Have you ever found yourself wondering “What If?” What if I majored in something else? What if I started my own business? What would I do if money wasn’t a factor? What would I do that I wouldn’t regret even if I lost money doing it?”
What does it mean to Live Your 2.0? For a lot of us, we live the first version of ourselves for our entire careers. I call this version 1.0 and personally, I’ve had a wonderful 1.0. For almost 18 years, I was an executive at Eli Lilly and Company where I criss-crossed the globe running small and large businesses. It was an amazing journey. In fact, I think I’m probably on version 1.9 with all of the incredible jobs I’ve had so far in my career!
However, I knew it was time for me to embark on version 2.0.
Version 2.0 (some of you are already on 3.0 and beyond!) is shorthand for a major pivot – a transformative change in direction that aligns more closely with your life’s purpose. It’s an irresistible tug, an itch you have to scratch, or something you’ve always talked about but never acted on. For years, I had been enthralled with digital health and made trips to Silicon Valley to check it out and learn. There was something about digital health that I knew had the potential to make a seismic change in healthcare. I had that gut feeling, and it felt right. So, earlier this year, I took what some would call a huge leap, left Lilly, and decided to take a personal sabbatical to explore my 2.0.
For the last 3 months, I’ve met with over 10 companies and venture capitalists. I have personally sat down with over 85 people I didn’t know 3 months ago. From my home in Indianapolis, I have traveled to and from Boston and San Francisco at least every other week. While exhausting, I have been absolutely humbled and amazed by how many people have opened up their calendars and taken the time to get to know me.
It’s true what they say – if you open yourself up to the universe, it returns in kind.
I’ve learned a ton and have gained new and insightful experiences that are pushing me towards the next best version of myself.
When I’ve sat down with people, almost everyone asks the same thing, “What drove you to pull the trigger and make the change?” Some just want to know my story. Others want to know because they’ve thought of doing the same but haven’t.
I’ve answered this question a hundred times and have boiled it down to 3 things: Inspiration, Desperation, and Vocation.
This is the gut feeling you have about something. Your face lights up when you talk about it and you get animated. You spend your spare time reading about it and maybe you’ve spent money on it already. You follow blogs on it and have google alerts set up. Bottom line, it excites you and you believe in it.
I had been journaling about digital health for almost 7 years. Every entry was about how it could change the world. I sought out opportunities in my current job to start digital ventures. I was spending my own time and money traveling to Silicon Valley to learn and network. And my closest friends heard me talk about it all the time.
You’ve reached the point you can no longer ignore it. You have that feeling that if you don’t do it, then you will regret it later in life. Maybe you’re at the end of your rope in your current job, and it’s going nowhere. Bottom line, you have an unshakable feeling that things aren’t the way they’re supposed to be.
Over 2 years ago, I went through what was a potentially life-threatening health event. While I’m just fine now, I spent almost a year recovering. I learned many things, but one thing stood out – Tomorrow is never a guarantee. Intellectually, I had always known this, but when I stared into the reality that my days could be numbered, my outlook took on a different color and meaning. I realized that if there was something that I wanted to do, I needed to get off my butt and do it because tomorrow may never come.
You’ve been put on this planet to do something special. You’ve been given the skills and capabilities to do it. And you are asking yourself, “Is this what I am meant to do?”
I had been asking myself this question for years when I finally realized it wasn’t a question at all. Instead, it was a statement disguised as a question. I just needed time to accept the answer.
Embarking on my 2.0 has not been easy. It’s taken time (years) for me to get to this point. I walked away from a lot. It’s scary and exciting. It’s a rollercoaster. But if my journey so far is any reflection of what it can be, I won’t regret it and nor will you. Take the first step – make a commitment to chart a path towards Living Your 2.0. Start with small steps and see where they lead you.
And remember, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step”Lao Tzu
What are your thoughts on Living Your 2.0? Click like or share if you think this article will help others. Are you pursuing your 2.0? What have you learned? Agree or disagree with me? Did I miss something important? Let me and others know in the comments section.