Johnson Cook

Atlanta tech investor. Entrepreneur.

Johnson Cook - Atlanta tech investor. Entrepreneur.

Sneaky Catalysts to Reinvention

 

revolutionIt’s interesting what triggers big change. Often, change comes from something we don’t expect.  Often, it sneaks up on us.

I’ve been thinking a lot about mobile lately and how our mobile computing capabilities are forcing change in almost every established software market, whether it’s obvious or not.

Already, you could make the case that mobile completely changed the importance of e-mail in our lives.

Would Twitter be as massive as it is without mobile.

Facebook?

So what else is mobile going to cause to be reinvented? Some examples in my life…

The internet of things… I use my phone to manage my thermostats in my house. Can mobile be the trigger that causes a market shift for mechanical controls and building automation?     I love my FitBit Aria scale… is mobile responsible for a “health technology” revolution?

What about CRM?   We all say that Salesforce.com is ready to be disrupted as the market leader in CRM for SMBs. But how is this going to happen? It doesn’t seem to be coming from Sugar or Zoho offering web-based knock offs. Perhaps a mobile revolution in CRM is what the world needs to disrupt the intense pricing and overly complicated experience with Salesforce.

What about online learning?

What about word processing?   Presentation software?   (Can PowerPoint finally just die already?)

Maybe it will be mobile that sneaks up and disrupts these, or maybe it will be something else.   My point is that often a disruptor isn’t what we expect it to be.    If you’re a startup seeking to disrupt players Clayton Christensen style, be on the lookout for the catalyst that will accelerate your mission.

 

 

Observations of Trying on a New Hat – Entrepreneur to Investor

 

Bad Ass Bumblebee TransformerWith the launch of our Atlanta Ventures Accelerator along with some opportunistic angel investments through Atlanta Ventures, I’ve had the opportunity that is one of the most fun for any entrepreneur: to wear the hat of the investor.

No telling where exactly I will land in the bell curve of how well entrepreneurs transition into successful investors, but so far I feel like it’s a natural fit: given my love for connecting people, helping those I can help, and focusing on the right people for the right roles with the right values.  It’s also exhilarating and educational given that I’ve always bootstrapped and never had the opportunity to raise equity money in my previous companies. We always used personal credit cards, family, and bank debt to get from point A to B.   (I’m not sure I would do it that way if I had it to do over again, but that’s for another post.)

Some observations that any entrepreneur who transitions to investor will experience:

Optimism’s Complicated Role.

This is by far the biggest contrast between the two roles. Typically, the most successful entrepreneurs I know are the most optimistic ones. It’s not that they don’t acknowledge the dangers and challenges out there, it’s that they choose to focus on their resources at hand, and the vision of what they’re trying to accomplish. They are constantly and relentlessly optimistic. I’ve been told a few times that this describes me.      Now that I’m wearing the investor hat, however, it is impossible, and as such, ill-advised to invest in every opportunity that comes along. :)  (That’s putting it lightly. )     I meet tons of amazing people. I hear about countless brilliant ideas. Yet, optimism as to be put aside and realistic measures of probability of success have to be counted on when making decisions about a very limited supply of capital and unlimited demand.

At SxSW last year, Peter Theil describe a quadrant of macro economic sentiment.   It crossed Informed vs. Uninformed with Optimistic vs. Pessimistic.    His point of the talk was to say that we are currently in the  quadrant of Uninformed-Optimism.  He generalized that we are happy about the world right now, and we are saving up tons of cash, but we don’t really have a large purpose of overall societal goal.

That’s a long way to say that the frame work of Uninformed Optimism vs. Informed Optimism is how I have to think about investments we make despite my naturally optimistic tendencies. Where an entrepreneur can typically do well with Uninformed Optimism as the M.O., an investor must be informed about the Optimism. There must be overarching goals with intentional strategies and directional control from Day 1.  At a minimum, there must be some basis for the decision to invest other than “it just feels right.”

Patience.

As an entrepreneur, I can’t tell you how many times I would think of a new idea or direction as I was falling asleep and jump out of bed to spend several hours in the middle of the night creating, launching, building, or plotting. As an investor, everything is driven by conversations with people. I cannot decide that tomorrow I want to meet 10 investable startups. It just won’t happen.   I can control only one thing– the top of the funnel. I can meet more people. I can help my team meet more people. If we fill the top of the funnel, we will find some percentage of investable deals.   This is a fun transition for me.    I’m not sure I would have had the patience for this just 5 years ago.  It’s a new understanding of slowing down to go faster.

Freedom and Joy of Accountability.

It’s not secret, just like most VC’s out there, I too am using mostly OPM in these investments.  As a bootstrapped entrepreneur, I reported to nobody but my customers (and I can fire them).   If I felt like a half-ass year was ok with my bank account, there was nobody to discuss it with except my wife.      Investors with Partners who fund the activities however, have a fiduciary obligation to deploy capital and answer for the decisions made.   I have to be honest, I absolutely love this structure. It gives me a needle to move and for some reason I do much better when challenged externally.   If left to my own money and total freedom I find it hard to achieve the same focussed staying power.

Helping Seems Easier.

Because I meet so many people every week (for details on this, read The Grind post by Fred Wilson. This is spot on.), I find it much easier to make connections that change trajectories for people.   For talented folks looking to be placed, I have no problem finding them a role in some startup I’ve met… same goes for startups looking for team members, customers, or even additional investors.    I felt connected as an entrepreneur, but nothing like now.

Gut feelings still help, but must be checked.

Believe it or not, a gut feeling comes in handy as an entrepreneur turned investor, but there’s a caveat. First, it requires the self-awareness to know that my FIRST gut feeling almost every time will be an optimistic one.  After I’ve gotten over that and still like an opportunity, I’ve already benefited from acting on a gut feeling either positive or negative. When a fut feeling turns out to be right, it’s awesome.

I enjoy this new hat very much and look forward to sharing more thoughts here on the journey.

 

 

The Atlanta Ventures Accelerator – Background Ideas and Thoughts

 

Johnson-Cook-David-Cummings-Jamie-Hamilton

Johnson, David, and Jamie. Photo by my main man, Byron Small

Last week was exciting for the Village and for Atlanta. On Friday we announced the Atlanta Ventures Accelerator in this article in the Atlanta Business Chronicle and David’s blog post here. I’m super excited to be bringing this to life in partnership with Jamie Hamilton and Buckhead Investment Partners

It has been a 7-month process of reviewing our options for an accelerator and I wanted to share some of the thoughts, ideas, observations, and common questions that went into our thinking.

Does the world need another accelerator?

This was the question we kept asking ourselves as we considered whether or not to do this.   The answer: The “world” definitely has too many accelerators. However, I’m not concerned with the world… I’m concerned with Atlanta.  Atlanta does not have too many accelerators.  Atlanta has far too few accelerators, incubators, investors, and startup support organizations.  There are too few faces and names. It only takes a few weeks to get to know most people. That shouldn’t be the case. Atlanta needs more of everything in the ecosystem. More full time entrepreneurs, more angel investors, more angel funding organizations, more VCs focused on early stage tech, and of course more exits and big success stories.   The Atlanta Tech Village is a great platform, but it’s not the answer to all our needs. The Village is *a* leader (not “the” leader)  in a regional thirst to bring more programs and platforms like it to this already high-energy ecosystem.

Why are we non-cohort based?

The biggest reason is that we don’t want to be pressured by a scheduled start date to accept a specified number of companies.  We plan to be extremely selective in the companies accepted and by not placing any pressure to get X startups in the same cohort, we can take our time and be sure there is a total fit of the teams we accept.

Additionally, many of the benefits of a cohort driven program are the peer interactions. Because we are building this program into a Village where there are already over 100 startups and 300 people working on startups, we have no shortage of peer collaboration. We can leverage the existing community to bring that critical peer sharing and accountability aspect to the program. Most other accelerators don’t have this existing community on which to build. We are fortunate.

Structured curriculum?

Every startup needs different things. After speaking with several hundred startup entrepreneurs, we find a broad spectrum of domain expertise, customer understanding, product value proposition, and business model understanding. We weren’t able to identify a program that would be a one-size-fits all value proposition for startups. Instead, we decided that the investment terms of TechStars ($20k for 6% of the equity at a financing of $500k or more, plus a $100k convertible note) is the main common element that we felt appropriate to embrace.  More of a hand crafted approach than a factory production line (for now).

A Lean Accelerator

We aren’t seasoned accelerator directors, if there is such a thing. Admittedly, we are new at this approach compared to the YC’s and TechStars leadership. If we’re going to learn how to run an accelerator, we want to do it the same way we would start a company. One customer at a time. Lots of conversations. Lots of build -> measure -> learn.    We’ll figure out the best structure as we go. Of course we’re paying attention and learning from those that have gone before us, but we also want to learn our own lessons. Scrappy.

A single and simple KPI  

Everybody gets on base. It’s a money ball approach to accelerator.  The seed round is the goal for each of these companies.  How they get there will be different for each company. Some will have a product and need customers, some will need to spend many weeks on customer discovery. Others may have product, customers and revenue, but just need the contacts to raise the money.    Our goal is to do whatever it takes to get each and every company to that next step. Again, this is why we’ll be really selective on the front end.

What are you looking for in companies?

It’s nothing new. The right team. The scrappiest hustlers who know their space have focused energy, the gumption to put things together and make them work, and the polish to present themselves as adults (when called for)… but who don’t take themselves too seriously.   Nice people, who are dreamers, who pay it forward and know how to work hard and play hard.

It’s an exciting time for Atlanta and we hope the Atlanta Ventures Accelerator will be more fuel to the flame. To learn more and apply: atlantaventures.com/accelerator

 

 

Brad Feld, The Gandhi of Venture Capital

 

Brad-FeldBrad Feld needs no introduction.   I love this guy. Intense, open, and definitely thinking about the right things.   If you want to learn more about Brad, check out www.feld.com/. He’s also written a bunch of great books that I strongly recommend.   I am truly humbled and honored that Brad took some time to share some of his thoughts on the questions other entrepreneurs have been answering on this site.   Here we go….

What do you do as an entrepreneur to balance your most important personal relationships?

I have a series of daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly rhythms that I use with my wife Amy. We start each morning with “four minutes in the morning”, where no matter were we are in the world – together or apart – we spend four minutes together. We finish the day with a few minutes together before going to bed. Whenever Amy calls during the day, I answer no matter what I’m doing (her ringtone, which she chose a while ago, is the Imperial March). We try to spend as much of each weekend together as things are very intense during the weekday. Once a month we go out for “life dinner” on the first day of each month. This isn’t “date night” but rather a chance for us to reflect on the previous month and look forward to the next month. As part of the life dinner ritual, we exchange a gift. Once a quarter, we go on a “Qx vacation off the grid” where I give Amy my iPhone on Saturday and she gives it back to me the following Saturday. We go somewhere and have a disconnected vacation – where we are just together, the two of us.

What is your exercise routine? 

I’m a marathon runner so I’m always training for a marathon (I’ve done 24 of them). I generally try to run five days a week with long runs on the weekend. I like to swim, but don’t do it as often as I’d like to. I’ve never figured out how to do a consistent weight training routine – maybe v47 of me will figure it out.

What gives you the most personal energy?

I’m an introvert who functions extremely well in public settings. But to build up my personal energy, I need to sit quietly, either alone or with Amy. I like dinners with one other couple, long runs, and lots of time on the couch reading next to my awesome wife and dog Brooks.

What do you avoid because it drains your personal energy?

I don’t really avoid anything, but my normal routine, which includes a large amount of public activity, group meetings, and endless real time interactions, really drains me. 

What are your most proud moments regarding your own legacy?

I don’t think of myself in the context of having a legacy. I live in the moment, and try to do my best all the time with what I’ve got in front of me.

How do you find ways to help others and give back?

Amy and I have been very public and visible about giving to a wide variety of causes. Our goal is to give away all of our money while we are alive – we view the money as a tool to help us contribute what we want to the world. We also love to do things randomly – we call them random acts of kindness. They range for paying for dinner anonymously for the young couple on a date in a restaurant we are in to funding undergraduate education for amazing people we know who can’t afford the school they want to go to.

Do you have written personal core values, what are they?

I have a deeply held belief in “giving before you get.” I am willing to put energy into any relationship without any specific expectation of what I’m going to get in return. This isn’t altruism – I expect that the return I get across the sum of all the energy I put into things will dwarf what I put in – and it has over the 30 years of my adult life. However, I don’t need to define the transaction dynamics up front – I think this limits what you get out.

 

Person Building – The First Entrepreneur Profile

 

Since I launched this blog almost a year ago I’ve focused on topics around finding inspiration and energy required to build a better person. Specifically a person who happens to be building a business: the entrepreneur.

Most of the nuggets and ideas I’ve shared aren’t original. They are things I’ve picked up from the amazing people I meet every day.  So being a guy who is addicted to introducing people and making connections, I want to introduce you to some of these individuals directly.

In the coming weeks, I will be doing a series of short posts about successful entrepreneurs who have made a difference in my life.  They won’t be long in-depth write-ups, but they will be answers to a list of questions that always carry interesting answers.

I’ll do the proper thing and lead off by example, with my own answers to these questions. So first up: Johnson Cook.

What do you do as an entrepreneur to balance your most important personal relationships (spouse, kids, family)?

My wife and I have a goal to schedule at least two 4+ day vacations per year with just each other (no kids, no friends). It’s important to schedule the next one as soon as we finish one – 6 months out. Otherwise the insanity of 3 young kids plus everything else keeps it from happening.  I also have a morning routine with my oldest – to do breakfast together and take him to school. It limits my availability for breakfast meetings or being at the office early, but I make up for it by getting up around 5am each day to get in several hours of good deep work.

 What is your exercise routine?

I don’t let two days go by without running. If I have extra time on a non-running day, I will go to the gym and swim. Peachtree City has amazing trails in the woods and lakes that make for great combination of tasks: running time is quiet time.

What gives you the most personal energy?

Reading in the morning and exercise.  After exercise I feel unstoppable. If I miss a workout, I feel like crap.

 What do you avoid because it drains your personal energy?

People who are always down on their luck. People who constantly complaining but who don’t take action.  People who’re generally negative towards others.

Are you involved in a church or other religious organization? How do you think spirituality is important to your entrepreneurial success?

Part of what prompted the idea of this series of questions for other entrepreneurs is that I started noticing a trend that most “rockstar entrepreneurs” I know are either heavily involved in their church or are deeply spiritual in other ways.  Yes, I’m active in our church, (Peachtree City United Methodist Church) and occasionally attend different churches.   Our family is Methodist.  I believe having a rhythm to slow down and be in a large group on a regular basis that is pondering issues bigger than our day-to-day is very healthy.   (Side note: I also think that organized religion has done a lot to screw up the way people experience God. It’s a shame that churches in general have turned so many people away from an important personal necessity. But I won’t go there today.)

 What are your most proud moments regarding your own legacy?

I work hard to teach my kids that they are in charge of their own lives.  This especially focuses on entrepreneurship, but also on how they manage their decisions. I don’t think I had this realization until way too late in life and I think they can make a difference in the world if at least if they hear the right words over and over.

 How do you find ways to help others and give back?

I love making introductions, because I love helping people exchange talents, ideas, and resources.  I love, love it. I’m all about giving on an individual level more than an institutional level. Give to someone where you can see the direct impact that minute. It’s so rewarding and can go so far.

What hobbies are important to you and why do they give you energy?

Golf is great time to connect with friends.   Flying airplanes is great mental challenge, although something that my schedule has kept me from doing as much as I’d like. I don’t count running as a hobby because it’s way more important. Hobbies can be ignored.

Do you have a personal mastermind group? Can you describe how they give you energy?

My Entrepreneurs Organization (EO) forum, and my Quench Network (Quench) forum. They are amazing and are the most critical relationships to me aside from my family.

What competitive advantages do you have as an individual that has made / will make you more successful than the guy you are competing against in business?

I believe my morning routine is my competitive advantage. It’s setup nicely where I get all the fundamentals in first thing. I have established a rhythm of waking up very early, reading, writing, family time, and then workout. It’s the best way to start the day I can imagine.

I enjoyed answering these questions, and I hope you find a nugget that is useful.

 

 

Trust

 

One of the amazing aspects of the Atlanta Tech Village is the instant connection the members, aka Villagers, seem to have with each other. It’s great to watch friendships and close working relationships being formed because people share something in common as simple as working in the same building on similar life goals. It is with the these relationships beginning to form, that I believe we will see more and more a precious thing called “trust” form.

Trust is a huge asset in business. Trust is what makes people move. If I trust you, I will do business with you. If I trust you, I will recommend you to an investor, a potential employee, or a company working on a similar product.

Trust is also key to finding the secret to happiness: Alignment.  If you are working in an environment full of trust (both others’ trust in you, and your trust in others), you are more comfortable, happier, and able to function on a higher level.  Where trust is lacking, things stall. When a company doesn’t trust a leader – for lack of transparency, a question in competence, or just personality issues – a culture cannot thrive.

Trust, however, doesn’t happen just because you work in the same building. It happens over time. It happens through a series of short conversations and the occasional long conversation. It happens by learning about something else you have in common with each other. It is also very easily transferred.  I have my A-list of folks who come with an automatic seal of approval. If they trust you, and they tell me they trust you (either implicitly or explicitly), I will automatically trust you.

Trust is a cool energy builder. Try to trust more people.

 

 

Develop Yourself by Leading Leaders

 

challenging-climbIf you’re looking to grow as a leader, I challenge you to find a place where you can be a Leader of Leaders.

I’ve found that leading leaders is challenging, inspirational, and can lead to amazing trajectories in life. For me, some of my roles that have been most rewarding are taking on the role of moderator in my EO forum, then later joining the EO Atlanta Board, and now being involved in the Atlanta Tech Village.

In each of these experiences, working side by side with entrepreneurs who have already accomplished amazing feats in life, are extremely well connected, and are the most dynamic humans walking the planet has led me to be better in so many ways.

  • You learn from other leaders things that you can’t learn in a group of “ordinary.”
  • When a team is made up of all extraordinary humans, the team itself accomplishes things that “ordinary” teams cannot fathom.
  • Group dynamics in leaders are extreme. Managing strong personalities, deeply engrained opinions and passionate expression of those opinions is challenging and will push you to the limits of your patience and tolerance. It will make dealing with “ordinary” people seem easy.

This is one of the reasons the Atlanta Tech Village is emitting such an attractive energy to the community. It is the brightest and best the South has to offer all gathering in one small corner of Buckhead. The enthusiasm, optimism, geeky smarts, ambition, and inspirational accomplishments are amazing.

 

The Big Personal Energy Investment of 2013 – Atlanta Tech Village

 

Current Photo - Atlanta Tech VillageAs you know from the theme of my writing, I’m a big believer in the power of personal energy to make change. I believe that anyone who practices gumption, quiet reflection, and knows how to G.S.D. can make a huge difference on anything they are passionate about.    As we begin 2013, I’m excited to share that I’m making a big investment of personal energy by jumping into a “startup” called the Atlanta Tech Village.

The Atlanta Tech Village is a 100,000 square foot building in the heart of Buckhead. That’s all it is. Just a building. But along with David Cummings, David Lightburn and a whole team of high-octane entrepreneurs, we will turn this boring old office building into a vibrant and powerful, change-making community machine of startups and technology companies that thrive and grow together just as you would hope with a name like the Village.

Just as any VC would have to justify an investment of capital in a startup, here are my justifications for my investment of time, energy, and passion for the Atlanta Tech Village.

1. Always Be Around the Right People…

The central purpose of the ATV at this point is to bring startup entrepreneurs and their teams together with physical proximity. But with physical proximity comes true relationships, non-stop knowledge sharing, relevant connection making, and the ever-important generosity of giving before getting. Investing my time in at ATV not only gives me the honor and privilege to be around amazing people, but it allows me to practice what I preach and give before I get.

2. Perpetual personal growth…

Any ounce of success I’ve had in life to date has been because of the people with which I built relationships, but I have to admit, in the first 3-5 years of my first startup I didn’t appreciate this nearly as much as I should have.  I get fired up when I’m able to help people learn things that I know will help them grow faster and go farther.

3. Creating Brings Joy…

This blog helped me learn that I love the opportunity to create. And even in the first month of the ATV’s existence, there has been an unbelievable amount of creating to be done! And we’ve got many months and years of creating ahead of us.

4. Entrepreneurial Alchemist…

I’ve been told by my mentors along the way that I’m a business and technology alchemist. They mean that I love to mix and connect things together and see what happens. The ATV is going to be a powerful vehicle to connect entrepreneurs with entrepreneurs,  startups with customers, people with ideas, investment capital with startups, needs with leads, and on and on!  It will be a grand lab where crazy concoctions of ideas and resources are blended to create success… along with lots of welcomed failure and learning.

5. A Startup Association…!?

If you haven’t picked up on the theme here yet, the point is that the ATV is so much more than a building, it’s a community, an affiliation, a network, a group, an association of people.   Having 14+ years experience working with and around associations, I can see the power of a large group of people can make when they are organized around a single mission and direction. The ATV is a Startup Association with big ambitions and the most change-making-capable members you can imagine: startup entrepreneurs with passion.

2013 is shaping up to be a seriously kickass year.   If you’d like to come by and see a boring old building that is about to become so much more, check out www.AtlantaTechVillage.com. Or if you aren’t in any hurry, wait until the summer after Phase I of our massive renovations!  I’ll keep you updated here on the blog as well.

Happy New Year!

Bonus material — additional reading about the ATV can be found here, here, and here.

 

Top 12 Lessons from 2012

 

2012 was a great year for me, how about you?    To close out the year, I made a list of my top lessons learned.  I can’t say that I mastered any of the items below in 2012. Instead, I discovered that they are important principles we all need to constantly focus on developing.   I hope you share my sense of urgency to focus on these in 2013!

JC’s 12 from 12

1.  People are the most important factor in every life decision.

2.  Everybody has the same basic needs, successful or not.

3.  Intentional and TOTAL prioritization is powerful.

4.  Perpetual inspiration comes from inspiring others to help people.

5.  Alignment is having everything in your life moving in the same direction.

6.  Ideas are worthless.

7.  Jobs are easy to find. Alignment is key.

8.  It’s easy to start things that shouldn’t be started.

9.  Forward is the only productive place to look.

10. Slowing down makes me more effective than I ever dreamed.

11. I didn’t actually know how to be quiet and sit still until I was 32.

12. Gumption is a secret life skill and unavailable to most people.

 

I hope to expand on each of these in 2013. Happy New Year!

 

 

 

Something to Stand For

 

When you don’t know what you stand for… what if you decide to stand for the person beside you?

I am continually inspired by the military training for soldiers on supporting, protecting, and lifting up each other in combat.

They will never leave a man behind. Never.  They will fall on the grenade to save the team.  They will take the bullet their mate doesn’t see coming.  This is what elite military forces use as their ultimate strength and advantage in battle.

Their strength is their willingness to die for the man or woman next to them.

In my research on employee happiness, I’ve found that a major theme is that the happiest people give a lot of praise to their peers.   Where there is praise, there is also support on every level… physical, emotional, mental, political… total support.  The employees giving praise, giving support, giving to their team mates are the happiest ones out there.

As we talk about a society full of folks that struggle to find what they stand for, something to consider:

If you aren’t sure what you stand for, consider how meaningful your life could become if you decide that you stand for the people around you. What if you decide that your ultimate mission in life is to support and lift up your own family, or your friends, or your coworkers, or total strangers?   What if that could be your focus, your calling, your mission?

What if your strength and ultimate advantage is that you become willing to die for the guy next to you?

Now we’re talking.

 

Alignment for All

 

Being at Work vs. Being YouI was e-mailing recently with a young baby boomer who is considering a career change. He has always been in big corporate America, and knowing that I work with a lot of startups he was asking about the idea of getting scrappier and working with a smaller company than he is used to.  Then this comment came out and I was blown away:

I need to get my mind to a place where work isn’t “get-up-go-someplace-hang-for-8-hours-go-home” … like it’s been for the past, oh, few years….  Once I can do that, then all kinds of options pop up.

Yes, yes, yes!  (He had to know I was going to write about that.)    That’s what I call alignment, baby!

Alignment is when you can’t separate who you are from what you do to earn money.

Alignment is when you understand that to reach self-actualization, to become truly effective, to leave a big legacy, to find really-big-major-happiness, alignment must be realized.

When pursuing alignment, what my friend mentioned above is actually a step that comes late in the game.

Before you can identify how to align your work with your self, you must first be truly aware of who you want to be. This is why I love to talk about Core Values, Personal Creed, and just plain ol sitting still and quiet more often. You have to really have all this stuff in control before you can put it to work. Once you know who you are, where you are going, and what you’re all about… then you decide that you want your work to be in synch with this framework… then you will see that all kinds of options open up, and life gets interesting!

 

 

Outlets that Are Missing

 

I’ve learned a little about myself in dealing with the Newtown event and in speaking with some of my closest friends, I don’t think I’m the only one.   We’ve learned that we have several coping mechanisms that are our go to… and the way we have discovered them is that they aren’t there for this one.

  • Anger… in this case, we can’t identify anyone that we personally want to be angry with. We don’t have anywhere to direct that one.
  • Fix it… in stressful times, we want to find a way to fix the stress. Nothing doing.
  • Acceptance… in many losses, just accepting that it happened and finding peace that it was meant to be is a good way to move on. At this point, doesn’t seem appropriate.
  • Talk more… in the last few days, I haven’t found that talking about this one has helped much.
  • Passion… sometimes I just need to do more than talk it out, but talk it out with vigor… make a big deal, apply some of my infamous “energy” to the issue and make a splash about it. Again, I have no desire to talk big, think big, or do anything big about this numbness.

For me personally, I am left with only one outlet: time and quiet prayer.