Wednesday, January 21

Keeping my word...

So, since my post about connecting and sharing, I have been meeting every week - for at least three hours every week, with different people addressing different issues and ideas. For the most part, my meetings tend to take on two distinct tones - one corresponds to "What do you think of this idea?" which (at times) becomes "Get off your ass and do something!" (me to them) and the other takes the tone of "What should I do with my life?" which inevitably becomes a suggestion to read Po Bronson's book.

For the start-up folk, the ideas and people I spoke to are:
  • Derek Lee of who is taking his incredible energy andenthusiasm and developing a program to generate higher returns for non-profit and chariable giving
  • Joshua 'The Red' Russak and his CTO working on RezRedo - a site which is the "thesaurus" for generating company-friendly terms for creating your resume
  • Jordan Goldman of Unigo where we finally caught up after playing catchup for three months - and I got incredibly excited by one of the first true Valley-like entrepreneurs I have met here in NYC
  • A team building an incredibly fascinating fusion technology project (under NDA)
For the other side - it has been a jolt to the system with people in two subcategories:
  1. Recently-graduated students or 1-2 years out - where the question is now "What do I do now that the economy is falling apart?"
  2. Individuals asking "What I have been doing - is this all there is?" People who have come to NY trying to reinvent themselves, people who have come to get onboard the "train" have discovered the difficulty of NY and where they are heading.
Truthfully, all I ever ask people in this category is what do they truly feel passionate about? As in, even when a kid - what were you passionate about? What did you enjoy? What skills (and watching TV or listen to music is not necessarily a skill) do you enjoy using and making happen?

And the issue is: there is no metric; no grade you get for doing the work you are doing. After so many years of punishment/reward with grades and detention - the grading scale is much different now. And the only people who really pays attention is YOU.

A Different Playing Field

I was watching an episode of "The West Wing" a couple of days ago and the psychologist told something to the President about being graded on a different curve than others. And I noted that the grading curve was based on accomplishments and achievements that people had done in the past.

I believe that we can only grade ourselves on our own accomplishments and achievements - great or small. And not everyone gets to have the recognition of the International Press or a cadre of bloggers - sometimes the only measure of appreciation/recognition is found in the eyes of your children, the contented wagging of your dog or the purr of your cat. Sometimes - it is just your own personal recognition of these acts that you will have. And need to continue the effort to the next project/plan/task/family matter/great accomplishment.

Is there an answer to any of the questions? No.

Is there knowledge in seeking out potential solutions? Yes.

And, as I said before - happy to help in the effort. Simply ask.

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