Sure, Thanksgiving may be an “American holiday” but the notion of sharing an abundance of food with loved ones and reflecting on the things you are grateful for is a gravy train I’m sure every one can get on board with.
Pun absolutely intended.
I think we all remember this time last year and how quickly we were all packing up our things to get the heck out of 2020. The new year was going to be the promised land where we could get on with the business of living.
Well, we all know how that turned out.
These pandemic flavoured years may have been tough in every conceivable way and may have taken so much from us, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t things to be grateful for.
So, grab a delicious snack and beverage and join us as the team and I reflect on our year and look at the things we are grateful for.
As I was wondering what to give Thanks for this year, I was reminded of Matthew McConaughey’s 2014 Oscars acceptance speech.
In it he talks about needing three things in his life:
1. Something to look up to
2. Something to look forward to
3. Something to chase
My something to look up to is my Cogniom team. I have never been in a start-up before, but I can say with confidence my small team is comprised of uniquely talented and driven individuals. And not just driven for personal reasons, but terrified of letting their fellow team members down. I look up to them because of the insane results I see them produce with little prior experience and only “common sense” to guide them. I only ask my Cogniom team, please remember that you have already made me proud, and to remember to look on our company as the adventure we sought, not just the burden of long hours and endless tasks. Thank you, for all you do and for being you.
My something to look forward to is the growth of my family. My boys seem to become more precocious every day and I cannot imagine what their future brings, but I cannot wait to hear it from them, and to remember the optimism of youth by revisiting it through their eyes. I look forward to bringing my puppies home to our future house build, which for my wife and my sanity both I pray will be finished next year! My greatest expectations have always been surpassed by my family and I constantly look forward to the new ways they will surprise and inspire me.
I like Matthew’s answer that something to chase is me in 10 years. It’s important to remember that life is not a destination, but rather a journey. We’re meant to constantly grow and learn, manage time and resources, find ways to improve ourselves as well as those around us. I look forward to chasing myself in another 10 years down the track. Being 40 now, looking back to me at 30, I was looking to start a family, and that’s something that I have gained. Not something I “achieved”, family is not a past tense, or a task completed. It is a party joining you for your journey through life. I cannot wait to see who joins this journey of ours in the next 10 years!
(“Oh that’s a cool theme, Bryce! I’m going to follow suit”)
My something to look up to
Would be the unwavering support from the Cogniom team, our investors and advisors, and my wife Aurelie.
I’m also so incredibly humbled by the early customers that have helped us and stuck with us, given us honest feedback, and made the journey of being in a startup worth it.
Making something that genuinely injects a bit of magic into difficult tasks has been incredibly fulfilling. I understand now why entrepreneurship can be like a dangerous drug to some.
My something to look forward to
Would be time with the team and seeing each other in person again. We have learned so much in the last three years going from scribbles on paper to a full-fledged software solution that is making a huge impact with how front-line staff are heard by management.
The growth and skills we’ve gained personally and as a team while remote from each other during COVID has been nothing short of amazing. I’m constantly looking forward to the next phase, so instead for this Thanksgiving I look forward to finally having our team in one place to celebrate the year and live in the moment enjoying what we’ve accomplished together.
My something to chase
Would be gaining greater knowledge and education and the fulfilment of helping others. I’ve always wanted to have a business of my own, I was just lucky enough to be able to share the experience friends and family closest to me as a bonus.
Sometimes is hard to see the success of other startups and feel like that is what I should be chasing, but deep down I know I would ultimately want the freedom to help as many people as I can, with people that enjoy the journey with me. I can think of no better purpose or crew to chase after a vision with.
(“Oh.. guys!!! I’ve already written mine! Fine.. I’ll be the odd one out!”)
The thing about adulting is that it is not as easy as our parents made it look. Adulting comes with plenty of roadblocks and segues and loops to throw everything on its head.
What it doesn’t come with though, is an “Adulting 101” course at school, or an “Adulting for Dummies” book to read.
We are, for the most part left to figure it out ourselves with the majority of lessons coming from the mistakes we make along the way.
It takes a lot amount of strength to navigate the rollercoasters that are our lives – far more than we give credit to – and never more so than during these ‘Rona-riddled’ years.
This year we came rushing into it full of hope for a better year than the one before and ended up blind sighted by the fact it was not to be, with the stress of it all taking a huge toll on relationships and mental health battles.
We’ve had to find the strength to make difficult decisions when it comes to business, to still smile on facetime calls while separated from our loved ones and battle the ever changing rules about living with Covid.
Sometimes we had to find the strength simply to get out of bed in the morning.
I am grateful for learning that finding strength is not a solo activity. Strength can come from a loved ones embrace, the kind words of a stranger, the encouragement from other business founders and the unconditional support of your team mates.
Strength can come simply from the act of asking for help and having an ear willing to just sit and listen.
Realising that you’re not alone and that you can take just as much support as the strength you’re willing to give others makes the load a much lighter one.
The thing about adulting is realising that no-one really has it all figured out – not even our parents. And do you know what? That’s ok. Our lives are not always going to go according to plan and finding the strength to adapt and learn and grow from each moment is part of what makes this rollercoaster ride so glorious!
What are you grateful for?
Shoot us a reply and tell us about your wins, lessons and things you are grateful for this year!
As we begin to wind down for the year and step into the next, we reflect on all the love and support we’ve received from our family and friends, advisors, investors and of course you, our beloved clients, supporters and fellow fans of a good GIF.
We could not do what we do without you. Thank you.