About a year ago, I took a chance on my career. I left the stable, secure world of Microsoft to join and help found a startup. I don’t regret this decision at all. But I failed.
I failed because I didn’t make my expectations known. I failed because I didn’t figure out what was expected of me. I failed because I was scared to stand up for myself.
I failed because I didn’t communicate effectively.
I’ve always prided myself on being an excellent communicator, but it showed me that I’d made a mistake. I took the job for the money, for the prestige, and for the wrong reasons. I chased promises rather than reality. From Day #1 I was counting the days to our acquisition. This is absolutely the wrong approach, and I wouldn’t know this if I hadn’t taken that chance.
So I’ve decided to start making some changes in my life.
First, I am going to exercise every single day. Between work and travel, I wasn’t taking any time for myself, and my energy levels reflect that. I need to be healthier at 40 than I was at 30.
Second, I need to find “the right job.” I’ve had a few of these in my career, where I can’t wait to get started every morning, and don’t want it to end every night. I’ve started a pretty extensive job search, but it’s a slow, slow process.
Third, I need to get back to focusing on my family. The weekly travel to startupland didn’t do any lasting damage to my relationship with my family, but I owe it to them to give them everything I have. None of this other stuff matters if I can’t spend my time with my wife and children.
Finally, I need to find a hobby. I’ve been scattered across a number of “interests,” but I’ve never really landed on one that really consumes my time. I love golf, but it’s time consuming and expensive. I like playing with Lego Robotics, but mostly with my kids. I love writing, but I never seem to find the time to do it (as evidenced by the infrequency of my posts.) The one I keep coming back to, however, is writing. I’ve been sitting on the first 20 pages of a sci-fi novel for a couple of years now, and I think it’s time to dust it off and bring it to life. Keep an eye out for something from me later this year, I hope.
I don’t like failing. I don’t like accepting that a decision I made was a bad one. But it was, and I did. Here’s to making the next decision a good one, and making several aspects of my life better than they’ve ever been.