“Where do I begin?”

The question many people ask, but may never receive a solid answer to.

Although it may sound like a cliché, the first step is truly the hardest. No matter what the situation, building up the energy and courage to begin a new journey is not easy.

Putting yourself in a vulnerable position is scary, sometimes the scariest feeling in the world, but the payoff is worth it.

John Stepper is the guy who can give you that little push. He's the guy who gives you that energy, who gives you that courage to start your journey to success and happiness. John does this by spreading the practice of Working Out Loud in his book Working Out Loud.

Working Out Loud is a life approach that helps you build relationships and learn about other people’s ideas, assisting you in enjoying each day a little more all while opening yourself up to more possibilities and opportunities. This approach is especially useful for those looking for professional happiness.

A few years ago, John Stepper was a happy working man, but that all came crashing down once his group was re-organized and he lost his job. John suddenly realized he had been living a life full of little control, and he wanted to change that immediately. While John could have gone the route of traditional networking, he thought twice since he felt it was insincere. This led him to invest his time in making and sustaining authentic relationships.

“My focus gradually shifted to relationships, to helping people develop new habits and a mindset that would make them happier each day while giving them access to more opportunities,” said John.

Growing up in the Bronx and working in large organizations for much of his life, John realized just how unbalanced the power distribution was in the work world. Working Out Loud is John’s way of righting that wrong, and giving people the courage they need to go out and do what they love to do.

“Everyone deserves a chance at a better career and life if they want it, and I’m passionate about helping more people have that chance,” said John.

The book Working Out Loud teaches people the approach John preaches through a 12-week peer support process that enables anyone to build a network toward a goal they care about.

The overall message John is trying to deliver is to build relationships.

At any place.

At any time.

“Putting the ideas into practice with people and organizations around the world led me to try and build a movement. Now it has become a habit to try new things, share my experience to solicit feedback, and keep iterating till I’ve learned to make something interesting and useful,” said John.

John truly wants to help people feel happy and comfortable with where they are in life — both professionally and personally. Working Out Loud helps John meet people who are relevant to what he is doing, and allows him to deepen his relationships. Building and strengthening these relationships gives John a much further reach to spread his ideas.

John hopes to spread his ideas even further by building a relationship with the audience at TEDxNavesink Makers on April 9. He will be one of 30 makers who will be speaking at the event.

“Through the stories I’ll tell, I hope to have the TEDx audience understand how Working Out Loud works; how they can experience it for themselves. It might help them build a movement, or discover fulfilling work, or simply be effective and make what they do more fulfilling,” John said.

While building relationships and living a happy life sounds amazing, you actually have to go out and do it. You must be the one to take that first step.

John was already in his forties when he took the steps that led him to his new life. He is a living example as to why it is never too late for you to take your first step.

There’s just a few days left to get your tickets for TEDxNavesink Makers. Don’t miss 30 of society’s greatest makers.