I never intended to be an entrepreneur or to start a small business. I’ve worked on social and environmental justice issues for most of my life – finding my calling at a young age at the intersection of climate change and human rights. It was so fulfilling, so all-encompassing, but also deeply disturbing to be always following on the heels of apocalypse.
After the sudden death of my mother to cancer at 29, I enrolled in a yoga teacher training program to deepen my decade-long practice. It was my attempt to honor her by honoring myself.
Although I knew that the teacher path was not my own, I became fascinated and inspired by the incredible healing work that my friends and colleagues were carrying out in the yoga and wellness space. At the same time, I was heartbroken to see that many of them were juggling multiple jobs in order to be afford to do this powerful, restorative work in the world.
After giving birth to my baby girl, I couldn’t bear the thought of venturing off to another country or community that was only accessible by satellite phone — another group of people who suffered unimaginable tragedy. I felt a real sense of embarrassment about my shifting priorities — a crisis of identity and meaning — but I knew that I had to honor my journey as a new mother and come to terms with the fact that I was a human being who needed some space for healing and grace.
I came to entrepreneurship, and to technology in particular, because I was fascinated by the power that it has in our culture to shift the way we live our lives and to disrupt the status quo. A human rights lawyer comes into a devastating situation after the fact and works to help people recover and rebuild. An entrepreneur, on the other hand, has the power to shape cultural behavior and even human history.
It would be ridiculous to think that my work developing a software platform is anything near as noble as serving communities facing the injustices of climate change. But sometimes being noble isn’t the point. Sometimes we use “noble” as a way to avoid the real issues in our own daily lives. Sometimes being brave looks like taking care of our bodies, cooking a healthy meal for our children, and honoring our authentic calling — even if that looks different than what our ego identifies as appropriate.
In my attempt to save the world, I had lost myself. Sometimes being brave means finding your way home.