The Year of Radical Vulnerability

In the last nine months, my life has changed drastically. I went from running a 400+ person company to having to lay off all of those people overnight. Financially, I lost everything, and the situation put me into serious debt because of a personal guarantee I failed to fully think through five years ago.

Now another large shift has happened in my life, the same day I published an article on Medium encouraging others in the entrepreneurship space to be more vulnerable, my relationship of 3 years started to unravel.

Since my partner and I lived together, this last personal loss leaves me in an interesting spot and forces my hand in two things I “wanted” but wasn’t brave enough to face until they were the only options left:

  1. I must embrace radical vulnerability with my friends, family and network. Since I don’t have a home base anymore I have been guest bedroom hopping, relying on the kindness and generosity of others more than ever before. This is both humbling, and awe-inspiring, people’s kindness and generosity — including my ex as we uncouple three years of togetherness — has been staggering.
  2. I am completely untethered. There is nothing right now to tie me to any physical location, I have no children, no relationship and minimal possessions — so logistically I am very lucky.

I feel like I have won (or lost?) the “starting from scratch” Olympics, and while it’d be easy to drown my sorrows in Malbec and cigarettes I am instead choosing to experience these losses from a different lens: that of opportunity. I choose to take this series of losses and use them as the firm foundation in which to build the next chapter.

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own, and you know what you know. And you are the guy who’ll decide where to go. — Dr. Seuss

The Year of Radical Vulnerability

Today is my birthday. Though I don’t put a lot of emphasis on chronological age as I know eighteen year olds who are more mature than their parents and fifty year olds who act like children, I do think a birthday is a good a starting point as any to begin a new chapter in your life.

Thus, I am calling the 365 days from May 27th, 2016 to May 27th, 2017 The Year of Radical Vulnerability. This will be a year of starting over, of starting up my next venture, and of being radically vulnerable with those around me. Hopefully in documenting my journey from starting over to success (fingers crossed!) I will be able to inspire others who are also going through a hard times. There is (I think) light at the end of the tunnel.

I plan on traveling, ideally all over the world, and relying on only radical vulnerability, my trust in the Universe, and a unique entrepreneurial skill set to add value wherever I go.

If you have work that needs to be done, and you think I could help (check out my skill set here) then let me know. I can work virtually and also operate on the “you buy, I fly” model. E.G. If you fly and house me somewhere, I am happy to trade consulting or whatever style work (let me clarify: non-creepy work) for lodgings/transport.

Are you a real estate firm in Omaha that wants to unlock the power of delegation and free up your team’s time? Call me.

Are you a startup in Singapore that wants to virtualize your team so you can recruit all over the world and improve scalability? Drop me a line.

Are you a financial firm in Switzerland that needs an EIR for a few months? I could be your gal.

Two arena’s I am particularly interested in are:

— The Future of Work

— Disrupting the Death Care + Aging industries

I will document the journey on my blog Escaping the 9 to 5— as this is the ultimate breaking of traditional job stereotype — I also believe it’s a glimpse at the fast approaching future of work: where we aren’t defined by one job anymore, but instead are an amalgamation of many skills, many types of work, many paths to carve out our own unique work identity…

You can find me @marenkate on Twitter or drop me a line here.

Learn from the past, set vivid, detailed goals for the future, and live in the only moment of time over which you have any control: now. — Denis Waitley