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Peak Early or Be a Late Bloomer?

Welcome to BW Missions Newsletter 14

Timon, the Meerkat: this was the invisible nametag I carried throughout high school. During one of the very first few weeks of my freshman year, I vividly remember one of the “popular kids” coming up with this nickname for me. Everyone burst out laughing as I sat in silence, trying to be a good sport and take a joke… But it hurt. Like any good branding movement, this unwanted way of marketing me spread through the school like wildfire… and it never stopped.

I definitely didn’t identify as the weak and timid meerkat portrayed by this Disney character then, and I still don’t today (although he is pretty funny and memorable).

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See the resemblance? 🙂

This isn’t a memory I dwell on too often, but it instantly came to mind when I watched David Schnurman give a TEDx Talk this past May in Brambleton, VA. I felt a pang of identification as shared his story of being called an oaf (a stupid, uncluttered, clumsy person) by the popular high school crowd. Just like me, he couldn’t relinquish this nickname until he graduated and went off to college.

Listening to his speech made me feel so much less alone. By sharing his story, he gave me — and countless other kids who are experiencing this same type of bullying right now — a spark of hope. The more we can talk about and laugh at these stories that used to hurt, the less power they have to hold us back.

In retrospect, I’m thankful for this experience because it made me stronger. I’ll never let anyone define me like that again, and it’s empowering to take my identity and future fully into my own hands.

Sometimes I wonder to myself if these long-held regrets may have been opportunities:

  • Not being the most athletic person in high school
  • Having to stay after class in Algebra I & II and Physics just to pass
  • Hitting a growth spurt during junior year instead of as a freshman in high school

I think I’ve found a really important answer to all of the above:

Maybe it was a good thing I didn’t peak too early.

I was a late bloomer, and now I realize that’s ok. Blooming later than most meant I never had the chance to be cocky. The upside to lacking self confidence at an early age was the empathy it gave me; I never put others down in high school or in college. I was too busy coming into my own.

Looking back from where I am now, I’m grateful my journey took the shape it did.

And for you reading this right now, I think it’s great to struggle, overcome it, and grow from it. It builds bravery, strength, courage, and many attributes worth carrying forward.


Elie Levy: Newsletter 14 Featured Mission

I met Elie Levy through his investors at BluePrint Equity. Elie is one of the most humble, hungry, and passionate entrepreneurs I have ever met. He serves at the helm of Sunwave Health as CEO and CIO.

Having founded the company after seeing the dire straits of software in the Substance Abuse Treatment space, Elie made it his life’s mission to enable, equip, and empower the centers providing this treatment to operate efficiently from a technological architecture standpoint. As a leader in the industry, Sunwave provides a platform with a variety of applications, including HR, Billing, EMR, and CRM, among others. 

Beyond his business acumen, Elie is one of those people who has a huge heart and empathy for others, operating with a pronounced emotional intelligence that is rare in his industry and at his level of success. When I recently had a conversation with him, I sensed a tenacity to fight against all odds, a certain grit that has imbued itself into the very culture and approach of his business. 

Fun fact: when he was an 8 year old boy in Venezuela, Elie received a book about computers as a gift (despite his family not owning a computer at the time!). He then taught himself how to code and would write programming language on to any blank piece of paper he could find. All these years later, Elie has served in multiple disruptive capacities in the tech space, carving out his own unique path and serving as an example of the best aspects of the American Dream. I suggest you connect with him. He’ll be a valued addition to your network as he has been to mine.


Opportunities: Newsletter 14

TAKE THE BWMISSIONS GRATEFULNESS CHALLENGE!

For this edition of our newsletter, we’re turning our focus to personal growth—yours! As Thanksgiving approaches, it’s a special time to give thanks for the special parts of lives we value most. 

Gratitude doesn’t have to end on Black Friday. Practicing daily gratitude can make a real impact for your personal growth. According to Psychology Today, here are 7 scientifically-proven benefits you can gain from practicing daily gratitude:

  • Create Opportunities to Build New Relationships
  • Boost Your Physical Health
  • Improve Psychological Health 
  • Enhance Empathy & Reduce Aggression
  • Help You Sleep Better
  • Improve Self Esteem
  • Increase Mental Strength

We’ve put together a guided prompt for you to harness the power of gratitude for personal growth. Share your responses with us on LinkedIn by tagging #BWMGratefulnessChallenge.

THERE’S NO MOMENT LIKE THE PRESENT FOR BOOK GIVEAWAYS!

The Holidays are right around the corner, and I have the perfect gift idea for you!. I’m giving away one free book each written by a few of our best clients. 

Fill out this form to enter, and the lucky winners will receive one on my behalf!

ARE YOU THE NEXT ALL-STAR GUEST WE’LL FEATURE ON OUR PODCAST?

Within just a few months, we’ve recorded 15 episodes of our podcast so far. By the end of the year, we’re on track to produce… drumroll… 20 total! We are going full bore with the show, a full launch, and related content when we launch our channels January 13. Our team is selecting one lucky listener to come on — apply here and it could be you!


Resources: Newsletter 14

GET SMARTER WITH EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE

I’ve often found soft skills and emotional strengths to be my greatest assets. I really believe if we have the tools in our toolkit to effectively navigate the world and our relationships, we can achieve anything we want with the people we want.
Here are two excellent resources I highly recommend: 

  1. Mark Manson’s 5 Skills to Help You Develop Emotional Intelligence
  2. My recent LinkedIn post featuring Gina Mallicone of Greatness U

ARE YOU SCARED TO LEAD WITH A FIRM HAND? CONSIDER RADICAL CANDOR: 

I’ve become much firmer as a manager with our team. I’ve also had to adopt better processes with our weekly management, as well manage each individual differently based on their personality type.

Check out this book, Radial Candor, by Kim Scott- It’s been an excellent resource for me!

I think this school of thought is important for those of us who are interested in entrepreneurship, human behavior, and defining our own path and not conforming.

P.S.: You know it’s a good newsletter when two of your best friends recommend it. Thanks, Ben Bradbury and Tyler Denk! 🙂


Events

#GivingTuesday is coming up on December 3rd! This national day of philanthropy is an excellent opportunity to support local and national nonprofits by donating and volunteering. 

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Just the other week, I participated in Girls on the Run with my little sister. She finished her 5k in 30 minutes, 10 minutes better than last year. It was neat to watch her push past her limits as we ran side by side. This was a very special experience for me empowering young women to reach their full potential. Donate here!

“A quiet mind is able to hear intuition over fear.”

In the most uncertain times of my life, when everything is still, and very scary, if you listen closely, that voice inside creeps through. It is able to tell you how you really feel, what is right, and make the best long term decision. I just made one of those for my life, which was the right decision, yet felt the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life.

The Pathfinder
Catherine Kushan

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