I’m not that ‘Young’ Entrepreneur anymore…
When you take a moment to pause and observe your life, you can have some meaningful, reflective moments.
‘Mindfulness’ is the buzzword at the moment with endless Instagram shots of people levitating over their smoothie bowls. For me, mindfulness is simply moments where you can pause the cogs in your brain and shut out the white noise. I am not sure about other people, but my mind rarely stops, even when I sleep.
About six months ago, I started meditating again. Or to be more succinct, I sat still and relearned how to breathe. It sounds strange but I actually forgot how to do it. I hadn’t understood the importance and effects of breathing on anxiety, stress and general health when you are not being conscious about it. I am now a work in progress, much to the delight of my wife Rachael.
This time has also created space to reflect and reassess. I am not having a midlife crisis and my next move is not to buy a Ferrari, quite the opposite actually. Perhaps your age does have something to do with how you reflect on time and how you see your priorities in life though.
Relationship with time
Most of my life, I have lived a label as a ‘Young Entrepreneur’. When I look in the mirror, I see grey sprouting on the hair I have left. At 44 years of age, I am quickly growing past this label but it does raise interesting questions and reflections.
One question for examination is unpacking our relationship with time. When you start out in your twenties, your relationship with future time is different, as you often play more of a long game. We have what seems like endless time ahead of us. Current time is potentially not valued as much as we are so goal focused for the future.
Time seems infinite when you are twenty years old and forty years old seems a lifetime away when you write your list of what you want to achieve in life.
As we are getting older, I think your relationship with time changes in a key way:
The future does not seem infinite anymore. In twenty years from now, I will be sixty four years old… With your future time literally reducing as you get older, you start putting a greater value on current time.
I am actually ok with this, but this paradigm shift often provides a pivotal moment in our life as we say to ourselves, “Hey, we are not going to be here forever. Is the way I am spending my current time the best way that aligns with how I want to live my life and my values?”
This moment recently dawned on Rachael (my wife) and I.
There is no time like the present
What have we been putting in the future time bucket that is important to us? Terry Hershey writes a book about the Power of Pause and says, “While waiting for perfect, we pass ordinary”.
What struck us about this was there is often no perfect moment in life to do anything and if you wait, time and space can move quickly. As we looked at our eldest daughter India, we felt we had just brought her home from the hospital and she is now eleven. We realised that time is not waiting and the next question really dawned on us.
“Are we curating our own life experiences or is life curating it for us at the moment?”
So we had an honest conversation about life, business and tested our resolve around the experiences we wanted to share as individuals and as a family:
- We wanted our children to experience an alternative education, develop a more global aspect, experience diversity and become more mindful about being sustainable citizens.
- We wanted to live in a new culture overseas and be more present with our girls and with each other.
- We wanted to test ourselves and create an international perspective to our ventures.
There were lots of reasons not to do this like, “How do you do this when you have a business in Australia’? What about the house…school?” General thoughts were raised about what people and society’s expectations of us are plus a myriad of other questions.
Our conclusion. We will work it out.
We are now living in Indonesia.
Above: The Green School Bali, where my 3 daughters go to school.
Making the move
We are three months in and so far so good. Better than that actually. My three daughters go to the Green School in Bali with kids from forty countries in a complete sustainable driven school and are thriving in an active learning enviroment. Rachael is in her element and pursing her passions and we have created more time to be present as a family — we have never been closer as we share this adventure together.
Myself? Well, maybe my new relationship with putting a ‘higher value on current time’ is part of transitioning from a young entrepreneur to a — let’s call it, ‘maturing’ entrepreneur.
There are always trade-offs with everything in life, but making a decision that feels right and working it out can be very empowering.
The trade off is I am still commuting between Australia and Bali but I am more focused than ever on what is important in my business and I am actually more creative than I have been for years. With the recent relaunch of BSchool and Udify (launching 2018), I am taking a more global outlook and being more strategic. I am also quietly beginning to achieve my goal of learning to breathe again.
I think Mark Twain sums it up when he says:
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did so. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
Is there anything that you have been putting in the future time bucket that is important to you?
I will keep you posted on the journey and about our experience re alternative education and BSchool & Udify’s expansion in Asia. If you want to check out Green School, go to www.greenschool.org
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I am an educational Entreprenuer & Co-founder of BSchool. We have bi-monthly newsletter with unique insights that will help support your journey in leadership and entrepreneurship. Please feel free to join our community. Join here.