What Losing my Luggage Taught me About Starting Up
Our last night in Thailand was a long one. We where heading into a three day travel day on our way to Nicaragua. Somehow, I had accumulated a lot of things… things that I didn’t have room for in my suitcase. I was concerned about making the weight limit as I sat on my large purple suitcase and yanked the zipper closed.
I packed normally but kept an extra bag of clothes toward the top that I could ditch if I needed to lose the weight. Luckily, my bags were kindly checked by Philippine Airlines with no problems. Upon arrival at JFK, we stood at the carrousel, awaiting our luggage when the conveyer stopped. And none of our luggage made it.
The airline confirmed that all of our checked bags were lost in Manilla when we were drug around the airport strategically to avoid the SE Asian outbreak of corona (little did we know it would cover the world in the next three months). The airlines were kind as we continued to fill out paperwork about our lost items. Through my travels, I’ve opened my heart to abandonment and the realization that these types of situations do happen. Even then, my heart still sank, mostly for the collection of items I brought from Morocco that was now lost.
Where do you keep your most important valuables anyway? Should I have kept them in my daypack? But what if it gets stolen? Was keeping them in my checked bag the right move? But then they risk being lost. Should I have mailed them home? It's always a risk to send things internationally.
This whole ordeal brought me to the idea of security— and that's a hot topic these days. I’ve come to realize that if you have a really valuable item, no matter where you put it, there’s a risk. Tornados, fires, burglary, floods, and the risk of just plain losing things. Nothing is 100% safe. It’s easiest to think about this in terms of physical objects, but it also applies to what we decide to do with our lives.
A month after losing our luggage, the coronavirus sent us back to the states. I was so upset that I wanted to leave my position with Global U and the other businesses I was building. I was done with the risk of entrepreneurship and wanted to get into a more "secure job" during the craziness.
But what is a stable job anyway? I know established middle-aged men who get cut from their companies when budgets tightened. New technology can put industries out of business in the blink of an eye. People who hold government jobs that should be virtually impossible to get fired from have indeed been let go. Coronavirus or not, the world is constantly changing and there is no market or position that is 100% "stable."
Yes, there are jobs that are more “secure” than others, but at the end of the day, any path comes with risks.
But, get this: The career path I originally thought would pose the most risk (entrepreneurship), actually might have the least. It just depends on how you look at it.
Taking shots at entrepreneurship, especially while being young, has given me exponential personal and professional growth that has allowed me to be adaptable to the changing world.
Here's a few things entrepreneurship taught me:
- I have a decent grasp of how businesses operate. Not just pieces of a business, but how it actually functions.
- I’ve learned more about SEO and the internet that I ever thought was possible just in the past two months.
- I’ve sharpened my sales skills.
- I’ve collaborated and managed multiple teams.
- I’ve been forced to solve difficult problems.
- I’ve made hard decisions with a team.
- I’ve failed and somehow came back.
- I’ve grown in communication and providing customer experience.
- I’ve participated in a great network and seen its effects.
- I’ve learned and actually experienced what it means to have a competitive advantage.
- I’ve taken data and done something with it.
- I’ve actually acted on the dreams of my team.
I don’t know what the future holds, but I can’t imagine any of these skills going out of style.
Not only do I feel confident in my ability to secure a good job if I would like, but I also have the ability to create my own. Most college students or young adults probably can’t say the same thing. I recognize that I owe a lot of that to God for opening up this opportunity and to our mentors/leaders for pushing us and believing in us.
More so than any resume logic, I want to highlight that the most rewarding place to be is in the will of the father. A smart man (Gary Black) once told us that when you step out in faith to do something big with God, he’ll go with you. Things might not turn out exactly like you’d expect, but he will for sure do something with it.
In the past week, the world has changed. There’s a lot of risk and a lot of problems. I’ve decided that stay. I’ve decided that I want to continue on their path of growth. I couldn’t imagine leaving this community and the people who have sacrificed a lot to try to change the world with God. That it’s actually probably the “safest” option and for sure the most rewarding.
So, with that being said, I didn't jump of the ship of building kingdom businesses. I'm still here and I still believe that while there might be risk in a business I'm working on, I as a person and young professional are becoming more and more stable.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, our lost luggage made it back to us in Nicaragua!