Worst of all, you know you chose the safe path, and that becomes a sort of prison that only gets harder to break out of it as you train yourself to depend on others. […] the notion of taking risks and breaking out of the status quo goes far beyond whether you leave home at an early age or not. The problem with today’s entrepreneurial crowd is that many see themselves as leaders when they’re really just conforming to social media norms and becoming good little digital clones of those in their networks. Instead of challenging themselves, getting real world experience, working hard at developing an expertise and building meaningful careers, they market themselves as online influencers and do silly little gigs and side hustles. Sadly, all these people are going to wake up one day and realize that they never took a real risk, pushed the envelope or did anything meaningful with their lives. If you believe all the feel-good fluff you read online, you’d think you can hack, habit and YouTube your way to fame and fortune. Stick to some dumb morning routine, think positive thoughts, follow your dreams, read inspirational quotes and change the world. Eventually, I moved to southern California, then Silicon Valley, and made a name for myself as a senior executive in the high-tech industry. Leaving home when I was 16 and then moving to a God-forsaken dessert wasteland where I stood out like a sore thumb wasn’t all it took. A successful career is built on a foundation of experience and self-confidence that only comes from facing your fears, challenging yourself and taking risks.