When was the last time you had a big revelation or shift in your perspective?
Normally for me, these sorts of shifts would happen occasionally, like once a year or once every few years. However, in the last few months I have gone through 3 major changes in my perspective and views on my life.
Being pregnant changes a lot of things.
Your body, your life, and even your mind.
In the last few months, I feel like I have had more revelations about my life and my work than I have had in several years. The process of becoming a mom has actually changed my view of the world (this may be obvious to some of the parents reading this, but as someone who never thought much about having kids it has been a sobering experience).
I wrote about being pregnant and a founder a few weeks ago, but this post is about being pregnant and a driven person. My realizations are good ones – even if you aren’t pregnant or thinking about having children perhaps you will find them useful to you in your life.
What is your contingency?
Being pregnant has made me think a lot more about what is going to happen when I have the baby. Will I be so sleep deprived I can’t write code? Will my mind be fuzzy like my first trimester when it was so hard to focus? How will I juggle my new responsibilities with my company?
We had planned to launch our goal-tracking tool. We have some folks using it now, and it is close to launch. That being said, we made the decision to delay the launch and focus on scaling our content business.
Part of that reason was because our content business has been taking off, but the other part of my personal reason was that I want the business to be able to run itself without me.
Since I am the sole developer of our goal-tracking product, if people have issues it is my responsibility to fix them. In this way, I am the single point of failure for that part of our business.
For the content and coaching side, there is stuff I need to do, but KateS can do pretty much everything or can extract what she needs from me in less than 10 minutes (she has been working with me for a long time and knows how to get what she needs when she needs it).
I never would have thought that I would postpone a product launch for personal reasons, or adapt our business model to my personal life, but this approach just makes so much more sense. Plus it allows us to focus on making our content even more awesome now and do the bigger software launch later in the year.
Essentially, I am making my work life work for my lifestyle, instead of trying to adapt my life to my work. This is a totally different way of thinking about the world, but in the life of a founder this pivot makes a lot of sense.
When you make work decisions, are you thinking through your life?
When was the last time you adapted your work to your lifestyle instead of the other way around?
What does it mean to live a rich life?
In January, I had the pleasure of meeting Ramit Sethi in person. Prior to the meeting I wanted to prepare, so I re-read his book “I Will Teach You To Be Rich” and scoured his blog. In his book he tells readers to ponder the question of what rich means to them.
It really is a great question.
As I thought about it I made a list of what being rich means to me:
- I want to work on projects that excite me, with people I enjoy, and that add value to the world.
- I want a flexible schedule so I can control when and where I work.
- I don’t want to commute every day.
- I don’t want to be in a job where I am stressed every week.
- I want to be able to have the option of not working, and still make money (so having some residual income).
- I want to be able to pay all my bills and have savings for emergencies.
- I want to have enough money coming in to meet my expenses without my worrying about how much things cost (like groceries).
And I realized that right now I have all of those things.
I have a company that makes the world better every day. When I was sick during my first trimester I could work less, and this flexibility made me so much less stressed than if I was trekking into the office everyday. I am basically doing everything I would be doing if I had all the money in the world.
This was crazy for me to realize. That if I had millions of dollars in the bank, I would be doing the exact same thing each day that I am doing now.
Right now it is more important to me to have the flexibility to pursue the things I want and nurture my young company, versus having a big salary. I am trading shopping and new things for a simple life that allows me to have more time to pursue my interests, and take care of my newborn. Time and freedom are worth so much more to me than money at this point in my life.
Do you know what really matters to you?
What would your days look like if you were rich?
Maybe there are things you can do now to get that life a little sooner.
Are you relishing all the moments in your life?
Last weekend we watched the movie About Time. I don’t want to ruin the movie for those who haven’t seen it, but the story was good and it really makes you think about how you are spending your days.
If you could live the day over what would you do?
Are you living in the moment?
Are you present each day for the bad and the good moments?
Life really is precious; it can be gone in an instant. And all you have between now and then is the moments—the little things that happen all around you.
It is kind of crazy how fast life speeds by us. I remember being a kid and feeling like summer would take forever. I couldn’t wait to grow up.
Now it feels like it was just yesterday I met my husband (7 years ago), or started working on popforms (a year ago), or found out I was expecting (and I am due in May). Time is speeding by.
This movie reminded me the importance of living every moment. And only doing or saying things that make you proud.
Tonight when you go home, instead of stressing about things or just letting your mind wander, relish the moment. Think about all of the great things in your life. Smile. You can’t rewind and live that moment again and time is going to pass by so fast.
Clearly being pregnant has changed my perspective. However, while the baby may be the cause of these changes, the end result (however I got there) certainly makes me better as a person, and I think it also sets our company up for greater success.
Have you had moments that changed your perspective? If so, please share your stories in the comments; I would love to hear what caused you to look at things differently and the end result.