It’s not easy , is it? The path to being born and helping it grow and seeing it mature and succeed. This is especially true these days, when disturbingly, as each month goes by, it seems less like a pandemic-induced anomaly and more like a way of life.
However, that doesn’t stop you. You have reached the top. You are a 2022 Inc. 5000 winner. Congrats and tribute to BlockFi, the number one company; Kitrum, with offices in Ukraine; to the revolutionary SnapNurse; to Castillo Engineering, and everyone else on these pages, or the ones I’ve spoken to over the past few months people I’ve spoken to, and many more found on Inc.com.
I know your struggle to get to this place, to reach the top 0.07% of all businesses, can only rely on Lenovo. Three or four years ago, I chose the easy way out, gave up trying to start a successful business, and embarked on the fork in the road that put me at the helm of Inc.
But In talking to so many people since then, I’ve learned your stories and taken them to heart. Difficult beginnings, moments of doubt, sleepless nights, only to wake up during the day and move on. I admire your shrewdness, your courage, your refusal to give up your child, no matter the odds.
Really, for me, the only thing on par with what you do is my son, an 11-year-old named Luca. I know it may seem crazy to compare businesses to children, but ask yourself, is it really a coincidence that many businesses start in incubators? Or is a newborn a minimally viable product? In fact, starting with IUI and IVF, Luca’s start was as tough as any start-up. But after a long struggle and time in the NICU and some bumpy years, he finally got a rapid growth.
Recently I sent Luca to his first school dance, the dance wasn’t a date but the celebration was so big – like every Inc. 5000 Conference & Gala ended Same thing happened when. He was nervous, but he had a phone and knew to text me if he wanted to leave. After about 90 minutes, I heard the phone ring. Oh, oh, I thought, and looked down.
“It feels good, it’s so fun!”
Maybe you know that feeling?
When I came to pick him up, he had glow sticks on his head like a sweatband, and there were six girls around – also sixth graders, not like him 5th grader – I even got credit for my efforts as one of his founders. One of the girls said, “Oh, you’re Luka’s dad? He’s a good boy. Short, but a good boy. You should be proud of the way you raised him.”
Now, I’m not going to say you’re short, but as we celebrate 5000 in this issue and prepare for our gala, I’m going to suggest that anything worth having is worth the struggle that comes with it, I agree with the th Six graders: You should be proud.
All of this is to say, here is the dance, no matter how long it is and how to get here. May it be happy, including your ice cream and glow sticks, and compliments from your fans.
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Excerpted from Inc. Magazine
September 2022 issue