Founder Story: Write Your Own Story
Round about the time I was hitting maximum career burn out and trying to figure out what I was going to do with myself, I was fortunate enough to get access to a personal coach through my workplace.
I didn’t know what to expect from this situation, but I resolved to approach it with an open mind. Straight away, my coach ran me through a few exercises, one of which was to draft an idealized future story for myself. Where did I want to be in my career? ...in my family life? …in my personal pursuits? ...etc.
My story revealed pretty useful insights almost right away. For example, I had spent the past 15+ years killing myself at work to climb the management ranks. But nowhere in my ideal future was there a story arc related to being the boss of anything. I didn’t aspire to have a bigger team working for me, to have a fancier title, or even to have more responsibility.
In fact, upon further reflection, I was able to admit to myself that I really disliked managing people. And, although I cared deeply for each member of my team, I found the act of managing them to be personally draining and unfulfilling. Therefore, any steps I was taking that took me towards running a bigger team was actually taking me away from my ideal work life.
Now, having surfaced this critical insight, I was able to steer my future with a lot more clarity and confidence. I approached my company’s leadership and asked for a different path, ultimately stepping down from a higher rank and into the role of an individual contributor. My quality of life immediately improved, and the reductions in stress and time at work gave me the space I needed to work on improving the other arcs in my life story.
I recommend that everyone should do this on their own at least every 5 years. It’s a powerful tool, and it can be done by yourself without any special tools or instruction. So find a quiet morning, block out all distractions, and write your story.