How Well Do You Take A Punch?
I was talking to a friend who has been displaced because of Sandy. They are struggling to get back to their daily routine and it is hard living out of a suitcase without access to the things they rely on from day to day.
I was talking to the CEO of a company whose business was negatively impacted by Sandy. They are struggling to get the business back to where it was before the hurricane.
One is a personal thing. The other is a work thing. But they are the same thing. Life punches you in the face and you might get knocked out. The question is can you get back up and keep going.
The best entrepreneurs do this well. They can take a hit and keep moving forward. And they can rally their teams to do the same thing. That latter point is so important. If the leader is down for the count, the team doesn't have a chance. But if the leader is up and moving forward, with passion and committment to the goal, then the team will follow.
Sometimes a crisis is a good thing for a company. Recovering from a knockout punch often requires heroic efforts from the team. I have seen engineers get things built in a week that might take a quarter under normal circumstances. I have seen sales teams bring in business that kept the company afloat at the last minute. These heroic efforts can energize an organization and give it new life.
Normal operating conditions can lead to an organization getting fat and happy. A crisis can shake things loose that need to be shaken loose. I would not suggest an entrepreneur manufacture a crisis when one does not exist. But when one comes along, I would suggest seeing it as an opportunity not a problem. Because the best entrepreneurs and the best companies can take a punch and keep going. It is a defining trait of winning teams.
What’s the best bounce-back from a knockout punch you’ve seen at USV or FP
I don’t know if you could say he’s ever been hit with a knockout punch, but Mark Pincus has certainly taken his fair share of massive uppercuts…and kept coming back to answer the bell -> http://en.wikipedia.org/wik…
Interesting read – thanks for sharing.
isaak karaev at multex in the mid 90s. he was dead in the water with less than six months of cash. he rebuilt his entire client server enterprise class application and ported it tot the web and web browser and lowered the cost of the product by an order of magnitude and got enough customer traction with the new model to get a second life.
Has he ever told that story?
You know pretty quick during a major crises who’s for real and who’s not.You can guess at who will shine and Wall Street tests you to no end for these events but you never know until the battle starts.
WANT TO KNOW TEAM?THROW GRENADE.ONES THAT FLEE, FIRE.ONES THAT TAKE COVER, RETURN FIRE, KEEP.ONE THAT JUMPS ON GRENADE, SAVES WHOLE TEAM?NEXT VP.
Love it, Fred. It’s not how hard you’re hit, it’s how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.
– Rocky Balboa
I see you’ve been watching Rocky Balboa again 🙂
Just as long as you don’t try to get some free candy… http://www.youtube.com/watc… 😀
“…. Oh, you just saw Rocky ….”
Do you think that when companies raise a lot cash, that they get ‘fat and happy’? I have seen and been at companies where the day after a financing round is announced, that you can see a significant difference in the way business is conducted.
I’ve seen that too. But sometimes a moment to take a breath after rebounding from a crisis is important too. Personally, I’ve been rebounding from Sandy and finally “slept in” on Sunday until 10:30 AM (this is an insanely late sleep in time for me). I then proceeded to drink coffee and the read the paper for two hours then went to an art show. Sure, there were things to do but I needed a break and hit the ground running again on Monday. I think start-ups and entrepreneurs need what I can “balance breaks” too.
i think in order to be resilient you need breaks. You can’t always go, you’re cortisol levels will eventually slow you down.
i need that break. you’ve inspired me.
It seems like a fairly common trend for developed companies that have made a great product to stagnate and fail to innovate due to satisfaction with their success. Without the enormous pressure that they faced in early development, they lose the competitive drive to succeed in the long run.
REAL DEVELOPER KNOW WHEN SOMETHING GOOD ENOUGH.NEVER.
this is a meta point that is true across everything
thank you for that.Do you have suggestions what to do if the leader is down? (or just bury the hatchet and continue to the next thing)?
GET NEW ONE.
Vince Lombardi: “The real glory is being knocked to your knees and then coming back. That’s real glory. Thats the essence of it.”
I think it’s a part of the journey…getting started you often feel like everyone is throwing knockout blows nonstop at you…and everything you throw is blocked or nothing more than a simple little jab…but as long as you can keep your feet, or at least keep getting back on your feet…you can keep yourself in the fight and you keep working your game plan…stay in the fight long enough, stay active and hungry enough, and it will eventually turn your way.
BEST WAY TO LEARN TO TAKE A HIT.IT TAKE A HIT.REPEAT UNTIL UNSTOPPABLE.
+100BTW – enjoyed the TedX talk -> http://www.youtube.com/watc…
ME, GRIMLOCK, SAY THANK YOU!ANOTHER SPEECH BE ON INTERNET SOON.
Punches serve the valuable purpose of reminding you not to take things for granted and keeps you fresh on counter attack strategy.I wanted to edit this and say….I see a lot of inspiring and encouraging responses to the original post. And they are all right. A variation on the theme of resilience. But lets be honest…getting punched sucks huge ass.For me, getting punched makes me very angry…really angry. Often times, if I channel that anger properly…I end up with an opportunity to witness miracles or the very least up my performance.
I find that in recruiting leaders one of the most important things to learn from their experience is how they have responded to adversity. I can’t stress how critical this is.Personally I sometimes wish I weren’t so good at dealing with adversity. Makes it hard to know when to give up and sometimes that is probably the smart thing to do. I admire people who have figured out that balance.
For a change, I don’t know if I agree with you, Donna.I think adversity is over rated. I feel like we all handle adversity okay. Of course, some handle it better but we all cope.To me, the real test of leadership and character is how someone handles power.
Abe Lincoln, right?
I was thinking more like Rohan Rajiv. :-DBut then, these things are quoted a lot. And it is very likely I’ve picked it up from a quote subconsciously…So, I’m sure some of our ancestors deserve the credit.
True that 🙂
This is true, but I think the two are linked. I have found that people that don’t handle power well also don’t handle adversity. If you’re high on power when things go wrong and compromise that instead of being productive you watch people flail.
Maybe I am feeling contrarian today.. but I don’t think I agree Phil.Atleast, I know of many exceptions to the rule i.e. people who have been wonderful in adversity.. but have just not been able to handle power.I think adversity calls on very different traits than power. And, probably most importantly, response to power calls on higher amounts of character than adversity does.
Adversity can appeal to the hero complex in a narcissistic individual. Power is an evil drug for that sort of person.Note that the false hero is probably making a big show of “coping with adversity” while the real hero is just quietly doing what needs to be done — same as when the hero has power. Ideally the power just expands the ability of the quiet hero to simple get things done.
Another great quote from Mike Tyson:”People love you when you’re successful, but if you’re not, who really cares about you?”The fear of that happening because of adversity, really kills people who love power.
.You know what they say — if you really want to reveal a man’s character, give him power..
… Or money.
Money is power.
No, there are other kinds of power that don’t come with money.
I wouldn’t mind having my character tested in this way. 😉
Good point about power. How someone handles power is crucial to their effectiveness as a leader. I also happen to believe that character in general is crucial to good leadership.My comment was in response to Fred’s suggestion of seeing (what I am calling) adversity “as an opportunity not a problem” and his observation that “the best entrepreneurs and the best companies can take a punch and keep going.”Note that I didn’t refer to recruiting (or hiring) in general, but hiring those people who will help lead a company.Yes, most of us face some sort of adversity but not all of us have the same outcome as a result. I also believe that there are characteristics that are more critical for someone in a leadership role than for others. When I am helping a company select someone for a leadership role, I want to know how this person has dealt with failure, handled their mistakes and responded to difficulties. These are the situations that show what someone is made of and what their likelihood will be of being someone you can rely on when the going gets tough. The going will get tough. And when I say “rely on” I don’t just mean that they will stick around or continue to do their job, I mean they will help determine the response to a crisis and lead through that crisis.”…we all handle adversity okay.” For someone leading a company or leading in general “okay” is just not good enough. There has to be something that sets a leader apart.But even outside of leadership, I see people who handle adversity much better than others. Maybe there is a better word than adversity.Anyway, I welcome disagreement… especially from people that I respect and can learn from. Like you.
Wonderful explanation, and makes perfect sense! :-)Thanks for taking the time Donna! And sleep well! 🙂
great beef, as Kid would say. both are so important.
Yay! Always wanted to be in a beef. I feel too tame as a commenter.
“Personally I sometimes wish I weren’t so good at dealing with adversity. Makes it hard to know when to give up”Excellent point. Hopefully a close friend, husband or other person can look at what you are spending time on objectively and see if it’s time to cut bait. Consistency principle means the more time someone, anyone spends on something the more likely they are not going to want to throw in the towel. Of the group of people that don’t give up right away that is.Quick quiz:Best way to get a good price on the car that you want is to:a) walk into the dealer and make your best offer threatening to walk outb) waste 2 hours of the dealers (and your time) and do the same.The answer of course is “b”. It’s easy to walk away from something that you don’t have anything vested in. (Same with dating, same with jobs etc.)
GREAT advice. Thanks. I never thought about that 2 hour time waste before. One of the basic principles of direct mail was that those long letters did the same thing – looped the reader in and made them more likely to write the check.
Probably the toughest conversation to ever have is the one where you are trying to objectively tell someone you care about to cut bait on something…
Yeah, but what a gift when someone cares enough and sees clearly enough to give that sort of advice. Personally, I crave it.
“when someone cares enough”I’m really good at that stuff. (But I’m unclear about whether it is because “I care”). Mostly because it bothers me that others are always so rah rah and never see any negatives or are able to offer any critique. And I do it for complete strangers.Kinda the same way you help the older person in the Best Buy when you see they are about to purchase the wrong piece of technology and guide them in the right direction.
“Two kinds of people: those who tear down and those who build up.”Yep, I’m with you on helping that person in the Best Buy.It’s also important to know when NOT to jump to the rescue. Classic example: the drowning person who pulls the rescuer under, drowning them both.
When I was trained to be a lifeguard, we were taught if the person is panicing and trying to pull you under, shove them away and wait for them to calm down or pass out…then continue the rescue.This actually works well in heated business talks too…let them flail about till their heart’s content…tread water and wait…when they are done and ready for a rational discussion…continue.
.Different strokes for different folks.As a WSI I was taught to dive down and come up behind the victim and put him in the most ferocious cross chest carry possible. No warning.I loved lifeguarding and spent many a Sat and Sun (relief lifeguard with full time summer job) at Long Branch, NJ pulling folks out of the surf. Big unexpected drop off along West End Avenue beach.Those were the days. Had about 35 saves over 5 years. Never lost one..
I knew an old pilot who got his early training flying the bush in Alaska. He turned his attention to renovating old seaplanes with turbo jets for a second life, and continued to fly for an eclectic collection of clients.He told a story about flying a bunch of business guys on a hunting and fishing holiday to a remote wilderness location and watching them get increasingly rowdy back in the cabin while they were en route. Lots of alcohol was involved. His solution was to pull out his oxygen mask and take the plane up another few thousand feet. The cabin got quite calm.
.Hahaha, well played..
.Worlds of wisdom in that comment. Well played..
HOW TO SAVE DROWNING PERSON:1. PUNCH THEM IN FACE.2. SWIM UNCONSCIOUS NON-PANICKING PERSON TO SHORE.
So you’re saying the punch-in-the-face may be lifesaving.Yeah, I’d agree.
There is also a paradox on that though.Sometimes others have everything to gain by you persevering and very little to loose.For example, if my hypothetical friend decides to go to Hollywood and become a star, and has spent many years there trying, is it better for “me” to have them stick to it, or to give up, come home, and become a physical therapist?For “me”, perhaps personally, I stand to gain more if they become a star, right? (As another example of this look at the way parents sometimes live vicariously through their children and that’s their children no less.)So I have observed a tendency with many people to actually do the opposite. Because it is in their best interest for the “someone” to succeed with very little of the downside if they fail.Fork: Society (the media actually) does this as well with labeling many of the stupid chances people take as making them “heroes”. That’s easy to say if you are not the person who lost the hero when they took the foolish chance. (Over Sandy the media pilloried this guy on Staten Island who refused to go out and help the lady who lost her kids in the storm. A local policeman even suggested he committed a crime by “not helping” (ridiculous)).
In hindsight the ‘bystander effect’ always seems like a crime that nobody else would have stood by for…but research shows, when in the heat of the moment almost everyone actually does -> http://en.wikipedia.org/wik…Btw, I’ve always made a conscience to not stand idle when I believe I can help…it has caused trouble from time to time over my life, but overall has given me more happiness and success than sorrow…as well as more than my fair share of being labeled ‘crazy’ by those that know me well.For those tough conversations…I just try to focus on the real problems I’m seeing…I tend not to give directional advice (ie I don’t say quit, I say here are the problems I’m seeing…let’s talk about how or even if you really want to solve them). Still can be a hard conversation…but I *think* is generally more helpful and accepted than a pure “this isn’t going to work, you should do something else” talk…
If I see the toddler running into the street in front of the truck, I will jump out and grab him back by the shirt collar! I’ve been told I was interfering with the parents’ prerogatives to raise their children as they see fit. ?!
Nice! Next time tell the parents to switch places with the kid…you’ll be happy to let them teach the kids by example and let truck hit them instead…
Thanks! I’ll keep that in mind. 🙂
err, why are those people parents?
ONCE UNDERSTAND PRINCIPLE OF SUNK COSTS, LIFE BECOME MUCH SIMPLER.ALSO MAKES PEOPLE THAT NOT UNDERSTAND THINK YOU FLAKY.
Yep. Been there.
You’re right. My husband and I are very different in this regard and it creates a pretty good balance.With regard to the quiz — true story is that I researched the car on the internet, knew almost exactly what it was worth and how much would be considered a fair profit and made the offer…and didn’t back down…and didn’t waste a lot of time negotiating since I was confident of my offer — based on research. So is that “c”?
Well the only thing to keep in mind is that while your approach seems fair, and resulted in a deal, the problem is that the dealer is sometimes motivated to sell below cost in order to make a quota or in order to sell more cars to get allocation for a new car coming out. (And I’m not talking about rebates or other incentives that make the price you find on the Internet not always valid). Other reasons dealers might sell for less is that they could be making money on the financing and also include a stream of income from any warranty service.In short it is possible to potentially buy a single car for 1 price and pay more if you needed to buy, say, 50 cars. Hypothetically.The last car that I bought the discount (it was a new model in short supply practically none around) most dealers were giving me between $0 off and tops $1500 off. The dealer I bought from gave me about $7000 off. The reason? He had just purchased the property next door and they were expecting another new hot selling model (2013) which they wanted allocation on. I think. And also they needed to move cars because they were expanding. So they clearly sold below cost on that and even with a brand new model. (He didn’t say this but to me this was the obvious reason when I saw the sign on the property next door that they were expanding).In general the “high volume” dealers though with plenty of inventory you will get your best deal from. They need to move cars, regardless of profit.
Seth Godin’s *The Dip* is a sweet little book on this topic. And Rosabeth Moss Kanter just wrote something about this, too:http://blogs.hbr.org/kanter…
Thanks! This article by RMK — she’s a fav — should be helpful. Glad to know about Seth’s book as well. Glad it’s a sweet “little” book. Little is good these days.
It’s really slender, you can probably read it in an hour…
LEADER THAT CAN LOOK INTO HEART OF STORM, AND SHOUT “FORWARD!” IS VALUABLE.LEADER THAT CAN LOOK INTO HEART OF STORM, AND SAY “NO. NOT THIS STORM, HARD TO PORT”?IRREPLACEABLE.
.Insightful from anyone but from a Dino really insightful.Knowing when to go on defense and either buy time or to subject the enemy to attrition is a real skill.Inchon and the Battle of Trenton are perfect examples of a brilliant commander hard pressed on defense biding his time for a lightning offensive stroke.You study those battles until you think you know everything and then you muse — how did Washington come up with a double envelopment river crossing attack on Trenton after getting his ass kicked across Long Island, Manhattan, Harlem, NJ and behind the Delaware River?This is the moment of genius when America was formed. Pure genius. We are in debt to Washington’s offensive genius..
SUN TZU:”WHEN YOU CAN KICK ASS, KICK ASS.WHEN YOU NO CAN? MANEUVER.”
yeah, there are days i’m like, please, my character is strong enough, really …the corollary tho is the kids i see floating on a cloud of privilege, who, if something difficult happens in their lives …
I know…sometimes this developing character thing starts to get old.
Literally— really well.Figuratively– not sure yet. I’ve been blessed.
i would not even attempt the literal part on you
P.S. I like that you are posting at a decent hour. Love it when you travel.
won’t last long. i am back in NYC at the end of the week
Yup. Reminds me of when things are crazy busy (when aren’t they?) and you have more things to do than time in the day. Makes you focus on the real priorities.
“I hope life beats you down and leaves you with nothing one of these days.”My best friend once said this to me. He meant that he hopes I get my ass kicked enough to appreciate how fortunate I am. This is why he’s my best friend.
NOTHING IS BEST THING TO LOSE OF ALL.
Totally. Every time we take a hit we say this as a team – because now we have experience and knowledge that we come back stronger every time
in some ways, survival is success in a startup
How well you take a punch isn’t a pure matter of toughness. It’s a matter of self-awareness. You can’t just get back up. You’ve got to get up and be functional.It’s tough to fake being functional if you haven’t done the preliminary work required to manage yourself.Having had to walk up and down lots of stairs the past few weeks, I was glad to be in fairly good shape (though full disclosure, I’m now doing more cardio). That’s not something I could have faked by “manning up.” Some of my neighbors really struggled with this.Paradoxically, to be tough, take care of yourself. Eat well. Exercise. Try to have a reasonable sleep routine. (NB: alcohol is a depressant.) Take a break every so often.Especially now. You’ll be in better shape to lead your people.
Well said. It starts with a healthy mind and body. That is the basis for fighting anything.
I spent a minute or two looking for video of Rocky Balboa drinking raw eggs…
This is good advice, Anne. I need to hear this, to be reminded that those little things we do each day — disciplines — that are so easy to put off for the sake of the urgent can mean all the difference in a crisis. Pretty much every time I walk on the beach, Malibu firefighters are there working out. Staying ready.
I was at a tactical firefighting conference on mental toughness the Saturday before Sandy (huh? long story) — and there was a great speaker from the USMC on the connection between physical and mental fitness.Many of the other attendees were from the northeast. I keep thinking about what their last two weeks have been like…
Excellent advice, and a great example. Thanks.
This is a good idea.be nice to your body and it will be nice to you….
After all we had pumped into us about “life of the mind”, it turns out it’s the life of the mind-body.
i couldn’t disagree with this comment more. i think some of the least self aware people can be some of the most resilient.the topic is “how well do you take a punch”. do you think boxers spend a lot of time thinking about their “self awareness”? or do they just get back up and continue punching.
It’s the preliminary training that lets the boxer get back up and “know,” without thinking, what to do next.If you take it well, isn’t all of life just “training” for the next thing around the corner?
I agree. (And I like to think of any financial losses as “tuition.”)
.Well played. Tuition is the perfect concept to understand the investments of time and money we make that go awry.I have paid a considerable amount of tuition in my life.Well played..
I love to get a “well played!” Thank you. And enjoy the rest of your day.
.Well played. I am in NYC consoling My Perfect Daughter about her storm experiences. She lives on 18th St and had no power and lived like a homeless person for a week.She says just a couple more shopping trips and she will be consoled.She is gainfully employed in Brooklyn and loving it.I am directly opposite the falling crane on 57th St..
Good for her, and for you! It was stressful. (And it’s stressful to admit, because then we think about how fortunate we are in the scheme of things.)I hope someone has been filming that crane story. There are probably 9 million engineering feats, some still ongoing, in the storm’s aftermath.
You are the opposite of a falling crane in NYC? I would have thought so.
i owe you an email reply about the possibility of getting together while you are in town. i fly back thurs night. i will send you an email today
Interesting! I’d love hear more about the people you see as unaware yet resilient.I don’t box. The people I know who do, and who practice martial arts, are first responders and service members. My personal “sample” is not a huge population, but they’re some of the most self-aware people I know.Thanks for your perspective.
i think what you’re actually promoting is “emotional intelligence”. we should just reach inside and learn it, becoming more self-aware, right?the reality is that many of those who aren’t self aware and have low emotional intelligence often have a condition called “alexithymia”. its about 10% of the population, largely men. this is a lifetime stable trait that doesn’t go away just because you think they should become “more self aware”. it wouldn’t surprise me if 50% of the tech sector has it, including many “neckbeards” who are some of the sharpest programmers out there.when you tell people with alexithymia they should go and “be more self aware”, generally what you’re doing is just making them second guess themselves – and lowering their self esteem.this is why ayn rand’s atlas shrugged is making record sales at the moment. it teaches self esteem to this group. nathaniel branden learned about self esteem from ayn rand and became the “father” of the self esteem movement, including supporting the second wave feminist movement in the 1970’s.for some, terms like “self awareness” might be helpful. for others it isn’t. to me it feels a little condescending.
Wow, thank you Adrian. And I didn’t mean to be condescending.I grew up around people (family and at school) who might fit this description, and have worked with my share of tech people over the years.My perception — perhaps incorrect — that some who might fit this description look for behavioral “rules” help them to be comfortable socially. (To me, this is the height of self awareness, and I mean this with respect. In my mind, I wonder whether this feels like trying to speak a language in which I’m not fluent.)But this wasn’t where I was going with this when I clicked out my few sentences this morning.It was more about being prepared to function at the top of one’s game, which can really be helped by eating the right foods, sleeping well, and taking a break (whether that’s to practice yoga or play World of Warcraft.) Elite athletes do it, and we can too.Someone I know in the NYC tech world works at a firm where they bring in fresh fruit and vegetables, and make gorgeous salads for lunch.Given that many are feeling stress — even the fortunate — I hope that more leaders consider this kind of seemingly insignificant action. (And I’ll see if I can find a good link on the food-stress management correlation and add it in to this thread.)Take care!
Some massage therapists go to workplaces to do 5- or 10-minute chair massages for employees, at the behest of management. Now would seem a good time for that option, too.
Yes! My extracurricular network includes a number of mindfulness based stress reduction teachers, yoga teachers, massage therapists, and acupuncturists (ear acupuncture is an easy thing to bring to a workplace; it was used in 9/11 and Katrina recovery efforts.)People in these jobs are are freelancers, so this storm was a shock to their businesses. If you lead people and know someone who provides these services, I can guarantee they’d love to hear from you.The last few days I’ve been reaching out in my network to figure out how to mobilize them….so if you don’t know anyone and need connecting, give me a shout.
thanks for the note. you’re right about behavioural rules although that applies more accurately to the autism spectrum.and, i certainly agree about being prepared to function at the top of your game. i’m sorry to raise all this over a small point.
Adrian, I appreciate your thoughts and input, and learned something. Thank you.(And the discussion was a reminder that I can continue to learn to choose words carefully — this will be a lifelong “study” for me.)
I was looking for an article I remembered reading a few years back about a study where prisons were “experimenting” with improving nutrition and seeing a cutback in violence. Or another, probably more anecdotal than academic, that described behavior improvements at in schools when school lunches are improved.Here’s what I found, instead, when I went down the rabbit hole. The NIAA’s Dr. Joseph Hibbeln has done some of the work on nutrition and violence, and is now working on possible solutions for a different kind of violence — suicide in military veterans.http://www.defense.gov/news…And today’s NYT opinion piece on what Ezekiel Emanuel thinks about what’s in the kitchen at a lot of tech companies. (He doesn’t mention beer…)http://opinionator.blogs.ny…I hope the links work.
Thank you for the insight, and for a new word to put in my vocabulary.Yet another legitimate explanation for why us folks have difficulty understanding each other sometimes.
This is so helpful…I never knew all of this
YOU CAN BE SMART ENOUGH TO NOT QUIT.OR TOO STUPID.RESULT SAME.
I like. See motivational posters by Despair.
This isn’t about taking an actual physical punch … its about taking a virtual mental punch. And self awareness and a moment of zen are certainly the two things most necessary to continue forward.
“It’s a matter of self-awareness. “Isn’t everything, really?
In my world view, yes!
“if you haven’t done the preliminary work required to manage yourself”spoken like a top flight CEO coach!
Wow, Fred. What an unexpected (and welcome) comment. Thank you. Have a great day.
So many apt quotes here, let’s go for a simple classic. It’s often kept me going through crap …”If you’re going through hell, keep going.” ~ Winston Churchill.And – from the sublime to the ridiculous – I find this one oddly reassuring:”Everyone has a plan – ’til they get punched in the mouth.” ~ Mike Tyson.Godspeed, all.
I thought of that Tyson quote too – a quote I first read here in the AVC comments, btw.re: keep going – sometimes the best advice is stating the obvious
I never heard that Tyson one. That’s a keeper!Another simple but classic quote that I live my life by:”Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
I actually prefer the Tyson one to the Churchill one in this example! I didn’t see this day coming 🙂
I think Tyson is Churchill reincarnated.This is a Churchill quote I love “Plans are of little importance, but planning is essential.” They both essentially dismissed plans as irrelevant.
If he was re-incarnated as Tyson then he went to an extreme case 🙂
I was curious at how close this Churchhill quote is to one by Eisenhower so Ilooked them up and found these others.Plans are of little importance, but planning is essential – Winston ChurchillPlans are nothing; planning is everything. – Dwight D. EisenhowerNo battle plan survives contact with the enemy. – Helmuth von Moltke the ElderA good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week. – George S. Patton
i love that Churchill quote. one of my all time favorites
Absolutely. Am just reading yet another book on the great man. Can never get enough of him.I am not at all against all the self-help fads nowadays, I in fact read some of them from time to time, but the torrent of pseudo-profound quotes we now have can distract from the ones from decades ago, borne at a time when hell was literally just that. They have a whole different level of intent and meaning.Priceless.
+1 — I wish Disqus had a Google+ share button as a part of the share slide out. either way, those quotes are really accurate.
as both a boxer and a software engineer, one of these days I am going to write an essay on the parallels between the two. both disciplines require dealing with things as they are, constraints and all, and also having the courage and wherewithal to imagine things as you would like them to be. it’s a continual process of adaptation.a crisis can also strengthen a team in a way that nothing else really can.
You will be very familiar with the Tyson quote then! 😉
“everyone has a plan, until they get hit”. so, so true
I would very much like to read that.
cool, I will post on twitter when I write something, hopefully next weekend
wow. bring it!
BTW, when I saw the title of this post, I thought it was going to be about how you handle comment trolls. Ha ha ha.
meh, as long as they don’t get nasty…
there aren’t too many of them around here
I set you up for that backhanded compliment.
Exactly, to your last point: “In a calm sea, anyone can be a captain.”To recover, you need to have “Confidence” in your abilities and the abilities of your team to come through. That Confidence is key, i.e. believing that you have the capabilities to go past it.”When the going gets tough, the tough gets going.”A punch is just a signal for change. And you are in charge of that change.
.Confidence is a funny thing. Sometimes the greatest display of confidence is not that “I can do this” but rather “I can figure this out”.Recently the Sec of Def said about the Benghazi mess that he did not send troops in because they did know the situation on the ground — true or not, it was a very odd comment because the military does not need to know what the situation is on the ground before they arrive.It is the military’s job to sort it out when they get there. This is a simple exercise in confidence.As a former Ranger, I would expect someone to simply say — “Hey, Ranger, take a couple of platoons down there and sort it all out. Got it?”I would have simply said: “Yes, sir.” And I would have had the confidence to have done exactly that.Sometimes confidence in practice is simply a matter of knowing you can do it when even at the instant in time you are not really sure of the circumstances.Once you have done this a few times, it gets a lot easier.The Sandy experience bred a lot of the same challenges. And folks dealt with it..
I agree. You explained the Confidence factor better than I did.
well said and I like the army references. It is good to have you back commenting a bit more on AVC – I suppose the elections kept you busy!
One of my favorite “training” films about dealing with the punches: The Great Escape.
.I knew Nick Rowe the only American VN POW to ever successfully escape. A very remarkable man whose experiences left him indelibly marked. I shared a beer or 8 with him and he told me his story. Wow.You think you know some stuff and then you talk to a guy like him.Interestingly enough he was probably the first Al Qaeda casualty before we even knew it existed..
Wow indeed! What courage, what resilience. And his past didn’t prevent him from going back into the fray. A lost hero.
>I would not suggest an entrepreneur manufacture a crisis when one does not exist.Probably a good idea you threw that qualifier in there. 🙂
Rocky wisdom aside….I’ve never planned for catastrophe. Sandy. In Cal, earthquakes, waking up and having MIcrosoft or Facebook in your segment.I just expect everything to be hard and create a poise to deal with and love it. And never expect the big deal to happen.Resilience and flexibility are core character traits for all of us building something without a blueprint.
You’re built like a rock, Arnold.
I don’t know.I worry a lot. That’s my personality.I’ve just been doing this a long time and there are just bad days in business that you get through through the culture that you’ve built. Nothing much else helps.
But it sounds as though you live as though you are training for a fight. Staying ready.
Don’t we all 😉
Some more than others…and some more consciously.
“I worry a lot.”You get that as I do probably from “old school” thinking. That school of thought comes from the collective experience of others over time. While many of their fears don’t exist anymore many are spot on.Many of the ideas we are seeing today (airbnb as one great example or even car sharing) come from a generation that hasn’t had enough experience to know what they should fear and what the world is like “in scale”. Things that older people wouldn’t touch with a 10 foot pole.
I get the psyche of worrying from my family.Doesn’t/hasn’t ever kept me from doing what I want.I’ve been doing what I do for a while. I never consider myself as old school thinking.
“Wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole”?I once had to use my last resort to get to work — no buses, way too far for taxis. It was a survival choice, based on real economics at the time. Early in the morning, I got in a fancy car with a solo driver. “No problem,” he said, he’d take me to work. We chatted, and he got more and more strange. He drove past my workplace and on down the road toward the open country, talking about wanting to visit his mother …There was a stoplight. I jumped out, and ran.When I heard about enforced car-pooling out of NYC post, I had a PTSD moment.
Hopefully that won’t happen ever again but another strategy to get them to stop is to say to “pull over” that you have to throw up I’m guessing.
That’s a great suggestion for the type of moment I hope never happens again. Useful in more than one situation as well.But it still creeps me out that NYC had mandatory car-pooling. Didn’t anybody consider that it might constitute a free pass for predators?Yeah, we’d like to think that everyone’s trustworthy in a crisis situation such as Sandy, but those of us who have lived long enough to see more would disagree.
I’ve hitched before outside of the US – I keep wondering if we built more trust with each other as a country hitching would be ok
Worrying essentially is discovering problems that need to be solved. If you’re capable of processing and placing those worries into some organized fashion, where action can be taken immediately, disregarded immediately as non-critical, or put in queue of a priority list (whether mental or written) – then you can worry a lot and be fine. It’s when the stresses build, that it is an issue, as the pressure builds and functioning (being fluid) becomes harder.
“then you can worry a lot and be fine”Exactly because it’s the ability to process the information and still feel in control. And being in control and taking action lessens stress. If if that action is nothing after considering the pros and cons.When the storm came I covered all the office computers with plastic and also raised some things off the floor. Those small acts (in addition to a few other things) made me less stressed out and counter balanced the worry that I had about the storm (which ended up not having an impact other than a power outage).
eh, we have a different set of panic triggers, largely around status and “getting things right”
do you think worry helps?
In abstract, who knows.I live and work in the real world. And while I can sculpt my personality, skills and body through experience, knowledge and hard work, we are all dealt some cards to work with.If you love basketball and are short, you perfect the outside long shot.So for me, sure it helps 😉
Worry is a debt in the future you may never have to pay. –Somebody Smart
NICE THING ABOUT NOT QUITTING IS EVENTUALLY WORLD RUN OUT OF NEW THINGS TO GO WRONG.
I understand that as you get older, there’s less chance you will catch a cold. There’s a finite number of cold viruses, and you gain immunity to each one. Unfortunately, I think there’s over 200 viruses, so that means we catch cold, uh, how many times?
But then someone will do something rather dumb and something wrong will start again. What about if things in this generation are right and then wrong in the next generation? Someone will always find a way to upset the balance.
I agree. Resilience is the most important trait in life.
” And never expect the big deal to happen.”I have the same approach. The deal is never done until the fat lady sings. I was watching Shark Tank last week and noted how upset Mark Cuban got when loosing out on a trivial deal. It was so visible in his face. He is so competitive it was scary (and I normally think he’s great on the show). Imagine having billions of dollars, being admired, and having such a negative reaction to something so trivial. Who would want to be controlled like that? (I’m sure it plays into his success of course but I wonder about the down side of that degree of competitiveness as well. That said I’m glad there are people like that in the world just like I’m glad there are people that run into burning buildings.)
FWIW- Cuban was a guest opinion (among others) on a series re those that built the US. Common thread among Vanderbilt, Rockefeller, Carnagie and so on was they never expect to lose. Never.
That’s interesting thanks for pointing that out. I wonder though what came first. (You couldn’t fake the emotion he was showing that’s for sure it was contempt.)I love the entire “emulate what successful men do/hit a home run” school of thought. And worship. People are doing it now with Paul Graham (actually it’s been around for as long as I’ve read HN). Someone recently built a “What would Paul Graham do” website, posted it on HN, and Graham very casually commented as if not even embarrassed.http://techcrunch.com/2012/…People who somehow think they can divine the correct behavior by studying history and taking a quality here, and a quality there, from people who have made it. I also love people who have made it that are worried about their “legacy”.The people who you read about are the people who have succeeded who haven’t been brought down by their own hubris or screw ups. There are a billion of those of course. Thinking of Joe Paterno as one case. Or even Jobs (who died sooner apparently because of not following medical advice that most average people would have.) Or others who have never done anything but follow the same patterns.
Interesting…more important- some do not think of losing and will always be thinking of next step. Unfortunately (not pointing to anyone in particular) some become very flexible pertaining code of ethic. Yes, look at history, but see the future, for you know what their next move is… And the short coming inside their foundation that large sums of money will not eliminate.
i find having a basic, but flexible blueprint helps with adversity. If you have a vague idea of potential outcomes, you can prep for them.
Yes… you need to do this.But in the oft repeated phrase by me:’everyone has a plan till they get punched in the face’punched in the face = funding falls through and bridge promisers work you hard, the deal dies, the big dinosaur buys your competitor and moves into your space….
then they didn’t plan well to some degree. A plan is suppose to help you survive the black eye, not the punch itself.
Allows you to continue to move forward, too, when things don’t go the best case scenario version of plans.
“and never expect the big deal to happen”#wisdom
“Resilience and flexibility are core character traits for all of us building something without a blueprint.”The likely basis for perseverance.
thank you for helping me understand why I like zombie apocalypse movies (and the Walking Dead) and MMA. Now I see the parallels
A few years ago, I went through what I now call “relocation limbo”. I was stalled for 4 months waiting for legal approval to be able to move into my new place (it was the recession, a divorce and a red tape legal system all rolled into one. fun stuff! but just the nature of the beast I guess). So this went on for 4 months during which time I had to move into the home of a reluctantly welcoming friend-of-a friend-of-the-family … with my then-2 year old child. That’s what made it stressful – not having the ability to really care for my child in comfortable (or even, welcoming) circumstances. It was a horribly stressful time.But once the ordeal was over, I realized I had a decision. I could spend the rest of my life being bitter about the whole thing, or I could move on. I could waste my life complaining about the system and how it made my life miserable, or I could try to create a new “system” (a tech startup) that would represent change and forward movement. Not to mention, I had a choice of becoming a “bitter person” in my daughter’s eyes, or possibly (fingers still crossed), a role model.So I decided to leverage the hard lessons of my life and I decided to found my own startup. Why let all that hardship to go to waste? :)I have to say, I am not sure I would have ever made the leap to doing a tech startup, without having gone through those life challenges. Or, without the inspiration of my daughter. I definitely feel grateful for all the challenges in my life. I am not sure who I would be without them.
Best of luck – your story is very inspiring
🙂 it is funny – in order to survive challenges, you need to survive other challenges.
.I send good feelings for what you suffered but know that the toughness that you learned, exhibited and grew from is what gave you, in some small part, the moxie to start your own business.It did not create it, it REVEALED it. It was there the whole time.We all have that toughness within us if only we are thrown into the circumstances that will ultimately reveal it.Go bite the ass off a bear and kill them in the marketplace..
preferably clean and dress the bear before bringing it to the marketplace 🙂
.I have actually cleaned and dressed and skinned a bear in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia. I used to hunt bears with Airedales.I love a nice bear skin..
I love bear feet. (Did I spell that right?)
“Why let all that hardship to go to waste?”Love it!It’s all about what we do with what we’re given, isn’t it?Inspiring story. Thanks.
Good stuff and let me know if I can ever help you or any other entrepreneur working hard trying to make it happen! Your daughter will only look up to you even more as she grows.
wow. what a great story. i hope your startup will succeed. that would make it an even better story.
When life doles out lemons turn them into lemonade. You are doing just that. Amazing!
What does your tech startup do? Is it an actual business or some online entity?
One quote that I’m constantly reminded of and that helps me come back to reality is: “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans”Not sure who said this, but it is an awesome awesome quote that captures the need to deal with whatever happens when something punches you in the fist with its face.
“I have seen sales teams bring in business that kept the company afloat at the last minute.””I would not suggest an entrepreneur manufacture a crisis when one does not exist.”Much of getting what you want out of the world involves conveying information in the most convincing and appropriate manner to create the desired outcome.When someone is going through a crisis, they automatically have the correct emphasis and mannerisms that gives people a reason to act and give them what they want.This could be a sales order, or it could be getting a seat on an airplane because you have some emergency that sounds realistic and gets the gate agent to prioritize you over someone else. Or even as simple as getting a table at a restaurant by telling them it is your wife’s birthday and it’s the same restaurant that you had your first date in. One of the things that I have done when selling is take on the role (similar to I guess what they call “method” acting). I get fully immersed in what I am trying to convey as if it’s real (because many times it’s actually made up) and those thoughts create consistent mannerisms that are way more convincing that just saying some words. (Fred I”m sure sees this as well when looking at pitches in the enthusiasm that some entrepreneurs display which is of course more than likely to be real and not role playing.) Sometimes when having other people doing a particular job for me I don’t tell them the entire truth. Lest it mess up their natural ability to play a role that they don’t even know they are playing.It’s quite common for people in sales to use an entirely manufactured event to close a sale. Something that gives the buyer a reason to get off the fence and make a decision.”They can take a hit and keep moving forward. And they can rally their teams to do the same thing.”Same with parenting. If you don’t have children yet keep in mind that your children will will either develop fears or learn confidence from the way they see you handling a crisis or even a very small problem.  To be a leader you have to instil confidence and display self control. No matter who it is you are leading. Small example: remembering my dad reading complicated instructions to some electronic device remarking that it was written for the average person and as a result there couldn’t possibly be anything difficult in it that he couldn’t comprehend. The perspective and attitude were key.
I’ve taken so many punches and kept going, I’m not even sure I know what normal, fat and happy looks like. 🙂
.Haha, oh so true and it does not get better..
The road will open up at some point.
do or die, the will to survive.you recently talked about animal instinct. yes.
Sandy has hit my business fairly hard. I launched exactly one week before with a test-bed of customers almost exclusively based in the NYC area. On top of that, it is a communication tool for retailers and their customers. Sandy moved all my increasing engagement and usage from positive numbers to an absolute standstill for over a week, and it is just now starting to pick back up…slowly. Business meetings were canceled due to office’s being black/flooded and now rescheduling has moved these out to December, or even the new year. And (potential) investor meetings where I planned to show great graphs now, uh, don’t look so great. It will be recoverable, but not without hard decisions being made regarding how best to conserve cash. Instead of a focused push on increasing numbers, I’ve flipped to focusing on internals and experience optimization until the rest of the community gets moving again.I’ve rolled with the blow, adapted, and reset a course which would not have been optimal Oct 29th, but is optimal based on how the headwinds have blown. The best you can do in any situation is analyze where you are, what you have, how to get where you want to be, and then act. Rally the troops and move on!
Keep your confidence for your abilities as a real captain will surface.
In other words, you kept your head. Tough situation, but sounds like you’ve got the chops. All the best.
.Great opportunity to set a “re-launch” using the free advertising and awareness of the hurricane as a marketing tool.Good luck and Godspeed in your endeavors..
there you go. this post was written for you and everyone else who finds themselves in your shoes. i am thinking about you.
Early in my career a mentor taught me a simple and powerful lesson: “never be a victim”. The game is over when you quit. Churchill said it best of course “never, never, never, quit”. Most things don’t work quickly or easily. And even things that go well will have their setbacks. Being tough when the going is easy is, well, easy. You only really prove your mental toughness when things get hard.
‘Here lies a fat, and sleek, and self satisfied entrepreneur’. RIP.
Punches are like black swans events, in that they occur so infrequently, and though how we handle each is important, I’m much more interested in the skills of makingbetter choices on white swan events, understanding how to make better decisions,knowing when to make the decision and what and how many resources to deploy at the decision.
Interesting (i think 🙂 Im having tea with richard and just peaked at his post.
this post reminded me of this post: http://jordancooper.wordpre…
you beat me to it by three years Jordan!
I don’t want to preach but failures and tribulations define the character of the individual. When the banking industry went to shit and I would see the terrified look on my employees face not knowing when food would come on the table, I set each and everyone of them aside and told them this would be one of the times in their life that would come to define them. Some pulled through and some didn’t, actually most didn’t. Things changed and they didn’t, it was as simple as that.Failures in our society unless your an athlete or a drug addicted actor on a comeback are viewed as losers. It’s not true, it’s called experience and EVERYONE will go through them. Even William Buffet will one day go through it. For some it’s financial, and for some it’s health. Ups and downs, that is what life is about, ups and downs. The really smart people know when to enjoy the ups…and survive the downs.
.Good judgment the product of experience.Experience the product of bad judgment..
True that.This type of wisdom is one of the gifts that can come with going around the block (or the economic cycle) a couple of times.
Nice post and our thoughts and prayers continue to go out to the victims of Sandy.I completely agree that being able to ‘take a punch’ and get back up is critical for entrepreneurs. Punches come all the time with varying degrees of impact.I also think it’s important to prepare the business for punches — especially since we know they’re coming. Sure, you can’t plan for everything and Sandy is a perfect example. But, you can be prepare yourself for impact without knowing where it will come from. A few ways we do this are:1) Make sure the business has 3-6 months of cash on hand (if possible). Entrepreneurs want to constantly reinvest in their business. We consider 3-6 months of cash an investment in our foundation and morale.2) The C-Suite should have 3-6 months of cash on hand for their personal lives. This keeps them in balance when the punches come in bunches. Kids still eat, husband/wife is still happy, life is still OK through the crisis. FYI – I also think this applies to all the employees but especially leadership.3) Create a ‘punch’list. This is a simple plan for some potential punches. Losing your best customer, losing your best employee, regulatory issues, natural disasters, etc. Involve the team when developing these plans. The process of creating the plan is more important than the plan itself. Discussions happen before the crisis…which is much better.Once again, I know Sandy has had an unexpected and major impact on business and families. We wish everyone the best in returning to normalcy.
.This is great advice. Well played!.
i agree. particularly the cash cushion at home. really solid.
Hi Fred; I bought a new piece of carry-on luggage this week. Anyhow, your avc ad box is now pushing more luggage at me (kind of a dumb algorithm). I was curious to see who was handling your ad placement so I checked your source page. It occurred to me that it would make a great blog post to talk about all the great services that you are using to support your blog including, Zemanta, Gawk.it, Sitemeter and Federated?
Slicing and dicing up the various parts of a blog ( actual blogging platform, comment platform, search platform, analytics platform, advertising platform, aggregation platform, etc. )…could be really good and useful stuff.Would be really interesting if it included a conversation around some of the options in each and why X was chosen over Y…but could get pretty lengthy too…maybe it’s a series instead! 😉
I’ve had this happen. Was researching an e-commerce candy company as a potential client and for days had Harry & David and other food & candy gift companies show up when I logged onto AVC. Given that I use internet a lot for research, I probably really mess with the algorithms. Notice that it’s different on the home page — more financial companies — then it becomes more personalized when you pull up the comment view. I was on eBay the other day for something and now I’m seeing an eBay ad.When I shared this once in the comments on another AVC post, I was really envious of the guy who had investment companies following him around the internet. That’s my goal in life.Maybe a Fun Friday would be which ad people are seeing in the ad box.
Chuckle. Narrow-casting ad envy. Was that a home for sale in Nevis that just popped up in my ad box?? Guess not 🙁
I have so many stories about that. The internet sometimes thinks I am male. It gets really weird.
i am thinking very seriously about taking the ad unit off the blog. it’s a long and complicated story. if i do, i will write a post about my thinking on the topic.
On Facebook (bc i’m over 40) i always get a barrage of aging creams, belly fat and plastic surgery ads. With all the innovation, it’s hard to believe that the only company that ever seemed to try to find a different way to sell was Hunch and they got bought too early. 🙁
Also important is the ability to suss out the situation and wait things out, if that is appropriate.If the roads are rivers and you can’t get out of your apartment building, then raging against the storm won’t help anything.If you can pack a satchel and get to electricity and cell phone coverage, you may be able to pick yourself up and move forward sooner. If you are stuck in an emergency-shelter tent city on the Jersey shore with armed guards and klieg lights, and that’s your best option for a little while, then you may need to practice meditation techniques until the Goddess Opportunity smiles on you again.I’ve learned to carry a book with me. Yes, old school, but it still works in the most primitive situations: crowded buses in third-world countries, tents, doctors’ offices, in fact in waiting-rooms of all types — figurative and literal. “Carry a book” is also a philosophy. Know when it’s time to just wait, and save your reserves.
how one reacts to a punch is a measure of character. Until you’ve been hit, you have no clue what the feeling is. Do you go into emotional shock, or do you come out stronger and learn how to combat the next right hook coming your way?it is one of the defining characteristics of the great generals in military history.anyone can be good ‘when the gettings good’
.Contingency planning of every manner — financial, personnel, physical plant — is a business discipline which is fundamental and necessary for every adult business endeavor. Young companies need to learn into this discipline and do what it can as it grows and matures.The military does a great job on personnel with its chain of command. When an Exec Officer (2nd in command) of an Infantry unit gets the word that the CO has been killed, he is in charge immediately. An Infantry unit is organized for succession.Business enterprises should have a written succession plan as well as a physical catastrophe plan. The successors should should be trained to the eventuality. Boards of Directors should run a command exercise to see how it works.When American Express lost its data center next to Ground Zero, it was up and running in less than an hour in alternative locations. Because they planned for that eventuality.Things like succession plans, cash on hand, off site backup, extra laptops — this is all part of the sustainability and survival of a big or small business..
i need to update my sustainability series!
That series could go on forever with periodic installments. I doubt that it would “get old.” A sustainable series.
there was a lot of bad planning in this case because maps, ect, were out of date. If you do plan, make sure your information is current (and update the plan accordingly)
Sometimes when leaders are down for count, it’s precisely the time that the next tier step up and and establish their leadership cred…
“Eating bitterness” is a principle of Kung Fu that describes enduring hardship for the sake of strengthening character in the long term. I’ve found that controlled practice of it is extremely powerful.
I’m reminded of a great quote that applies to how leaders inspire others:”If you want to build a ship, don’t gather people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather, teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.” — Saint ExuperyIt’s this level of commitment to the larger vision that inspires “engineers [to] get things built in a week that might take a quarter under normal circumstances” (to paraphrase the blog post).
One of my mentors, who’d built a $100M fortune in real estate, used to tell the story of how he’d talk to lots of up-and-comers, when they’d ask him, “When does it get easy?” He’d smile, and just tell them, “In the Box.”Moral of the story: life becomes easy when you are in the box, but until then, it is a daily challenge of clarity, courage, conviction and intestinal fortitude. Continuing to show up in body AND spirit is half the battle.
In the box….that was good.
Well, all my life I’ve been thinking “outside the box,” but I never thought of it this way. 🙂
“in the box”that’s great
As an Israeli friend of mine says, “There’s plenty of time to rest – when you’re dead.”
Character is exposed and magnified during a crisis. I was asked once how I respond to adversity:I told them my father died February of 1988 after a stress heart attack and I was putting myself though college due to his financial situation.I got my first interview with Dell in April of 1988 and then got the job offer shortly after that as employee #244. I spent 7 years thereI then met the girl of my dreams in October of 1988I made $55k my Jr year of college and that didn’t include my optionsI got a promotion to be a product manager 9 months before I got my undergraduate degreeI graduated May 1990 having paid 100% from my sophomore year on with $0 in loans.I got a job offer to move to Germany on Oct 30th 1990 (my bday so I remember the day well!)I got married in Dec 29th of 1990, (still married ~22 years later!)I moved to Germany and London for the first 2 years of my marriageI’m a firm believer that had my dad not run into his struggles, then I would not have gone into the technology business and would have been in real estate like he was and would not have been as interesting a person for my now wife to start going out with me. I matured more in those 2 years than at any point in my entire life.As my company hit the trough of sorrow and pivoted, it wasn’t nearly as hard as those 2 years and we are thriving nowMay God bless anyone who is struggling right now. Turn those lemons into lemon aid and taste that sweetness!
that’s right. turn lemons into lemonade.well played
I just heard about a modeling agency in NYC that was flooded during Sandy. All paper contracts with models and photographers are destroyed, along with the computers.I learned this when I was told that one of the photographers who is now unemployed due to the circumstances, is planning to move back to his hometown in Texas and rebuild his life from a Texas perspective.You never know when the catastrophe might produce an unexpected freedom.
WIN NOT REQUIRE NEVER FALL DOWN.IT REQUIRE NEVER STAY THERE.
This makes me think about the people and companies in Israel. They live in the center of a geo political world where their very lives are at risk every day. Yet, they remain focused and engaged. It is how they live.
Fred going through a tough time now. Good to hear others perspectives on tough times.
That’s the truth.When your life requires a whole new layer of moment-by-moment decisions for you to function in what, two weeks ago, was nothing to think about …Respect to Fred for continuing to show up here each day, as well as all the other places. May we nurture him as he encourages us.
i wish i could help. let me know if i can.
I have a job now selling shoes at Nordstrom. David Cohen has been great introing me to a couple companies including Combat2Career whom I interview with today.
That is good to hear
Fred. Gilt Groupe has a Senior Operations Mgr position open at a DC in KY. http://www.indeed.com/q-Sen… Can you make an intro their VP of Ops Christopher Halkyard? Thanks!
i am on it Bill
Thank you Fred!
Akamai is one startup that comes to mind, having pulled through a major blow (losing Daniel Lewin on 9/11).
I really liked what i saw in a recent movie in my local language where the hero gets punched on his face twice …falls down … gets back on his feet …then, he gives a big smile to the opponent and says …”I am impressed … I am really IMPRESSED give me MORE”.
“Sometimes a crisis…” so too the Recession was good for us. It made us leaner, stronger, tougher, faster. Capitalistic Darwinism
I am on the board of the National World War Two Museum in New Orleans. They took a few pretty good punches. The museum was started by Stephen Ambrose in 1999. Financial crisis, recession, then Katrina. Boom. After Katrina another financial crisis, then last year another smaller hurricane.Thankfully the museum is marching on. The staff has been forced to be amazingly entrepreneurial. It’s retooled thinking-and other museums come down to see how the heck they do it. For me, it’s pretty interesting to contrast the capital allocations, revenues and expenses from a non profit major museum to start ups. When I first got on the board, I never knew things like the ongoing fixed costs of maintaining exhibit inventory and getting new inventory. Seems stupid now, but it just never crossed my mind.We have a new pavilion opening in January, and another the next year. Now that it’s cold outside, you ought to go to NOLA and eat some gumbo and check it out.
thats a rocky start they had to deal with. thanks for the suggestion. i will do that the next time i am in NOLA
Fred sorry for the off topic post…but what was the name of that young tech entrepreneur who tragically passed away during a private plane flight? Im having a hard time finding on google.
Thankyou. He inspires me and I wanted to be sure to save the link.
.And one of the best museums of its kind. The Imperial War Museum in London and the NOLA D Day Museum are the best.Great that you are on the Board. Well played..
National World War Two Museum JLM. http://www.nationalww2museu…. It did originate as the D-Day Museum, but they quickly discovered the market for that type of museum was bigger. Ambrose wanted to do WW2, and they also realized that every time Marines landed in the Pacific, it was another D-Day…….I met Jack Lucas once or twice and Herschel Woody Wilson. Amazing people and stories (although Jack has passed away) Last year the Doolittle Raiders were there. We got Louis Zamperini to go and give his oral history. My good friend Walt Ehlers will be there in January when we open the new pavilion. We lose 700-1000 WW2 vets per day. By 2015, they will just be about gone….
I should have you talk to a friend of mine about nonprofit outreach and funding. He’s secretly a killer in this field (though reality is he is really nice)
Depends on what he wants to do. The museum is trying to wrap its head around social media, but really needs some experts to volunteer to help them. The budget isn’t huge. Our main thrust right now is generating donations to build the complex so we can tell the story. For example, The Ricketts Family donated money http://www.nww2m.com/catego… to buy a P-51 Mustang that we are painting in the Tuskegee Airman colors to tell that story. It will hang in the new pavilion and for generations kids will learn about what they went through to volunteer for a country that didn’t much care for them. They will also learn about what happened to blacks post war, (Jackie Robinson, leading to MLK and Civil Rights) There is a cost to digitize and maintain that exhibit. We have spoken with prominent people that might have a tie or interest to the Tuskegee Airman. We came up empty. Ironically, the NY Times tried to paint the Ricketts family as racist before the election! Just so you know, we planned it out starting in June of 2010.
I have lived in, or slightly above, crisis mode for as long as I can remember, including my teen years with a father with cancer. It’s not been all bad. I find it has made me very resilient. I get up after each “punch” with optimism.This article re education styles of east vs west caught my eye as it applies to this thread.http://www.npr.org/blogs/he…
Punches serve the valuable purpose of reminding you not to take things for granted and keeps you fresh on counter attack strategy.I wanted to edit this and say….I see a lot of inspiring and encouraging responses to the original post. And they are all right. A variation on the theme of resilience. But lets be honest…getting punched sucks huge ass.For me, getting punched makes me very angry…really angry. Often times, if I channel that anger properly…I end up with an opportunity to witness miracles or the very least up my performance.
Nice!Reminded me of Rocky:http://www.youtube.com/watc…Oh, and here is my favorite:http://www.youtube.com/watc…
Not sure if resilience is a teachable skill, but it is definitely empowering to share stories of those who take punches and come back stronger.http://tiny.cc/resilientBest way to combat PTSD (which there will be a lot of post-Sandy) is to tell the good stories and shine lights on those creating solutions to the problems. Same reasons that being thankful and forgiving are good for the soul. Gives your mind explicit permission and direction to let go of the bad, and focus on the good.
I had 12 days with no power or water in a dark cavern with the rats starting to come out. I rethought whether my life was so well situated on the East River, when our plaza became the East River. The place we fled to ahead of the big waves lost power, too, eventually I came back to take care of the cats. And then when we finally got home and the light was on, whoops, the rigged-up transformer caught fire and our whole building had to evacuate again, and once again no power. Despite having surge protectors and unplugging the equipment before we evacuated, the router still burned out, a mystery.So all through this, I did several things. One, I did not watch Twitter. It was stupid and pointless and barely helped. Twitter is good for watching other people’s misery and thinking you are helping by caring; Twitter is not good when you are in that misery yourself. Two, I just decided that no matter what, no matter what obstacles, no matter what difficulties, I would keep to my work schedule. This got really crazy and expensive as I had to spend $12/hour at the FEDEX computers or struggling to find space at cafes to charge laptops, but I felt as if I was getting things done. It was a big blow to my income nonetheless, and my publisher suffered when thousands of books were washed away from his Red Hook publishing house.Now I’m making it my business to find something each day to pack for when this happens again, that I wish I had packed before (A hand-crank radio!). Or throwing out something that seems really stupid to be cluttering up the house, when I might lose it in a flood anyway. And this has been a good process.
This year, I’ve gotten hit with a few punches: – Medical issues that put me in a coma for a week, in a hospital for two, and couch-bound for another month. – Bills related to that. – Loss of my best source of new business. – Delays related to the development of an algorithm needed for a key upgrade. – A larger than expected tax bill from 2011. – Having to replace some expensive medicine due to Hurricane Sandy power outages. – A bill from a contractor more than twice as large as his estimate.But I remind myself that others have dealt with / are dealing with worse. And you don’t get any points for getting hit. It’s what you do after you get hit that counts. So: onward.
wow. i had no idea about your medical issues this year dave. are you 100% recovered? that is scary
Pretty much recovered, thanks. I know I’m a diabetic now, so I’ve been keeping it under control. But I sort of found out the hard way. Normal blood sugar is between 70 and 130 mg/dl; mine was 2177 when I was admitted to the ICU. Led to pancreatitis, kidney failure, respiratory failure, etc.When I woke up, one of the residents gave me a print out with the numbers – he said they’d never had anyone admitted with numbers that bad and survive. So I was pretty lucky and I’m grateful for that.
type one or type two
Still unclear at this point.
Holy shit. That is so scary.
Geez. The future can only be brighter. Hope you’re past the worst of it.
Me too.Happy Thanksgiving, Jim.
U 2 Dave