Never Give Up! Trust Your Instincts!

Alex Standiford
3 min readJul 21, 2016

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in 1996 I was a young lad who played a video game called Starfox. In this game, there is are sections that are extremely stressful, and overwhelming. During these times, a main character would jump in and say:

“Never Give Up! Trust Your Instincts!”

The game designer added this piece of dialogue because he wanted to encourage players through the difficult parts of the game. He wanted to help them believe in themselves in a time of stress. You could say it's just a video game and it's no big deal. Heck, many who played the game probably didn’t even known that fact. Like the 9 year old me, you probably just got annoyed with Peppy and shot him with a laser. Strangely enough, the phrase stuck with me. I don’t know why, it was just one of those romanticized phrases in my head that would occasionally come up when I was going through a tough time. Last year was no exception to that.

In June of 2015, I left my job and started a freelance design engineer serving the Point of Purchase Display industry. I did that for about 6 months before the work dried up and I ended up having to go back to the 9 to 5. It was really hard for me because I personally measure professional success within freedom. I want to be able to work how much I want, when I want, wherever I wasn’t and I had that. But it wasn’t right, so I had to go back. I was telling myself :

“never give up, trust your instincts. Its going to be okay, you’ll get through this.”

Of course I was telling myself that inside of a cold bathtub because I didn’t have the money to pay the gas bill. Never give up, trust your instincts I’d say.

I changed careers that month. I started working in web design/development. Mostly out of interest in the field, and partially because I no-longer wanted to work in engineering. I got more in-touch with my marketing and SEO knowledge. On a semi-desperate whim, I applied for a job in Canton…and…well…they hired me!

My wife and I had an interesting mix of excitement, hope, and disappointment when I got the job. We were grateful that we were getting out of the tight money situation we were in but I was sad, and my wife was sad. She didn’t want to see me go, and I certainly didn’t want to leave. I was excited about the prospect of moving on to a new career and hopeful that it would be better suited for the lifestyle that I wanted (and still want), but I certainly wasn’t excited to be away from home. I told myself and my wife in a very emotional conversation that I would someday return home.

That was about 10 months ago. This week, however, is my last week as an employee there. I’m moving from a full-time employee to a full-time freelance, working for them as one of my bigger clients. It’s awesome. I can’t put words on how great it is. I’ve worked hard to earn this, and I’m excited to have the chance to get back on the horse and try again.

This article is for the person who’s going through a hard time. For those who is scared of moving on. For those scared to change their path. Don’t be. Go for it. If something’s not right in your life, then it's not right. Take it for what’s it worth.

Trust your instincts. If it doesn’t feel right, it's not right. Make it right.

And here I sit, two days away from returning home.

Never give up, trust your instincts.

Thanks Peppy.

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Alex Standiford

Shaking up affiliate program management with Siren. Helping companies re-imagine pay for performance programs. Usually found in #WordPress circles.