I’ve realized that writing in this blog is important. Not for my readers (you three are really great, thanks for reading), but to keep a sense of perspective about what I’m doing. Day to day I’ve found myself wickedly discouraged by how things in the business are going, and without taking a step away, making less money and having more risk — being an entrepreneur– can make you feel pretty idiotic.
January and February were busy months, and by March I felt like my life was tipping too far towards work to be balanced. I cut back and joined CrossFit, something I’d been meaning to try.
It was great for a bit, but as my focus shifted I didn’t pay attention to the fact that while I was completing work, I wasn’t bidding much work. I stayed busy but didn’t keep the pipeline full, so by mid-April I was starting to run dry. With a trip to Hong Kong to cover visa regulations (good trip, but pricey city) and a ticket home for a wedding (not mine) this summer, I’m hitting a low spot on cash reserves (small cash cache, so to speak).
The last week or so has also been interesting because I finally got the drip irrigation emitter prototypes in. The initial tests were dark, very dark. With that being tied as my largest job (and the other still in machining), if they don’t work I can’t afford a refund. I was very seriously contemplating quitting and trying to find a nice, stable corporate job I could work at and pay off my loans.
Honestly, I haven’t ruled that out completely. But a great thing happened up in the mountains Tuesday morning, when Nin’ta and I were sitting on a guesthouse deck overlooking a jungle-upholstered valley. Coldplay’s Viva la Vida came on while I was trying to get a handle on my worries.
The lyrics of that song have always gotten to me, the idea of a fallen king now sleeping in a tiny room and sweeping the street for food — and being okay with it. Life has ups and downs, and sometimes it’s a fight. But it’s vital that we keep a grander perspective on life, and step away from our struggles and imagine the larger epic of our lives.
“I used to roll the dice,
Feel the fear in my enemies eyes…
Now in the morning I sleep alone,
Sweep the streets I used to own.”
Maybe things are good for a while, and maybe not. But every event is part of our own story, and it’s important to own our stories, perfect or not, because these are the only ones we get.
There’s a classic Sufi story about an ancient king who was immensely powerful, but like all of us, had his ups and downs. He gathered the wisest of his advisors and asked that they make him a magic ring that would make him feel better when he was sad. After a year of trying all their spells to no avail, they finally cast a simple gold ring inscribed with four simple words: This too shall pass.