You are the CEO of ‘You Inc.’

I really love this coffee shop in Hollywood called Rise & Grind. It’s not a franchise, but it’s awesome. They serve cold pressed juice, coffee and snacks. Like other coffee shops they have wifi. The decorations and feng shui (by this I just mean the layout, not any supernatural associations with the arrangement of furniture) are really cool.

I also love Apple. I have never had an iphone, but I’ve had mac computers for ten years now. I like the company. They’re innovative and pushing the rest of the tech market to step up their game. I’m a fan.

Both Rise & Grind and Apple Inc. are businesses. They’re primary function is to make profit. They are very different in size, number of employees, services, location, customer base, profit margin, etc. are very very different. But I like both of them for different reasons. And they both have someone who founded them. They both have someone who’s in charge of the direction of the company – CEO or President or something like that.

I used to believe that CEO was just a job. Someone will have that job, but they’re more like an employee occupying that position for a time and their influence over the company won’t be significantly different than anyone else’. But I was incorrect. The CEO of a company can make a huge difference in the future of that companies. Some CEOs like Alan R. Mulally (Ford) made a huge positive difference. Other CEOs like Ken Lay (Enron) made decisions that led the company to bankruptcy. So, now I believe that there really is one person in charge of the major decisions of a company.

What’s my point? Well, if you start a business, it’s largely up to you what kind of business it will be. Obviously, in order to keep it going for a while you need to make it profitable. But other than that, you get to choose every aspect of it. You decide who you market to. You decide whether to buy land or lease it. You decide who to hire and your company policies and everything. You could have a small business like Rise & Grind that probably supports twenty part time employees and five or six full time employees or you could aim to have a business like Apple that employs thousands and markets to billions. Either way, you’re gonna have to put in some effort. Either way, you’re going to not get everything you want. Either way, you’re going to have to make tough decisions.

Well, I have some good/bad news for you. It depends on how you look at it as to whether its good or bad. You’re the CEO of your life. Your life is completely up to your decisions. You decide if you want to try to be more like Apple or Rise & Grind or any other type you like. And at the end of the day, as long as you keep the business going, you get to call the shots. To some people this is scary. They don’t want the responsibility to guide their own life. They want permission or constant reassurance from outside sources as to whether or not they’re making the right choice. Other people might be excited by this news. They want the ball, because they know that they’re gonna get the touchdown.

And a great consequence of this analogy is that you cannot ever feel bad about being you. The world can’t be made up of only companies like Apple. We need small businesses just as badly as we need the multibillion dollar corporations. Just like we need the conservatives and liberals, the religiously devout and the atheists, the dog lovers and the cat lovers, those who loved Freaks & Geeks and those who simply haven’t seen it yet. If we truly need all kinds of people then you can’t feel bad about being yourself. We need you to be you. We don’t have another one of you.

So, be you. Be you loudly and on display. Don’t make others feel bad about being themselves loudly and on display. Everyone gets to peacock around the world with confidence. Because it doesn’t matter if you’re short or tall, bald or blonde, Team Jacob or Team ‘I don’t care.’ We all get to be ourselves.

It pains me to read articles or see videos about people who hate on other people for no other reason than that they were just being themselves. People get hated on because they’re gay or black or overweight or on a reality show. If you’re doing any of that hating, stop it. They’re just being the CEOs of their life. They’re just being themselves. They have that right as much as you do. And no one should make you feel bad about being you…unless you’re breaking the law. You can’t be that part of you if that’s who you really are. But other than that, you be you. And let others be themselves.

So, just to recap:

-You’re in charge of you.

-Maximize your happiness by choosing to be the type of you that you want to be.

-Don’t feel bad about being you.

-Make sure you remember that everyone else has the right to be themselves as much as you do.

-Don’t hate.

-Freaks & Geeks is amazing. You should really watch it if you haven’t seen it.

Thanks, y’all!

Rich

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