Be forewarned. Working with entrepreneurs can rub off on you. Their unorthodox perspectives and openness to trying new approaches might show up in your own personal operating system if you’re not careful. It happened to me and it can happen to you. You might even be called crazy.
In early 2017, my wife, Lucynda, and I entered what you might call an entrepreneurial season of life when, finding ourselves empty nesters and losing sleep over work pressures and growing to-do lists, we stepped off the hamster wheel and dared to dream of what life could look like. We were blessed beyond measure but we weren’t in charge of our life. It was in charge of us.
Realizing this, we looked at things with new eyes much like an entrepreneur sensing a better way. For two years, we talked, prayed and researched ways to create more life balance including taking greater control of our work, devoting more time to others and traveling whenever possible. Like cofounders starting a new venture, we looked each other in the eye and agreed to cast off together in an exciting new direction.
To move forward, we had to make several difficult decisions including selling our dream home of 10 years (one of Lucynda’s amazing designs) and ending my role as CEO of an economic development organization I’d created and led for over a decade. But with no regrets and lots of sunscreen, we left for three months on a quiet Caribbean island where we filled our days with rest, adventure and volunteering. It was a magical time that we’ll cherish forever and we returned to South Carolina in late 2019 rejuvenated, refocused and with a greater appreciation for what matters most.
Since returning, we’ve purchased and remodeled a smaller home, established new exercise routines, and managed our two businesses through a global pandemic. We were fortunate to be able to step away like we did and remain committed to appreciating each day we’re given.
Robert Frost once wrote, “Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” Entrepreneurs can relate to taking the path less traveled and now, so can we. Some called us crazy when they heard our plans. Some asked, “Who sells their house, quits their jobs, and takes off on a life adventure at their age?’ The answer is, we do. And after doing so, I’d suggest we’re not the crazy ones.
John Moore is a principal with Momenteum Strategies, an Upstate-based consulting firm specializing in helping communities and their economic development organizations build thriving, impactful innovation ecosystems.