Written by: Debbie Earnston
“It was time for a change. It was time to take a chance.”
Visitors to America’s Footprints have been curious to know more about the man behind it all, and often ask where the idea of this digital Footprint first came from.
So owner and founder, Joe Fiduccia, recently sat down to share a behind the scenes look at the origins of America’s Footprints, and why this as one of the toughest decisions of his life.
And if you currently find yourself at a dead end in life, his story will likely resonate with more than just a few of you.
At the young age of only 22, Fiduccia embarked on the path of entrepreneurship…launching and successfully maintaining a business as an applications trainer that lasted for almost 15 years.
But in early 2012, Fiduccia started finding himself stuck in a rut.
“Business was good,” he explains. “My hours were flexible, I had a steady paycheck, and I was very good at what I did. But I wasn’t happy. I started entering depression, and did not like the person I was turning into.”
So Fiduccia says he was faced with a decision. Either continue down a path that felt like a dead end, or risk it all in pursuit of a happier life.
So to the surprise of many, Fiduccia made the decision to pursue a dream and to leave behind the one thing that gave him financial stability. He closed the doors to a business that had treated him well for over a decade, and decided to put everything on the line by launching America’s Footprints.
“This concept of a Footprint was an idea I had for quite some time,” explains Fiduccia. “It’s something that hasn’t quite been done before.”
So Fiduccia started putting the wheels in motion.
“You have to truly believe in your idea,” says Fiduccia. “From the moment you commit to it, there is no looking back. And if you live your life as if you have already accomplished your dream, than the universe has no choice but to give it to you.”
Fiduccia started laying the framework for America’s Footprints in late 2012, and officially opened the doors in 2014. At the same time, he simultaneously closed his other business…essentially stopping the only means of steady income they had.
And as you might expect, that is when fear started settling in.
“People always ask me why I did this. Why would I leave behind a steady paycheck and put my family at risk of financial ruin? But my answer is simple. I realized that life is no guarantee. Either take a chance and live it up now, or die wondering what could have been.”
Fiduccia says our clocks are ticking, and that he doesn’t want to have any regrets in life. But as a father, he also didn’t want his son to see a depressed old man who got comfortable in a dead end career.
He says he wanted to show his son what it means to take a chance for the possibility of a happier life.
“I wanted to inspire my son and show him that life is what you make of it. I want him to not only be proud of his daddy, but I also don’t want him to live a life of fear. If he has a dream, then there is no reason why he should be afraid to live it.”
Fiduccia tells us the decision to start this business was one of the toughest decisions he has ever made. He says his clients were surprised by the news, but that they were also very supportive.
“I worked as a consultant for major Fortune 500 companies, and did some of the best work they had ever seen. They had a very hard time letting me go. But most of them could see the toll it was taking on me, and thus were happy to support a decision that would help me smile once again.”
So now well into 2016, is Fiduccia smiling again?
He says: “I’m getting there.”
“This has been a challenging journey. Not only did I start a new business from the ground up, but I also have to help people see the value of a Footprint. And it is not an easy thing to do, especially in a world where looking backwards through history is much more common than looking at what we leave behind for our future descendants.”
But Fiduccia also says that he has been able to spend more time with his family than ever before, which has given all of them memories they would’ve never experienced had he continued with his previous career.
And it’s those very moments that helps him smile a little more each day.
“None of us know if tomorrow is our last day, or if we have another 40 to 50 years ahead of us,” explains Fiduccia. “But I don’t care how old you are. If you have a chance to find your inner happy, even at the risk of losing everything, get up and go find it.”
In closing, we asked Fiduccia to share one last piece of advice for others who find themselves at a crossroads in life. When someone is faced with a decision to continue down the same path, or to risk it all for something even better, how do they know what to do?
“Just make the best decision for you and for your family. We only have one chance at this amusement park we call life. You paid for a ticket to see it all. So don’t be afraid to walk around and experience a new thrill. Because one day your ticket will expire.”
Watch the following video of Fiduccia as he shares a little more about a decision that changed his life forever: