10292016

This will be the day I took a risk and made a decision that I will never regret. What decision? Let’s rewind.

My life has been absolute chaos in the best possible way for the past year. I feel as though I have lived through more experiences than most people do in a 5 year period.

A little over a year ago I was finishing my internship at what is the #1 accounting firm in the world according to Forbes. I had accepted an offer with them to come back on doing Risk Consulting in their IT practice the following summer.

I bought a one way ticket to New Zealand leaving in January knowing that right after my internship I had to have surgery on both legs (see post on that here).

I got to roll around in a wheelchair and hobble on crutches for the next couples of months. I remember when I finally got my boots off. My legs had completely deteriorated, were covered in bruises, and I couldn’t stop shaking. I got to take my first step. One foot slowly limped along with the other. I had nerve damage – this was expected said the Doctor. It would begin to feel normal eventually and no longer affect me. Weeks later I got to try rock climbing. I had no hope that I would actually be able to climb a route but to my surprise I was completing one after another. This was the first moment of real encouragement. And the day I got cleared to run? Five minutes after I got the news I was running around town with the biggest smile on my face.

During the fall I was taking my final 22 credits of school so I could graduate early. Though I was endlessly busy, I was visiting Portland every month. Friends would joke that I basically lived in Portland and Montana was just my secondary home. I would attend Reason Church team meetings and visit friends.

In January I went to Portland for the launch of Reason Church. It was incredible. With a vision to welcome doubters, and skeptics and to love people all the same, I felt at home. Just not yet.

A week after the launch I headed to Hawaii, New Zealand, and Australia to go on a solo backpacking trip for the next three or four months. I hitchhiked and wandered all around the countries.

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I climbed mountains daily, slept on beaches, swam in waterfalls unintentionally, went skydiving and bungee jumping, did a back flip off of a canyon swing, got stuck in a storm in my tent with 60 mph winds, swam with dolphins, rock climbed with locals, cut up my legs in lava rock, slept in a yurt on a coffee farm, and a whole bunch more. Check back at my other posts if your interested in reading more about my trip.

After getting back to Montana, I did a bit of traveling in the US before moving to Portland. I found an incredible studio in downtown Portland and started my job. At 22 years old I was living in one of the best buildings in Portland, making really great money, and life was pretty dang good. Except it wasn’t. I knew the work I was doing wasn’t going to be my long term goal. Some people are passionate about the type of work we do – I wasn’t.  That being said I knew I was in an absolutely incredible position and I was set up for success. I would have endless career progression ahead of me which meant more money and more ‘success’. Though this opportunity was a dream, I wasn’t happy.

I value time so much more than money, and I was losing so much time on something I didn’t love.

I was approached by a local Portland company with a casual ‘we might be looking for someone to come on to the team soon’. This is a company and brand I was passionate about. My connection was simple enjoyment of the brand. I would attend their events, see them at the markets, and spend all my money in their store. People would joke to me saying I should ask them to pay for me the amount that I loved the brand. Over the next couple of days I would get to know the owner and his two employee’s better. I was enjoying my time, with people I enjoyed, pursuing a brand I enjoyed. Could it be much better?

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Marcus, the owner of Portland Gear, extended an offer a couple of days later. This was something I wanted to immediately say yes to but I knew I needed to take time to think, to consult people, and to decide what was honestly going to be the best decision in all regards. I was immediately transparent with my Mentor at KPMG. He was supportive, offering advice, asking questions, and allowing room for discussion. He said regardless of where I was in life he would continue to mentor me. I told him I would take some time to think about it.

10292016 – my birthday. One of the employees was out of town so I went to help out in the Portland Gear store. I wanted to get a feel for what a day in the store was like. I had planned on using my experience that day to help me make my decision – instead, it didn’t just help my decision. It completely made it.

On my birthday I made a decision that I will never regret.

I will be transitioning from my job at KPMG to begin a new career with Portland Gear in two short weeks and I could not be more excited.

Portland Gear has three employees. Marcus Harvey – the owner, and two of his best friends Eli and Mack. I will coming on board as the fourth.

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What am I going to be doing? Well, when there are only four employees total, the roles aren’t completely defined. I am excited to be able to see across all functions of the business. The intention is to take on a lot of the digital roles with the blog, website, newsletter, etc. All of this in addition to working the store and events, social media, planning, working with professional athletes, local business owners, and more.

It has been a busy year and I am beyond excited to see what this next endeavor brings.

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