Jon Montgomery: Stepping Beyond Your Comfort Zone
Canada’s favourite skeleton racer, Jon Montgomery gained national attention after capturing gold at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver. His hard work on the track, infectious energy and much-loved post-victory celebration all endeared him to people across the country. Since 2013, Montgomery’s stature has continued to grow as the award-winning host of popular reality TV show, The Amazing Race Canada.
We spoke with him for Go Magazine about the importance of stepping beyond your comfort zone, learning from failure and why teamwork is vital to success. Check out the fantastic insights he had to share below.
You’ve got an incredibly impressive resume as an Olympic gold medalist, auctioneer, professional speaker and the host of The Amazing Race Canada. What’s some of the best career advice you’ve ever received?
The best career advice that I’ve ever received was probably when I left home at the age of 18 for Barrie, Ontario to go to the Automotive Business School of Canada at Georgian College. My mom was a realtor and told me, “If you help people get what they need, you’ll in turn get what you want.” That stuck with me and it was all about putting other people’s needs before your wants and desires for a paycheque. I think if you help folks accomplish a goal or a mission, you’ll in turn be rewarded. They’ll respect you, you’ll get repeat business and referrals, and it will snowball and perpetuate what it is you’re trying to do in the world of sales.
I’ve never sold anybody anything, but I did help people solve some transportation problems. I know it sounds cliché to say, but I’m a service-oriented fella and I would never want to sell something that somebody didn’t need to them.
Putting the needs of others first is definitely good advice.
Unless you’re on an airplane and the oxygen mask drops down. Then it’s your responsibility to put it on your face first so you don’t pass out, and then you can help others around you. You’ve definitely got to consider yourself first in that situation, but that’s the only instance!
Season 7 of The Amazing Race Canada is airing now. What excites you about being a part of the show?
The part that excites me the most about each season is getting to reconnect with all the awesome individuals whom I’ve met throughout the years here on the show. From shooters and producers, to sound and tech people, to everybody that makes this amazing program a reality. I love having the opportunity to be a part of something bigger than myself and working collectively with others towards a common goal. It’s a source of pride for me to be associated in any way, shape or form with such a cool group of cats.
Contestants on the show are regularly pushed outside of their comfort zone. Why do you think it’s important for all people to regularly challenge themselves – whether it’s for a race, in their career or in their personal lives – and take new risks?
You can’t grow and develop when you consistently and religiously stick within this little tiny sphere of comfort. Where you’re comfortable is not where life begins. Instead it’s at that threshold of your comfort zone – and when you go beyond it – where you find out both what is worth living in life, and what makes it rich and invigorating. That comes from challenging yourself. That comes from finding new opportunities to fail, to get better and then be victorious in overcoming some of the challenges that you present for yourself.
I honestly believe that when people undertake the challenge of being on The Amazing Race Canada, they are in a position to have a major metamorphosis. We’ve seen it season over season with people who didn’t win leaving the show with an incredible sense of pride in their accomplishments and the realization of what they can achieve in life. And that starts with living right at that threshold of where you’re comfortable. Beginning to step beyond those boundaries is when you will grow and develop.
When beginning to push past their boundaries, most people are going to have mishaps and setbacks. From your own experiences, how have you learned to not let these things deter you from going forward?
You’re never a loser if you take a lesson away from a failed attempt. The only thing that makes you a loser is when you quit and when you give up on yourself or somebody else. The notion of quitting and giving up doesn’t sit well with me. People trying and failing makes me so proud. Trying, failing and quitting? That doesn’t make me proud. Taking what you learned in that attempt allows you to have a better chance for success next time. To apply it to a different situation to ultimately be victorious, to grow and to develop. And that doesn’t happen without failure. People talk about failing faster to get to where you want to be because failure is where the growth happens.
From what you’ve witnessed on The Amazing Race Canada and even from your own experience with the crew behind the scenes – why do you think teamwork is so vital to success?
We’ve all got our individual areas of expertise. But alone we’re fairly siloed. You can’t build a complete picture as individual experts. You need to work together with people who are equally gifted at areas that you have no clue about. This show brings together an amazingly talented group of individuals who are all willing to collaborate, who are all willing to give everything of themselves in their area of expertise to contribute to something that is bigger than that one item that they’ve lent their skill set to. At the end of the day, when you have all these collaborators working diligently towards this common goal and putting this show first above everything, from their personal safety in some instances, to definitely their personal comfort, it’s rewarding.
Based on what you’ve experienced in your personal life or from your work as an athlete or with The Amazing Race Canada, is there anything you’d like to see changed about the world of insurance?
I think that people particularly in the province of British Columbia should pay insurance on the price of their car. I don’t think that dudes driving supercars worth $250,000 should be in the same category as myself, based on insurance replacement costs and the cost to fix these cars. If you can afford a $250,000 car, you should be able to afford the repairs if you’re driving irresponsibly. I shouldn’t have to, and nor should my peers have to, foot the bill for something that’s not even within our realm of possibility for approaching in terms of a consumer product, and I don’t think that we should be grouped together in that same category.
You can learn more about Jon Montgomery on his website here. The Amazing Race Canada airs on CTV. Learn more about it here.
July 26, 2019, 6:34 pm
Great Article! Jon is obviously a very very smart man, so many words of wisdom! I’m definitely trying to get out of my “comfort zone” but it’s easier said than done because . . . it’s so darn comfy, ha ha.
July 29, 2019, 1:34 pm
Have loved Jon since his wild celebrations after his win in 2010! Loved him more since Amazing Race Canada. Being part of both of those experiences must be so rewarding. Love his mantras of putting others first and collaboration creates a greater product than the work of individuals added together.
July 26, 2019, 7:14 pm
Great words of wisdom!
July 27, 2019, 1:45 am
Great interview with Jon! Love the advice his mom gave him when he went to college – a lot of truth to that! We love the job he does on The Amazing Race as well.
July 27, 2019, 9:03 am
I agree with Jon that people in B.C. should pay more car insurance for more expensive cars.
July 27, 2019, 11:32 am
“If you help people get what they need, you’ll in turn get what you want.” I had not heard this advice before, but it makes a lot of sense to me.
July 27, 2019, 12:38 pm
Great interview with a great Canadian
July 27, 2019, 1:48 pm
Very down to earth with great words of wisdom. Failure isn’t failing but a lesson learned to make one better…love it!
July 27, 2019, 4:34 pm
Great article – I love watching The Amazing Race Canada every year and Jon is a great host!!
July 27, 2019, 8:50 pm
Good advice from a true leader.
July 27, 2019, 9:44 pm
Very interesting article, especially liked take care of others and they’ll take care of you.
July 28, 2019, 1:14 am
Interesting article, I have a hard time stepping out of comfort zone. But it is something I try to do.
July 28, 2019, 1:51 am
Zig Ziglar said “You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want. BNI says Givers Gain. I agree with Jon’s mother, helping others is key. Good thoughts. Thanks.
July 28, 2019, 9:47 am
I think we can really take to heart the genuine tips here. Not everything will work all the time, but it’s those conscious small steps on a daily basis that make the biggest impact. Slow and steady wins the race (of life!) 🙂
July 28, 2019, 11:07 am
I am so supportive of pushing your comfort zone. Some of my best moments and periods of growth have come from doing so. Great article.
July 28, 2019, 11:20 am
I definitely grow when I am out of my comfort zone. New experiences are always an opportunity to learn.
July 28, 2019, 12:32 pm
I’ve always loved watching Jon, from when he won the 2010 Olympics and through the seasons of the Amazing Race. I definitely need to learn how to step out of my comfort zone.
July 29, 2019, 8:31 pm
Love the amazing race
July 28, 2019, 1:45 pm
A great life lesson for all of us. Not always easy to leave your comfort zone but really worth it for what you get.
July 28, 2019, 2:20 pm
I’ve always said life begins at the end of your comfort zone. It’s great advice. I consider myself a bit of a risk taker. Great article!
July 28, 2019, 2:32 pm
Very inspiring! All the best, Jon! Stay humble.
July 28, 2019, 3:20 pm
I have always liked Jon Montgomery and now I know exactly why, he is so intriguing. He is a very smart, caring person who lives his life the way we are supposed to do but many do not. Good luck to him and the Amazing Race Canada which I like so much.
July 28, 2019, 3:23 pm
That’s some good advice.
July 28, 2019, 3:47 pm
GREAT ADVICE!! Great Article and He’s Awesome!!
July 28, 2019, 3:56 pm
Entered once but it isn’t showing my comments!! LOVED the Article!! Great Advice to follow!! What an AMAZING Guy!! Thanks a million for the TOTALLY Awesome Contest and EXTREMELY Generous Prize!!
July 28, 2019, 7:41 pm
Great article; very thoughtful and encouraging!
July 28, 2019, 7:47 pm
Awesome article! He makes the show great, love learning more about him!
July 28, 2019, 7:50 pm
Great article. Jon seems like a cool guy! Time to step out of my comfort zone!
July 28, 2019, 8:43 pm
Good read, great interview.
July 28, 2019, 9:42 pm
You need to get out of your comfort zone In order to grow!! Yes!!
July 28, 2019, 10:22 pm
I agree completely with what he says regarding insurance… it makes no sense to group everyone together. What an inspiring person. It’s tough to get out of your comfort zone sometimes.
July 29, 2019, 12:14 am
Great article about Jon and his lessons on life. I love the Amazing Race. It is so interesting to see different parts of our country and the tasks sometimes make me quiver as I watch the contestants go out of their comfort zones. I have great admiration for their efforts.
July 29, 2019, 2:03 am
Loved his moms advice “If you help people get what they need, you’ll in turn get what you want.” words to live by!
July 29, 2019, 2:55 am
awesome article with an awesome person!
July 29, 2019, 4:07 am
Great article with Jon. I won’t forget cheering for him at the Olympics and still really like him.
July 29, 2019, 8:22 am
Excellent insight and perspective towards life! Thanks for passing along such wisdom.
July 29, 2019, 10:23 am
Great article. I love the advice that “You’re never a loser if you take a lesson away from a failed attempt.” So true!
July 29, 2019, 11:51 am
Thank you for the words of wisdom! Love watching Amazing Race Canada 🙂
July 29, 2019, 12:43 pm
Love Jon! He is the perfect host for The Amazing Race Canada!
July 29, 2019, 12:59 pm
It can be really difficult to move outside your comfort zone, but so worth it! Good comments from Jon – he seems like such a nice, down-to-earth person.
July 29, 2019, 1:18 pm
Great article! “You’re never a loser if you take a lesson away from a failed attempt” is a good thing to keep in mind when risks don’t pay off.
July 29, 2019, 2:10 pm
July 29, 2019, 2:44 pm
Words of wisdom from and inspiring Canadian! Wonderful interview!
July 29, 2019, 2:54 pm
What a positive and motivational message of pushing through challenges! He’s a great role model for all ages!
July 29, 2019, 3:39 pm
Good advice. I’ll try
July 29, 2019, 4:27 pm
Great read. The Amazing race is one of my favourite shows. I loved learning more about Jon.
July 29, 2019, 5:02 pm
I love this post. I need to push myself to do things that I shy away from. I love his advice. I love watching the Amazing race.
July 29, 2019, 5:42 pm
Thank you! What a fantastic article on Jon 😁
July 29, 2019, 6:21 pm
Jon Montgomery is an amazing guy!! Love watching him on Amazing Race Canada, and this was a great article!
July 29, 2019, 6:55 pm
Great words to live by here.
July 29, 2019, 7:32 pm
Your mom gave smart advice
July 29, 2019, 9:10 pm
Great advice from an amazing Canadian!
July 29, 2019, 9:38 pm
I love The Amazing Race Canada 🇨🇦!
July 29, 2019, 11:08 pm
Great article I agree with Jon you should always try and not quit. If you lose learn from it. I look forward each week to the amazing race. He is a great host.
July 30, 2019, 12:49 am
Liked the article and his comments on luxury cars and ICBC coverage.
July 30, 2019, 5:01 am
Awesome article about a great person, Jon is so genuine!!
July 30, 2019, 7:07 am
I didn’t know he was an Olympian! Interesting interview.
July 30, 2019, 8:50 am
Loved his comment: “Taking what you learned in that attempt allows you to have a better chance for success next time. To apply it to a different situation to ultimately be victorious, to grow and to develop. And that doesn’t happen without failure… failure is where the growth happens.” I work in education and this is what I try to instil in my students as well!
July 30, 2019, 9:23 am
Great article. Love the Amazing Race Canada!
July 30, 2019, 1:26 pm
July 30, 2019, 2:37 pm
Really fantastic read. Aside from Amazing Race Canada I didn’t know anything else about Jon. Enjoyed learning more about this fabulous Canadian. TY
July 30, 2019, 5:59 pm
Great interview, I really liked with John had to say about putting other people first. I was also really struck by his wisdom regarding insurance.
July 30, 2019, 7:22 pm
Amazing article and great guy who has lots of wisdom …. basically, no pain no gain is his motto and to always push ourselves ….
July 31, 2019, 9:43 am
Love Jon! Still remember his walk from the Olympic!
July 31, 2019, 1:07 pm
Pushing limits keeps you on your toes!!!
July 31, 2019, 3:19 pm
I havent seen The Amazing Race Canada but he seems like a very knowledgeable guy!
July 31, 2019, 8:47 pm
As Jon said “putting the needs of others first is definitely good advice” AND love his quote “You’re never a loser if you take a lesson away from a failed attempt” This is so true that taking what you learnt for better success the next time Gore Mutual Insurance Such #kewl advice. Grow from failure to make you stronger the next time round.
July 31, 2019, 10:55 pm
A very smart young man with great wisdom. When you first fail at something, get up and try, try again, this way you grow and develop. Sometimes its good to come out of your comfort zone. Loved watching the Amazing race….
July 31, 2019, 11:02 pm
Great life lesson! A small twist on the golden rule, but it’s true!!
August 1, 2019, 4:10 pm
Apart from the obvious and loving Amazing Race, reading your advice and open true candid answers; at the heart is insurance. I feel like that this is the case everywhere in unfair price gouging by insurance companies.
August 1, 2019, 10:43 pm
What a great article. Love watching John on the Amazing Race Canada.