What’s up everybody, my name is Amanda McCreight and I’m the Social Media Coordinator here at KNOW. So yeah, that's me writing all of your fave Instagram captions.
This past year has been the craziest and most unconventional year of my life. I dropped out of grad school, moved from New York to Atlanta on a whim and landed my dream job. While making such bold decisions can be very hard, it’s all about calculated risk and determining how much you’re willing to take a chance on yourself.
My sophomore year of college, I felt my creativity stirring. At the time I was studying to become a physicians assistant, but when I was doing non-PA reading, I found the book, "Living With A Seal," by Jesse Itzler.
The first thing you need to know about Jesse is that he is a serial entrepreneur. He started the first ever private jet card company and sold that to Warren Bufffet, cofounded Zico Coconut Water and sold that to Coca Cola, wrote two bestselling books, and had an early “failed” career as a white rapper. He is also extremely funny, a family man, and an all-around interesting guy.
After reading his book I thought, “You mean people can really have an idea, and just because they believe in themselves and get their foot in the door, it can be successful…?”
I caught the entrepreneurship bug hard, and I decided to spend my time when I was not in class working on a travel app I had come up with. I became obsessed with the idea that something that came out of my brain could end up tangible, talked about and known to the public.
By the time grad school was approaching I had to make a game-time decision. My project was gaining legs, I had a clear vision of where I wanted to go with it and I had other people believing in it too. I was spending most of my time working on this app and had really fallen out of love with school. (Sorry, mom!) To give me that extra push, I decided to take Jesse Itzler’s life optimization course, Build Your Life Resume. Yeah, the same guy I mentioned earlier.
I took his course the semester before I was supposed to start grad school. In the course, he talks about a few things that really hit home for me: “Taking life into your own hands!” “Creating your own luck!” “Trusting in yourself enough to build the life you envision.”
The further I got into his course, the more clear it became that I didn’t want to spend my time in grad school and I wanted to dedicate 100% of my time to myself and my project. It’s all about the calculated risk that I mentioned earlier.
So yes, I dropped out of school, but it didn’t start that way. All I did was request to my program to take a one year leave of absence. After months of formal letters and interviews, they obliged to hold my spot in grad school for one year while I explored my entrepreneurial endeavors.
So last summer, I packed my bags, moved back to home to New York and set out to dedicate 100 percent of myself to personal development and making my travel app come to life. At this point Jesse’s coaching course had ended and he decided to start a new round of the course that I couldn’t afford. I really wanted to be a part of it. After all, it had given me so much inspiration in the past and now that my future was in my own hands, I really needed to hold myself accountable and keep my momentum going. I came up with a plan.
I created my life resume. Not my work resume, my school resume, my old GPA’s, or my college awards. I put everything that makes me, me, into a document. Climbing a volcano in Nicaragua, joining the varsity bowling team in high school (I don’t really bowl), maintaining annual holiday dinners with my friends since we were 15, and of course, my entrepreneurial side — winning a pitch competition for my project, speaking to college classes about my entrepreneurial journey, and taking a leave of absence from school. Within that document, I highlighted my values, my interests, my morals and my goals. At the end, I proposed that in exchange to be in his new course for free, I would help love to help him out with whatever he needed. I pressed send on the email.
I could’ve never imagined the response that was to come.
He replied, “You got it, you’re clear to be in this course … but what are your thoughts on moving to Atlanta and living/working with me and my wife Sara Blakely, founder of SPANX?”
*Mouth drops open*
YEAH. I #KNOW (ha puns).
When you get an opportunity like that, you take it. I had never been to Atlanta, didn't have any friends or family there, but I knew this is where my soul would thrive. By September I had moved into their house and went full speed ahead working with Jesse on his companies. Somehow I went from taking his coaching course to helping him build it.
When you look back, it’s funny how the universe foreshadows your future. Who knew reading that book in 2016 would be so important to my own story.
As the months went on, I decided to put my personal project on hold. It was a tough decision but I became incredibly invested in putting my time, effort and energy into Jesse. He took a chance on me and I really wanted to show up for him. In February I was offered a full time job with him as the Social Media Coordinator and Content Creator for him and his brands.
Since then, I’ve been able to speak on stage with him, attend life-changing events, and be a part of the exciting rollercoaster that is the growth of his companies. I confidently called my school and told them I wasn’t coming back. For good.
It’s really hard to go against societal norms. Dropping out of school is not the safe option. But I felt that pull in my gut and I listened. I trusted myself and that intense feeling of belief in myself led me to having one of the world’s greatest entrepreneurs believing in me too.
Through my work with Jesse, I’ve so wonderfully been introduced to KNOW Foods! I’ve always been health conscious and this company 100% aligns with my food values. When the opportunity presented itself to help out and be a part of this team, it was an easy yes! So, while I'm super busy with two jobs, I couldn't be happier.
I’ve come to learn that when something feels right, when you feel called to it, you never pass it up.