Thank You for the Letter

   

 

 

Today is the day after Thanksgiving, and I spent the last part of Wednesday and the first part of yesterday mad as hell, and even lost.

 

My team and I had worked really hard on a project that resulted in a pure fiasco, for various reasons. At the end of the day, I take full blame for it and I also know that it is the name of the game.
In any case, the bottom line is that I have been in struggle mode, feeling depressed and like a loser because something we did everything for it to come out perfectly did not.

Just now, I saw this email letter. Let's just say that communications like this one bring life and love to my heart. And I thank its author from the depths of my heart for bringing me such "put you back on the saddle" words of encouragements at a moment it's so needed. Thank You!

 

"Dear Ms. Wade,

My name is V. M and I am the Director of Operations for XXX. Part of my job is to transcribe S.H interviews. I felt impelled to tell you that it has been a privilege to transcribe your interview, which I'm only about half-way through. Not only is your story absolutely fascinating, but you are one of the rare gems in the world that I refer to as "people who make me happy just knowing that they exist." I've even directed my teenage daughters to your website sot that they could read your principles ("mes principes").

I apologize for jumping the professional line--I have never personally contacted an interviewee without being properly introduced through S.H (out of respect for my boss, who is also a dear friend). But, one of my personal principles is that when you find someone you can look to as an example of what human potential can attain, you let them know how much you appreciate them.

So, thank you. (And, Happy Thanksgiving!)

Sincerely,

V.M"

 

Be a coward & Surrender or Be noble & Live your life

"In the name of the best within you, do not sacrifice this world to those who are its worst. In the name of the values that keep you alive, do not let your vision of man be distorted by the ugly, the cowardly, the mindless in those who have never achieved his title. Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desired can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it's yours.” Ayn Rand (Russian born American Writer & Novelist, 1905-1982)

Sheep Souls, Cheap Rewards

Michael and I love to be together. He does not want to go anywhere without me so we usually travel everywhere together. Our common and almost religious devotion to The True, The Good and the Beautiful (for him, The Noble for me) is a powerful garden within which we cultivate and watch our souls blossom, irrigated and fed by the power of our love. And if you see us, chances are you often times will hear us engaged in a profound conversation, him with a sexy beaming reason and me with a persuasive passion. We are the Ying and the Yang, truly "seemingly contrary forces interconnected and interdependent in the natural world, giving rise to each other in turn". And we also write to each other, almost all the time. The whole thing is so intense I feel we will be speaking to each other way past our time on this Earth. I find our communication powerful because we are honest with one another, and we keep each other honest, and hold ourselves accountable to one another.

Michael is an accomplished philosopher of life who I feel no one can deter from his goal of living a life of meaning. On the other end, I am still a young disciple of Life, sometimes whining about the difficulty of the path I have chosen to live MY life, no matter what and no matter who.

But although I am very conscious and aware of the fact that only such people bring innovation and newness to the world, I do whine sometimes :(

It was after I wasted valuable time complaining about the world, people and life, in general, that Michael sent me this letter, reminding me of what I know all too well: that Sheep Souls get Cheap Rewards.

"Reality is a really, really tough cookie.

It is much easier, either in France, Senegal, or the U.S., to be a Mandarin: Go to a good university, and then get a good job in the elite hierarchy because of your degree and the friends you made at the university. You are then a sheep, but an elite sheep. You have financial security and status security. Everyone knows that because you went to such and such a school and now have such and such a post (whether in government or the corporate world), that you are deserving of such and such respect.

The problem is, both you and I believe that this entire system is more or less total bullshit.

Neither you nor I could live in that system if we tried. We would do anything to avoid living in that system.

But most of the world believes in that system.

Bummer!

Major bummer!!!!

Dammit, we have to create our own world, our own enterprises, find our own money, our own markets, our own customers, our own team, etc.

Much, much, much harder to do.

But it is the only way, the ONLY WAY, that either you or I can look ourselves in the eye each day and respect ourselves.

It doesn't mean that we absolutely have to start our own companies. But it does mean that we have to work for organizations that:

1. Produce something of real value.

2. Are based internally on real merit.

And most old organizations, government or corporate, are not really doing that.

So mostly we'll end up either working for or starting new orgs, where there is no security financially and no security status-wise.

But, in the end, much, much greater rewards."  -Michael Strong

 

Entrepreneurship: Best Path to Personal Growth

The exert below exemplifies very well why a wonderful entrepreneurial friend of ours, Donna Hadjipopov, told my husband Michael that "entrepreneurship  is the highest form of personal growth".

How right is Donna!

1. You’re going to be tested. Hammered, actually. When I started my journey as an entrepreneur, my vision was fixed on the financial rewards of growing a business. I had no way of knowing how many great personal tests I would face along the way. I was too inexperienced to anticipate how market factors, competitive pressures, cash constraints, and managing employees would create an environment of nearly constant pressure. New twists, turns, and surprises surface with exhausting frequency. There’s a wise saying that “…hammering hardens steel and plays havoc on putty.” It’s the opportunity for you to become strengthened and refined under the heat and hammering of business challenges. Sadly, many wilt, falter, or fail under these circumstances. So be prepared to face and conquer real-life tests as an entrepreneur and to be better for it.

 

2. You’re going to fail. That’s a good thing. Think of failure as the toll paid for future success. Every great success story includes painful chapters of failure and misstep. It’s a fact that through failure, questions are answered and solutions are discovered. Og Mandino said, “Failure is the highway to success, as every discovery we make of what is false leads us to earnestly seek after what is true and points out some error which we shall afterward carefully avoid.” And it’s the experience of failure that breeds the ability to be flexible, humble, and thoughtful—qualities required to create a company that can stand the test of time. Flexibility, humility, and thoughtfulness go a long way in life, too.

 

3. You’re going to learn patience. It develops as a natural result of the hammering and the failures that you’re sure to experience.Patience is the trait that truly separates inexperienced entrepreneurs from the seasoned and successful. Patience earned through experience is what allows a business operator to get beyond idealistic dreams and deal in the world of sound, realistic expectations. Pray that it develops within you as soon as possible.

 

4. You’re going to have a major impact on people. It’s inevitable. People—perhaps many people—are going to give a portion of their lives to your cause. This isn’t a small thing. Your actions toward your customers, vendors, and especially your employeeswill have a positive or negative impact on their lives. You will learn that managing people is really about leadership, and leadership is about inspiring people to reach their full potential. In The 8th Habit, Stephen Covey explains that it is absolutely crucial that we “…find our voice and inspire others to find theirs.” And again, from Drucker, “Management is about human beings. Its task is to make their strengths effective and their weaknesses irrelevant.” I hope that as you build your company, you will find that it is an ideal platform for doing much more than selling widgets—the opportunity is there to change many lives for good.

 

5. You’re going to develop character. Sure, you might get rich, retire young, and travel the world, too. But realize that this isn’t really the end game. In time (sooner rather than later, with any luck), you’ll recognize that building a business is much different than what you might have initially envisioned. If you choose to pay the price for success, you’ll find that it’s actually much harder than most accounts of business success would suggest. But through that hardship, great rewards are available. While there is no guarantee of riches, through the pursuit, you will obtainrewards of character. And the development of sound character is perhaps the most important perk of entrepreneurship. At the end of the day, no one really cares how much money you made. They care about who you are."

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