I am writing today from my new office: Starbucks. And when I stop to think about what I am doing: leaving a dream job and one of the most well respected firms in the professional services industry… It is easy to be intimidated. Easy to second-guess myself. Easy to consider the endless scenarios in which I could have been wildly successful on the conventional path…
But then that feeling comes back somewhere during the internal conversation… “You will never be happy just being successful. You will never be happy with just showing up. You will never be happy with the conventional, safe, sure-fire route to money and ‘success.’ Your heart and mind won’t let you. They will constantly tug and pull and resist as you move through the world doing less than you could be doing.”
So here I am – that feeling is why I have decided to leave my job in pursuit of passion, intentions to change the world, and starting my own business. For some, this will be the first you’ve heard of my intentions, so let me tell you more about what I’m up to, why I’m doing it, why it matters, and what’s next.
What I’m doing
I submitted my letter of resignation last Monday, August 15th, 2011 and my last day was today, August 26th, 2011. Hopefully today’s date is one that I will celebrate for the rest of my life as the day that I set out to do something different, something bold, something that genuinely affects, in a positive way, tons and tons of individual lives.
I am starting a company based on my passion for helping others and inspiring people to define their values, explore their passions, dream big, and change the world.
My mission in starting the company is to fundamentally change the way undergraduates approach the job search process as they prepare for the transition to working life. To do so, I plan to start by building a coaching business focused on personal values, passion, and strengths and aligning that combination of unique qualities with opportunities in the marketplace.
Big task right? I am sure you will immediately question how I could possibly accomplish this. Good – that’s what I like to hear. This isn’t about trying to make a quick dollar; this is about intentionally spreading ideas that are challenging and unconventional.
To start, I am immediately moving into development of a 10 session coaching curriculum focused on helping graduating college seniors intentionally pursue the job they were meant to have – the one they want deep down in their hearts – the one they haven’t thought of because so many other people have influenced their thoughts on what it means to have a ‘good job.’ That doesn’t fly anymore. It’s time to spread the idea that it is not ok to settle, it is not ok to pursue someone else’s dreams, and it is not ok to take the first job that comes along. It IS time to be intentional about finding a first job that aligns with our values and passions and strengths. And I’m here to help.
I have filed an application to form an LLC called Unconventional Innovations LLC. I am not sure if the name is available, but we will know soon… Now, on to next topic.
Why I’m doing this
The why is quite simply inside of me. It is the urge to be great… Great being defined as positively affecting lives day in and day out by inspiring, creating, hiring, and living life intentionally. The why is hard to explain If you don’t feel it for yourself, it is hard to identify with, and I recognize that. I hope you’ll be supportive anyways.
To understand why I am doing this – leaving a secure job for complete uncertainty – you have to understand who I am as a person and where I have come from. I am currently working on a draft of ‘My Story,’ which will go into my background in detail and tell the world where I come from and what experiences have most influenced my life. ‘My Story’ will be used on my new website so that people can get to know me on a personal level and identify with my purpose.
Here’s the jest of it in the mean time: I spent too many years trying to be somebody I wasn’t. I spent too many years trying to fit into a mold that wasn’t me. I tried to be cool, I pursued the job that seemed most ‘legitimate’ according to others, but at the end of the day I can’t run from my heart and soul. I have a much better sense of self today, on this day, than I ever have in my life.
I want to help people develop that sense of self as early as possible so that they can experience the world in such a way that they love life, love their work, and feel an intense sense of purpose and fulfillment. That’s it.
Why it matters
It matters because we need more people giving everything they’ve got to the world. It matters because the world has a ton of problems, and every single person on the planet has something they can add to help solve those problems. The trick is just to help those people find how they can contribute. It is to spread the idea that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. It just takes hard work, perseverance, self-discovery, and a desire to be excellent.
In general, that message is not spread nearly enough. And when it is spread, it is abstract and not actionable. I’m here to change that. I hope you’ll help.
This is the most exciting part. Tomorrow, and the next day, and the next after that, and every day from here on out, I am going to wake up and work by butt off to create a business that embodies everything I’ve just talked about. So what does that mean?
For starters: Hard work, perpetual learning, lots of research, lots of interviews, lots of practice, lots of feedback, and lots of energy. I know my why, I know the value I can provide, and now my job is to prove it to the market. I am in the process of compiling all of the components of my business plan – with 1, 5, and 10 year goals and steps to reach those goals. I will pursue it relentlessly so long as the service proves effective and meaningful for world-changers, passion-seekers, enthusiastic leaders, limit-pushers, etc (aka my customers).
Here are some specific next steps:
- Developing a 10 session coaching curriculum
- Developing a website to host my blog, coaching resources, and allow people to connect based on big ideas
- Aligning my blog, business, and actions in such a way that I create a consistent brand that people can trust
- Testing the curriculum on several guinea pigs that have volunteered to work with me – their only payment will be plenty of feedback. (If you are interested in being a part of the free testing, please email me – I have one final spot available. I will be doing a second round of testing at 50% off the final coaching price – please let me know if you, or someone you know, are interested in that as well – there are 10 spots available.)
- Networking, research, and more research – if you have any suggestions of people with incredible stories, entrepreneurial backgrounds, experience in coaching, or just someone cool to talk to – please let me know via email or the comments section below.
So here’s the deal. Some will call me nuts. Some will call me stupid. Some will accept my decision without thinking too hard about it. But what I am setting out to do today is to build a company and brand that is associated with strong values, constant innovation, and huge growth potential. I’m not going into the market to preach or project the same old ideas – I’m setting out to fundamentally change the way individuals think about going out into the word and finding their place. That is a huge task. But with intentional actions and purposeful direction, I know I can build a level of service around a thriving, values-based culture that will be impossible to reject.
I hope you’ll join me in supporting my mission to change the world by spreading great ideas and inspiring individuals to define their values, embrace their passions, dream big, and change the world.
Stay tuned for great content and big news on developments in the business, including the new website, the business model, the coaching curriculum, and all of my challenges and successes along the way.
If you’re interested to learn more now, please shoot me a message on Facebook, Twitter, in the comments section below, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you and I would love nothing more than to get your feedback and ideas on creating a values-driven, value-providing business that attracts great customers and great employees.