The courage to change

Starting Up… the journey to entrepreneurship

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!

Welcome to my Summer Sabbatical! Oh, yes!

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.

  • Dream wildly – free yourself to see the possibilities. Give yourself the headspace to make this possible.
  • Find your brave – have a good chat with your inner critic and fill your mind with positive energy.
  • Live boldly – take this bravery and take action. It’s okay to color outside the lines. It’s okay to not have the answers, but keep asking the questions (and the right question may not be “Why?”, but rather “Why not?”).
  • Let go and have faith – whatever this means for you, abandon doubt and follow your heart. If you’re listening (see point one), you’ll know the right decision.

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.

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