Why I started my own business & changed careers

During the 2 month sabbatical I took prior to launching my own business, I read a book called “Refuse to Choose! (Use all of your interests, passions, and hobbies to create the life and career of your dreams)” by Barbara Sher. If you know me personally I’m sure you heard to me talk about it, because it was so life-changing that I felt the need to tell everyone.

In it, the author describes a personality type she names “scanners”. Scanners have varied (sometimes ever-changing) interests, love learning and experiencing new things, and view boredom as worse than death. Once scanners find a thing that excites them, they are ALL IN on that thing; likewise once they’re over it, continuing feels soul-sucking. Y’all, I felt SEEN in a way I hadn’t since the first time I took the Enneagram (I’m a 9 and yes, also a nerd for personality psychology 🤓).

Reading this book helped me to identify why I had been feeling unfulfilled in the job that I left. Being a UX designer had been amazing and engaging for a decade, but I realized that I’d just reached a point where I had learned and grown “enough” for me.

And so I began to change how I defined growth and success. Rather than moving up a career ladder, what if success meant that I was able to nurture my ability to learn and make connections quickly? What if, instead of working on one product for months or years, I could touch many products? Was there a way to harness my passionate creative energy for the beginning stage of a project?

It took 6 weeks of stewing in the back of my head, but starting a workshop facilitation and design strategy business seems almost obvious now (the sign of a well-designed solution 😉). Here’s a quote straight from my sabbatical notebook on the day the idea occurred to me: “meet new people, see new places, solve new problems” and if that isn’t my dream in a nutshell.

I’m passionate about using design thinking workshops to help product and design leaders deliver successful products in less time. It’s what I’ve done for a decade in my experience working at enterprise SaaS companies, and I’m excited to lean into my strengths and focus on this full time. Many more exciting things to come!

(Also if it wasn’t obvious, if you feel like you might be a scanner too, 14/10 recommend reading the book)

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