Marti blogs! A transparent view into what it’s like to be a part of PlanG, an entrepreuner, a founder, and a human being.
I believe my life is a series of amazing blog posts. But for some reason, I have never committed to writing down the words that capture the moments I secretly hope my head has inked into memory. Today that changes. After 3 years of the wildest ride I never fully remember deciding to get on, I am embarking on sharing my world and experiences. My hope is that you will feel some connection to what I write - no matter who you are or what you do. For me, that connection is all that ever really matters.
Most people figure it out pretty quickly after they meet me – I like to take risks. Not the kind you would necessarily think of from a CEO. I take unusual risks - the types that are sometimes frowned upon in boardrooms and big corporate town halls. For my entire working life, I have learned and practiced taking risks with my emotions. Somewhere along the way I became comfortable saying what other people thought. It connected me instantly with them and it became a drug. The more I shared, the more people shared with me and I loved the emotional connections that were the undeniable outcome of an intimacy that many relationships never risk to reach.
But then, just when the comfort and consistency of taking big emotional risks settled in like an old habit, I chose to start a company. You read about doing a startup. You hear the stories of famous companies and you think you know what it takes; and then you do it, and you realize quickly – this is a level of risk, within your life, your relationships and most importantly, your emotions that articles and sensationalized movies can never truly capture. Your whole identity is called into question and the weirdest part is you are the one delivering the performance review. It is scary, anxiety ridden and for those that are truly driven, it is the ultimate drug…an addiction to self-discovery where you still know in fleeting sober moments that this much of anything all at once actually isn’t good for you.
Many entrepreneurs walk around with memorized statistics and cliché sayings about failure that act as a security blanket, protecting against an endless chipping away at the base of self esteem that was needed to become an entrepreneur to begin with. A hostage of our own un-bureaucracy, we long for the days where we would wake up and flip through our daily activities in our mind, with our biggest problem stemming from what to have for lunch, and with whom, and when? Now, we have an endless internal monologue in our head, talking in a tone of voice that conveys nothing short of well-rehearsed pity for those that work for those large companies “who believe their high powered, big money job truly carries with it the same purpose and meaning of ours”. All this, a cleverly crafted dialogue with our own personal sacrifices meant to justify why we would put ourselves through this when at our darkest moments we all have convinced ourselves, “I am so much smarter, better, wiser, (fill in the “-er”) than those people who choose to have jobs that settle for stability, normalcy and a life outside their work.”
Where does that leave us? The answer – alone, and among many who feel the exact same way.
So for me its time to share these new emotions on a stage that is consistent with the level of risk that created them; not through the safety of a dialogue at a coffee shop with a friend where I can read the reaction and tailor my comments if I have left them thinking I am weak, I am arrogant, I am beaten, I am sure. But here, on a stage where the risk of sharing is infinite in its interpretation, its judgment, its distribution - and where it is equally capable of creating that connection of intimacy that only comes a result of the purest of risk – the risk of sharing what’s within.