I know It feels contradictory, but being on one side or the other of the digital distraction equation is often a very narrow line.
The decision to take a leap often comes from a eureka moment whether is from a positive or a negative experience. There must be some kind of pressure or need to sparkle the magic.
My background is actually in digital and social media marketing. I hold two master’s degrees in digital marketing and I spent about 12 years both as a freelancer and in the agency world working for international brands around the planet (Spain, France, Luxembourg, Singapore and Southeast Asia, Los Angeles). One day like any other day, I had a wakeup call and I felt that I needed a change; I felt that I wanted to do something more purposeful that can help people. I wasn’t enjoying my job and as I did previously so my attention of levels and focus were at its lowest. I couldn’t really concentrate and that impacted negatively my performance and client relationships.
We can say I went from being part of the problem (people creating digital distraction) to focusing on reducing it. I’m not going to lie, somehow, I felt guilty and I wanted to do something to reverse the situation. It’s better late than never.
The interesting thing is that many people I’ve connected within this new space of digital wellness / wellbeing have gone through a similar process.
I do, however, think things are never black or white. For example, now I’m leveraging all that digital marketing expertise and knowledge to raise awareness for the digital wellness cause and the dangers of addictive technology. I don’t think I would have ever been able to launch and develop Bagby without my previous digital marketing consultant life.
I know It seems paradoxical, but I feel like I’m now in the same stage with digital wellness that I was with digital marketing (Viral and Buzz marketing) when I started back in 2006. And that’s very exciting!
This was a big change for me and above all, for my wife. We moved from expat lifestyle Singapore to Los Angeles. However, prior to that, I decided to take some extra time to go back to Spain, spend quality time with my lifetime friends, my family, etc. One thing that changed it all was to do “El Camino De Santiago” with my twin brother. The Camino de Santiago (the Way of St. James) is a large network of ancient pilgrim routes stretching across Europe and coming together at the tomb of St. James (Santiago in Spanish) in Santiago de Compostela in north-west Spain.
I walked about 500 miles in 30 days so I had time to think about the future, a new direction, my priorities, etc. It’s magical when suddenly you have so much time to think and walking becomes part of your lifestyle.
After finishing The Camino, I was ready to back to reality so I moved to LA. After spending few months planning and researching, I launched my first Kickstarter Campaign and created Bagby, the world’s first sleeping bag for your smartphone.
This was back in July 2017. Today, the company has grown amazingly and we went from focusing on primary couples (“Reconnect with your Partner”), to helping parents, schools and businesses, too. This is the reason why, we took all the feedback, updated our branding and widened the Bagby universe (“Digital Wellness With a Human Soul”).
To sum up, I would say that if you are looking for a leap in your career or life, go for it. This is an act of courage!
Some tips or recommendations would be:
– Don’t stress, take your time. This is a long term move.
– Find a challenge to accomplish. For me, it was “El Camino”.
– Find a way to have enough resources to survive for at least 6 months (savings, free-lancing, family support, etc.)
– Spend quality time with your loved ones.
– Think about how you could make a real impact in the world. Remove the income generation outside the equation.
– Go for it!