(Journal entry written by Matt Cook on March 7, 2016)
Stab*…. That’s the gut-wrenching thrust of yet another entrepreneurial endeavor being challenged by the world around you, trying to force you to your knees. You look down at your red-lined bank account oozing out of your body through your torn Armani shirt. The safe people watch from a distance, and the close see you falling to the ground in pain. A criminal act just took place, but nobody around helps you because they are all too afraid of the blood. You lay there on the ground victimized. The world around you just watches, yet somehow nobody else but you knows what to do.
Stab, Stab*… These are the consistent and uncontrollable punctures to your wallet while you are already down; your accounts crippling with cash wounds so deep you could bankrupt and die right there on the spot. People who can’t fathom your pain scramble to call 911, but for some reason the bank loan operators won’t answer the call.
Sirens* – The unsettling sound of your visa card swiping to pay for bills that keep coming while you remain crippled. The relief is somewhat endearing, though you come to the realization that even while your wallet and body is laying in a ditch, emergency help is available and you may just have the fortunate chance of making it through to survival before your employees turn and burn, or worse, the investor mafia comes after you.
Clasp* – You make it to the hospital, wake up and hear the hydraulic ICU compression chamber of free petty cash. Your parents life support. Your hot nurses consist of a free room, an epic couch angle-positioned toward an old 37″ beastly dusty tube tv, slow speed wifi (free, so who’s complaing) and your old Sega Genesis. Though your couch groove is perfectly broken in and you reminisce of many childhood memories; trying to play sonic the hedgehog while in massive debt just kills the whole experience. That adolescent, new-found Christianity since the last time you can remember being back at ‘home’ has grown and evolved, enough to the point of cultivating a natural conviction that offsets any thoughts of uncovering your old secret porno stash. You sheepishly feel this step of the journey is going to be a long one — and one that won’t be an easy rescue from boredom any time soon.
Blah, blah blah* … The innovation of your parents next-steps advice, fortuitously tag teamed with sympathetic undertones and home made free dinner/desert combos that you have to physically attend also doesn’t help. You’re still a great person, right? But just through your unrelenting hardships and inability to share with common practiced individuals has you becoming a seasonally embittered negativity troll. There is no gas in the car to hobble into the car and leave the house, no cash in your wallet to call up a date, it’s cold outside and 6pm in the wintertime. The compound effects of vitamin E bodily lack and seasonal effective disorder all have you dismayed and feeling like your just on entrepreneurial lockdown. The sky is literally falling, and you are chicken little.
Stumble* – You struggle to stand up against the pains of credit card interest. Your parents and close friend crutches of understanding become conditional, and do not adjust to the proper height so your armpits get soar and using them gets old, fast. You kick back and watch some routine business documentaries, read an Elon Musk and Richard Branson biography and remain hopeful of your next finest opportunity to escape the situation and exchange hardships for testimonies. You think of 25 online business ideas and then remember MTV’s JayZ documentary is about to start so you forget about everything and are now AMPED.
Swish* – The sound of Iverson draining another three. Wait, what? You’ve reverted to NBA documentaries circa 2001. The quest for sports bios, highlights and entertainment has now clouded all motivation to succeed. You were once watching motivational Tedx speeches, doing train your brain excersizes and listening to Swartzeneggar’s podcasts on success. You’ve been taking prideful amounts of notes on how to be a boss in your next endeavour, and yet now you are convincing yourself that 5 seasons of studying Donald Draper on Madmen is going to be the answer to all of life’s problems. Matter of fact, you actually now feel like you ARE Donald Draper. You even experiment with a slick-back for the first time and look pretty darn good. The old suit and tie closet comes out and you dare to take your first selfie and actually publish it to social media because you feel invincible again and that’s been a hard commodity for a guy in the desert to come by.
Ring* – Your confidence synchronizes with 1-800 numbers calling, from commissioned bill collectors assaulting your peace of mind. You double down on fortune cookies. Fake-happy wealthy people trigger you like crazy. You buy into society end up giving in to your devil of all devils… you buy a scratch and win ticket that you promised you’d never buy, with a heart position that actually thinks row 4, third ticket from the glass may just be the God-send ticket that gives you the perfect out to your misery. You contemplate for a second if the devil will steal your $2, but you justify it with the soon to be entertainment value of scratching. It ends up saying “sorry, try again” and you die a small death.
Crunch / Revelation*…. During a big bite of Reese Peanut Butter Puffs, while reading a CS Lewis book that you hardly understand, you finally strike a well of revelation. You are graced with newly revived thoughts that you are powerful, and in control. The rollercoaster of life begins to level itself out and your IQ, EQ and SQ all align like stimulated chakras after a hatha flow yoga class, hot stone massage and a pot of honey lemon oolong tea. Life is happening and the Loch Ness monster equivalent of clarity has been sighted. Introspection becomes easy, you begin to see faults and realities, your look down at your stab-wounds and the scars are becoming vague. You logically calculate the steps it takes to eradicate debts and service relationships. Timelines are drawn with multiple scenarios and you begin to understand and remember why you began entrepreneurship in the first place.
Walking*… Once getting up off your childhood couch, you remove the cobwebs of defeat and begin to lace up your new identity. You stretch out your entrepreneurial muscles by reading the most recent notes from back when you were on top. You warm up with prophetic thoughts and put on your underarmour of against the grain opposition mentality. You grab a bottle of awesomeness from the fridge and you turn off your phone, shut off the emails and check out all together from your current life situation. You begin to apologize to self for the sponging from others, while stroking your pride and speaking life to your next round of successes. Only your heart sends an sms to your brain with new understanding that you only sat on the couch for 2 weeks; you only consumed 12 free dinners; and you were birthed into this world by a promise of unconditional love from a father that no man on earth could replicate.
Jogging* … You pick up momentum by realizing you never had to work for your natural skills and abilities. Deep in your bloodline you discover that there are skills which you can compound, and a history that you can uncover which will largely depict your future. You have a certain agility within your process, and this renewal of your mind since hardship can somehow now understand more that nobody else can even get close to. Your playing field becomes as wide as it is long, and you pick up speed. Headphones in, Arnold comes on and says to forget all the naysayers. He is right, and was right all along, but you realize you didn’t ever need him to tell you that. You are the machine that creates freedom; the passionate soul that reaps what you sow, and sows more than anyone else.
Running* … Blast off. In this amount of time you’ve managed to win, lose it all, recover and rebuild. You’ve been put through the meat grinder and have trimmed every bit of fat humanly possible. If there was a fire breathing dragon hunting you down and all of your friends and family were the flames that kept attacking, you now know the beasts movements and how to slaughter it. You are now running and feeling absolutely unstoppable. Muscle memory has kicked in and your road to recovery is far greater and faster than you had imagined back on the couch in your glimpse of hope. You laugh inside, thinking how easy it is to be back on top, and how silly you feel for being defenceless before, with open ears to all of the the collective negativity and doubt. The emotional highs of entrepreneurship have nestled back into your bloodstream like a drug, and you are completely and utterly incapable of receiving anything but greatness
Silence*… Your heart rate slows back down to a comfortable ease. For a moment you contemplate the reasonings for where you are in life. As you the rat gain understanding the race loses it’s meaning. You think of the purposes for what you are doing, and why you have the innate ability to bounce back mentally, physically and spiritually from such oppressive and challenging positioning. Despite what the world has claimed to be wrong and right in your lifetime, you know that your ideas and philosophies are contagious, but they are only possible to become absorbed through the validation and societal lenses of approval. People cannot simply see for themselves, as they need someone to help slightly adjust them and show them. You see that there is a curve of understanding in the system, where your entrepreneurial abilities fit in perfectly to add value. The effects of your new understanding of self are tremendous. And all the while you may say that you have been wounded, hurt and left to die in a ditch, but you can also attest to these new personal discoveries from having been in a lowly place, able to look up toward the sky and see yourself for who you really are. An overcomer, a warrior, an entrepreneur. You are worthy of greatness.
Entrepreneurship has wounded me for good… and I have learned to love every minute of it.