Taking Chances - Do it PleaseBy Adam Sinicki
I don’t want to sound like some kind of magical leprechaun from a fable, but life is full of opportunities if you will just open yourself up to them. Yes it sounds incredibly hokey, but it’s also honestly incredibly true. If you go through life with the attitude that you will take the opportunities that come up, and be open minded to knew things, then you let yourself in for a whole lot of development opportunities and ‘good times’.
I am someone who knows this more than most and from first hand experience. Being a gullible and naïve kind of guy I have a habit of believing what people say to me and leaping before I look (literally and metaphorically), which is something that many people have warned me is going to end in serious injury or ruin (my girlfriend’s friends warned her that I might trade our flat for magic beans…). However while there is admittedly a risk that one day I will put my trust in the wrong person, I can honestly say that I don’t really regret any of my decisions. Not all of the opportunities I took necessarily worked out, and some of them in fact did lead me to a bit of trouble. However even the ones that worked out for the worst proved to be entertaining opportunities for growth and great stories to tell down the pub. I’ve often felt an immense sense of gratitude that I have so far lead such an interesting and adventure-filled lifestyle, and I have also often felt nervous that it won’t carry on this way and that one day life will just be ‘normal’ and boring; however it’s then that I realize that as long as I don’t change my point of view on these matters, and as long as I stay open to these opportunities as they come up – there will always be more adventures and more stories to tell. Are you sold yet? If someone came up to you and said ‘eat this magic sweet’ would you? Just to help cement home the importance of stepping outside your comfort zone and trying new things, here are a few examples of great chances I took recently…
Chances Worth Taking
Going on X-Factor: Yes, when I was 18 (okay so this one’s not that recent…) I did in fact go on X-Factor. This was one of those rather random opportunities that Goof and I thought would be a great idea. The bad news for me was that Goof bottled out at the last minute (I hate him) and left me in the lurch. I asked a girl from my then 6th form to join me in the proceedings as I knew she could sing and wanted a shot. My friends told me it was a stupid idea (including Goof whose idea it was) but I remember my Mum telling me it was important to have ‘as many experiences as you can’. So I went on the show and as luck would have it we got through to the televised stages (maybe ‘luck’ is a strong word). Not everything went that well for me of course, and I ended making a bit of a mockery of myself in front of most of Britain – and in a cruel twist of fate it was aired the day before I started University.
All things considered though it was an experience I would certainly do again, and one that lead to many more positives. For one it ensured that I met a lot of people in my first week and even got a date out of it (though I opted to stay home – a chance I should have taken), and I even got to skip the queues in my student union because the bouncers loved having a celebrity in their midst. Despite being on TV for a total of around 3 minutes, I was recognized in clubs and even on holidays for nearly two years, and it lead to some amazing conversations. So yeah if you get the chance – go and sing on television.
My Website: When I was 17 (I did say these would be recent… but I guess I lied) I won a competition called ‘Teen Bodybuilder of the Month’ on Bodbuilding.Com. That of course brought me huge exposure but I didn’t have a website to promote myself through. That’s why I was so pleased when a professional web designer offered to make me one for free for the cost of hosting. Of course he was contacting me by e-mail – I had no way to know what he was really like or whether I could trust him – and of course it required me to send him £70. Everyone told me it was a scam, but me being me I went ahead and did it anyway. The site is still live today at: AdamSinicki.Com, but also I never would have created this site if it wasn’t for him – because it was running AdamSinicki.Com with the help of my friend Matt that taught me most of what I know about SEO and monetizing websites. I work from home thanks to that little opportunity!
TBBOTW: And of course taking the chance of entering that competition was a great decision in itself. Not only did it result in the website, but it also got me a lot of fan mail at the time. When you’re a 17 year old with not much dating success, getting e-mails with pictures of naked women sent to you is a bit of an ego boost (and rather fun).
I also decided to follow up another opportunity someone offered to me – again that people warned might be a scam – which ended up with me appearing in a short amateur documentary. I had a film crew follow me around my gym and 6th form. Not too shabby!
Writers’ News: After my second year at University it was standard on my course to do a placement year. Most people did this by applying through the University’s website and finding different opportunities that way that the University had given the go ahead. I however am a prick and wanted to do things my own way, so I instead went around looking at various magazines in newsagents and wrote off to them offering to work for free. I got a response that day from Writers’ News as the editor told me they’d been discussing the idea of taking on a placement student that day. It was only when I went for the interview that I realised that they were based in Leeds – which is about 160 miles from where I lived at the time and a very different place.
At the age of 20 then I packed up and moved all the way North to Leeds and lived on my own out of a bedsit apartment with only a very small salary and my student loan to fund me. I knew barely anyone in the area – for miles in fact – and my building was filled with druggies. That said though this was one of the best decisions I ever made – I made new friends, I dated, I went to cool hip bars and pubs in Leeds, I grew massively as a person, and I got published in several print magazines. It was continuing to work for Writers’ News when I left that ultimately lead to my getting other work as a freelance writer, so this decision also played a part in my learning to earn from home.
Independent Talent: Through my YouTube channel about this time last year I was discovered by the talent agency ‘Independent Talent’ – or at least I might have been. I was invited to an interview in a hotel in London (this was when I still lived in Bournemouth) to audition for a part in an advert that would involve me carrying someone on my back as part of an endurance challenge to promote Red Bull. What ended up happening, was that after several phone interviews with various people, I met a man in a hotel who was there to interview me and carried him around on my back for several laps. Strange. About halfway through this experience I got paranoid that he was trying to kill me by asphyxiation so he could rape my corpse, and as such I gave up on the challenge and told him I wanted to stop. I subsequently got an e-mail informing me that I wasn’t really right for the part – but then several months later I was invited back. This time I didn’t go, because, let’s face it that whole last paragraph was pretty strange.
On the one hand yes, this might have been authentic. For one I spoke to a lot of different people, and the hotel was very expensive looking with the whole top floor hired out for our use. But at the same time their dealings with me were just plain strange and I was running around a building with a man on my back. I know some people have a strange fetish for that because I get e-mails about it. So who knows… But do I regret it? No not really – because it’s a funny story and what else would I have done that weekend that would be that unique? It was also a bloody good workout…
Roads UntravelledSo yeah, those are just a few examples, and as you can see even when things don’t turn out – at least they are adventures and stories. I recently started talking to a guy in Costa when many people just try to avoid conversation – it turns out he’s now a client and he’s gotten me tickets to a personal development course (which looks very interesting!) and made some excellent recommendations for the site (he’s an expert in social media). The opportunities and great experiences just keep coming! Other great things I've done in the last few years include going on holiday with a group of people I didn't know, going to Las Vegas, entering the Marathon, of course going to University and moving in with my buddy Goof in Bournemouth and that's just a small selection.
If you are thinking about doing something but feel hesitant then normally that's a sign to just go for it - it's only the chances you didn't take that you tend to miss. Try to collect as many ‘stories’ and adventures as you can, and while it’s important to stay safe maybe don’t stay so safe that you never experience anything new. You just might find the gold at the end of that rainbow… (I’m being a leprechaun again…).