Make The Leap

By Lachlan Hardy
2223h Sunday, 20 May 2007 Permalink

I often read about people risking all to achieve something monumental. People who gambled every speck of life, self and reputation on one last crack at some goal everybody else thought was impossible. Naturally, in such stories, the gamble pays off.

It has to. Otherwise, the protagonist is hardly likely to be as famous, are they?

I wonder about these people

I wonder what they are/were like. I wonder what they think, now that they’ve achieved the impossible. I wonder if they still strive. I think about what’s left for them. Most of all, I wonder what made them think they could do it.

I have a theory that they probably didn’t really think about it like that. Only in movies does the hero say: “everybody else thinks it’s impossible, but I know I can do it.” In real life, people just chip away at things and, sometimes, take a running leap and risk it. I wonder if those people just keep taking those leaps.

Taking a leap

13 months ago, I quit my job. I emailed everybody I knew in Sydney and said, “Help! Find me a job, please”, and I quit. I had a mortgage, a sizeable car loan and a crazy passion for my girlfriend who lived too far away.

My boss tried to offer me work in the Sydney office, but we both knew that didn’t fit their plans for the business. So I was jumping without a net.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to suggest I’ve done anything monumental (on anything but a personal scale), but yesterday was the anniversary of my move to Sydney. One year and one day ago, we were heading north from Melbourne in a car crammed with everything that I hadn’t packed before the removalists got there.

That move was the best thing I have ever done for myself.

12 months of growth

Since that time, I’ve made so many great new friends in Sydney. I’ve met so many brilliant and talented people in our industry. With one of them, the outrageously multi-skilled Anson Parker, I started Webjam.

Then there’s the friendly supportive and amazing community that finally settled on the name of Rails Oceania. These guys and gals (yes, there are female Rails hackers in Sydney) have been an inspiration. Some I already knew, like Tim Lucas and Lindsay Evans . Others, like Jason Crane , Lachie Cox , Max Muermann and Ben Askins have been an absolute revelation to meet. All have taught me so much.

I’m lucky enough to work in the best creative team in Australian media at News Digital Media. If you doubt me, just watch what we pull out in the next few months.

Let’s not forget Web Standards Group, who’ve been a staple of my professional life since my first meeting in June 2004. Wow, that feels like a long time ago! Or the local startup scene, as ably led by the Tangler crew. Or all the incredible peeps I met at SXSW this year, or Web Directions last year.

Through it all, I’ve been surrounded by a crazy cool group of friends, every one whom is an inspiration almost daily. I can’t go through them all. I’m already starting to feel this post is dropping into self-indulgent waffle, so I’ll name only two more people. The first is Andrew Krespanis who gave me this website and the appropriate (and necessary) kick-in-the-arse to start writing. The second is Lisa Herrod .

She’s been an inspiration from day one. She’s the reason I came to Sydney and she’s the one who gave me the courage to take the plunge. She’s always supported me and encouraged me. She drives me to achieve. To push myself and those around me. If I’ve done anything worth doing in the last 12 months, it is because of her.


What I haven’t listed here are the bad times. No mention of the failures or the moments of crushing despair. None of the negative people I met who brought me down. Those are all irrelevant to the point. We all have those, no matter what we do.

No matter where you do or what you do, you’re going to have bad times. You’re going to face pain and heartbreak. So don’t worry about it. No point stressing over things you can’t change

Surround yourself with love and support, then risk all. Push yourself. Stare into that abyss in front of you, then look past it and take that leap. Again and again.


There are 10 comments on this post.

Andrew K.
1043h Monday, 21 May 2007 Permalink

Whoah, only a year? Congrats dude, you should be proud of what you’ve achieved in such a short time!

…and thanks for the link love, hopefully one step closer to Google returning my site to their index ;)

Ben Askins
1618h Monday, 21 May 2007 Permalink

Lachlan, you rock man. Can’t get enough of your +ve outlook. Thanks for the kind words.

1715h Monday, 21 May 2007 Permalink

Right on!

calls up boss and resigns

Ha kidding, not just yet

Ben Buchanan
1833h Monday, 21 May 2007 Permalink

All leaps are relative I suppose. I think after the first leap the next one seems a bit less scary than it did before. So you do that one too…

2103h Monday, 21 May 2007 Permalink

Agreed, taking a plunge 18 months ago was one of the best decisions I made too. Granted, I didn’t move cities, but those leaps get harder the more personal responsibilities you take on board. But that doesn’t mean you should stop taking ‘em. Just requires a bit more deliberation and approval from “the boss” ;-)

2228h Monday, 21 May 2007 Permalink

Thanks Lachlan. I needed that.

Well done on having the guts and coming so far.

2256h Monday, 21 May 2007 Permalink

Great stuff, +vely inspiring.

Reminds me of the jumps I made for a better life down-under and to forget the “how the hell did I end up here” times.

Lachlan Hardy
1220h Wednesday, 23 May 2007 Permalink

Thanks, gents! I’m glad it meant something to you

And thanks for being a part of where I’m going and what I’m doing now :)

Natalie Buxton
1133h Monday, 28 May 2007 Permalink

It’s inspiring to read that post, Lachlan.

I made the jump of quitting my job in Perth and moving to Melbourne too, no safety net, hardly knowing anyone.

That was over 8 years ago now, and I’ve never looked back.

Sometimes that gut feeling to leap without looking is the one that is right, and while things can take some time to settle down, risk is something all of us should try at some time, if only for the life experience.

1235h Saturday, 22 September 2007 Permalink

Congrats, Lachlan. I think I said to you before, you and Lisa are just the cutest couple ever and hearing the things you say about each other all the time makes me proud to know you both.

It’s been just over a year since Dave and I quit our jobs and started Clever Starfish, and I know without a doubt that taking that risk was the best thing we’ve ever done.

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