The Choice

I was nearing a nervous breakdown.  My business, A Mountain Top, was losing steam despite the extra effort I was putting into it in a vain attempt to gain altitude.  I hadn’t taken a day off in almost two years and the recent arrival of my second daughter was making sleep a precious commodity.

It wasn’t working.

On top of all of that, I was unable to shake a growing realization that I was in the wrong business.  My efforts to build a small consulting company around my favorite web technologies wasn’t producing the results I was aiming for and a new opportunity lay at my feet, the opportunity to start the first company solely focused on the little known (at the time) JavaScript library, jQuery.

I was faced with a choice.

It is a familiar choice, one we all face many times in our life.  Do I act, or do I sit.  Do I accept my current reality or summon the courage to change it.  Do I cling to the status quo or do I dare to dream that it could be different.

I had to choose.

Either decision was a choice.  Inaction is a choice but as you get to know me better, you’ll see that I’m a sucker for adventure.  I took two weeks off over the holidays to clear my head, re-engage with my family and allow myself the mental space to make a decision that I knew I could stand upon.

I chose to jump.

Taking this leap was one of the biggest choices I’ve personally had to make in my life.  However, I am eternally grateful that the foundation of appendTo and that my current circumstances are based off of a conscious choice.  Knowing that fate has not dealt me a short hand nor am I the victim of external forces such as market conditions or bad customers is empowering; it helps me to temper the inevitable peaks and valleys of being an entrepreneur.

We all face choices every day. Choosing to make an intentional choice takes courage, but makes all the difference.  What are you going to choose?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Dean Goodmanson

    “Knowing that fate has not dealt me a short hand nor am I the victim of external forces such as market conditions or bad customers is empowering; ”

    I think you’re saying that stopping to gain the knowledge (before making the choice?) was empowering, but there’s a thread of superiority in this wording that says “I’m not a victim of fate of forces beyond my control” that obscures the Courage focus of your article.

    • http://mike-hostetler.com Mike Hostetler

      Thanks Dean. I was trying to speak out against making excuses and (hopefully) inspire courage in others. It’s a fine line and there’s no easy answers, but by focusing on the positive and what is within my control to change, we can improve things.