May We Rest

Every week, I send a note to the 17,000 startups in GAN and GSSN, the 1,000+ leaders of accelerators, studios, hubs, and corporates in GAN and GSSN, and thousands of our friends around the world.

My note is normally something about growing and scaling our startups or about creating a more whole world, one in which our systems are responsive to the needs, potential, and dignity of all people.

Over the past week, as I thought about what to write for this last message of 2021, I’ve started about twenty different notes to you.

Frankly, nothing has sat well.

Until tonight.

Tonight, I took my wife on our annual Christmas date. This year we went to one of our favorite French restaurants in Denver (Mizuna) and then went to see the Colorado Symphony play alongside the band DeVotchKa.

It was beautiful, peaceful, and incredibly fulfilling.

Both my wife and I left that performance feeling rested.

And on the way home, I reveled in how good that feeling was­.

That feeling of a calm and clear mind that freed me to connect with my wife because of it.

We’re red right now.

A few days ago, I was on a phone call with seven CEOs, all of whom I deeply respect. I start those calls with a simple question every time we talk—

“How are you doing personally and professionally, with green being amazing, yellow being okay, and red being pretty bad?”

Across the board, every CEO said that they’re red through and through.

The refrain echoing from voice to voice was that finishing out the year was requiring a ton of work, long hours, and mental stamina.

All on top of the last 21 months that have required more of us than we could have ever envisioned.

Yet, almost every one of those CEOs noted that they’re about to rest. With the finish line close for wrapping up the year, the reward of rest sits near.

For all of the leaders in GAN and our friends around the world, the last 21 months have not felt restful.

Many of us are red through and through.

Every week, it seems like we’ve faced a new crisis.

Or a new way the world demands we show up.

Or a new way we need to iterate our companies.

It’s felt harried, difficult, and confusing.

Despite all this, we’ve managed to make it through.

We’ve worked hard. We’ve led well. We’ve made mistakes. We’ve recovered from mistakes. And we’ve kept pushing through. Again and again, we’ve kept at it.

For all of that good work in the face of extra hard conditions, we should pause and celebrate. We should acknowledge what we’ve all just done.

But after that— we should rest.

Many of us around the world are about to get a few days off as 2021 closes out.

And we have a choice over these next few days.

We can continue to push through, fight another battle, earn more revenue, solve more problems, and do whatever the world needs us to do.

Or, we can not do that.

Instead, we can close down our email. Turn off our phone.

And take a well-earned—rest.

See you in 2022. And until then, may we rest.