The spirit, the will to win, and the will to excel are the things that endure. These qualities are so much more important than the events that occur. –Vince Lombardi
Winning feels a bit like a hallucination. I am so accustomed to the doing and the trying that for so long has characterized the incremental progress of Good Clean Love that being recognized as a winner feels a bit foreign. I won the Willamette Angel Conference here in my home town of Eugene, Oregon. It wasn’t my perfect polished pitch or even our understated sales projections that won them over; it was, I believe, the authenticity and courage that reveals itself in the work of creating something out of nothing.
Wilfred Peterson said, “Success is focusing the full power of all you are on what you have a burning desire to achieve.” This passionate courage and determination to become the person I wanted to be and the will to do the work that felt like it was mine to do has been the leader on many a dark day, when the numbers didn’t make sense and the world would not bend to my vision. There were many days that I could not understand what made me press on, except for my fervent inability to quit.
Long ago, I hung the lyrics to one of my all time favorite U2 songs “Miracle Drug” on the wall, “There is no failure here sweetheart. Just when you quit…” and when it comes to the work of love in any form, I am convinced that breakthrough is just beyond the place where most of us give in and give up. Today was the breakthrough that was years in the making and how sweet to be recognized for the work of the heart that makes you who you are.
Repeatedly, the people who had participated in this process over time noted the clarity of the company message and brand and how authentically I represented this. Earning the respect and confidence of some of our community’s respected business leaders and entrepreneurs is not just a shot in the arm financially, but even Aristotle recognized that success is one part a clear and practical ideal and one part the necessary means to achieve it. How deeply gratifying to witness the values that have driven your endeavor reflected back to you so clearly. This is a win that will take me further than the bank, because for me it means that the work and mission of Good Clean Love is making its way in the world.
Tomorrow we turn the page to a new chapter in the story of making a love company successful. I think we have entered the territory we have been looking for and I am ready and excited to navigate with a new map. This is no doubt why Mark Twain said, “To succeed in life, you need two things: ignorance and confidence.”
Loving always carries a win. Whether it is loving your family, your job, or building a company dedicated to love, living life authentically is winning every day, whether or not anyone takes note. But what a nice day when someone does see it.