Last weekend,  Anthony Robbins got some bad publicity from his signature "fire walk" experience. According to news reports, "more than 30 people burned their feet" and five were hospitalized.

Well, duh. Yes, of course, people sometimes get their feet burned when they walk across a bed of hot coals, especially if they stop to take selfies (which is apparently the case here.)

Some years ago, I vacationed in Hawaii, where I attended a 10-day conference with Robbins that culminated in a 24-foot-long fire walk.

I survived uninjured but one of my teammates--a diminutive actress--ended up with two huge blisters, one covering each foot.

I carried her "bride over the threshold" style from the walk site to the infirmary.  She was fine the next day, albeit walking a bit gingerly.

And that's just fine because the point of walking across a bed of hot coals is that it actually does involve some real physical danger.  In that respect, fire-walking is similar to extreme sports.

Fire-walking is more than just a thrill, though. The idea is that if you can summon the courage to confront your primal fear of fire, you summon the courage to pursue the life you want and deserve.

That's what happened with me.

Before I worked with Robbins, I had a cushy corporate job. Nevertheless, I was miserable. I hated the politics, the group-think, the open offices (even for execs), the abusive bosses, the bureaucracy...  Ugh.

I knew in my heart that I wanted to start my own business but I was afraid to leave a "secure" job. I valued security above everything else.

Then I did the fire-walk. I knew it was dangerous at the time but it was what I did my first day back at work (after the conference) that was really dangerous.

I quit my corporate job.

My idea was simple: get the world's most successful high-tech CEOs to mentor me and write about the experience.

My family thought I'd gone insane. "Shouldn't you find a real job?" was the general consensus.

My friends agreed with their consensus. "Why would any of those people give you even the time of day?"

In retrospect, I think I was a little crazy at the time. However, because I'd walked on fire, I no longer thought that "security" was all-important.

What was important to me then (and now) is the courage to live my life to my full potential.

It took a couple of years before I got anywhere near the income I'd been making in the corporate job, but there's no question I was happier and having lots more fun. 

In retrospect, though, it was a very risky move. I had no idea how to get CEOs like Bill Gates and Michael Dell to mentor me.

Fortunately, though, I created, through trial and error, the "Insider System" for using emails to develop business relationships. (I share these techniques in my free weekly newsletter.)

Now, I'm not telling you this story to impress you, but to impress upon you that living a genuine life is always dangerous.  It always entails risk.

I needed to do a fire-walk to jolt me out of my hypnotic belief in the importance of security. Since you're reading, you're probably not dense and hidebound like I was.

If you've metaphorically walked across the fire to start your own business, you have my respect. 

If you're still on the fence, and you know that you need to start your own business, don't wait any longer.  Quit your job. Today. Make this July 4 your own independence day.

Published on: Jul 2, 2016
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