy of your life?”
That was the question that got stuck in my head the summer of 2008. Essentially, was I thinking big enough? Was I playing a big enough game? Even though I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do next, I knew I would figure it out and go big.
The great thing about San Francisco is you’re ALLOWED to think big. HUGE. Be Crazy!???
Actually, if you don’t – people will question you on it. Why aren’t you going after a huge market? It’s the same energy / time, isn’t it?
The reality is, people here are playing big games and if you want to belong, you need to do the same.
It’s been quite liberating actually.
Scare Yourself Every Once In A While
If you don’t do something everyday that scares you, then you’re probably not pushing yourself far enough.
Here’s a simple exercise: Every time you buy something today, ask for a discount. Yep, everytime. How do you feel? Scary right? Well, after a while – it goes away and you’ve grown as a person.
When I moved, I made myself a promise that I would continue to do so. It’s gotten to the point now, that if I’m asked to do something, or go somewhere’s where I’m like “???? What, How, What do I say, etc” – I say YES by default.
Eventually I figure it out.
Yes, sometimes I fall flat on my face .. but overall I’m way ahead and probably learned the most about myself and the situation in those moments.
Moving to San Francisco was scary, but it was also one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life.
Getting Advice From The Right People
Here’s a real simple question. ”What % of your conversations (or friends) are related to your startup / passions?”. Since I’ve move to San Francisco – I would say for me, it’s easily 85%. When I was in Moncton, NB (Canada), more like 5-10%!?
It’s not only the conversations, it’s the people.
I have a belief that you should ONLY seek advice from someone who’s DONE what you’re trying to accomplish.
That’s a huge idea if you think about it.
The beauty of this city is there’s an endless list of people who’ve already paved the road for you. It’s like everyones paying it forward. It’s a beautiful thing.
If you can drink from the fire hose, the information and experience is here. It’s intense and fun all at the same time, so be sure to set some time aside to actually DO.
(I would’ve love to list everyone who’s given me advice and pushed me forward over the past 2 years, but it would be huge. If you got my email – you’re one of them. Just wanted to say thanks!!)
Feeling Alive Everyday
When people ask how I like San Francisco, I always say “… out of 10, it’s like an 11″. Honestly, it’s like they created a city around all my passions (startups, running, great food and snowboarding).
This city is full of amazing opportunities to experience the most ridiculous things in the world.
I remember one day I came out of my apartment and there was a group of 50+ people standing there not wearing any pants?! I guess I didn’t get the memo re: Don’t Wear Pants Day. Everything from Facebook F8 event to Bay to Breakers, this city will make you feel alive!
So What’s Next?
With things moving quickly at Flowtown, I don’t see myself doing much else. I’m the type of guy that once I bite into something, I don’t let go. Will I travel, yes. Will I continue to advise startups, of course.
All I know is that I feel absolutely fulfilled right now, and want to keep that feeling.
So, with that – thanks for being a reader, supporter and friend.
If were friends, met in person, or even exchanged tweets, please leave a comment .. would love to hear from you.