The Higher Purpose Attendee Spotlight: Molly Levitt
1. How did the vision for BrightLoop come about? What was your “Why” behind pursuing this goal?
Teachers are some of the hardest working people in the world. They are on the ground making change where it matters. Yet they are also one of the least supported and respected professionals. Growing up I always wanted to be a teacher, I did my undergraduate and my masters in education and enthusiastically took over my first classroom. I laughed at the statistic that 50% of teachers will leave in the first 3-5 years. Until I realized why.
Any good teacher knows intuitively what a student needs just by interacting with them- yet with all the other things to manage – parents, admin, specialists, top-down initiatives, special education paperwork, grading, conferences — all while instructing 25 energetic children- being the teacher you always wanted to be can almost feel impossible.
I was frustrated and I felt that in order to stay in the teaching profession I would either have to be ok with not doing it all, or I would need to find a way to keep track of all the intentions I had to support my students and personalize their learning in a way that was simple and do-able — which is where the idea for BrightLoop emerged.
2. What have been the greatest lessons from the building of this vision thus far? How have your perceptions changed as a result?
Designing this app and moving towards the business world has been a hugely valuable learning experience. However, I felt a lot of guilt about leaving the profession that I always believed was the most important job in the world (and still do). What I have come to realize is that while I was teaching I was very frustrated and overwhelmed. I may have been 100% for my students, but I was not able to be fully present to the people in my life outside of the classroom. Working on BrightLoop I have been able to engage with my life in completely different ways. I have learned that I love the creativity that comes with solving problems and thinking about education from different angles. There is a huge value and life shift that comes when you are finally able to engage with who you are in all aspects of your life, when you no longer have to turn yourself off from 9-5. That is a lesson that I hope to take with me always.
3. What type of obstacles are your currently trying to overcome to bring your vision to reality? Are there any special practices that you have found helpful in dealing with setbacks?
The largest obstacle that we are facing right now is running our Kickstarter. Funding is a very necessary piece to ensure that we are able to get this product out to teachers quickly and cleanly, but fundraising for myself is completely out of my comfort zone. Whether we succeed or fail (which with only 48% and 18 days may be a reality) — this has been a lot like taking a business and marketing strategy class at 100MPH. As much as I have disliked this part of the process, I recognize there is huge value in this learning experience. I think through this it has been important to keep in mind that this part will pass, and if it goes well I will be able to make my dreams come to life. You will not love every part of your new venture, but every part brings value that you can apply to the parts that you do love.
UPDATE: Molly reached this goal and is currently living in San Francisco, CA continuing to expand BrightLoop.
4. What were the greatest lessons that you took from participating in The Higher Purpose Project? How have you applied these lessons to the building of BrightLoop?
The Higher Purpose Project showed me that as we collectively move towards paths that are aligned with the things that we love and the person that we want to become the more we can connect and engage with each other. I think when you finally start taking that step, you become more awake to each other and your life. The experience is richer because of it. The Higher Purpose Project taught me strategies to be engaged in my life and to not be afraid to take risks and to fail. I have been inspired not just in the things I have learned but the people that I was able to connect with. We have in just a short time become a supportive family that believes in living the life of your choosing
5. What is the best advice that you can provide for an individual looking to embark upon the journey to bring a vision to reality?
If you have found something that makes you want to stay up all night working, that gets you up in the morning and brings you to life in new ways – that is something to pay attention to. There are of course fears and logistics to pursuing your passions – money, family pressure, debt – but the key is to figure out how you can design your life so that these things are possible. I worked on BrightLoop for a year before I went full time and once I did, things just started to align. However, finally making that choice took a lot of bravery and life design to ensure that I could still pay my bills and not be disowned by my family. Now that I have finally taken the step, I cannot look back. I love the life I am continuing to mold each day. Once you are living a life that is aligned with who you are, you will find that everything else you had done up until that point, was not living.
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