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Break the Groove: It’s Never Easy Taking the First Step into the Unknown.

Casey Paton

Posted on December 02 2014

Dated July 30th, 2013

Live for the present and the future will look after itself….

As most of you know by now, this is the end of the line for me at Credit Suisse. Without question it’s been a challenging six years, but along with the challenges came numerous successes, plenty of laughs and so many crazy experiences that are permanently burned into my memory.  We ended up doing some really great business together along the way as well! 

The funny thing about life is that it changes constantly, especially as you get older.  One day you blink and you find yourself in a totally different place.  It became evident to me a while ago that the time had come to get on a different path.  To be honest, I’m not sure exactly what that path is or where it will end up, but I’m excited because there is nothing but open road ahead. 

I started this email with a quote and I urge you all not to lose sight of what’s important in the present. In this business, it becomes far too easy to constantly look ahead to the next earnings report, the next deal and the next bonus.  With all that looking ahead you sometimes forget to just enjoy the ride. I know I’ve been guilty of that many times. 

So with that parting thought, I wanted to say thank you one last time and wish you all the best of luck with the rest of your careers and in whatever else you may decide to pursue.  I look forward to connecting with you again in the future.

 

What you read above was the last email I sent prior to leaving my career in banking.  It was definitely a scary time, but when I go back and read what I wrote, two things jump out at me.  Most notably I had no idea what I was going to do next.  Yes I had a general vision of what I wanted to create, but I had zero idea how I would execute it.  Actually, less than zero.  That being said, it was truly exhilarating to break out of the comfortable groove I had fallen into.  The second thing of note was that even though I didn’t know how my vision would ultimately develop, deep down I knew playing it safe by staying and doing what I was doing wasn’t an option.  My perception of life had changed somewhere along the way and regardless of how much success I had achieved, I wasn’t happy where I was.  The risk of not doing something different scared me more than heading out into the unknown.  

Taking the first step in doing anything new is never easy.  We seem conditioned in modern society to lean toward the safe and comfortable path.  When you contemplate veering off that path, some people you love and respect will call you crazy.  You’ll even begin to question your own thinking at times.  Like anything though, if you truly believe in something and you fully commit to it, pursuing that path is always the right move.  Not only will it make you happier, but you’ll discover a much more rewarding and enriching life experience.  There is so much to discover in this world, so many interesting people to meet, so much opportunity available, that if you have an idea that resonates with you, never just bury it.  Down the line you’ll regret not seeing where that idea could have gone much more than taking a risk and potentially failing.  

It’s been said many times before, but I will say it once more - there is no ‘perfect’ time to do anything in life.  Whether that is leaving a job, having a child or deciding to just pick-up and live somewhere new, only that fear of the unknown prevents you from understanding that today is as good a day as any to take that leap.

Life is Short. Play it Loud.

Casey

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