On March 1, Pivot turned 10. The big 1-0. Our friends at Bayonet offered my favorite comment on the milestone:
Back when Pivot was just a concept—before it was a business—I thought about how it would affect my life if it actually happened. Two things came to mind. One, my wanderlust would be limited to vacations and vacations would be few and far between. Two, it would probably be a decade before I’d have kids.
Pivot would be potentially life-changing. Was I ready? Would these predictions come true? How would I feel if they did?
The personal impact of becoming a business owner is often overshadowed—by vision statements, revenue projections, and sales plans.
The truth? Starting a business can take a toll on your life, your health, your self. A decade of first-hand experience provided invaluable lessons, often learned the hard way:
Running a business can mean no vacations for 3 years, if you let it.
It can mean failed relationships, if you let it.
It can mean a delayed start to your family, if you let it.
It can mean not seeing close friends for months at a time, if you let it.
It can mean shingles on your face, if you let it.
It can mean driving a dented car for a year because you don’t have time to fix it, if you let it.
Eventually, it became obvious that I needed to change or I would burn out. When I turned 35 last summer, I closed the laptop and opened myself up to the idea that I could have a life.
But how? By remembering a few guiding principles:
Don’t go it alone. I found a true partner in Keri Kirschner. Brilliant and motivated with a passion for solving complex problems, she’s my business better-half. This is true on the homefront, too. I’m blessed to have found someone who listens, cares, and cheers me up when the going gets tough. I hope I do the same for him.
Delegate. We’ve built a strong executive team—Ryan, Union, Ashly, Joshua, and Carrie run the day-to-day operations so Keri and I can focus on leading Pivot toward the future.
Unplug. It’s astounding how much extra personal time I have in the evenings now that I turn off my TV, laptop, and phone.
Get out of dodge. I’m always planning my next trip; one domestic trip per quarter, one international trip per year. It’s how I stay inspired.
Make time for fun. The importance of yoga, dinner parties, wine tastings, and family reunions can’t be overstated. Work will still be there tomorrow.
The next 10 years will look a little different for me, personally. And Pivot won’t suffer for it. In fact, I believe respecting my personal life and relationships can only help the business. Leading by example happens inside and outside the office.
What is my prediction for the next 10 years?
I will learn to speak Spanish.
I will have a family.
I will enjoy and appreciate the Pivoteers—the compassionate, creative, complex bunch of misfits we have assembled.
I will travel.
I will reconnect with old friends and make new ones.