Crux Moves: Single Moments That Change Everything

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In Uncertainty, I wrote about something called “crux moves.”

These are defining moments in business and life where big questions are asked, big challenges arise and you need to make decisions and take action without anywhere near perfect information (which we all know is a fiction anyway).

How you choose and what you do will determine your path from that moment forward…until you hit your next crux move.

College freshman, Tyler Gage, found himself in a this place a few years back. Having gone to college to study politics and play soccer, he took a class called Religion Gone Wild and became inspired by the intersection between spirituality, culture and storytelling. After his first year, a professor asked if he’d like to join him in the South American rainforest to help do research for a few weeks. Tyler said yes.

But a few weeks in, he realized, there was something more going on. There was a bigger story, a bigger experience. Both that needed to be experienced in his own life, and that needed to be shared and, if possible, changed, on a larger scale. As the summer wound down, he needed to make a choice. He was faced with a major crux move.

Take the traditional path, return to college, finish out and get a regular job. Or go deeper into the experience that lay before him in the jungles of the Amazon. His decision would alter not only his own life, but potentially the lives of thousands of others.

Tyler chose to continue the work he was doing. He put college on hold and two or three weeks turned into two years. He’d eventually return to finish college. But his life course would also be forever altered. He couldn’t just walk away from what he’d experienced. The people, the culture, the stories and the immense challenge they had in supporting their families.

Many farmers, Tyler found, had turned to cutting down one of the world’s most precious resources, Amazon trees, as a way to earn enough to put food on the table. Tyler thought there had to be another way. And indeed, there was. The answer  lay in tea. A very particular kind of tea that grew in the area, guayasa, that could be planted and harvested and had remarkable benefits.

Upon graduating, he returned and teamed with a friend to start a new social enterprise, RUNA Tea, with the goal of building a living for thousands of local farmers capable of both supporting their families and sustaining the environment.

Since launching, Tyler has faced a sea of unknowns and been challenged to navigate his way through a seemingly endless series of crux moves. It’s the same for every creator, every entrepreneur, every artist.

You cannot cherry-pick only easy and obvious action when looking to live big.

The highs always come with the challenges and opportunities to grow. But for Tyler, the moral imperative to provide livings for thousands and impact the planet made each challenge that much tougher. It wasn’t just his fate he grappled with.

In this week’s episode of Good Life Project, we go deep into Tyler’s journey. We discover how language and beliefs intertwined with culture and need to pull him into his quest. We explore how someone in his twenties with no business experience learned how to find and recruit others to the cause who could serve as mentors and advisors, to teach him how to build a real business, a supply chain, a value chain and so much more.

And we see what’s possible when one person is willing to do what everyone else says can’t be done. When you stare a crux move in the face, then own it.

Click here now to watch>>>

And, in the comments below, answer these questions…

What’s the crux move you’re facing in your business or life today? What are the choices? What are you waiting for to decide? Can you make the call today?

With gratitude,


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8 responses

8 responses to “Crux Moves: Single Moments That Change Everything”

  1. Ani says:

    Well… I quit my job and decided that I am going to do what I love – write full time.
    As a result I completely changed my financial spendings structure and amounts, completed 40k words of my first novel, modified my lifestyle to be as happy as I can be and moved closer to my dreams 🙂
    So yes, having the courage and making the first step is the best possible strategy 🙂

  2. Thanks – this helped me a lot today : )

  3. Similar to Ani, I quit my job and moved to Costa Rica so that I could pursue my dream of becoming fluent in Spanish. I’ve been here for about 14 months now and love it! I’m right in the middle of another crux myself, so who knows what my next adventure entails! The point is that you have to go for it. Don’t look back and wonder “what if” – it’s not worth the “security” of a job. You’ll meet the right people along the way, and you’ll be okay 🙂

  4. Joe says:

    Hi Jonathan,
    I really enjoyed the interview. WOW..why couldn’t I have done that when I was Tyler’s age?

    BTW- I hope you do an interview with the teacher of RELIGION GONE WILD. That would be fascinating viewing.

    Keep up the good work and have a good week.

    Los Angeles, CA.

  5. Elle says:

    Beautiful story! Sometimes those crux moves are actually insane bouts of bravery. Tyler is certainly a case of this. Many will want to make the crux move, but won’t. Thanks for being an inspiration! We can make a HUGE impact in this world!

  6. Eugene says:

    Good reminder that you have to take actions against uncertainties. Nothing is obvious.

    My biggest crux is that I work in a high-tech industry, but I’m not sure if making newer gadgets or apps are what really matters to our well-being.

    Which is why I think I appreciate the series of Good Life interviews, where everyone answers what makes life good and meaningful.

  7. I’ve chosen a huge change in my life. The crux move is fully owning that change and no going back.

  8. The most recent crux in my life came when I was fired from my job back in October. As my bosses were explaining themselves, they made reference for the next job I’ll have, insinuating another desk job, another boss, another 9-5. I had had enough and knew I wanted to break out on my own. It had been in the back of my mind for awhile… for at least 4 years… so I decided to start building my own online business to help other people who know they want more out of life, but they’re not sure what the next steps to take are. I’ve never felt so alive.