Why I had to clear the decks at my company after 8 years of growth


By Gretchen Fox Palmer, CEO of MTO Agency and Founder of Conscious Leadership Collective

I remember when making a million dollars in annual revenue was my biggest ambition. And then the next goal, and the next. $8-10 million was our last fiscal goal.

Like many leaders, I didn’t even enjoy achieving the goals. By that time, I already had new ones.

Last year, I did a goal planning exercise that left me uninspired for the first time.

After some soul-searching, a startling truth arose — I just want to ride my horse.

Huh? What? That can’t be the goal, can it? How? As a high-achiever, this was unsettling.

But years of developing faith in my own internal guidance system, I decided to figure it out.

What followed was the disorientation of the unknown, time sitting still internally, living without clarity. My life was like a massive ship changing course with no land in sight, staring at nothing but the endless sea. All I could do was listen and wait…

And then, the grief came.

I was letting go of my ‘achievement-seeking’ self. I enjoyed her. She saved my life, frankly. I was attached; that aspect of myself has been highly-rewarded.

And then, the grace of replacing her with my higher self came. The relief from making my strategic mind the servant to my life’s purpose, not running on autopilot based on coping behaviors of the past.

And then the unfolding…
Over the months, I kept leaning into what felt good in my body and saying no to what didn’t. It has been nothing short of profound since allowing my own sense of well-being to LEAD my life choices.

I still have a big vision for my life; it’s just no longer powered by that drive to achieve, it’s grounded in my PLEASURE 💃

It feels as if all the personal development & emotional growth work is (finally!) maturing nicely 🍑. That the evolution of my life’s work is culminating into the #ConsciousLeadershipCollective, I want to play/ learn/ grow/ contribute where emotional wellness meets leadership. And now I’m creating transformational retreats with horses! ❤️🐴❤️

I see the path & I’m energized about work again. What a roller-coaster!

I’ve noticed a lot of people I know are reflecting on substantial career/lifestyle changes, too. If you’re one of them, let me know if you want to chat about it. It’s easier with allies ❤️