About one crazy year, or lifetime ago, I posted some lessons learned after five years as a venture backed CEO.
What I didn’t share was how hard I have found the journey at times. How hard the isolation, pressure, and self judgement have been to labor under.
I was pushed forward by the unrelenting demons of insecurity and anxiety. No matter how much we accomplished, it was never enough to quiet those demons inside me. When you let those demons run you, they will ruin you, time and time again.
I’ve learned that the goalposts will always move. If you told me six years ago we’d be where we are today, I would have been amazed beyond all belief, yet those goal posts moved long ago. The external will never be enough.
So where does that leave me now? It leaves me learning to realize that I have never been alone. To choose to renew my love for our mission, to align more closely with our values and struggle openly, and to figure out how to build a long-term company. To understand that it will take time to reach full potential, and thats okay. To forgive those demons of insecurity.
Most of all, I want others out there to know:
you are not alone (if you’ll let people in)
you are enough (just for daring boldly)
what you remember will be the people (if you are truly there with them)
And lastly, if you’re open with your team, you will be surprised how they respond.
Below is a note I sent to our team with my personal goals as their coworker in 2021. The responses inspired this blog post. Are you struggling? My Twitter DM is open.
A mere 21 days remain in 2020. It’s been a ride — a really, really wild ride.
I’m proud of what we’ve built this year. We were tenacious this year. We built more product, served more customers, and transformed a small start up into a global crypto company serving consumers and institutions.
Last year, I shared this post about some of the lesson’s learned in the last six years. In retrospect, it is not that hard to write about lessons learned — you’ve learned them.
This year, I’m sharing what I intend to work on in 2021 to align with our core values:
- Serving openly with a vulnerability and honesty led mindset. My goal is to be more open with the joys that go with leading the company, but more importantly, the struggles. My goal is not to struggle less, but to struggle openly with you. To be humble enough to live in the truth that I often struggle, and brave enough to believe you’ll sill have me as your leader if I do.
- Embrace the stoke and be consistently grateful and joyful that I’m privileged to work on something as important as the financial system for internet, that can free billions of people around the world, with an amazing team.
- Move to a long-term focus in both my work and personal life and find a sustainable way to be the leader of this company. This means embracing a style of work that is less operational, less hectic, and sustainable for the long-term. I need to learn to get out of the way more on the operational side, as much as I may love building with you all.
It is a lot to work on, so I’m requesting your understanding, but more importantly, I’m requesting your help — I’d like your feedback and accountability. If you’re seeing me out of alignment with these goals, please ping me 1:1 just like you’d do with any other colleague. I promise to listen promptly with the best intentions and a heart of gratitude.
At the end of the day, we are one team, one dream — let’s get stronger together in 2021!