For the first time in my 25+ year career, I did not seek permission to make sure my planned time off from work was OK with someone else. I didn't change my voicemail or pen an out-of-office email notification.
As I write, my family and I are in Colorado for our annual spring break vacation.
How did I not need to clear my time off in advance? I transitioned out of my role with Rev1 Ventures in mid-January.
This transition is one I had been contemplating and semi-planning for about a year. I hired a great Virtual Assistant through Priority VA in early 2015 who has been tremendously helpful. I started thinking seriously about making the leap during the last quarter of last year.
In December 2014, I started calling it my “12/18 plan”, meaning I would transition out either in a minimum of 12 months or 18 months maximum. Why 12/18? Simply because 12 months was the earliest I thought I could do it well and 18 months was the latest with which I could be comfortable.
The Back Story
Why “18”? It's all about family.
In the Fall of 2013, our oldest son left home for college. We had thirteen weeks lacking a third driver in the family until our second son got his license. That short period was stress-filled as we arranged after school care, rides home, or transportation to sporting events. I made the rocket ship 30+ mile commute to pick up both kids for after school activities dozens of times. I shortchanged my colleagues and clients to meet family obligations. My wife cut meetings short and altered her schedule frequently as well. Compromises were common.
When our second son leaves for college later this year, we’ll be without a third family driver for 3.5 years until our daughter gets her license. We do not want to repeat the stress experienced nearly three years ago.
That's why 18 months was my maximum.
So, What Will I Be Doing?
I have two large endeavors that are my top priorities for at least the first half of this year.
My first big project is to finish a book this summer I have been working on for over two years: Pitch With Purpose: What to Do Before During and After You Pitch to Maximize Your Opportunities (PWP).
PWP is based on the thousand or so pitches I have witnessed, delivered, or coached during my startup days and my time at Rev1. I am distilling what I learned into PWP so that I can help other entrepreneurs prepare for their pitch opportunities. PWP emphasizes preparation and after pitching activities as that is where most entrepreneurs shortchange themselves when raising funds.
My second major project is a podcast called Success to Significance. The focus is on people like me – enjoying career success, and feeling that there is more to life than what they have invested in and built so far. I acutely felt that need for new significance during the past couple of years. I know many people who desire to translate their success into greater significance by focusing on activities that will change lives. I expect to launch in the first half of April.
In addition to these priorities, I have committed to blogging once a week based on feedback I received from my first-ever reader survey. I also am planning to write or contribute to articles for other publications more frequently than I have in the past.
2016 will be an exciting and challenging journey. On one hand, I feel like I am not ready to take the leap. On the other hand, I'm totally excited to see what unfolds.
I'll be sharing much of the journey and what I learn in these posts.
For now, we're enjoying hiking and exploring for a few days in Colorado.
I do not anticipate needing permission for our summer vacation or other trips we have planned for this year. Instead I anticipate starting this journey well, completing my next book, and hosting Success to Significance.
Most of all, I anticipate enjoying time with our daughter as I chauffeur her to after school activities this Fall.