The noise in my head was deafening. I couldn’t sleep, couldn’t focus on one thing, and for the love of God I could not take one more useless meeting. I loved the work I was doing and the company and people I was doing it for, but there was something else nagging at me. I felt unsettled; I felt like there was more in my life to do. I wasn’t making enough of an impact. Or, was it that I wasn’t making the right impact for the right people?
And frankly, I wanted to be more present for my family. The pang of double-guilt when my kindergartner would ask me to walk her to school (a 12 minute activity, round trip) was something I could no longer ignore. Double-guilt because I felt guilty as a colleague that I wanted to walk with her and then guilty as a mother that I wanted to get started on work by 8:30am. This was nothing my company created or reinforced. I worked remote 80% of the time and work-life balance was encouraged. It was all me.
It took me a full year with these feelings – and almost all the Brene Brown books and a really supportive husband who convinced me we’d be okay financially – to muster up the courage to turn in my corporate badge. It took me two days to feel free!
I completely embraced the five weeks of summer vacation I had with my daughters before they began the next school year (pre-school and first grade). I had no laptop (such a strange feeling!); I bought a notebook with a cover that read “Don’t Quit Your Daydream”. And daydream I did. It kept all my doodles on a business name and what I wanted to build. But that was all I allowed myself to do – Doodle. No heavy lifting, because my family (and I!) deserved and needed that. I’d hunker down with a real business plan later.
Here’s what that year and five weeks taught me – and I hope it provides just a little bit of encouragement if you’re on a similar journey.
The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.Steve Jobs
I felt these learnings so strongly that they became the Core Values for Positive Delta. It’s what we anchor on and live by – and it’s the only way I feel aligned with my true passion and purpose.