Episode 11: My Husband Shares His Perspective On My Path To Finding and Following My Passions


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Hi, I'm Victoria Hefty and welcome to Activate Purpose where I talk about finding purpose through action while balancing motherhood and career.

 I am very excited for today's episode, and have a special guest, my husband. I don't know how I was able to convince him to join me for a recording session, but I always get questions from readers or listeners who want to know what my husband's perspective is on me leaving my full-time job, or pursuing these crazy ideas while trying to run around with a toddler. I thought it would be a great idea if you could hear it directly from him.

This is a very different sort of structure than my typical solo format, so we are just going to roll with it, and hopefully it will end up being a good show, which I know it will be, because we are just going to be candid. I haven't prepped him with any answers or anything, I've just told him the questions that I'd like to discuss, and hopefully it will be informative I think for you, as well as for me, since I don't know if I've ever heard it so directly in this type of situation.

Let's get started. First question. Probably this one is the one that I get asked the most. Actually, you should probably say, "Hello," before we just dive right in. 

Husband:    Hello everyone. 

Victoria    There you go. What did you think about my decision to leave a lucrative, steady, full-time job to not only watch our daughter, which I'm sure a lot of people can relate to, but focus on my creative entrepreneurial projects like my website or my book? What was that like for you? 

Husband:    Well, my first thought was it was absolutely crazy, and I don't know how this is going to work. We're going to have to figure some things out. I'm actually joking about that. No honestly, each situation's unique, and in this particular situation, because of the kinds of things going on at work for you, I think it was time to leave. It was a difficult time for me, for us, because I was also looking for work at that time, so when I heard that this was the end of that employment for you, it was quite unclear what was going to come next. 

Victoria    Just to give some context to that, he works in academia, so it's a different structure. 

Husband:    So academic jobs generally don't exist. That's what she means. On the other hand, Victoria's very self-motivated. She's a self-starter and rightly or wrongly, I think that probably took some pressure off me, because I trusted you. I trusted you in terms of the judgment you were making about this particular job, but also you generally are pretty good at finding work for yourself. On the flip side, it can be an exciting time when you're moving to a different situation that for me, is an open time of possibly a new opportunity, and a new aspect of life that you're not prepared for that could be great. 

Victoria    Do you think that ... I know some advice is, "Wait until you have six months to a year salary saved up," or, "Make sure your idea has been making money for years before you leave your job." Instead, I felt like there was this one moment, which I do talk about in the book, The Insider's Guide to Maternity Leave, so I won't talk about it too much here, but where you have this moment and it's kind of like, "I need to move on," but maybe things aren't perfectly planned out for that.      Did you feel confident that I would figure it out? I remember you didn't even say, "Well, why don't we just wait a few months?" You were just like, "You know what? I trust you." How did that happen for you? 

Husband:    Well, I think in this particular case, you had been somewhat unhappy in that role that you were in, and so it wasn't a complete surprise that push kind of came to shove with that job. But yeah, I mean, I can't say I knew what was going to come next, and it didn't have anything to do with having all the ducks in a row, or things figured out. It wasn't anything like that. I think it was kind of, "Well, okay. Now we're going to see what happens and we'll figure it out." I mean, a lot of it was, "We'll figure it out." That can be good. Life doesn't always have to be completely laid out with no more room to wiggle. 

Victoria    Right. Well, the irony is when you first met me ... you can probably tell this story, I know this wasn't planned, but about entrepreneurship. What was my-

Husband:    That's true. Victoria in early conversations had no interest in starting her own business-

Victoria:    Like zero. 

Husband:    ... and had no interest in working for any kind of company that had fewer than basically 10,000 employees, and 80 floors, and an expense budget. She really didn't. This is all quite new. You listeners probably know better than I do, but this has been a time of discovery, and that's something I've been watching probably just as much as you have. 

Victoria    Actually, that goes into a good question that I think you bring up and a lot of people want to know. I have been sort of going through this journey of trying to figure out what I want. I always talk about part of the reason why this is called Activate Purpose is I'm a big believer in the activate component of finding your purpose. I think what I'm trying to do, as you know, do different things, try different things to figure out what I like.

In your opinion, what either behavior or action that I've taken has stood out to you as having the most impact so far over the course of my ... There's no way I would do entrepreneurship to just slinging ideas and just going after them. What are the types of things that you think has led to that sort of-

Husband:    Change?

Victoria    Yeah, change. 

Husband:    So what has had the most impact on you? 

Victoria    Yeah. It could be either one thing, a big thing, or sort of a little thing. Recently I've talked about victory journal, meditating, but it could be something even outside of that that I'm not even aware of. 

Husband:    Well, the whole business of this idea of activating purpose or finding things through action is interesting to me, and somewhat new to me. I think it's correct, so there's something I'm learning about with regard to that. I would say one moment that was a kind of catalyst was before you left that job and before you started your website, you had a filler page. You had a landing page, I guess they call it.      

I think you were surprised, if I remember correctly, that that in and of itself generated some interest. You found that there was kind of a need for something that you weren't sure would be relevant to anyone. I think that surprise for you triggered something, maybe there's something there, and maybe it started you thinking differently about things. 

Victoria    Right. Yes, and I don't know if I've talked about this. I'll talk about keeping it simple, actually on my next episode, but I will share that ... maybe I'll go more into detail in a future episode, but what he's talking about was for my website, at the time, I just wanted to test the idea.     

Before I did this whole complex website, I said, "Well, how about I just create a landing page and an easy Facebook page, and I'll just do a little ad, and I'll see if people visit the website and either sign up for the listserv, or the email list to get more information when the site goes live, or they like the Facebook page," to gauge interest.     

And he's right. Even within just a couple of days, I started to quickly get followers and emails, and I think within a week I had like ... I think probably like 1,000 followers and a really good email list just off of saying, "Coming soon. This is what the concept is, a place for new and expectant mothers in Philadelphia," and that was it. So that's what he's talking about.      But you're right, that probably did have more of an impact than I realized.

What about any of the recent stuff that I've been doing? So I went out and got the Success Principles book that I talked about in earlier episodes. Anything that you've seen from that until now that has been interesting for you? 

Husband:    Yeah, something that has been interesting for me, I haven't looked a lot at that book, but I did thumb through it a bit and found it to be fairly provocative and useful for just general living. I think the way that you plan and the way that you record your goals and your results, not necessarily concrete, final results, but just each day, this work I think allows you to assess things very clearly and to make progress in a way that probably that every day person doesn't do. I don't do, certainly. Yeah. 

Victoria    Okay, great. One thing that I probably ... not my favorite episode so far, but one of my most candid one was when I talked about when I left this job, or left my last full-time job, I was in this weird place of not having the structure that would normally validate me. I talked about this I believe in episode nine, but I felt like I was coming to you for feedback, but really it was I wanted validation. That's difficult, because I was asking for feedback about pregnancy related topics, and because you weren't giving me feedback as my target audience would, I was frustrated. It was just this weird, irrational moment ... or moments, I should be honest and say-

Husband:    Plural. 

Victoria    Plural. What are some tips for maybe how partners can help navigate this process for their spouses? Sort of this very vulnerable period of you have this idea, you sort of taking this leap even if you haven't left your full-time job, but you're going for it, but now you're not sure. How does that work? 

Husband:    Well, I don't know that I have particular advice to give for relationships, but I think listening is always helpful in any context. It's not always easy, but I think that's kind of a baseline for both spouses. Sometimes it's necessary to read between the lines. I can't say that I knew necessarily what you were after in those moments. Maybe I didn't read between the lines, but could have. I think for myself, and I suppose a lot of men may be this way, but when I'm asked for advice or feedback, I'm usually pretty candid and honest about it. 

Victoria    Oh, yes. 

Husband:    I know that's not what you want when you're asking for advice or feedback, but for me, validation is something different. It's also important, but it's something different. I suppose the advice to the ladies out there is just be fair to your spouse. 

Victoria    Of course. 

Husband:    I think that goes both ways. I mean, look, practical things do matter, and I think probably in these kinds of conversations the things that are of concern are practical in nature, and practical often means financial, but they don't always have a simple fix. That equates to X salary for the year, or it equates to a steady job even. Sometimes you figure it out as you go, and you make adjustments as necessarily. I suppose depending on the personalities in the relationship, that can be easier or harder, but sometimes you can adjust as you go.      

In addition, I'd say if your wife or partner is inspired or energized by what she's doing, that also has benefits. I know Victoria works very hard, but she enjoys what she's doing, and that means something. That's something probably that spouses can talk about too.      

Finally, I'd probably say that routine can be predictable. It can allow you a certain kind of freedom, because some things you don't have to work on or decide. Routine is only so interesting. What I can say about this, I guess you could call it an adventure for you, is that it's interesting, because it has no obvious outcome that's predetermined. You're learning as you go, and that's nice. 

Victoria:    No, I agree. Actually, when you said that, it reminded me of one advice I've gotten is, "Pay attention to the things that excite you. That if you feel energized by it, write it down, pay attention. What is it about that that made you feel good?" I remember the first time I came in to record a podcast session, and I left, and I think I immediately texted my husband. I don't know what I said, but you remember I was very excited and felt like, "Man, that's something that everyone should do." Can you talk a little bit about that? 

Husband:    Something like that, yeah. Well, you really enjoyed it, and I think you did notice that you really had fun doing it, and you're still doing it. 

Victoria:    Yeah, exactly. Episode number 11. Then last question, because I think this is something that I always struggle with, and that we even talked a little bit about it last night at dinner. Part of this show's about balance, and whatever that means. There's no perfect balance. I certainly haven't figured it out, but balancing it all is difficult as a mother of especially a young child. When you combine that with this inner critic, career, the guilt is real. You feel like you're just never quite doing anything particularly well.    

You have moments of greatness throughout the day, but it never feels like it's just all going to work. Maybe, what is the one thing that you think either me, or maybe other moms, your sister's a mom, that you feel like women or maybe people in general can do to be kinder to themselves as we try to pursue our careers, take care of our babies, and find our deeper purpose? What's something that maybe you feel like I'm too hard on myself, that I could be just more kind to myself about? 

Husband:    That's a question I wasn't expecting among several others of these questions. Well, I might flip it around and say to the extent that you can be present in the moment in whatever it is that you're doing. First to the people in your life, and then to the things or the tasks. I think to that extent you may find yourself less self-critical. But that's just a hunch. 

Victoria:    Good to know. Well, thank you so much for ... Again, I'm not really sure how I got you to do this, but I really appreciate it. 

Husband:    She said it was going to be just between her and me, so if anybody's listening, you shouldn't be. 

Victoria:    I'd like to end this show with my challenge, as usual. My challenge after this lovely episode, which really was again, not my norm, but really fun, is to maybe have a conversation with your spouse or your partner and bring up one of these points that we've talked about, either how they can either support you better, or maybe how they've seen you progress, or help you on something.      

I think to just have that conversation in a safe place, you know, maybe it can be over a date night and a couple of drinks, whatever, but the challenge is to know that you can't do this alone. Even if you don't have a partner, you need friends, or family, or some other support that is going to guide you throughout this process of finding yourself, whatever that means to you.      

That is how I'd like to end this show. If you have any questions at all, feel free to email me at victoria@activatepurpose.com. I don't think I'll have a ton of show notes, but I always have the transcript up at activatepurpose.com/episode11.

Lastly, if you enjoyed today's episode, make sure to leave a review and subscribe to next week's episode. Again, thank you for taking the time to listen. Thank you, husband of mine. Until next time. 

Husband:    You're welcome.


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