Being CEO of a growing venture, regardless of current success or support network, is a hard, dark, lonely position. It may be the best job in the world (definitely the best I’ve ever had), but it’s been riddled with many tough periods and scary moments – particularly in my head.
Right now, I’m just thankful.
Rather than chime in about darkness and depression, demons I have encountered many times, I’d rather be thankful.
Instead of being disheartened about the opportunities we’ve missed, I’m thankful for the multitude of opportunities that have presented themselves.
Instead of feeling betrayed by departed employees, I’m thankful for the vast majority who stay loyal, and tell me with ever-increasing clarity what they need from me.
Instead of personally dwelling on every time we’ve let down and lost a user, I’m thankful for the many thousands who believe in us, every single day.
Instead of being overwhelmed by the make-or-break decisions I face every day, I’m thankful that the decisions are ours to make.
Instead of looking at the plethora of problems that have presented themselves as we scale, I’m thankful that all we have to do is fix them.
Instead of being disappointed by the massive amount of weight I’ve gained and havoc wrought on my body by stress and bad eating, I’m thankful that most of it is reversible.
Instead of feeling like an insignificant minnow in a massive ocean of a market, I’m excited by the opportunity to grow, with no ceiling in sight.
Instead of harboring ill-will towards the many investors who have passed on us – me, honestly – I’d rather think about the investors who have believed in us and given us $12+ million dollars over the years.
Instead of looking at scaling this company over the next few years as an impossible task, I’m thankful we’ve gotten to the point where the main challenge isn’t survival, but scaling.
Instead of looking at the missed opportunities to spend time with friends, travel, and maintain past hobbies, I’m thankful that I’ve still been able to maintain a work life balance, and have amazing support from my wife, family, and close friends.
Instead of fearing what happens “if everything falls apart” – I’m thankful that my team and I are getting the best business education one could ever dream of.
Instead of letting my fear and doubt overtake me from time to time in the office, I watch dozens of the greatest people I’ve ever met spend their waking hours working on my dream.
Instead of being frustrated by the many mistakes we’ve made (and still make today), I’m so thankful and excited for what we’ll achieve if we simply reduce the repetition of them.
Instead of looking at the metric ton of my own personal failings over the years, I’m thankful for the self-awareness that the team brings to me, and the forgiveness they have for a young CEO.
Instead of feeling hopeless, I’m thankful.
Instead of feeling weak, I’m thankful.
Instead of feeling that it might all come crashing down one day, I’m thankful.
Instead of regret, I’m thankful.
Rather than admit defeat, I’m thankful because our investor partners, new and old, have worked with us to raise $8M more.
Our future is brighter than ever now, and I’m thankful for that.