In our end of year EnergyX all-hands meetings, I spoke at length about New Year’s resolutions. For the past 3 years I have created a “theme” for my year. In 2019, it was my “Year of Patience,” in 2020 I practiced a “Year of Sacrifice,” and finally in 2021 a “Year of Perseverance.”
All of these themes were set before the year, and ironically they really came true. These themes guided me throughout each year as I worked hard to implement my chosen characteristic or trait into my life and work. I’m telling you this because as I reflect on EnergyX, I look back and realize that this my first time traveling down a road in terms of the significance this company has become.
I have never started a company that has grown to this size, accomplished this much, or gained notoriety to this level. Every company only starts as an idea, as did this one. There wasn’t much to do the first year in 2019. I was literally by myself making a Google spreadsheet for “Business Development” thinking about who I could cold call or email and tell about my “big idea”. There weren’t a million things to do in 2019, and Patience was very important. We went on to sign our first license with the University of Texas that year (which took 9 months of waiting), and rented a small 500 sf lab.
The next year, 2020, I knew that if I wanted EnergyX to succeed I would have to give it absolutely EVERYTHING I had. I’ve started companies in the past that haven’t panned out, and self-admittedly it was mainly due to my lack of focus. I was partying late nights in LA or traveling to “social” events for fun like Coachella or Sundance; this was not going to be the case in 2020 with EnergyX. If EnergyX was going to become successful, I would have to sacrifice all other aspects of my life and dedicate 100 hour work weeks, every single week of 2020. Turns out Covid hit, and there were no fun events. However, I literally worked 16 hour days, 7 days a week, all 52 weeks of the year; that was in essence my resolution. I still didn’t hit my goal of closing a Series A financing, but I doubt EnergyX would be where it is today without that year of Sacrifice.
2021 rolled around and I dubbed this year for Perseverance. My New Year’s resolutions notes say this word for word:
“Don’t give up. Don’t EVER give up (A nod to Jimmy Valvano). 2020 was a hard year for everyone. Practice perseverance in daily life, and with long term goals.”
Even with all the sacrifice in 2020, I knew that if I just persevered a little longer things would turn my way. I told myself it was a tough year for everyone; People all over the world experienced lots of sacrifice and hardship; it was a global pandemic afterall. We are still experiencing it 2 years later. But in 2021, the strong will survive and for me it was a mental attitude of perseverance. As it relates to EnergyX, in January I ended up meeting the gentleman (Kris Haber, pictured with me above) who led our Series A, and it transformed the company. It allowed us to consolidate our team into Austin with Covid easing up, vaccines available, and open our own facilities. As I reflect back, our whole team persevered. It was impressive.
Now for the 2022 Theme…
Again I want to stress this is my first time in this type of position, leading a company of this magnitude, walking (or for us, sprinting) down this path. I have never led a group this large, or executed on some of the goals we have set forth for ourselves as a company. It’s all new to me, just like I hope some of your horizons and/or goals you have set for yourself in 2022 are new to you. At EnergyX we are traveling into uncharted waters together. Therefore, I have decided to focus on dual themes this year. Leadership AND Execution!
This is what I wrote down for part of my 2022 Resolutions:
- EnergyX is transforming into a formidable company and will have 50-100 employees in 2022. I will learn, study, and embrace true Leadership skills, and become a world class leader to my team.
- Finish what you start. Execute on goals with a single track mind until they are finished. Execution is key for 2022 if we are going to accomplish our scaling and commercialization goals.
To my team: Now remember, my themes don’t need to be your themes. We are all at different places in our lives, both work and personal. Also these themes don’t need to only apply to work, or they don’t really need to apply to work at all. If focus, or organization, or cleanliness, or friendship in a new city you just moved to, or self-confidence is something you want to work on, make that a priority! Think about it every day. Say it out loud in the mirror 10x in the morning and 10x before you go to bed…seriously.
I hope that like in years past, these themes will come true and guide my year. If that turns out to be the case, EnergyX will be in a good position.