Grasping Opportunities
September 4th 2016

Every once in a while an opportunity arises that will push you out of your comfort zone. That has the power to challenge your understanding of the world, and to inspire you to grow in ways you never thought possible.

Back in 2012 I was freelancing as a web designer and got involved in the early community of Treehouse students. Treehouse had setup a Facebook group where students could hang out and one day I logged on to find this post from Treehouse CEO Ryan Carson.

This post changed my life.

Until this point I had always hated writing. It was high on my list of activities to avoid at all costs. Somehow I forgot this as I fired off an email to register my interest in becoming an author.

I had an opportunity to take the knowledge and experience I had gained as a freelancer and help others get started in the web industry. I had to give this a shot.

Over the next few days I worked hard putting together a proposal for the book. I knew nothing about the publishing industry so searched online for any advice I could find about how to write a great proposal.

Later that week I got a call from Wiley. They loved my proposal. I got the job. I was set to be a published author and hadn’t even turned 20 yet.

After six months of intense writing, John Wiley & Sons published HTML5 Foundations in November 2012.

What started as a simple Facebook post had lead me on a journey that pushed me far beyond what I ever thought I was capable of.

It would have been so easy to just dismiss that post. To concede that there was someone much smarter and more qualified than me to write the book. To not even bother trying. But as Wayne Gretzky famously said: “You miss 100% of the shots you don't take”.

Look out for opportunities that challenge you to break out of your comfort zone. You never know where they might lead you.

Matt West