The FEARLESS: 3 Entrepreneurs Who Didn't Let Fear Stop Them

CLEVER at the park 3 - jason santa mariaJason Santa Maria
Creator of Clever and Founder of IN8 Games

One day Jason Santa Maria typed the words ‘Definition of Career’ into Google and found the following:

Jason’s advice to other small business entrepreneurs:

“The marketing team at Nike in the 90’s had it right- 'Just do it'. As much of a cop-out and cliché piece of advice that might sound like, it’s really all there is to it. Your business/product/service isn’t going to start itself. Stop “thinking” about what you want to do and start doing something about it; anything. Every tiny seemingly insignificant step you take towards making your dreams/business a reality is still a step that you can put behind you. Before you know it, you’ll have taken quite a few steps and be further along than you thought you’d ever be. Take a moment and admire those steps you tackled behind you, then use them as inspiration and get excited about all those steps in front of you.”

"Career- an occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person's life and with opportunities for progress. A profession for which one trains and which is undertaken as a permanent calling."

This definition scared the hell out of Jason and now serve as a reminder of why he was nudged in the direction of making a career change. Being laid off from his job in aviation was the proverbial blessing in disguise. He had spent years in a career that he simply did not enjoy most everything about and found no fulfillment, no motivation and no excitement.

Money has never been a great motivator for Jason. Personal joy, a genuine interest in what he’s doing and quality of life is what he seeks; playing and making games provides all of those things for him. And while he had become "comfortable" with the 9-5 career, despite how much he loathed it, the fear of not being able to provide for his family stifled him from making a move on his own.

When he was laid off, he knew he couldn't just go and look for another job and get caught in the same trap. Instead, he decided to start a business by designing and publishing his own game. After all, he had all the necessary experience and professional background to design, prototype and manufacture a product. Actually – no he didn't! He had none of that, but he did have confidence in himself and a connection to the internet, which he was sure would yield the answers he needed. After all, he thought, how hard could it be?

Jason has learned that it hasn't been easy at all, but it also wasn't so difficult an obstacle that he’d advice others not to try it.

With his educational card game Clever™ now published after a successful Kickstarter campaign that had him reaching almost double his initial crowdfunding goal, Jason looks back at all the hard work and realizes that it never really felt like "work." He was finally doing something he enjoyed and because of that, the ‘work’ had become something he looked forward to waking up to in the morning.


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