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The truthful lesson

Today I remembered to be truthful.

First, let me tell you about one lonely afternoon, when I was in high-school. That was the day when I decided to be truthful to others.

While listening to my form master, I had a small but powerful moment of clarity and decided that no matter the situation I’d find myself into, I would always tell people the truth. Don’t think I was excessive in terms of “not telling the truth”, as against other friends or kids the same age. I was normal. But, out of the blue, I concluded that any version of the truth except “reality”, was a waste of time. Mainly I came to that conclusion because I was always forgetting what I previously said. I also saw it as an unnecessary load that I didn’t want to carry on even at a small level.

It was a rule of mine that helped a lot and strangely enough, I stuck with it since then.

Today though, something strange happened. I had a casual meeting with a friend who’s also an entrepreneur. We were talking about my company and for the first time, for the first time in quite a while(years), I felt completely dishonest. While talking, I was trying to make logical connections that didn’t exist between unfinished pieces of my work so that it would enhance the “vision”. When I realized that some of those connections weren’t there, I pushed them to be. I knew it’s not good and I panicked. The feeling became so intense to a point where I saw every single thing that was coming out of my mouth as a complete chain reaction of odd, illogical set of words that go up against each-other in the most obvious possible way. My stomach turned upside down and I entered into a state of anxiety that blinded the conversation and sent me at a 3rd person, observer level of the situation. When I got out, literally, I couldn’t even talk. I was blank.

That didn’t happen to me before and I will never let it happen again. As a Founder and CEO of any company you have a big vision, a vision that you’re always selling to other people. You know/see every detail of your work and try to make it, so that it reflects the future and the “grand plan”. This is very common between entrepreneurs. “Fake it till you make it” they say.

My simple advice: don’t fake it. You either make it or not.

Be aware that faking could lead down a slope where you try to convince other people that something you believe in is true(even if you don’t know for sure). You will come up with details to enhance your point of view and you will not be honest with yourself. You will start defending against simple questions that come from people with good intentions and you will start protecting the image of your work in an aggressive way, to its complete detriment. As with the high school story, faking, it’s more complicated than making it. So focus on making it.

Be patient with the things you create. It takes time for them to become “big”. You should love them even when they’re small and ugly and people say they’re useless. It’s your work.

I don’t think I will ever forget this day. If back then I decided to be truthful to others, today i remembered to be truthful to myself(and my work included).