We had the good fortune of connecting with Cameron Stow and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Cameron, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I have always believed that risk is a crucial ingredient for growth. This was true back in my days as an athlete and is still true today as I grow in my career. Taking a thoughtful and calculated risk can almost always be a win-win scenario if you choose it to be. Every choice that I have made involving a significant amount of risk has led to life-changing opportunities or, at least, an important lesson.

Near the end of summer in 2021, I decided to leave my secure and full-time job as a filmmaker and editor in California to pursue a career in the emerging blockchain and “Web3” industry. I had no leads, no experience, and no connections in the space, but I saw it as an opportunity to be a part of a brand-new and exciting industry. Some can see this as an incredibly risky decision, and it might have been, but I saw it as an opportunity to break out of a routine, learn something new, and explore a career that may change the course of my life. And that is exactly what it was, a life-changing career move.

I spent the next few months learning everything I could, networking with others in the industry on LinkedIn and Twitter, and figuring out how my skills might play a role in this seemingly chaotic and ever-changing industry. After a few months of hard work, I was able to land a full-time position with an exciting start-up looking to make Web3 frictionless and mainstream.

This job came to me because of the calculated risk I took. I say “calculated” because I knew what I was getting myself into, what I was capable of, and I worked hard to achieve my goal. I often think the riskiest part of “risk” is choosing risk over comfort and security. Once the decision is made, hard work and clear goal-setting can help mitigate that risk. Now, taking risks hasn’t always resulted in “success,” but it has always accelerated growth experience.

I am grateful for every risk that I have taken in my life. It has always led me to grow faster than I ever thought I could grow and sometimes has led to an unexpected life-changing opportunity.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My journey through high school and college wasn’t an easy one. Not because I had trouble learning or lacked support, but because I never truly believed that I could accomplish things I put my mind to. I’m not sure where this mindset came from because I was blessed with a highly supportive family, great teachers, and mentors. But it made it difficult to succeed in school. I lacked ambition and passion for what I was doing. I knew I had potential from what my family and teachers told me. I just didn’t believe it. This time in my life could be described in a phrase that I heard at almost every parent/teacher conference growing up, “If he just applied himself a bit more …”

It wasn’t until after college that I began to deal with this mindset that prevented me from reaching my full potential. I don’t know precisely when the mindset shift happened. It could’ve been one of the many podcasts I was listening to at the time, a conversation around the bonfire with close friends, or the moment I decided to propose to the love of my life. Whatever it was, the shift was nearly immediate. I decided that I COULD be successful and capable of everything I put my mind to. It took a lot of hard work, many failures, months of barely scraping by, and wanting to give up around every corner. I didn’t have a clear direction, but I was determined. I joined friends’ startups, freelanced creative work, quit and rejoined the coffee shop down the street multiple times, and took internships that I hoped would lead somewhere. Every success, failure, and opportunity taught me something. Eventually, I got more freelance jobs, full-time job offers, and built a strong network of peers.

Fast forward to today, I can reflect and be grateful that the biggest hurdle in my life was myself, but sometimes that can be a pretty big hurdle. I have seen what happens when I truly put my mind to something and work hard. I know that I am capable of much more than I let myself believe sometimes. I am on a continuous journey to push myself to learn more, say yes to more, and accept every opportunity as an opportunity for growth.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
For me, the best thing about Colorado is the access to some of the best hiking, fishing, and mountain biking in the country. A week in Colorado would be best spent camping and fishing or visiting one of the incredible National Parks we have. Mix in a Rockies game or concert at Red Rocks Amphitheater and you have a perfect week in Colorado.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I have always looked up to my dad as a role model for both life and business. I was lucky to spend most evenings after school and every day in summer with my dad at his place of work. I witnessed how he led others with humility, conducted business with integrity, addressed issues with empathy, and served others wholeheartedly. This left a lasting impression on me, and I have carried those principles with me through every stage of life and business opportunity.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cameronstow/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/cameronstow/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/inklingcam

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