Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Commitment to optimism

Starting – and growing – a company like Julep is a journey in optimism. Everyday, I have to ask myself what I believe in, what I care about, and where I draw the line. Everyday I recommit to building a community that brings out the best in our guests and employees.

I am amazed the diversity of challenges we face daily. From our online cash drawer deciding to play hide and seek, to financing, malfunctioning equipment and the inevitable communication issues that arise when you’re growing quickly, I am stretching organizational and emotional muscles that I didn’t even know I had (which is WAY more than can be said for my nonexistent physical muscles . . .).

We are surely not the first, nor will we be the last, group of people to face such challenges. I’ve learned, for example, that schlepping laundry in taxi cabs across the city is par for the course for spas.

But I’m hopeful that we’re different in the way we address these hurdles. With honesty, engagement, and a commitment to making things better for each other in the future.

These were just ideas until the team came along. Now they are actual faces.

I’m learning that building hope together, even in our own small corner of the universe, is a huge responsibility. I am mindful of how fragile trust can be, and how easily miscommunication or lack of clarity can overwhelm the best of intentions.

But I’m also reminded, each day, of how powerful optimism can be, especially when it’s fought for and earned.

I recognize that this earnest pursuit of betterment is killing my ability to engage in cocktail banter. I'm losing my lawyer's ability to deliver cynical zingers from the sidelines. It may also be killing my ability to write in anything other than Oprah-ese. But we’re worth it.