The Why

We had a lunch meeting at Foxwoods Resort and Casino yesterday so I hit up some schools on my way down so I was traveling short distances, stopping, and getting in/out the cars.  I typically just listen to the radio for these types of trips as it hard to focus on a longer podcast or such when you constantly have to stop and start it.

But on the way home, I drove straight, about an hour and half.  Earlier yesterday I had download the most recent podcast from Kevin Rose called The Journal during which he interview Treehouse founder and CEO Ryan Carson.  This was my first time every learning of Ryan.

During the interview I heard one of the most humble guys I’d ever experienced talking about their experience as an entrepreneur.  He was completely candid about the mistakes he had made, how he constantly thought about quitting but persevered, and how he basically wandered aimlessly until he reach the age of 32 where he found his purpose/his why (he is now 40).  His why is making higher education available to more people through Treehouse, his online computer coding courses.  He teaches coding as a trade, which he believes it truly is, rather than as a four year degree.

Being 32 currently i was able to reflect on what he was saying.  I for so long have felt like I have been behind the ball trying to figure out my purpose, my passion, my why.  Here was a guy who had owned a few companies, some which failed and some which succeeded, all before the age of 32 and he admits he didn’t know shit about a why prior to that age.  He found his purpose and that drives him day after day.  It pushes him to do the daily mundane tasks that slowly build on success, to take the good with the bad.  It was quite inspiring to me.  Immediately after the podcast was over, I followed Ryan on Instagram just to keep up with what he was doing.

For the first time ever, I actually direct messaged Ryan to give him my feedback on the interview and how great I thought it was.  I just wanted to let him know his words made a difference to me and to keep up the good work.  I wasn’t looking for anything in return.  I figured he got hit up on Instagram all the time for people looking for jobs or investment money, or contacts, so I was half expecting him to even read it and definitely was not expecting a reply.  Within an hour or so Ryan had sent a message back saying Thanks for sharing, or something like that.

I took a second to think about how amazing the world we live in is with the internet.  Here is a guy who lives in Portland, Oregon who was featured in a podcast by a silicon valley superstar that I downloaded and listened to in my car.  I instantaneously was able to find in on Instagram to see what he is up to.  I then can immediately get in contact with him and he can reply within hours – technically within seconds if he chose. It’s fascinating.  There is no excuse to not know something you want to know.  Of course I grew up with the internet and knew for many years all of this was possible, but to step back and appreciate what a game changer it is was something I don’t think I had ever done.

So for now I will continue to search for my why, but I have a feeling come November I may suddenly discover a new purpose.