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A la Mode

“With a little more care, a little more courage, and, above all, a little more soul, our lives can be so easily discovered and celebrated in work, and not, as now, squandered and lost in its shadow.” – David Whyte

At our partner meeting this week, we noted the remarkable first year of Reboot. Over the past 12 months, we’ve accomplished a lot of good work – and substantial growth – in both heart and business in a relatively short time. We are all thriving, the company is doing well, and we’re doing what we set out to do: good work, done well, and for the right reasons.

(While it’s only been a year, it feels like at least two to me. I have a strange relationship with time; as if I measure it in the amount of growth incurred in the interstices of calendar lines. When I look back even to the last quarter, I feel like I was an entirely different person back then.)

One thing we noted was how we’ve built and accomplished all that we have without struggle and drama. Compared with other tales from the startup menagerie, this isn’t the trend. But it could be. I like to think we’re setting the tone for a new playbook to counter the fabled Startup Playbook. Perhaps we’re creating a playbook with a silver lining: you can build the company you want to build, be the adult you want to be, be financially responsible, and have a blast along the way.

We learn much about work from our parents. For me, the midwest work ethic is in my bones. Where I come from, though, work was what you did to pay the bills even if that meant that your soul suffered in the process. While I know how and when to work hard, to sweat and get my hands in the dirt, and am grateful for that grit and gumption, I’m a renegade from the other principles about work that I learned from watching those in my lineage. I know I’m not alone in that detour from tradition.

I’m not sure my folks thought much about setting their own vision of success and working towards that, or about aligning their purpose with their income-generating work in the world, or about becoming the adult they wanted to be and building the company they wanted to work for. But I did, and still do. I couldn’t sacrifice the deepest truth of my being, or martyr the dreams stirring in me, in order to make a living. Not for long, anyway. (My soul withers just thinking about it.)

One of my favorite lines about relating to work is from Willy Wonka: “Invention, my dear friends, is 93% perspiration, 6% electricity, 4% evaporation, and 2% butterscotch ripple.” It’s playful. It’s fun. It captures the magic of combining elements seen and unseen, the sweat, the energy, and the flavor that persists at the end of it all.

When you play with what you love vs. do it the way everyone else is doing it, you’re in charge of all that goes into your invention, your business. That includes your growth, your less than delicious experiments, and all the juicy nuggets along the way. There’s a sweetness to that entire process that’s worth celebrating more often than we do.

How do you acknowledge your successes? What have you accomplished in the past three months? The past year? Up until this point? How have you grown as a person? What can you celebrate right now?

We’re so glad you’re here to share the deeper inquiries around work and all that we bring to it as humans looking for purpose and meaning. Thank you for listening, reading, and sharing along the way.


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