Johnson Cook

Atlanta tech investor. Entrepreneur.

Johnson Cook - Atlanta tech investor. Entrepreneur.

A Personal Struggle


Personal StruggleI’ve hesitated writing this post for a number of reasons. The biggest one is that I don’t know how to share this subject genuinely and fully open without coming across like an ass. And as you probably detected about me, I don’t have a half-throttle setting on being Open and Direct.    However, I’ve decided to give it a shot after realizing that many around me may suffer from the same affliction.

The affliction, the struggle, is that I really only love being around people who I believe share a similar energy level. A very high one. I love dynamic people who inspire me, who engage me, who show interest in their surroundings, who are extremely observant. People who are funny, and think I’m funny.  People who lead things, who fix things, who makes things happen, who get sHtuff done!

But I’ve come to realize that this desire has a pretty inherent problem. If you surround yourself only with likeminded people, we know how that turns out. Also, if I am to believe what I say that a True Leader Inspires, then I should work harder to be around those people who aren’t intrinsically inspired and energetic and perhaps make it my goal to help them find more energy. Or, perhaps on the other side of the coin, maybe I just need to be more accepting of people.  I need to work hard to find what I can learn from people who are more comfortable being observers than do-ers.

This personal struggle of mine, and I suppose others, can be more than an annoyance, but a true hinderance if you don’t design your personal network just the right way.  Some of the areas I think it becomes increasingly difficult to function:

Vision Sharing

All too often I spend days, weeks, and months forming a vision in my head and I become frustrated when I share it in a 20 minute conversation and the recipient isn’t immediately inspired to tears by my brilliance. I need to work harder to understand that if it took me that long to form the vision, it could take much longer for others to see it. It also means I need to spend more time thinking about how to communicate the vision after I have designed the vision itself.

Working with Volunteers

Ugh, this one is tough! Even if you can share your vision effectively, getting them motivated to be Selfishly Generous can take a lot of convincing. Helping the “observers” of the world understand that they will be more personally satisfied if they do a little more “Doing” and a little less “Observing” is tough!


When I like to socialize, it doesn’t mean I like to disengage my mind. I like to have a beer with someone it’s usually because the conversation is going to be awesome and less inhibited on awesome topics. Not mundane. More creative thinking, more energetic.    Some people around me (and you) however, simply prefer to socialize with small talk… or no talk. They like to sit and comment on the weather, the trees, their daily activities.. . and deeper more meaningful conversation doesn’t come into social settings.


Again, the challenge I have for myself is to learn how to disengage the afterburners once in a while. To change gears. To slow down. To enjoy everyone – not just because I am tolerating the time with them – but because I truly realize I can learn from everyone.   That is my challenge and you are welcome to make it yours.


Category: Action, General, Ideas

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *