On any given day, you probably pass within arm's length of at least a dozen people. In a city, that number may be 100 or even 1,000. Yet how many of them will forever remain strangers? How many of them could become a close friend, a member of your tribe if you discovered that you share one or more deeply relatable experience? I know, it sounds unlikely. Yet in this past year alone, I've had the privilege of experiencing this again and again. And the best experiences were with people that, at first glance, I was adamant that we would have zero in common and it would be a waste of time.
For those that don't know the entire backstory, this was a great big huge year for my family and me.
Big choices were made.
I left the company I co-founded. We reversed our decision about whether to homeschool Ev and, in a few short days, we got her into Pre-K at the Shining Mountain Waldorf School in Boulder.
Big discoveries happened.
We all hope to live happily and healthy into our golden years. However, we don't always know when our time is up. This is why I love the Memento Mori coin, which effectively translates to "remember you will die." This is not to say we must live in fear, but that we must each day to the full because we never know if it will be the last.
In his book The Lean Startup (published 2008), Eric Ries popularized the concept of a minimum viable product (MVP). Sidenote: I highly recommend reading the book if you own your own business or have an idea for a new company or product. One of the main objectives of an MVP is to release products or features as soon as possible. A rule of thumb is that this means the minute a customer could receive ANY value. By doing this, you shorten the amount of time it takes to get feedback. This is critical for many startups because it minimizes the cost (time, effort, money) to validate an idea.
My friend Bryan put into words a concept I wrestled with for years, which is the difference between being nice and kind. For many years I used the two interchangeably. However, that would often lead me to make choices in the moment that I thought would be helpful. Instead, it usually made life more difficult and stressful for all parties involved.
So what's the difference?
Imagine pulling up Google Maps and asking where to find the best slice of pizza. This is already a loaded question because “best” can be highly subjective based on personal tastes and preferences. But let’s imagine that we could systematically take each one of these inputs, insert into an algorithm that adds it all up, and assign a single value to hundreds of thousands of restaurants that may sell pizza.
Last week, the Contact Mapping team flew to the ANMP event in Dallas with aspirations to make a massive impact at once of the largest annual conferences in Network Marketing. By every metric, we blew the doors down! I couldn't be more proud of the team and what we were able to accomplish. I wanted to share some of the highlights.
Before the information age, it was possible to have a 30, 40, even 50-year career working in a single company in a single industry. And in many situations, it was advantageous to do so because the world changed slowly enough such that a person's knowledge and expertise could adapt with the times. In doing so, they could retain their position of power and maximize the size of their paycheck.
1.5 million. This is the number of dogs and cats that are euthanized every year in the US alone. 10 years ago, my wife and I rescued a sweet, gentle pit bull/bulldog mix from the local humane society. It breaks my heart to think how close he was another rounding error on this statistic. It’s also hard to consider the fact that he was an anomaly, and that most of the others like him won’t get a chance to find a loving home.
People matter. We all know this. Yet, when life gets busy, it is our relationships that are usually the first to suffer. The urgent crises in front of us take precedent again and again while people get pushed further and further down the priority list. Worse, the people closest to us can bear the brunt of this because we think they will always understand and forgive us. And they might... to a point. However, I've had the great misfortune of losing this gamble more than once as friends gave up waiting for me.