It is hard to sleep while you are trying to change the world

  I think it is 4:00 AM, or at least I think it is. I am in the midst of that weird space-time loop created by time zones and modern air travel. I do know that I am somewhere between Dhaka, Bangladesh and Doha, Qatar (on the way to Mobile World Congress in Barcelona). But it doesn’t really matter much as the results are the same:  I can’t sleep. You see, I find it hard to sleep while trying to change the world. I had one of those “Holy Shit Ma!” moments just before I boarded the plane. The kind where it hits you hard across the head with the reality of what 9 months of head-down effort brings upon you (or nearly 5 years if you factor in the big picture). For me, the trigger was seeing back-to-back-to-back ‘check-ins’ from the team back home in Canada as they arrived at the airport to make their way to Barcelona. My mind’s eye is animating the trip using that age-old movie technique of drawing those looping, red lines on the world map as the protagonist, accompanied by some sort of triumphant music, flies from one side of the Atlantic to the other – a la Indiana Jones. In this instance, it is the kind of movie where all the allies are converging on a single spot on the map simultaneously, where the climax is bound to happen. The showdown. The epic battle. It all comes down to this. Except that it doesn’t. It has been one hell of an odyssey to get to this point. And I am not just talking about this trip, though field testing YO! across assorted Bangladeshi campuses and within the public WiFi networks on the streets of Dhaka would have given me enough material to pen a sequel to any of Homer’s great works. This odyssey even goes further back – back beyond my first trip to Bangladesh, further beyond hiring our first few employees: both in Canada and in Bangladesh. It goes back to that which is truly important and the values that guide us as a Company. We have talked about these guiding principles before in telling Our Story, fittingly in the first post, but to recap we have:
  1. Show us something incredible.
  2. A fistful of dollars helps us keep score and is a means to improving the lives of those we care about.
  3. Don’t wait around for things to happen. Take responsibility for your actions and your outcomes.
  4. Failure is an option
  5. Challenge the status quo and Think Different.
  6. Success comes from repetition and doing the little things right.
  7. Make a difference in your ‘Community’.
  8. It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.
  9. Family is important.
  10. While you can never predict your outcomes, if you strive to make a positive difference, you can make a mark and change the world.
  11. There it is. It is written the last value, “While you can never predict your outcomes, if you strive to make a positive difference, you can make a mark and change the world.”
This is what is keeping me awake tonight (my laptop time says that it is now just past 6:00 AM), which in reality is only midnight in Barcelona, and it is still yesterday back home in Canada. Hah! Take that sleep gods! Make your mark. Change the world. We have been reflecting on our Company Values a lot lately, which is something that every company should do, especially in times of stress. It allows you to remember that which is truly important. Having just moved into a new office in Maple Ridge, our office design team asked Chris and myself if we could “shorten them up a bit” as he was wanting to incorporate them into the office decorations in some capacity. [Note: We moved in to the new office only the day before I left for Bangladesh, so maybe I have a design surprise for me when I get home?] I also used this trip, just as we did the last time too, to go through each of these core values with the office in Bangladesh via a team-wide talk. And it was in giving this presentation that this point kept coming to the forefront. With YO!, we have a great opportunity to make a mark and change the world. Oh no. Barcelona is not the end point of the trip. The journey has just begun.   Image source: u/abnaxus