You don’t need to care. You can make a lot of money and be ridiculously successful and leave “caring” at the door. But how empty would that success feel? How much more meaning can you give to your work – to your life, if you take the time to care?
I run a startup. We’ve been around almost four years now and without a doubt the past 12 months have been the most difficult. I’ve talked before about managing the entrepreneurial ebb and flow and recently the roller-coaster has felt more like the Grizzly River Rampage (that’s a subtle reference for my fellow Nashville natives but to the rest of you, it means it’s been exciting, but to be honest, downright terrifying).
I know that I’m not the best at what I do. You can work with other branding and design companies that have more experience. You can read the words from other writers who are far more eloquent and well versed than yours truly. You can follow leaders who have spent far more time earning the trust of their tribe. You can go for a run with someone who’s going to push you a helluva lot harder than I’ll ever be able to.
I was a nerd. Growing up, I chose marching band over sports. I opted for chat rooms over roller-rinks. I rifled through Goosebumps books and spent every Saturday night watching Snick.
Like most nerds, I eventually broke (or should I say, attempted to break) out of my shell – went off to college, spent a year drinking copious amounts of cheap beer, and did everything I could to deny my nerdy roots.
Fear takes different forms and can drive you in different directions. It manifests itself at the height of success and at your moments of failure. A while back I talked about the ebb and flow of the entrepreneurial roller-coaster, citing that successful entrepreneurs don’t ever overcome their fear, instead, they effectively manage it.
So why are you here? What do you want to do? What lights you up? What do you take the most pride in?
In our professional lives – and in our personal ones, “What do I want to do?” is a question that demands a confident answer. Whether you want to design logos or build out your kitchen, go back to school for a higher degree or paint – whatever it is you want to do is what needs to be done.
Resolutions are ideas we throw up to drive us forward toward accomplishing and DOING more. But I don’t want to sacrifice my happiness and the happiness of those closest to me in pursuit of DOING more. My grand vision – my mission for the year ahead is simply to live more fully, do great work, and focus on enjoying the journey along the way.
We spend time over the holidays planning, mind-mapping, strategizing, and forecasting. With your sights set on what has been and what could be – I want to (with the help of my awesome team) give you everything you need to turn your big idea – your dream – into a reality in 2014!
The wheels are spinning. That was my first thought as I opened my eyes around 4:30am today. A Sunday. The Sunday before Christmas. A time that I told myself would be about rest and relaxation – and yet, I find myself compelled to do something – to be productive – to get “ahead of the game”.
Getting “ahead of the game” is something I’ve been working toward for years now. And sure, while you can be more prepared for what’s ahead – while you can feel better about the direction you’re headed, you’ll never, ever truly be “ahead of the game”. So while this idea plagues me – keeps me up at night and waking early in the morning, I’m self-aware that no amount of productivity and hustle will ever pave a road without obstacle.
Through my life I’ve been building and creating – and I’ve barely slowed down. Sure, at times it has been demanding, exhausting, and outright frustrating. But its also been incredibly rewarding and fulfilling to see what one person can create if he’s willing to put in the time and effort. When he’s willing to, through all obstacles, continue putting one foot in front of the other.