Micah January 23rd


“Just figure it out.”

My dad, through much of my life, when I showed interesting in learning how to do something, would tell me “just figure it out.” I hated when he said that. “Just show me” I would implore, which, of course, he would also refuse to do.

Over the years, I starting figuring it out. I started to watch people that could do what I wanted to do. I started to listen.

And, slowly, I realized that it wasnt about the doing, it was about the learning.

I started asking questions, and never stopped. I stopped caring about failure, but I was just figuring it out. I realized, albeit slowly, that education was the aggregation of pieces of knowledge from many different people.

So, I learn.

Yesterday, I spent time with my friend Ted. Ted is an amazing person, that Im lucky to call friend. He runs Dogster and Catster, two sites that with my adoration for my pets, are pretty high in my book. At lunch, he talked about how after six years of building Dogster and Catster, he was finally learning the value of getting out from behind the desk and taking trips. We talked about how important the people in our lives were, and that giving time to those people wasnt something that we were giving up, but gaining.

I told Ted that much of the way I have gone about focusing on community, I learned in part from him.

A couple of nights prior, when I was in LA, I had the great pleasure to go to dinner with Micki and her friends, Jason, Claire, Cris and Daniel. It was a blast to watch them talk about fun times, roller derby, and other things that real friends discuss and laugh about.  During dinner, I kept checking my phone (for email and the like), and each time I did, Micki asked me to put it away and “stop working.”

It got me thinking, Ive done the startup life since I was 9. I was hiring the cool kids in high school 14. Work is what I do. In many ways, it defines me. I can talk about startups and pitch decks, and entrepreneurship all day. But, what about other things?

So, I learn.

Last night on IM, my friend Erin was telling me that she was about to cry. “Why?” I wondered. “Its this telethon for Haiti.”

I didnt know there was a telethon for Haiti. I dont read the news. I never look at CNN. I hate that 99% of all news is bad, and that the good news has a negative slant to it. It just bums me out, so I avoid it. I figure if its important, someone will just tell me about it.

“Micah,” Erin explained, “if you dont know whats going on in the world, how can you help?”

So, I learn.

As I start this Year of People, I am realizing that each time I spend time with people, that I respect and trust I am gaining more than I am giving. That even if all I do is split lunch or even just a box of Wonka Nerds with someone, the connection is what matters.

Maybe, just maybe, I am beginning to figure that out.

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