This morning, I shamed her for her laziness.
“It’s 7:30am on a beautiful Saturday. No customers are sending in questions, no business emergency surfaced overnight. How can you still be laying in the same place I left you eight hours ago? Don’t you have any drive? Don’t you have goals?” With forehead veins starting to pop, “Where is your motivation for action, Ser Pounce!”
Obviously, I know the answer. She’s a cat. Her motivation is to maximize sleep and conserve energy. The human desire to “do something” will never equal the animal desire to rest a long time in a safe place.
The uncertainty of the future – if she even has a concept of time – adds no stress to her life. On the occasion her equilibrium is out of balance – likely my failure to feed her in a timely manner – she lets me know immediately.
That is her world. Rest, speak up against the tyranny of imperfection, and sleep.
In December 2019, my cat personified a large portion of business owners, myself included. The economy was humming, we were in our usual resting spots, and our environment was safe. There are always times when we need additional “food” from our masters (usually around tax time). But overall, we churned along towards our goals, driving forward with our pre-pandemic plans.
This morning, Ser Pounce reminded me of my life one year ago. Comfortable, content, and enjoying that warm sunshine streaming through the window.
Babies don’t sleep this well…
How is Your Company Doing in the Pandemic?
Did you hesitate to ask your friends how their careers were going over the past year? I know I did. I live in Las Vegas, a city hit very hard by the slump in travel, cancellation of conferences and the closure of in-person entertainment. For a majority of the pandemic, our city had the highest unemployment numbers in the country.
I was nervous to greet my neighbors with that quintessentially American catchphrase… “Hey, how’s it going?”
What if I got a true answer?
My friends and neighbors were likely equally hesitant to ask me the same question. But eventually we all came around to it. “Hey Michael, how is your company doing in the pandemic?”
Obviously, a valid question.
Yet there’s a follow-up question nobody asked. Yet, I ask it of myself daily.
“How did the pandemic affect the future of your online business plans?”
Appreciate, but Diversify
Despite weekly outages of major tech platforms, we tend to believe in the redundancy of the Internet. We’ve never had a true week-long meltdown that was unrecoverable. Whether we realize it or not, we believe the Internet is resistant to complete disruption – outside of intentional government interference.
Yet, if you look at the intricacies and dependencies, we are one broken underwater sea cable or Russian interference campaign away from finding ourselves in a prolonged “Internet pandemic”.
The Coronavirus pandemic taught us a lot about gratitude, savoring time with friends and family, and living in the moment. It’s a lesson we didn’t want to learn this way. That said, it’s a valuable reminder about what truly matters.
Once thoughts of gratitude subside, human nature starts to take over. In the past year, I started to reflect on the future for my family, out of a natural instinct of self-interest and preservation.
The question I started to ask myself most often was, “If the pandemic wasn’t an illness, but instead a bad actor took the Internet down for 12 months, what would I do?”
What would any of us do?
I don’t have an answer right now. I really don’t. It’s still a question I wake up thinking about every day.
Writing and publishing online is one action I’m taking to try and answer that question. To share whatever knowledge I can. So others can take tiny bits and pieces of my experience and patch together answers to the same questions.
The pandemic unleashed a flood of pent-up creativity across the globe. I hope others continue to write, teach, create, and share what they’ve learned too. So that all of us can piece together a future where we’re more resilient, more unbreakable, and more antifragile together – even when we are apart.
A world made real, every day, by cats.