Saw this last week and had to share. Puts things in glaringly clear perspective.
On Monday, grocery store shelves across the Northeast were cleared of all sustenance by desperate citizens in preparation for the great blizzard of 2015. As I sit hunkered down in Brooklyn, with a full refrigerator of treasures I fought the bearded and scarved hoards for yesterday, my thoughts turned to the future of how we shop. Truth be told, shopping across all categories is broken. There is a growing gap between the shopping public and the retailers who aim to serve them. And caught in the middle, brands are trying to find new ways to wrestle some control back. On the edge is an army of entrepreneurs claiming they’ll show us how to do it all better. With that stage set, I believe 2015 will be a big year for shopping. I’m not predicting record sales or the greatest black Friday on record. This is about what happens behind the shelves. What we’ll see this year is the surfacing of multiple disjointed issues deep inside the infrastructure of shopping itself.
There is a growing trend that is concerning to me. It is called Entrepreneurship. People are leaving perfectly good, safe, and predictably jobs and taking big risks. Sometimes really big risks. And for what? To do what others that have gone before them haven't been able to? To beat odds that have kept countless others with more resources, more connections, and more know-how from solving the problem you think is yours to solve? You have to be crazy to look at that and say, "Yep, I have to go do that."
If you can, you should avoid being an entrepreneur. It will take everything you have. It will change your idea of a balanced life. It will be taxing on you, sure, but it doesn't stop there. It will change your family. It will change your friends. It will change your health. It will change your life.
You have to be crazy to look at that and say, "Yep, I have to go do that."
Your LinkedIn profile won't make sense to former colleagues. You won't be able to really explain what you do at networking events or family gatherings. You'll be "that start-up guy" or the "does internet things girl." Your career trajectory won't be linear and it may be years and years before you really have anything to show for your countless hours, missteps, and do-overs.
You have to be crazy to look at that and say, "Yep, I have to go do that."
You have to try and avoid entrepreneurship if you can. Resist it for as long as you possibly can. Stifle those urges to be in charge of your own destiny. Repress that belief that you have what it takes to make a dent in the universe. Keep it to yourself that you have an idea that could change your world/industry/life. For as long as you can. Until it drives you crazy.
Crazy enough to say, "Yep, I have to go do that."
There is a decent chance that you've seen friends and connections sharing "the exciting news" that because of "how fast things are moving" they and their team "are proud to announce, We're Hiring!" (Yes, StockUp is hiring also) In the past two months, I have seen more "We're Hiring" posts than ever before and I spent some time digging into it last night on the train. There are three possible motivations behind these posts:
1) You're signaling that you're now in a position to make a hiring decision for your company. Mommy wow, we're all big kids now.
2) You're reminding anyone reading that your company is in fact growing and moving forward. Any company that isn't currently hiring likely won't be in business a year from now.
3) You've joined the ranks of people baffled by the seeming contradiction in headlines of "Over 40% of Millennials and unemployed or underemployed" and "Companies of All Sizes Struggle to Retain Top Talent." (In a survey of top CEOs by INC Magazine last month, over 50% said that their biggest challenge right now is attracting and retaining a skilled employees.)
And that last one is the one that keeps sticking out to me. When I look at the current head count of our team at StockUp, and where I expect us to be, both with our developer/design team and our sales/marketing team, in the next six months, I am a little bit overwhelmed. Sure, there is a lot of work that goes into finding, hiring, and onboarding any new hires, but it is much more than that. Each one of the people that, for whatever reason, say "yes, I want to be a part of what you are building" are also saying "I trust you enough and believe in this company enough to say 'no' to everything else and chase down this big idea together." And when you're a part of a young growing company, that takes a lot more trust than when you're a well established company.
Simon Sinek, in the now most over quoted TED Talk in the history of TED Talks, says that you're not "looking for people who need a job, you're looking for people that believe what you believe." That is our challenge, as those looking to attract and retain amazing people, drill down to the core of what we believe and be able to make a case for why saying 'yes' to our opportunity is worth the cost of saying 'no' to all other options that are out there.
So maybe, instead of "We're Hiring" the announcement should be "Open seat on a rocket ship, You're invited."
If you can listen to Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz rift and rant about all things disruption, technology, investing, and the future of our world and not say walk away with at least a handful of new ideas for your world or company, I will be shocked. This is amazing and generous to have captured this range of topics in 45 minutes.
"If you are against disruption, you are pro-status quo."
When the New York Times Sunday edition claims your company "is also the rare kind that could make a difference in people’s lives" you know you might be onto something. These are exciting times ahead with the team at StockUp. You can check it out for yourself HERE. Also, we're hiring and you can see all the positions HERE
I'd been riding pretty hard. 100 miles in the past two weeks. And in between rides, I'd been feeling the burn. And then yesterday I blew out my back tire a couple miles from home. Anytime I go from riding to walking that quickly, I feel like an infant, unsure of their next step and as though I am moving so slowly. Instead of being home 10 minutes later, it was more like 45. My urge to get out and ride this morning was hundred by the blown out flat tire that awaited me. I walked my bike to Ride Brooklyn (best bike shop in the city IMHO) and asked an enthusiastic bike mechanic named Ricky to help me out. He not only fixed my flat, but he tightened my breaks, cleaned the chain, and pointed out that I was severely underutilizing my bike because of one simple adjustment that he could make for me. He told me that my seat was way too low and that he wanted to raise it up and see if I could feel the different.
Now, he wasn't the first person this week that had mentioned it. My sister Katie, the bike pro in the family, pointed it out and said I should make the tweak. So two people I knew knew their stuff both mentioned it, I was game to see what kind of adjustment should be made.
Six whole inches later, my bike seat looked awkwardly tall and almost dwarfed the height of the rest of my bike. I wasn't so sure that Ricky was overestimating how tall I actually am and that we'd need to scale back the adjustment once I hopped on. And sure enough, it felt as awkward as it looked. I was hunched much further over to reach the handle bars and sitting on the bike in the shop, I felt like a giant riding a trike. But, Ricky told me to take it out on the road and give it a shot, if we needed to change it we could, but to take it for a spin and lean into the adjustment and see if it wasn't a welcome fix after the awkwardness subsided.
So I took it for a spin. I headed up the slope of Park Slope and realized I wasn't struggling near as much as I had been in previous rides. My legs were getting fully extended and I was using the whole rotation of the pedals to power up the hill. My posture was leaned forward and my core was much more engaged. So I keep riding and before I knew it, I was 10 miles into my afternoon and barely breaking a sweat.
All because of one adjustment that aligned everything else.
It almost seemed to simple.
But there it was. As a result of a blowout requiring me to slow down in order to get back up to speed, I was back in action utilizing all of my potential with much more intention and far more impressive results. I was aligned with natural ability and height and making my bike do the work for me instead of slouching in my seat and only getting 30% of the power that I could.
Sometimes it just takes a little time and some outside help to understand where you are, what you have, and the higher potential that you could be achieving if everything was aligned.
We'll be talking about achieving that potential with all the resources, tools, and natural abilities you already have at this month's Exobase here in New York City. There are still seats available and I'd love to have you be a part of the experience. (SIGN UP HERE)
I will be leading the New York City Exobase June 14-15,2014. Sign Up HERE or read more below. ----
Exosphere, a learning and problem solving community founded in Chile in 2012 by a group of international entrepreneurs, is announcing today the launch of Exobase, an intensive two-day program led by the founding team of Exosphere.
Over the past two years, more than 100 entrepreneurs and life-long learners have taken part in the Exosphere community, primarily through its flagship program, the Exosphere Boot Camp, with the latest class currently underway at the Exosphere campus in Vina del Mar, Chile. The Boot Camp has proven that many people share the founding team’s conviction that there are two fundamental pains in life that cause most everyday suffering: doing work that is out of alignment with our calling, and broken relationships with other people. With entrepreneurship, we can resolve the former, and in community, we can heal the latter.
Exosphere incubates people, not companies. Over the past two years, Exosphere has thrown out the playbook on what education means and pioneered an accelerated system to unlearn the lies we’ve all been previously taught to tell ourselves and to bravely choose a road less traveled toward the life we are called to lead that brings our talent and passion to the world through creation, innovation, and business.
Exobase is the evolution of the principles and lessons learned by the founding team and our global community of members and advisors. These successes and failures have been distilled into two days of intense, focused learning. The Exobase experience is coming to a handful of cities across North and South America and Europe in 2014.
Exobase will introduce the experience of the entrepreneurial mindset, intentional community, and self-reliance, as it relates to life-long learning and personal growth. Participants in Exobase will gain new perspective on their current career trajectory, understand what skills and ideas will be most valuable for their future endeavors, and be exposed to the real-life lessons from others who drew a line in the sand and took action on creating the life they wanted.
There are only 50 seats available for the New York City Exobase, so sign up now!