A Startup is a Manifestation of You

[Originally published via my personal newsletter.]

Hey friend,

I can’t believe it’s half-way through the week already! Thankfully, I’ve had a handful of convos with you already so I don’t think we need to chat anymore… at least for the remainder of the week ahead.

Sorry, not sorry. But… hey! Look at what I found:

I’m cleaning out my literal closet and found an old “TODO LIST” from middle school! You can see the following things:

  1. John will take kids to park everyday when not staying after
  2. Peter will too
  3. Babysitting will be also a source
  4. Clean baseboards.
  5. Clean windows — inside and out
  6. Clean smudges off walls
  7. Do extra chores
  8. Sort laundry
  9. Do all errands
  10. Sewing?
  11. Get good grades

You can, of course, see right behind that old list (circa ~1997-ish) my current notebook where I still do the same sort of thing for my professional work! And here’s a report from my Freshman year of High School on my time in Geometry:

As I’ve said before: You are what you do.

And, as we already know, our companies… our very startups… are a manifestation of all that we are, both the good and the bad.

Funny enough, I spent the first-half of my professional career running away from the very things that I loved so that I could do what everyone else thought was a good idea; I ended up disillusioned, hurt, and anxious about my future.


Now, in the last decade, I’ve been going back to my roots and I simply operate in the ways that I naturally operate — go figure! I spent the vast majority of my days learning new things, teaching folks what I know, and hopefully “brightening” the “classrooms” in which I involve myself (usually my community spaces).

And, I still do those damn todo lists; hell, why fix something that isn’t broken.

To infinity & community,

— john