Let Go and Haul: running trails and starting fires

Week 32, 2019 – Brooklyn

Journey: where we’re at

Last Friday we finished up a big deadline for our grant submission which at times felt impossible to get to. We’re not totally out of the woods yet, but getting to that milestone was major.

I talked a bit about team last week and I’m also super excited to announce two new hires: Drew who joined us as lead iOS engineer last month, and Trevor who just joined as product designer. Hiring is so hard and takes so long and I’m so excited we’re finally here now 🙌

Journal: what I learned

I ended up in two back to back scenarios this weekend where consistency and focus were what enabled a couple of joyful moments:

I was upstate this past weekend with a couple of my best friends. I’d just finished a non-stop day of grant writing from our campsite and really needed to move my body and chill the f out, so I threw on my running shoes. I quickly realized I wasn’t going to be able to let my mind wander on this run. The sun was about to set hard into rural darkness in roughly 40 mins, and the “trail” was pretty treacherous: uneven surface, big rocks, a lot of hills. I don’t have data on my Apple Watch so getting lost isn’t an option. I was making the ascent back up to where we were staying at the top of a hill, and it was hard enough that I decided my objective was just to “not stop” (which I did!) When I got to the top it felt so good. When I rejoined my friends, they were trying to start a fire in the firepit to cook dinner. It rained the day before, so starting a fire was more annoying than usual. I attacked the fire starting problem with them, tasking myself with a lot of fanning to get the flames to catch on the damp wood. About an hour later the three of us had some sweet flames to open some reward-beers around :)

During both of these activities, I was thinking about how they are great mini examples of what being a founder is like. Both of these problems took 1) consistent focus: I really couldn’t take my attention off of either of them at any moment or I was probably going to get hurt running or the fire would not light (or at least not for a long time), 2) Neither were a moment for perfection or “doing it all” – which I know I am often lured into thinking I can do – I just had to pick the one thing that mattered most.

The high of finishing a tough run; sitting around a campfire with friends – both of these are romantic with a capital R. Not that different than imagining getting *that* magazine article, or *that* team surrounding you, or seeing *that* bank transfer come into your account. They are easy goals to visualize, seared into our brains by media, advertising and culture around us.

To actually get to these moments though, we have to break down an ambitious goal into measurable objectives, continually focus on them and most importantly, decide what matters most! The deeper I get into this company, the more I notice these little mini examples in my everyday life of how I’m choosing to focus my attention to accomplish something.

Jams: what we’re into (by Ela!)

I can’t quite decide what is funnier, the trippiness of this ctrl shift face video or the comments below.

Another video I can’t decide what I love more – the video or the comments — is Jenna Marbles giving herself a Claire’s makeover. Also, I really miss having a flip phone that I can sassily snap shut at the end of every sentence.

Maybe my fall look should be Hot Topic.