RWDevCon Inspiration Talk – Opportunity by Jake Gundersen

Check out Jake’s story of how he’s found a happier, more exiting career: by saying ‘yes’ to opportunities that forced him out of his comfort zone. By Jake Gundersen.

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Just Say “Yes” To Your Life

You can apply this to your life. Instead of having this negative reaction to things that are new or unknown or intimidating, you can just go with it. Just say, “yes,”and roll with what comes to you.

For me, I had read this book right about the time that I was getting into working with Ray and that was very much on my mind. I just got to try things. I just got to do it.

There were times when an opportunity came to me and I felt like, “I’m not equal to it. I can’t do it. I’m not qualified. It’s too much work.”

Then I would remember my desire to try new things and just say, “yes.” I realized that I really should be looking specifically at the things that intimidate me because those are the things that I would most love to do. Those are the things that I find the most satisfaction from and I feel good about.

Challenge Accepted!

I’ve tried to keep that in mind.

I want you all to imagine what kinds of opportunities, what adventures you get into if you always say yes. If new opportunities come to your path, just say, “I’m gonna try this. I’m gonna do it.” I want you to think about how you might grow or how that might stretch you.

Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone

For me, I had been working in safe and stable job in a cubicle doing spreadsheets all day long. It was not very interesting. Some people like it and that’s fine, but for me, I knew I wanted to be programmer.

I was able to say yes to series of opportunities and get out of the position I was in and into a new position.


Now, I work for myself. I get to set my own hours and I have a lot more freedom.

The work I do today, I find interesting. When I get up in the morning and decided to go about my work. For me, it was a big shift.

There was a long period in my life when I felt like, I was going to have to resign myself to the first, to the gray slide. That would be my life, then there was no escape. It was a big deal that I was able to take this opportunities and change my fate.

Little opportunities seem to grow into bigger ones.


Even if the time you felt like, “I don’t really know if anything’s gonna come out of this.” That happened to me a lot especially with the GPUImage situation. I had no idea what that would turn into but I was excited about that. I thought that was cool and I wanted to work on it. It turned out to be huge.

Escape The Trap of Staying Put

If you’re feeling that everything is going great and you’re happy and you’re good at what you do, that’s great but it might be a trap.


There might be opportunities for you out there that would cause you to grow and stretch you. That will make you feel better if you just kind of put yourself in that scary place and take advantage of it.

I want to challenge all of you to get out of your comfort zone, to always say, “yes,” and to sail your ship to exotic lands.

Note from Ray: Did you enjoy this inspiration talk? If so, sign up to our RWDevCon newsletter to be notified when RWDevCon 2016 tickets go on sale!