At the end of 2012, I declared you would be my year of Triumph. And yes, there were many triumphs this year:
- I played a strong role in the triumph of Justin Trudeau as Liberal Leader (I was part of a very tiny team that ran his social media strategy and campaign: the talented Adele McAlear, Adam Scotti, Natasha Launi amongst many other awesome volunteers were a delight to work with on this).
- I got to travel on not one, but two epic vacations that were long overdue (Cancun and Azores) after struggling for so many years (greyhound bus trips to NYC for routine rejections were my usual travel modes).
- I finalized a long overdue divorce (separated in 2005!).
- I upgraded my finances and ‘caught up’ after years of living month to month doing a startup.
- I started Lime Foundry…mostly triumph, though some let down.
- Carlos and I moved to Toronto. We love our place and view and lead a privileged and happy existence here.
- And multiple small victories that felt out of reach over the past few years.
Still, triumph is a strong word for a year that felt more like it was full of false starts and finding my bearings again. If I were to go back and advise my 2012 self on the word for 2013, I would tell her that ‘Rebuild’ would be more appropriate. But whatever. It never hurts to shoot high, does it? ;)
Which brings me to 2014.
One of the things I’ve been struggling with since I left working on Buyosphere full-time (I still work on it as does Cass and Jerome – but as a sideline) is purpose. For better or for worse, Buyosphere was all about purpose for me. I was convinced that the customer revolution was upon us and we would help move it along with giving the customer the right tools to drive the conversation. Unfortunately, I underestimated the power of…power and money. I’m still convinced that the customer revolution is brewing, just slower than I bargained for.
Either way, though, I’ve realized that putting customers in charge isn’t necessarily the first step to changing the world and founding a startup may not be the right path – as it’s a troubled and troubling industry (whole ‘nother blog post) and is an incredibly indirect way to create change. For instance, you need to do a lot of soul-selling to even get to the place where you can make an impact. Pitching that you want to change the world won’t get you anywhere. Believe me.
Somewhere along the way with Buyosphere, I lost my purpose. When I lost my purpose, I lost my reason to fight for it. And it’s not that easy to just pick up a new purpose…not after focusing on this one for so many years. So for the past year and a bit, I’ve been drifting. Or rather, rebuilding so I can focus on something else.
2014 is all about Purpose.
I don’t know what that purpose is yet. I’m exploring and open and no longer clawing up Maslow’s hierarchy (i.e. I can pay my rent again) and I have some ideas. I’ve had some conversations and am in the midst of exploring some really great paths. I feel hopeful again. I don’t have any major expectations and I’m taking my time to make sure I don’t have any more false starts (2013 had enough of those, thank you).
There will continue to be some rebuilding – climbing out of 3 years of loss doesn’t happen overnight – but I’ve realized that without a purpose, I feel blah. I wish I was just one of those people who could take a good paying job, go to work everyday doing busy stuff and fill my bank account and do something I’m passionate about on the weekend…but I’m not. I’ve tried that and I just end up being miserable and making everyone around me equally miserable. I even make mountains out of molehills and try to make purpose where there is none (good social media marketing is not a purpose, it’s a skill and everyone should practice it, but it’s not a purpose…sorry).
So this year, I will find purpose and pursue it with passion. Life IS too short to just drift through it.