My Greatest Risks are my Greatest Adventures

When I started taking risks I started living.

“The biggest risk is not taking any risk … In a world that is changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” — Mark Zuckerberg

In 2013 I was in charge of the marketing department at a local engineering firm, on the board of NAWIC — National Association of Women in Construction, and was the assistant women’s golf coach at IUPUI (Indiana University Purdue University of Indianapolis). I really enjoyed what I was doing and being involved in the community in a positive way. I had become very comfortable, and happy in these positions and areas of my life.

During that year I started dating my present day wife, Kate, and we began truly living our lives in a way that I hadn’t experienced before — with adventure. From completing full day adventure races to backpacking across the country, we did not hold back when it came to going outside and trying something new. The training, struggles, setbacks, love, happiness, and all the other emotions we experienced together in the outdoors increased my mental toughness and gave me a deeper awareness of my own self. I came to the realization that I was meant to do much greater things in my life.

Along with finding yoga, and meditation I knew these outdoor experiences with Kate were having a huge impact on my life. I was able to find myself again in nature, and that was something I knew that I could help others find as well. This led to Kate and I founding our company on the basis to get people back outside, trying something for the first time, and in turn gaining confidence and empowerment through experiential learning and adventures. We took a huge leap in starting a woman, LGBT-owned, adventure company in Indiana.

About a year and a half later still working in the comfortable, steady paycheck, marketing job, I soon knew that my mind and heart were with the company Kate and I started. I knew I needed to go full time if I wanted to turn our business goals into a reality. In late 2015 I took a huge risk to become CEO of our startup company, DNK Presents, and since then have never looked back.

When I started taking risks in life to follow my passion, I truly began living my greatest adventure. It has brought such amazing people into my life, women and men who have inspired, strengthened, and pushed me. Taking risks has grown our business tremendously, in 2015 we led 11 adventures, in 2016 we guided 41 adventure trips, in 2017 we have hired 4 part time guides, and have led hundreds of people on adventures in and outside of Indiana. It has allowed us to produce an award winning documentary film called, “Live Adventurously”, turn the Women’s Adventure Contest into a national contest, and the list goes on.

The more I take risks the more I realize that taking risks isn’t scary, rather it is a necessity to be successful, innovative, and to stand out. It also has become fun and truly fulfilling, it is exciting to have an idea, and experience the journey as you implement that idea. Take a risk, step outside your comfort zone, do something that excites you, and you will truly begin to start living. After all, your life should be your greatest adventure.

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