Doing The Impossible (Interview With Joel Runyon)

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Over the past few weeks i’ve interviewed a group of remarkable people who have made a point of getting out of their comfort zones with their lives. I want to kick off the interview series with an interview I did with Joel Runyon, founder of Impossible HQ – a community of ‘impossible doers’ who are raising the bar on what’s possible.

What is your motivation behind doing the impossible and getting out of your comfort zone?

Joel: The real motivation for me is to tell a great story with my life. I started making changes in my life when I realized I was bored only doing the things I told myself were possible and I realized that if my life was a story – no one would want to read it. I decided to change it and push my limits and start seeing if all the things I had told myself were impossible, really were and hopefully start telling a story with my life that was worth writing about.

Who or what inspired you to create ImpossibleHQ and the other Impossible projects?

Joel: I was inspired by a bunch of people when I started out: Chris Guillebeau, Sean Ogle, Donald Miller, Steve Kamb to name a few. I saw some of those people doing interesting things and telling really good stories and wondered why I couldn’t do the same thing.

What’s the most challenging thing you’ve ever done, and what did you learn from it?

Joel: I ran a marathon and half-ironman last year. The marathon was probably the hardest thing I’ve done, mostly because I’m not a great runner (I had never run more than 3 miles just 18 months prior). I literally never thought I’d do one because it just seemed like too much torture. But, after I did it, I realized that just because something is hard doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Marathoners aren’t superhumans, they’re normal people who worked really hard to be able to do that. I realized I can learn to run well and I can even learn to like running, but I have to put in the work and be dedicated to making it happen.

How has doing the impossible changed your perspective on life?

Joel: Limits aren’t final. They’re fluctuating at best and imaginary at worst. Everytime you do something you didn’t think you could do, it opens you up to a whole new world of things you’re not sure you can do, but you’re willing to try.

If you could make any one impossible thing become possible, what would it be?

Joel: I’m not sure there’s one out there. It’s not as much about the things you do as how they change you. I want to be courageous and never back down from something simply because I’m afraid of it.

Where can people learn more about you / any final words of inspiration?

Joel: You can find more about me at and and you can say hi to me on twitter at @joelrunyon. The last thing I have to say is that if you want to do something, go do it. Stop making excuses for why you can’t have it or why it’s too hard. Just put your head down, get to work and do it already.

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