8 Weeks of Bliss
(…Best is Yet to Come)
It’s been 8 weeks today since I started a new life as an entrepreneur, after 27 years in corporate roles.
Yes, it took me that long – but that’s okay. Now is the right time for me. And these days have been incredibly dense, rich and exciting.
What a ride!
In this very short time, some moments and feelings particularly stand out.
Here’s a quick and partial collection of some highlights, so as to remember the intensity going forward.
Oh, the joy of learning!
I have learnt trivial things such as to work with a certified public accountant, to install and run electronic office equipment without an IT department (okay, I kinda miss you guys), to design my own name cards, to navigate the bureaucratic processes involved in creating a company, to brainstorm about R&D and graphic identity and service life cycle about myself, to pitch my project to the bank… I loved digging into Squarespace with a website coach, to design and run my website all by myself (a number of nights were spent to it! and it’s still work in progress).
Whatever the topic, be it complicated or simple, the learning is a huge source of fulfillment. I keep growing, not wasting my time on earth. The experience of inexperience, and efforts to catch up – learning from those who know, but also charting my own course – make me feel incredibly alive.
In 8 weeks, I have had the incredible opportunity to share stories and reflections with about 1,200 persons through speeches in Berlin, Stuttgart, Leverkusen, Lyon, Annonay, Amsterdam. This doesn’t include two more opportunities in Paris coming up later this week – and more next month.
I spoke about Engagement, Leadership, Diversity, Change, Corporate Activism, Courage and more.
Each of these events has been an opportunity to connect with thought-provoking, passionate and curious people. I thrive on human connections, so you can imagine how exhilarating this time is. To hear some of my ideas resonate deeply with people and help them see things in a new light makes me so happy.
Not sure what feels best: to give, or to receive? Both, probably. I’ve received so much in these first few weeks of a new life, it is quite overwhelming.
I feel grateful to my former brothers and sisters in change at Sanofi, who stay in touch and keep the flame alive.
To my family for their support, even when I work super-duper late at night or travel a bit too often.
To people in action, organizers of events – hello Holger, Katharina, Villy and Jane, Corinne, Christophe, Maïlis, Shweeta, Didier… – who invited me to speak, creating moments to reflect and learn and share.
To the outstanding Kotter team for welcoming me as an Affiliate (so proud and honored!).
To all of you who inspire my work and my growth, who’ve cheered me on through social media and got in touch.
May I be grateful in advance to all the people I will learn from or co-create with in the coming months? I sense it is just the beginning.
Ah! This is pretty extraordinary. Cliché maybe, but the feeling is true. To be able to self-organize just as one wants is priceless. No time lost in making up unless I want to. No other emergencies than the ones I set for myself. Full accountability on what happens (I’m writing this post instead of something else I needed to work on today – it’s fine, I’ll find a solution). No permission needed from anyone. Of course, I do need clients to sustain my business, and not all my proposals have been successful so far; but this is another type of constraint, one that feels exciting.
I almost forgot – fewer petty, bitter bureaucrats standing in the way. It is truly delightful. Because my business focuses on leadership and engagement, I now mostly meet people for whom it matters.
I could have written about the sense of strength and empowerment, the anxiety of wondering whether I will be useful and have an impact, or many other feelings that are rushing through my mind at the same time. But I’m writing this quickly and moving on to everything else waiting for me. I will keep observing and sharing along the way.
Now, pump up the volume and get ready to whistle: by French DJ/producer Mathieu Koss feat. Joan Alasta, it’s been my favorite song since the summer – “Best is Yet to Come”.
I don’t know why, but I really love this title ;)