Dear Little Bode,
We’ve been watching you the past several months as you’ve dealt with loss, grief, growth, conflict and so much more. You’re gonna be alright kid, you’re tough, stubborn and you’ve surrounded yourself with a damn good support system – they’re small and mighty.
A lot of owning a business is about keeping your mouth shut. It’s a lesson you’ve had to learn, usually pretty painfully. Frankly, we’ve learned a lot of things over the past 15 years – managing people is hard, conflict is an everyday occurrence, honesty is painful, everyone has an opinion and no one wants to know yours.
As a business owner, you’ll make decisions to preserve the longevity of the company and protect the IP you’ve worked so hard to develop. Oftentimes the decisions, from the outside looking in, seem callous. What no one sees is the sleepless nights, discussions, counsel and emotion behind every single move that has to be made. Everything you do affects people – clients, employees, family members, community – it’s a heavy fucking burden to bear. It’s lonely being a business owner.
We know you’re not sitting around with a glass of expensive liquor, evil laughing while plotting how to destroy lives. You gotta understand, if people really wanted to know, they would ask, but what’s the fun in that when they can come to a conclusion based on nothing but hearsay.
People will talk, things will be said and they won’t be nice. Suck it up, simply smile (grimace) and go about your day. Quiet strength is a thing you’ll get better at, it won’t be anytime soon but keep at it kid, you’ll get there.
You know you’ve made mistakes. Self-awareness is one of your superpowers, but a lot of good it does you – hindsight is always 20/20 (trust us, we know). Life is full of lessons you’ll continually learn day after day. It’d be nice if there was clarity on the other side as well, but you’ll learn real quick little Bode, you can’t control other people or their opinions of you.
Commit to focusing on what you can control – building a better business. Big things are in store for 8THIRTYFOUR, stay true to your core values and remember to always surround yourself with smarter people.
Your future selves
P.S. An eighth dog is a terrible idea. Don’t do it.