Embrace Chaos

My Theme for 2017


I don't do resolutions. I don't. The reasons why have been well documented. What I do instead, is themes. A theme isn't a resolution, nor is it a slogan. A theme, if I do it right, not only neatly encapsulates everything I want to be and do and try in the new year, but it's an evolutionary statement as well, applying not just to me, but how I see the world around me.

Therefore, I believe my theme can help you as well. It's doesn't have to be your theme. In fact, it shouldn't be your theme. But my theme might help inform your theme.

Here's my theme: Embrace chaos.

This is a statement I've been thinking about for a while. Personally, it represents a lot of what I need to be able to do in terms of pulling success out of failure, creating something from nothing, and generally finding happiness in a world that doesn't allow you time to be happy, let alone find that happy in the first place.

I'm not immune to personal disaster or disappointment or life changes that leave me reeling. I had those in 2016. This is how I'm dealing with them.

Professionally, I've landed on this statement as a prescription for not only what I go through as an entrepreneur -- although in that, I think it buttons up my needs pretty well -- but also what I do with the things I do to find satisfaction in my life.

Teaching Startup? Got to learn to embrace chaos in order to try something no one has done before and also seems pretty crazy and indulgent to anyone who doesn't share the vision.

My band? Need to learn that doing this at my age is nothing like doing this in my 20s. The culture is different, the players are different, and I need to put up with a lot of things that are outside of my comfort zone.

My writing? The longer I keep saying the same shit, the fewer of you will keep reading.

And then there's the job. My work. Automated Insights. After our acquisition by a private equity firm in 2015, we made some huge, sweeping, but totally necessary changes to the way we operate.

The only way to survive, evolve, and grow is to embrace those changes face-first and give them a warm snuggle as they perpetually punch me in the kidneys.

Happy new year!

Most of 2016 felt like the world around us stopped making sense. But I don't think this phenomenon was unique to 2016. Everything, from the election to celebrity deaths to natural and man-made disasters, seemed to creep up on us and suck the joy out of life.

But there was a ton of good too, from the very small in-your-inner-circle good to the world-changing good that happens every day and doesn't get enough press.

I don't think the bad outweighed the good. I think the change outweighed the status quo.

Change is inevitable in life. But change is exponential in startup, and that's true whether your job is being an entrepreneur or your life is being an entrepreneur.

Embrace chaos.