E before I

Image: www.vision.com

Image: www.vision.com

Responsibility before right. A friend summarised a long time feeling I’ve had by using the prior expression.

As we’re embarking on the journey, it becomes ever more real that, no matter what, there is no one there making sure that if you just put in the hours you’ll get the result. I guess in a startup more than ever, there is no ‘right’ to succeed.

This is no different to promotion, grades, friendship, success – you name it. There are some things you just cannot control, though try as you might.

So, solace is being able to say “I could have done no more” or “There is no failure, except in no longer trying”. These are both quotes my college basketball coach instilled in me when I was younger, and I have tried to keep with me ever since.

The message? You can’t control what you can’t control. As long as you gave it your all, the rest isn’t up to you. The free fall hoping the people don’t stand to one side and let you drop.

I’ve felt this a lot recently. We’re only a few weeks in, yet the weight of responsibility is growing – fast.

The issue here is that no matter how hard we work, no matter what we do, things could still not work.

But that’s just it. The realisation that that’s just life. Sometimes, no matter what you do, no matter how hard you work, you’ll come up short.

At least you tried. Be it that A* back in the day of GCSE, or that new job, you know, in your heart of hearts, that your time will come.

That’s the responsibility.

I am fortunate in that I know a lot of ‘lucky’ people. “Luck is where preparation meets opportunity” – another mantra I believe.

Is this coincidence, or is it due to a similar pattern of behavior? My friends span a range of incomes, locations and future prospects – yet I know not one that blames anyone other than themselves when things don’t come out rosey. In some cases, it seems, they get the short straw. Yet that’s not the song they sing.

We’ve tried to predict the opportunity and in turn prepare our selves as best we know how to meet it.

At the end of the day, if it doesn’t work, it just wasn’t the right time. Perhaps not the right opportunity, the right itself. But as long as we can see the preparation, the responsibility, then it’ll just have to be a ‘chin up’ job.

With huge tasks, sometimes it feels like there is no end and no beginning. So where does someone start?

We know the destination, but have no idea of the route. Is it our right to end at that destination if we do not take responsibility for trying to find that route?

You may not always get to the end you want to be at. I really don’t know if we will. The reassurance then is in the self respect. The idea that you can sleep knowing you gave it your all.

Currently, it’s a process of breaking down the goal, the righteous end for all we have and will give, into more succinct responsibilities. All we can do is undertake them as best we can and hope the rest falls into place.

It’s kind of like a jigsaw with no box for the picture, except now, we have no picture or shape on any piece. We have to start by cutting out some pieces and painting them, all the while bearing in mind the final picture – the one we have yet to see.

We’ve started with a web site, a product offering, progressing what we can. Yet every few days that same puzzle, the same picture, has different pieces. And so we try and alter adapt and change. There is no ‘right’ way of doing this. For me, that’s a first – usually there is at least a knowing friend or lecturer to impart their experience on the trodden path. Here it’s just us, minus a compass, and I’m terrible at geography.

I live for the highs. The ‘little’ victories. In less than three weeks, we’ve achieved things that prior to this seemed impossible. Be it talking to a large potential partner, or having my name followed by ‘Founder’ on business name tags, it’s been things I’ve always dreamed would come true. To see it there, in front of you fuels the fire to keep on moving, keep on doing what we can.

No matter how hard we try, no matter how hard you try, there will always be things beyond our control. So, maybe we need to take pride in the times we can really say “I could have done no more”.

Hopefully, being responsible for the smaller actions will help lead to the right of getting you and us where we want to go.

And if not? C’est la vie I guess.

Thanks for reading.


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