Welcome to my Second Acts Series!
Today, we have Lori Anding King talking about her personal challenges and sharing remarkable insights and advice.
I’m happy that I got a degree in something I enjoy: biology. I was grateful to land a job at a biotech company founded by Jonas Salk working on a Phase III study to boost the immune system of HIV infected people.
The same year I started, Magic Johnson announced he was HIV positive and HIV was thrown into the spotlight. I worked hard for a great cause and played hard too. I traveled all over Europe with a backpack on my back, biked through Northern Italy and traveled solo down under for 3 months when I decided to leave the company. I earned the nickname of “Indiana Lori” for my adventurous spirit and lack of fear for traveling to the unknown.
Then, I got serious, and took a partner position in a translation agency. All work and no play. This provided the foundation to venture out on my own to create AXIOM Translations with a business partner. I learned more in the 9 years as a small business owner than I did in my whole life. It was exciting, painful, fun and arduous. Towards the end of my 1st Act, I realized that I was recruited into this line of work recruited into someone else’s dream. Wake up, Lori, it’s time to live your dream. What is your passion?
What woke me up?
As I was walking on the treadmill of life, I didn’t even notice the pace was picking up to the point that I was running until signs of stress began to set in. A full blown breakdown occurred with my husband after dropping off the kids at school: “I just can’t handle all this juggling anymore!” With the relief of letting off some steam, I jumped back on. Next, my neck gave out. I was in a brace but could still function so I kept on running. Then, my neck gave out again, this time I could barely move it. “What, I can’t drive!” Flashes of my responsibilities run before my eyes. “I can’t drive the kids to school or pick them up? Who else is going to do it?”
I lose it.
Then, I remember, I need to let go. I am not in control. This is the way it is.
B R E A T H E
Months later, I found out a fellow alumna of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Program unexpectedly and suddenly died while 9 months pregnant. The news of Sandra Huerta’s death rocked my world. She was a beautiful spirit who lived life to the fullest and I asked myself: “What are you doing with your life?” Subsequently, I read an article asking: which one would you pick 1. A raise or 2. Time off. Hands down, TIME OFF! I tell this story to my business partner who takes it as “Lori is going to take a few months off.” Cool. I go with it. And that is how I took the summer of 2013 off of work. I couldn’t bring myself to get back on the treadmill. I resigned as an active partner in the business in December 2013.
I wish I could say I have it all figured out; but I don’t. My mother always said, “Do what makes your heart sing.” That is exactly what I am doing, delving into the world of social media. My passion is for empowering people and small business owners to thrive. As a small business owner, I know how all-consuming it can be and how easy it is to lose sight of what is truly precious – family.
What I’ve learned:
– I will honor my passion.
– I will frequently check-in to be sure I’m not consumed by work.
– I will seize the day!
If you are pondering a 2nd Act, I have a few questions for you.
1. Are YOU happy?
2. Is what you are doing resonating with YOU?
3. Are YOU listening? Take time to really L I S T E N
I couldn’t hear on that treadmill; the wind in my ears prevented me from really listening. A mother’s death woke me up. Now, every day, I practice listening because I have time.
Life is too short to ignore your heart.
This is dedicated to Sandra Huerta, a much loved daughter, sister, mother, friend who was taken from this lifetime much too soon. She touched many souls with her kindness, love, zest for life and generosity of heart. Carpe Diem
Where to find Lori…
Lori, Thank you for sharing your story and posing the difficult questions. I invite everyone to follow Lori’s progress online.