Journey: Starting My Own Thing

Upon announcing that I, a risk-averse, “stick with the plan” guy, left a consistent paycheck at a national publication to start my own company, many asked “why.” The answer lies within the journey.

Several years ago, my wife posed, “Where do you see us in five years?” The question caught me off guard. I had no idea. Unconsciously, I was winging life, letting it happen to me. It didn’t have to be this way. I could take control of my life. To help with that, I did two things

The first was reading Designing Your Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans. (I don’t often find career books helpful, but this one was!) Based on a popular class at Stanford University, Burnett and Evans use design thinking to help people prototype the life they want. Part of the process is creating an “odyssey plan-” how your ideal life will look and feel in five years.

Sketching out several odyssey plans, the one that resonated most with my wife and I was spending more time overseas. What could we do now to help toward that?

The question led to the second piece of the journey- investing in a career coach. Having spent decades in counseling, I haven’t found “talk therapy” helpful. (As a credible counseling and coaching style, it’s very helpful for many!) I wanted a coach to challenge my thinking and give me homework. Enter Gina Restani.

After twelve sessions, Gina guided me through setting up a work life that would allow for more international experiences. With encouragement from mentors and friends and a roster of clients, I left The Washington Post to do my own thing.

The other piece of our odyssey plan meant Theresa would move into a global role. She joined a tech company called 3Pillar Global as a global executive. As part of her job, our family will spend the summer in Mexico- the manifestation of our odyssey plan.

Based in Monterrey, Mexico City and Guadalajara, it’s more than an adventure. It’s part of the life we want.

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  1. Congrats on taking this leap and designing the life you want. Very cool and I am sure you will be an inspiration to many. Can’t wait to read along!

  2. Wish you good luck in your wonderful journey! Thank you for providing great resources, I wish to read that book you mentioned too.

  3. Hey, hey, it’s all about the journey! Congrats to you both and what an experience for Addy.

  4. Austin – love this, especially you and Theresa putting it all out there. So many of us hide our ambitions and dreams hoping to fulfill them and then tell everyone what the plan was all along. It’s refreshing to see two people confident enough in themselves and their plans to share them along the way.

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