Really honored to be asked to be on Yahoo! Finance and talk about Basket and all that we have ahead of us. So proud of this team.
I asked my friends on Facebook what they would say to someone going through a tough time and if they had any favorite quotes, blogs, or videos that they thought would be encouraging. When I asked, I had a certain friend in mind, but as the more than 30 responses came in, I thought it would be worthwhile to share them all in one place. Check them out below and leave a comment with what you would add.
The responses came in a few different categories:
When you are going through hell, keep going. - Winston Churchill
All good work is done in the defiance of management — Bob Woodward
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat." - Theodore Roosevelt
“All of it is feedback and lessons. Those painful moments aren’t what you think they are- they’re actually your greatest opportunities to expand in self compassion and understanding “ - Jonathan Basker
“The only way out is through” - Jonathan Basker
Morning Offering from John O'Donohue "To Bless the Space Between Us."
Untethered Soul- Michael Singer
The Daily Stoic Journal - Ryan Holiday
The Four Agreements
From my experience (no pun intended), it seems helpful to identify what the person is feeling in order to identify what might help the most. Meaning, the person who is feeling hopeless may be comforted by something very different than the person who is feeling extreme
Thank God for the answers that are on the way.
Feeling all of the feelings just because they exist.
Write. Write. Write. Not to read later, to flush out. Morning pages. Also listen to Coldplay live.
Uplifting music, setting a happy goal (to look forward to later) ie; book a trip, watch the sunset, a concert, rezzo at fave restrurant,eat a donut...whatever endeavor that will create happiness. BE with those feelings, it's important for healing...andthen release them as soon as possible. I find being around grounded, happy, and light people always helps too. Looks like they have that part already covered. 😉 Writing without judgement definitely helps.
I’ve heard it said, “if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.”
That’s bull shit.
You’ll work harder and longer than anyone you know with no immediate gratification and a lot of risk at no gratification ever. You’ll lose friends, you’ll ruin relationships. You’ll miss birthdays, graduations, and weddings. You’ll see a $0.00 balance in your bank account, have your card rejected at a client lunch, and have AMEX selling your info to the highest bidder. Peoplewill ask how they can help, and you’ll know there’s nothing they can actually do. You’ll be alone.
And you’ll be doing exactly what you have to do because at a certain point the insanity consumes you and the only way out of it is through it.
So don’t do it because you love it, there are lot of easier things to love. Do it because there’s nothing else in the world that feeds your soul, energizes your heart, and consumes your mind. Do it because what you’re doing matters and makes the world more of a place you want to live. More of a place you want future generations to inhabit. Disturb the universe.
Hug an entrepreneur today, they need it.
Over the past month, I've had the chance to chat with a lot of current and a few graduating college students asking what I would do if I were in there shoes today and wanted to become an entrepreneur or innovator. Here's are the 5 things I've shared:
- Stop hanging out exclusively with people from your major or school of study or group of friends that think like you. They'll help you with classwork and it is convenient, but they are going to approach most problems the same way as you because that is how you were taught. If you're a business student, go make friends in the engineering or architecture school. They will broaden your horizons on how things work and how they solve problems. They're also much more likely to compliment your strengths with their own and could become your future cofounder.
- Taking a job at a big company right after you graduate is not a bad thing. Especially if you see it for what it is: the chance to learn and go deep on a subject and get paid to do so. If you choose to do this, live on half of what they pay you and save the other half. Nothing is more addictive and ruins people's future dreams fast than cocaine than the addiction to a monthly paycheck. If you let your lifestyle get as big as your bi-monthly check, you'll never be able to leave and take risks.
- Be patient with yourself but impatient with the world. You can only do so much, you only have so many hours in a day. And, especially if you are making a run at adulthood without any support from your parents, it is going to take you longer. But, expect the world to move faster than it does. Expect more from every interaction, every moment, every institution, and every year. Position yourself to be in moments that matter and train yourself how to know what to do when you find yourself there.
- Run your own race and never apologize. There will be people who you will leave behind and you should. There will be people who you will run with for a time and then your paths will diverge, hold on loosely. There will be competitors and distractions that get in your way and try and push you off course, don't let them, remember the race you are running.
- Learn to ask for help and learn how to accept it. This is still the hardest one for me, I am still learning this. But if someone asks if they can help you, always have an answer on how they can and don't be afraid to ask them to.
A commonly quoted test to know if a child will go on to be successful is if they pass the marshmallow test. The test basically goes like this: put a marshmallow in front of a child and tell them they can eat it whenever they want, but, if they wait 15 minutes and do not eat the marshmallow, they will receive a second marshmallow to eat. The children that eat the marshmallow, instead of waiting the 15 minutes for the second marshmallow, are then recorded to go on and make less income in the future.
The logic and reasoning most frequently used to explain this is that future success requires delayed gratification and that being able to wait for the second marshmallow is an early indication of that character quality and the impulsive child who eats the marshmallow immediately is destined to be less successful.
The key definition here that I think is important to look at is the term “successful.” The study reflects success as higher income and consistency of employment. This definition makes parents feel good about their children’s potential and that they will have raised them with a good chance to do well and provide for themselves. This definition caters to the current leadership of most organizations who have enjoyed one of the only times in history where being able to work at one company for your entire career based on what you learned in school and university is possible. That definition of success works well for the leadership of universities who pride themselves on alumni employment rates and hope for contributions from those loyal former students.
For anyone that depends on things staying exactly as they are and having a steady stream of young people coming through their doors that are willingly indoctrinated into sitting still, not expecting more, and trusting that some stranger is going to follow through on their promise to provide the future incentive, and that nothing is going to change between now and then — the marshmallow test confirms their biases and gives them the results that they want and need to hear in order to keep their industrialized education systems and cubicle farm full of dutiful workers full.
- What if the kid didn’t like marshmallows?
- What if the kid didn’t value two marshmallows as much as they valued getting out of the strange room with double sided mirrors?
- What if the kid didn’t trust that the stranger who told them the deal and said to themselves they were going to get what they could and move on?
- What if the kid thought to himself that this is a pretty dumb system and not one worth participating in and just decided to get out of it sooner rather than later?
- What if the kid figured that he might be able to earn the second marshmallow faster by eating the first, asking to speak to the person in charge, explaining that it was a waste of everyone’s time and that he’d just like the second marshmallow now and sweet talked his way into it?
- What if the kid decided that sitting around waiting wasn’t actually worthy of the reward and tried to instead earn it through singing or drawing or reciting a poem?
- What if the kid didn’t know whether he liked that kind of marshmallow and decided to try the first one to see if it was at all worth waiting around for the second one.
- What if the kid was destined to become an unreasonable person like George Bernard Shaw who said, “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”
The future of work and the future definition of success will not benefit the kids that can pass the marshmallow test. The predictability of the past few decades of corporate America is over. Celebrating your twenty year anniversary somewhere will be a sign that you haven’t evolved your career or dared to leave your comfort zone. That you were willing to wait for someone else to deem you worthy of a promotion a few years from now as long as you behaved.
Planning a retirement based on the current incentives listed in your 401K packet won’t take into account for the massive shifts in work and employment or the fact that your company likely won’t be here 30 years from now. But if you want to impressive that asshole uncle who’s a partner at one of the big four accounting firms or that former professor who used to be in the military and doesn’t understand why people don’t still respond to his requests with “Sir, yes sir.” feel free to tow the line and selling your time until you turn 65 in hopes of the promise that the myth of a second marshmallow comes true.
I’ll never forget visiting Grandpa and Grandma for harvest when I was in sixth grade. It was my first solo trip by plane and I arrived just in time to hop up in the John Deere combine with Grandpa and bring in that year’s crop. They were really long days, but we had the best time talking about sports, business, and family and then were always greeted back home by Grandma’s cooking.
One night, as we were putting away the combine and fixing a part that had come loose, Grandpa cut the palm of his hand on the exposes metal. A clean cut straight across his hand. And it was a gusher. Before I knew it, there was blood flowing down his hand and on to the ground. As I started to reach for the paper towels on the work bench, I caught him looking at me with a smile on his face. He wasn’t paying attention to his hand, or the pain I am sure he was feeling, he was watching me to see how I was reacting. When I later told my Dad this story, Dad told me that Grandpa was smiling because I didn’t flinch and that I wasn’t too much of a city kid after all.
The strength to love through pain is one of the things I will always remember about Grandpa. He was strong for everyone in his life, even when it was really hard for him. And a small squeeze from Grandma’s little hand was a huge source of strength for Grandpa, they were so in love.
I’ll never play a round of golf, a hand of cribbage, or sing a hymn at the top of my lungs without thinking about Grandpa. Not only because he was better at those things than anyone I’ve ever known, but he loved seeing others join in and do well at those things with him.
I’ll also never take for granted the relationship that I have with my Dad because of the relationship my Dad had with his Dad, my Grandpa. Dad and Grandpa worked hard on their relationship. They knew they were wired differently in parts of life, but they also knew that they loved each other more than any of their differences. My Dad made Grandpa so proud and loved him so much. For as long as I can remember, when our minivan packed to the gills with kids and suitcases would start to pull away from another visit to the Iowa farm, Grandpa wouldn’t be able to hold back the tears of saying good-bye to his son. It was love beaming from his tear soaked face and we all knew how much he loved us all, but especially Dad.
And now that Grandpa has passed on and is singing hymns with Grandma louder than ever before, those he leaves behind are here to carry on his legacy. A legacy of strength, love, and pride in your family no matter where they are or what lies ahead.
Looking out over Central Park from a friend's apartment this morning, the rectangle of nature planted in the middle of the concrete jungle displays the last of the deep reds and copper tones atop the canopy of trees hiding all the fun and merriment below. Fall is moving quickly into winter and I am thrilled: I love the seasons.
Eight years ago when I moved to New York from Texas, I was coming from a place that didn't have distinct seasons. In Texas, there is Summer and Not-Summer. Here on my island, that others call Manhattan, I cherish the changing of seasons and love all four seasons and the differences they bring to every aspect of life. Whether it is what I wear, what I eat, what I drink, what activities I do with friends, which direction I drive out of the city on the weekends, or simply which playlist is the soundtrack to my walk through the neighborhood: I love the seasons.
I was reminded recently that the weather and calendar aren't the only parts of life that have seasons. There are seasons of plenty and seasons of want in our personal and professional lives. There are seasons of warmth and seasons of cold in our relationships. There are seasons of constants and seasons of chaos in our mental well being. There are seasons of joy and seasons of pain in our families and friendships. Each season bringing a new chance to grow and adapt and lean into the fact that we're alive and aware of the change. I love the seasons.
I have family and friends that have moved to southern states to get away from the cold of winter and to enjoy year 'round sunshine and regulated seasonality. I have friends who have moved away from relationships, opportunities, and challenges that have any downside and therefore are relegated to a small swing in change, if any at all. Their constant "sunny and 72" is my worst nightmare: I love the seasons.
Are you an Aggie? Are you interested in entrepreneurship, innovation, and emerging technologies? Are you going to be on campus this Friday? Then come see me help start the semester with Startup Aggieland's massive kick off event this Friday: Startup Roundup!
I'll be sharing some war stories from my past few start ups, the successes and the failures, and I'll be listening in and looking for the best and the most innovative teams, projects, and hustlers on campus while I am there. If you don't have plans to attend, now you do!
If you are going to be there on Friday, does anyone have interest in doing a breakfast meet up before the event gets started? I'd love to meet as many people as possible and hear what you are working on and how you are thinking about the state of entrepreneurship and startups on campus and for current students. If you're interested in that and want me to send you an invitation to when and where we will be meeting up, comment on this post or send me a tweet: @andyellwood
I hope to see a lot of you in Aggieland this Friday!