I have a story to tell you today. It’s a personal story that has been unfolding during the past six months and has gotten more intense in the first few days of this new year.
Last year we did pretty well as a company. Most of our focus was on solidifying the culture and growing deliberately with our LAB work (consulting, workshops, etc). We did that. It feels amazing to be able to bring human-centered design, made famous and expensive by IDEO, to everyone. Like Robin Hood, but without the initial theft.
In June, I was invited to the Conscious Company Global Leaders Forum by Conscious Company Magazine. It was the first gathering of its kind—200 conscious, do-good business leaders from throughout whole world. I was stunned and honored to be invited to this, and to make it even cooler it was here.
I thought: Wow, what a huge opportunityfor my business.
I had no idea this would also be a personal transformation.
At the time, I was at a personal crossroads, but I pushed that aside for the sake of my professional productivity.
Of course, that wasn’t going to work in the long term. Let me tell you, the Universe (or God, Goddess, Gods, whatever you believe in) will not let you ignore your own needs for long. I had to fly across the country and physically separate from my life to get the direction I needed. And I had no idea how powerful it would be for my whole life — business included.
As an owner, as a leader, as a parent, as a CEO, as a worker, as a human: You absolutely cannot put yourself on the backburner. A company, especially a B Corp. like mine, can’t truly thrive unless the leadership is healthy and whole.
I won’t go into the details of the practice that probably saved my life, but I’ve been meditating and working hard on balance since June, and I have never felt more alive, more connected and happier than I do right now. I’m more sure of myself and the steps I need to take to make things happen that will serve not just me, but everyone.
Being a leader can make you jaded, paranoid or just plain nuts. After 14 years in this, I do feel pretty crazy now and then. In the long term, ignoring that won’t do any good in the world. Please take care of yourselves.
Here are a few things I’m working on:
- I resigned from the nonprofit I helped grow and love to create more time for myself, mentoring, and my work at LimeRed. A sincerely gut-wrenching decision.
- I meditate with intention almost every day, for as long a time as I can steal. I’ve learned about myself and what is true. It’s liberating.
- I’m working on turning off the voice that constantly beats me up. I just don’t have time for that any more.
- I’m surrounding myself intentionally with people who inspire me.
- I’m celebrating my past successes and current experience, rather than always focusing on what is to come.
- The LimeRed team now has unlimited vacation days so they too have more time to feed their souls.
It feels good to do good.
This year is going to be a year of transformation—I’m calling it right now. This year is about visionary leadership and bold steps. Do work that matters. Stop talking about it and get to work.
It starts with you.
Now, it really sucks to sell something at this point, but I truly want you to have the same experience that I did. I want you to learn a new way to think about work and your life—to grow with intention and power.
We developed Design to Scale from this experience, 14 years in business, and the curriculum design we did for the 50 arts organizations funded by the Driehaus Foundation, and from mentoring hundreds of businesses.
Tickets get more expensive on Jan. 14, so get yours before then. And I really mean it: It’s time to get yours.