Hard Reset on My Personal Life and The Good Startup
Yes I'm 99% back to "normal" after recovering from a brain injury, but what does "normal" even mean - and is it worth pursuing?
As beautifully as I want to word this, I know I've just got to get this article posted. I've been basically away from working on The Good Startup for FIVE months now, which is a hell of a long time for a brand that's been around for barely over a year, all because I've spent a lot of time recovering from a brain injury and finding motivation to get back on track with The Good Startup. No worries on the brain injury though - as of today, I'd say I'm 99% back to normal :)
That's if...I remember what "normal" actually was for me.
I've had so many questions about myself and how much I can recover or progress after my brain injury, but as someone whose memory was most likely affected, I'm not trusting my judgment too much. I've been basing my recovery and improvement off of what I think I was like before my brain injury, which is pointless if I'm not remembering right. But I can't help but do it. I've always held high expectations for myself, and this is just how I measure my recovery: "you were good before, so now just be even BETTER."
After realizing this, I'm currently learning to focus less on the past and more on the future. Why worry about getting 100% back to normal when I can just progress well beyond it? If I already planned on being better than I was before the accident, shouldn't I focus more on maximizing or exceeding my own potential, whatever that may be (which by the way, is a huge part of of TGS's values) rather than wonder if I'm back to normal?
That's why I'm treating my brain injury like it was a hard reset button in my life. I was at square one, and I now have this lovely opportunity to be better than I ever intended to be in the first place. As I began integrating this new mindset into my life, I made a small list of goals that fall under four main categories: Physical, Social, Learning, and Entrepreneurial.
- Physical: run a half-marathon before the weather gets too hot again (so like March-ish)
- Social: talk to a stranger each time you leave the house (but carefully because of COVID-19)
- Learning: create a presentation about something you learned and present it to some friends
- Entrepreneurial: for the love of God, just learn to SELL something
That's where The Good Startup comes in. Even before I had this "save the world" mentality, I had an entrepreneurial "let's create something and give it to whoever wants it" mentality - the biggest thing that stops me is my inability to...well...accept people's money. It's so weird, isn't it? Growing up, I never did the school fundraisers and was raised to be very uncomfortable taking from others, and all my business ventures in the last few years have been like "eh, if you want it, buy it from me, no big deal if not." Too toxically nonchalant for my entrepreneurial skills. As someone who loves learning sales techniques and dreams of what it'd be like to be on the other end of the As Seen on TV channel's telephone line, I would literally be the least pushy saleswoman in the world.
I want The Good Startup to change that by offering the world some sort of product or service, and I'm currently in the process of figuring out what. I want it to be as simple and universal as possible, so if people say no to buying it, I know that I can blame it on me and not the product like I usually do. But I also want it to make sense with TGS's constantly evolving brand and everlasting values. Fortunately, I think aligning with TGS's values will help me be more comfortable with sales because I'll continue writing the type of content I've written for the last year while simultaneously selling ~something~ separate, knowing that the profits won't totally be for me.
Whatever it is I'll be selling on here, 50% of profits will go to an effective altruism charity that I'll decide on after I choose and source a new business idea while the other 50% will be reinvested in growing The Good Startup into a real company. Since I've already made it pretty clear that TGS is has been evolving even before my brain injury happened, I really appreciate it if you're 1. still reading this article right now and 2. are a fan of TGS and are totally curious about supporting it through this wild ride of a learning process. Thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, so, so, so, so, so, so, much.
Yeah, as someone who thinks she doesn't remember exactly who she was in the past, I feel that the future is somehow less scary now.