In Ben Horowitz’s Hard Things About Hard Things (arguably one of the best leadership books recently released), one of the early chapters really landed on me, especially as I reflect on the last year.
I do think that gratitude is an important skill to have throughout the year – but as I look back, I’m just happy to have survived. While other team members, executives, and founders can focus on their respective area – the buck stops with the CEO, who, more often than not, is figuring out a way to survive through all the good, not so good, and downright terrible times.
Top line – Contactually had a great year. Good growth, amazing team built, capital raised, customers happy, product shipped. But as the year winds down, I also look back at the number of times I’ve seen the company nearly take a head shot. When a major customer calls with a heart-stopping issue. When the cash starts to dwindle. When you have to part ways with executives. When morale nosedives. When you’re surprised by a vendor claiming major cost overages. When you hear no.
All of these could have killed us. But they didn’t – we figured our way out of it. And we emerged, with a huge opportunity ahead of us.
So the last thing I’m thankful for – I’m grateful to have survived another year in this insane journey.