We are thrilled to be kicking off a new series highlighting “lives well designed” in our community. Our goal is to showcase a wide variety of examples of ways to design your life. The DYL team is continuously impressed by the journey the book takes readers on, and we hope you enjoy reading this curation as much as we do.
Our first feature is Precillia Redmond, Founder & Principal of Maeve Consulting. Precillia lives in the Boston Metro Area and is thriving in the life she designed around her family. Her story is authentic, real and relatable. And it just might inspire you to make the change you’ve been craving.
Thank you for joining our community and sharing your story, Precillia!
Where were you when you discovered Designing Your Life?
“Almost two years ago, I listened to the audio version of the book during my hour plus long commute and reflect on questions of meaning and purpose. I would think about whether my life was living me or if I was living the life I wanted to live. I mentally fast forwarded to the end of my life and tried to imagine what would be said of me. By my daughters. My husband. My colleagues. My friends. These thoughts would sometimes turn dark or spiral as I would try to figure out how I got “here” and whether it was too late to change course. Married. Two beautiful girls. A house in the suburbs. Even a dog. An executive level job at a large, respected company. What wasn’t to love about my life?”
How did you get unstuck?
“I started my own business doing the work that I love and work for me now is what I do, not where I go. I have scheduled my life and inserted work where it makes sense given where we are in our life journey. I take my kids to school instead of paying someone else to do it. I coach my daughter’s soccer team and lead her Girl Scout troop (pictured above.) Just this morning I played tennis with my husband to kick off the day. I feel better physically, emotionally, and all of my gauges are green. When I think about what I “gave up” – shares in the company, long term incentives, another promotion or whatever it does not compare at all to what I have gained. Love, fitness, happiness > money and status. And, I have learned that people are willing to hire me not just for what I know and how I can help, but because I am a well rounded person. I have interesting stories and I have more to talk about than just “happened at work today”. I created a life where I can now bike my kids to school, have work largely be what I do instead of where I go, where I can take a two week trip in the summer without FOMO or guilt, and spend, real quality time at night with my kids while they still want to snuggle with me and read stories together.”
How do you continue to design your life?
“I try to evaluate what’s working well and where I need to make tweaks. For example, I had two miscarriages in the last two years. Both were heart wrenching experiences. In the first instance, I was on a business trip in Seattle where I knew no one. I was there attending a conference with veritable strangers and had to go to the ER. I was then stuck there for days before being cleared to fly home. The second, last year, was when I was much further along so we had a network of family and friends who were in the know. We were showered with love and support and it was so nice knowing that my clients understood, showed compassion and love. I didn’t feel the same pressure to return to work, put my game face on, and pretend like everything was okay because in actuality it was not okay. I was very sad, knowing this was probably our last attempt. But I didn’t dwell. I grieved and drank a lot of wine but then I hit reset. I understood that I could reallocate my feelings of loss to feelings of love for my children. I set new goals, including learning how to ski (at the age of 41!) with my kids. #growthmindset”
Where are you now?
“I am celebrating the one year anniversary of my Organizational Effectiveness consulting firm in two months after 6 years as an executive at Liberty Mutual and a 12 year career / MBA prior to that. I have two young daughters who I chose to spend more time with by leaving the rat race and starting my own venture.”
Any advice closing advice for someone feeling stuck?
“If someone were feeling super stuck I would advise them to pick just one or two things to focus on changing. Changing too much at once is impractical and really hard to do. Making one small change at a time and feeling a sense of achievement will make you feel empowered and motivated to take on the next thing, and the next. But, try to change too many things at once, the likelihood to fail is higher in my view.”
Wow. What a powerful story, Precillia! We hope it inspires all of you in the community as much as it has our team. We need to make cupcakes now, too!