Tag Archives: leadership

the hustle is real

the hustle is real

An Imperative Lesson for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

I was recently having dinner with a group of friends and at different points in the night multiple people asked me this: “How long were you working at KK intl. before you started getting paid?” These individuals are starting a new business and were wanting to learn more about my experience founding a brand.

My response to their question… the hustle is real. I don’t talk about it often because people generally just want to hear about the successes. The reality is that for 2 years I was a full-time college student and 3 years after that I worked as a server at a restaurant 5 nights a week, while I was also working full-time to make this dream a reality. I didn’t get a day off and I didn’t get paid anything from the organization, none of us did.

Now, this won’t come as a surprise for any entrepreneurs out there, but it’s an imperative lesson for anyone interested in starting something. The timeline looks different for every person and every business, but the one constant is that it will test you to your furthest limits. That’s what you are signing up for.

Takeaway: There are no overnight success stories. As a result, you are going to have to be willing to sacrifice an awful lot (more than you are most likely thinking right now even) to get to the point of where you start to get paid to pursue your dream.

But don’t lose heart. It is possible.

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dear leaders, it’s ok to hurt

Kohl Crecelius Dominican Republic

Be Human, Not A Hero

We’ve all had those epiphanic moments in our lives. The ones that bring an undeniable clarity to a situation and prove to change the way you think moving forward. You know that your reality has changed the instant it strikes.

I want to share with you a lesson I learned while spending 6 days in a Dominican hospital…

While in college I spent a summer volunteering with an international aid organization in the Dominican Republic. I worked with Haitian refugees tutoring children in english and math, as well as putting on extracurricular activities. It was extremely challenging for me on nearly every level, but the worst had yet to come.

Near the end of my trip I got sick. Very sick. I’ll spare most of the details, but I had consumed an incredible number of parasites (the most the hospital had ever seen in one person) and I also had a serious bacteria infection in my arm. Either one of these issues could have been life-threatening, but both of them together gave reason to consider an emergency airlift back to the states.

Many things during those days were a blur. I was sick and hurting. I was in the most vulnerable state I have ever been in, but I didn’t want others to know. Selfishly, I wanted to be strong and present an image of confidence and put-togetherness. I wanted people to return home “wowed” by how stoic I was in the face of this terrifying situation. I didn’t want others to have to go out of their way to help me because I thought I could deal with it.

As a leader, I had built in my head this idea that the best leaders are those that don’t need anyone else. They are the ones who stand alone and bear incomprehensible burdens with the great strength only they possess. And here I was, unable to get to the bathroom without having someone help me, nor bathe myself. I was broken.

Through all of this, I learned that it’s ok to hurt. I learned that it takes strength to show others that you are hurting as well and to lean on them for help. No one thought less of me when I didn’t have the energy to engage in conversation or to be a warm or welcoming host in my hospital room.

I wanted to be strong for others, instead of letting them be strong for me. It can be hard to embrace love and care, but for your sake I hope you are able to learn this lesson sooner than I and under better circumstances. There is a time to be strong and there is a time to be human.

Ultimately, I believe that people want to follow humans, not heroes.

it's ok to hurt

This is me in the hospital with my (future) wife who was by my side. So that came out of it as well. 🙂

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seven questions for leaders

You are a leader. Trust me.

Ask yourself these seven questions… (via Seth Godin’s Blog)

1) Do you let the facts get in the way of a good story?

2) What do you do with people who disagree with you… do you call them names in order to shut them down?

3) Are you open to multiple points of view or you demand compliance and uniformity? [Bonus: Are you willing to walk away from a project or customer or employee who has values that don’t match yours?]

4) Is it okay if someone else gets the credit?

5) How often are you able to change your position?

6) Do you have a goal that can be reached in multiple ways?

7) If someone else can get us there faster, are you willing to let them?

No textbook answers… It’s easy to get tripped up by these. In fact, most leaders I know do.

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Here is a summertime truth: abundance is a communal act, the joint creation of an incredibly complex ecology in which each part functions on behalf of the whole and, in return, is sustained by the whole. Community doesn’t just create abundance – community is abundance. If we could learn that equation from the world of nature, the human world might be transformed.

Parker Palmer

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