Why We Do Work That Matters

It’s a 20 year plan, and it always will be, to quote Brad Feld. For me, this was my realization, and this is the important shit that has given me great focus, strength, resiliency, and excitement for my work and for the future. I am excited to contribute to the next 20 years as an ecosystem of the future, and to undertake the important work that is required to get us there

When times are crazy, find something important to work on. That is my strategy to help stay focused and committed to the bigger picture.

I am working on something important.

Are you? If so, what are you working on right now? How are you improving your business, yourself, and/or your family? Let me just back up for a hot minute. We live in crazy times. See my disclaimer at the bottom of the article. It is maddening, horrifying, embarrassing, depressing, and many more emotions all at the same time and non stop. To get through it, I just started talking…. talking with peer groups, mentors, friends, family, and inwardly talking with myself. After all that, I realized that focusing on important shit was what would give me the ability to succeed and maintain my own well being and my sanity. This time in history, in my opinion, is a great accelerator and has had a great focusing effect. If you aren’t working on what matters most to you now then it’s time to rethink your strategy.

For me, I am thinking about community, ecosystem design, and leadership.


What is important to me is our community, and the role of business, and my business (Smashing Boxes) in that community. Community is defined as our tech community, our entrepreneurial community and our community of people and humans in Durham, NC

Ecosystem Design

We know our role as both an ecosystem leader (myself), and an ecosystem feeder (our agency) and it’s time to step up and help make this a better ecosystem. And we want to define it better with specific parameters around the concept of better for all people, not just better for the VC’s, LP’s (high net worth individuals and sophisticated investors), and start up entrepreneurs.


What can we learn about leadership during this crisis? What traits of leadership that we forge during these times are to be kept and implemented for non crisis times. To continue building our community and to effectively think about ecosystem design, leadership and the role of leadership is a mission critical component. This recent post from Harvard Business Review does a great job of talking about leadership traits forged in crisis.


I have published the rest of my thoughts on my Medium account. Be sure to check it out and let me know what you think in the comments! 

Read Work that Matters

More to come on both Medium and here on the NMM blog! If I were you, I'd have the pages bookmarked for what's next! Talk soon! 

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