You define your business

Entrepreneurs, especially early in their careers, are often put in the uncomfortable position of having to justify what they do, both to friends and themselves. The early days never match your ambition. After all, what can you say you really “do” when you spent the day working in your underwear?

Don’t take yourself too seriously, but be vigilant against downgrading your dreams to match the subtle swipes of others. You define your business and what it can become.

The crowd does not.

Especially before it’s reached maturity, other people want to define your business, so they feel better about theirs. When you announce yourself as as an entrepreneur, you’re effectively saying you found a better way. Rather than climbing through an existing system, you’re creating a new one. For those who are invested in the status quo, this can be quite the blow. They’re working hard to advance in their hierarchy, and are motivated by its fruits. Word of a better, more exciting, potentially more lucrative path can be upsetting to the company man.

The comfort of a stable job may seem appealing at your lowest moments. You may be down on your plan at just the moment that face at the cocktail party lights up after learning that you work from a home office. Keep your head up. The goal isn’t recognition. It’s excellence, independence, and problem solving. Don’t lose sight of the motivations people bring to the table with their criticisms.

Creations are malleable, unknown quantities. Letting others define yours is akin to asking the dude next to you at the hospital to name your newborn baby.

No.

You decide your baby’s name, you raise it and shape it according to your vision. You love it.

You decide what it becomes and when it’s arrived, how high it can fly…

Aren’t you rich?

I want you to show me again and again, and never for the last time. Take me behind hostile doors, seat me in leather, waft Cuban smoke.

Take me with you. Give me stranger smiles and square feet.

Aren’t you rich?

Advance me a peg.

Make my Dad proud.

Build me a home, buy me a car, commission a garden.

Hide me behind thick walls and beautiful fabric.

Don’t you worry.

Our sadness will foot the bill.

The couple that loves you

Raised with hope,

worried over.

Seen floundering,

but beautifully so.

Your stroked hair births a momentum,

that pushes you past unloved men in invisible races.

So many days at an office,

the pride of a lion youth swallowed.

And so you carry a violent burden,

that doesn’t allow for hesitant steps.

It’s a mantle built by a pair.

It gives justification,

to every fleeting pursuit,

to every club,

every entryway,

every piece of cloth.

But only if…

Those things give sound sleep,

to the couple that loves you.

Stuff in a room I control

I look through windows,

and see stuff,

on display,

in rooms I don’t control.

Maybe one day.

If I make enough money.

I can buy that stuff.

Have it delivered.

To a room I control.

I’ll tip the men $10 each,

maybe more.

And there it will sit.

In my room.

That I control.

You can come see it.

I’ll invite you just so you can.

My stuff.

Laughing at me and my hourglass title.

People to forget

“Let us forget with generosity those who cannot love us”

Pablo Neruda

As we go through life, inevitably we come across people, who for one reason or another, don’t love, or even like us. Accepting this is part of growing.

And growth is an important goal. But letting go of enemies (no matter how benign) is equally important.

When I do this, they’ll see” is a dangerous trap because it places those who don’t understand us in control.

Winning love from an enemy doesn’t represent success. Forgetting an enemy by gently taking the sting out of their imagined indictments does.

Work to please the love in your life, not those who withold it.

Love hate New York

I saw a shitty apartment, in a nowhere part of town, that was priced too high.

It’s cold.

No one looks you in the eye. I walked everywhere, but didn’t really get anywhere.

There are papers all over my floor, my California grip slipping.

But I stopped for carry out on Hudson and talked to a Brazilian dancer playing the part of a waitress. She had a man’s name tattooed on the back of her neck. The outline of a navy blue heart on her wrist.

Told me “all the jobs are headed to L.A. Here, it’s just Broadway.”

She wants to leave New York too.

Not me.

I’m good til’ the morning.

The only people I want anymore

A close friend shared a poem with me today. I enjoyed reading it, but I enjoyed being trusted with it even more.

I’m tired of the masks.

My friend could have kept the poem to himself. Pretend to always be strong, or normal, or whatever. But he didn’t. He sent me something that was true about him, and I love him for it.

Those are the only people I want anymore. The real ones. Because we can smile, and curtsey, and dress up, but it’s going by so fast, and all that doesn’t matter. I learn from the vulnerability of the people I love and respect. They fuel me. They keep me going.

I don’t need every conversation to be deep. Let’s talk about the afternoon lineup on Food TV (my Mom and I love Barefoot Contessa).

Just don’t pretend the mask is real. That you’re not in their somewhere.

After awhile, it gets old playing the cool guy.

Because I’m not him.

And neither is he.