I have always believed that if you don’t have a passion for what you do, you shouldn’t do it. Sometimes life gets in the way of living by that belief. And sometimes, you hit a point where you can’t imagine anything other than pushing through life’s obstacles and living your passion. This is the story of my crucible moment that helped me get there.
I had been working for a very fast-growing software development company (from 8 –> 200 people) for four and a half years, and was serving as VP of the Project Management/Business Analysis department. For most of that time, I loved my job and threw myself into it wholeheartedly. But the company was going through a a lot of changes. It was still a great organization, but it had been a year since it felt like the right fit for me and since I had truly loved my job.
I continued to stay in the position for the year that I no longer loved my job for a number of reasons… Life and family obligations, attachment to certain luxury comforts, perceived lack of time to plan for changes, and I wanted to do some deep internal work so that I would not leave my position and end up feeling exactly the same way in the next role I took on.
My crucible moment that triggered the life change I so desired came at a two-day all-company event where each department head gave a 20-minute speech to the company. I had just spent the prior weekend with my mother, who at 67 years old had Parkinsonian Dementia so severe, she couldn’t put together a coherent sentence.
As I stood in front of the company giving my speech, I had the following thoughts:
“This is a terrific organization – look at how far we’ve come.”
“And… I think I’ve done all I can do here.”
“This is no longer a fit for me.”
“I don’t think I’ll get sick like my mother… but nobody thinks they will. If I only had ten healthy years left, is this how I would want to spend it?”
The answer to that last thought was NO. And I made my decision, in that moment while giving my speech, to take the leap and move on.
What I loved most in my career was finding amazing people to join our team through some very unique and proven methods I developed early on, comprehensively onboarding them, helping them to grow, and leading them for retention. I had received a lot of compliments, and had experimented and learned a lot over the years, with a focus on continuous improvement.
I had held an idea for a unique business that leveraged all of my passions, skills, and experience/lessons learned, but had planned to wait twenty years or so to create that business – after I had paid off student loans, saved more for retirement, built a bigger network, etc.
But I knew everything about this business would light me on fire, and that I would be able to help a tremendous number of people doing it. So while giving my speech to the company, I made the decision to create that organization now rather than wait twenty years to do it.
Seven days later, I gave two months notice and quit my job to bring this idea (Scalability Solutions LLC) to life.
Several years later, I still have a passion for what I do. Through my business of transforming the way people build and lead their teams, I am actively fulfilling what I believe is my purpose: to create a world where people are happy, fulfilled, and empowered at work. Being a business owner challenges me in all the ways that are hardest for me, which I consider a gift. This was the best decision I’ve ever made. And there has not been one minute that I’ve regretted it.