How To Be One In Ten Thousand

Hint: You Gotta Start with Yourself

To be honest, as this world goes, is to be one man picked out of ten thousand.

– William Shakespeare, Hamlet

This quote, from a cynical, angry, and disillusioned Hamlet speaking to Polonius while subtly devising retribution for his father’s death, hits home for a reason. Honesty still feels rare, especially in capitalism. 

It’s not just big-ticket issues like false advertising, worker exploitation, and climate abuse. Behind the scenes, there’s a quieter but vital issue at play: we are dishonest with ourselves. 

Fueled by lesser motivations like insecurity, fear, martyrdom, and envy, we chase unrealistic outcomes and ruin fortunes. I know because I’ve done it. 

I see this problem in my work transforming startups. 75% of VC-backed companies fail even to return investor capital, yet founders believe they have an 81% chance of success. These psychological blind spots distort  our path and hinder our destiny. 

Being one in ten thousand is about winning by not falling prey to egoic desires, false narratives, insecurities, or shame. It’s about the long-term, “how did they pull it off?” kind of success that comes from being gritty, purposeful, and honest. 

That’s what you’ll find here: an exploration of the challenges and opportunities inherent in building meaningful organizations that blow the doors off expectations in the long run. This is what it looks like to win big while making lives better. 

I’ll be learning with you, not talking at you. Exploring the role of human creativity, desire, hope, and connection on the ground that technology is rapidly destabilizing.

I hope you’ll stick around. 

Building Intuition

“This above all: To thine own self be true,” says the above-mentioned Polonius as an act of fatherly wisdom imparted to his son Laertes upon his departure from Denmark to France. Despite Polonius’s questionable character, this line has remained etched in our brains since 9th grade English. 

When I meet a founder with a failure or two under their belt, they approach things differently the next time, harnessing a level of self-awareness, discipline, and patience that was needed the first time around. Instead of playbooks, they reground in earned intuition. They are true to themselves and more successful as a result. 

I have a growing library of founder stories that will help you be a better leader and human. Tell me what ideas and stories you want to hear most and I’ll make it happen. Shoot me an email at [email protected]

My driving force is to change capitalism for good by aligning success with humanity. Let me know how I can best serve you in aligning with that north star ♥️.

A Thundercrack or a Seed

Heavenly God! cried Stephen's soul, in an outburst of profane joy…His cheeks were aflame; his body was aglow; his limbs were trembling. On and on and on and on he strode, far out over the sands, singing wildly to the sea, crying to greet the advent of the life that had cried to him.

– James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

In nature, some seeds lie dormant in anticipation of the season most conducive to their growth. This is true of art as well. There are ideas whose time has not yet come. Or perhaps their time has come, but you are not yet ready to engage.

– Rick Rubin, The Creative Act: A Way of Being

Inspiration can take the form of a thundercrack—an epiphanic, holy shit moment that knocks us off our feet, or as a tiny seed with the DNA of its potential, but needing air and water to become its destiny. This is true in life and business. 

For companies, the thundercrack may be a profound whiteboard moment or signing a game-changing partnership, while the seed can be a curious comment from a customer or a random weekend hack from a developer. I find that seeds are more common in business, but both are absolutely critical creative moments that define companies. 

The key is to have your antennae up—to be curious and receptive to inspiration, regardless of the form in which it arrives. If we’re too heads down, or too caught up in our own ruminations, we miss these moments. 

What opens your mind to be more “receiver” than “sender”? Meditation, play, laughter, books?

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With Love,