2020 Nearly Killed My Startup Vision

But it also supplied me with the focus and clarity to win 2021

Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one. — Bruce Lee

I remember distinctly how 2020 began for me.

I messaged a few friends, letting them know that “2020 would be the year of vision.” I knew it wasn’t clever, but I believed it. I spent the first several months of the year living that fantasy, absorbing myself in the near, brighter future I’d help shape. I mapped out my business plans, high on more than my own supply. I was going to find success, and through that success, change the world.

Fast forward to end of 2020, and the world changed entirely, without any input from me at all. The beautiful vision I was so passionate about was replaced with its more practical, unattractive cousin: clarity.

I moved to South Korea when Covid really started to hit America hard, certain of nothing except that it was the right move for my family. During my time here I have been entirely sober. No booze, no weed, and with two kids and my in-laws regularly living with us in de facto quarantine. At workhome my waking hours have never been more stressful, a monotonous hermit reality, more screen than sun. There could be no more sobering experience than living through 2020.

Through sobriety, I find, if nothing else, a focus more intense than I’ve experienced in my entire life. I’m awake till midnight, up at 5am. I’m here for it — life — every single day. I’m taking things a lot more tactical now, both at workhome, and homework. Small, incremental wins. 1% better, everyday, because there is no other choice.

If you look at a picture of an athlete in the heat of the moment, it’d be easy to mistake his focus for anger. In my case, it’s both.

To 2020, fuck you. To 2021, bring it, bitch.

Cal Chan is the President of Trilogía, CEO of Engaging, and Co-Founder of Vitamin Bounty and Active Wow.

Father of two sons and four brands.

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