A note...Written on May 25, 2017 by Chris Stephens
To our readers: If you would permit me, I would like to use the blog for my own purposes. From time to time, I would like to write to my team, currently the 36 people who call Puget home. Why don't I simply email each of them instead of publishing here? I want these letters to be a stake in the ground, and there is no better way to commit than to say it publicly. I hope you enjoy these letters as well, as they provide a little peak behind the curtain.
To my team,
I have been putting this off for far too long. Last time I published, it freaked people out a bit (or a lot), so in full disclosure, I am hesitant to post this. What is the point of this letter? Well, I don't know if it has a cohesive theme. These letters are just thoughts that I would like to pass along. I always enjoy connecting with people individually, but as the company grows, I have found that harder to achieve. This is a poor substitute, but at least it is something.
I would like to tell you my great fear for our little company: regret. Here's the thing about regret...most people assume that regret stems from the things that you do. After spending time with people at the end of their time here on Earth, I haven't found this to be the case. Sitting with people facing their sunset, regret has never come from a place of experience, but rather from the chance not taken.
Obviously, in your life there will be infinitely more paths not taken when compared to the number of paths taken. So, sure, you could look at regret as inevitable. I guess this is true in the most binary sense, but I prefer to look at it as more of an accumulation. Our job is to keep the pile to a minimum.
So, how do we avoid regret? Trust your gut more. Be foolish. Take a risk. At the end of your journey, there are no real points for safety. Decide to do something great and do it -- be damned the consequences, as they are never as great as you fear. I could never be more proud than when one of you steps up to take a stand, even when it is in opposition to what I believe.
Remember when you were a kid, and you jumped off the roof, swung from the rope or danced like nobody was around? Were you full of joy? Yes? Well, that’s really what life's about.
I don’t have a goal to live long, but rather to live well. I've been the coward. I've played it safe. I conformed. Never again. The choices not made in those circumstances have left me with so much regret they left scars. Now, I thirst for passion. I wish I could bottle it up. I want to be around people who give a damn -- these people add to your life. Mediocre? It works for some, but not for me...and didn’t for the people I talked to at the end of their journey.
I know each of you has a life outside of our company. I also know, from talking to many of you, that those lives are fraught with challenges. I wish -- very sincerely -- that I could remove all those those complications, rid you of those problems...however, I have not been gifted those powers. The best I can do for you is create an environment where you are free to be daring. Here, you can be free. My hope is that once you drink from this cup, you will thirst for nothing less in all parts of your life.
No matter your job, don't ever think that what you do doesn't matter much. We are here to achieve a singular experience, and to make that happen, each and every part -- every cable, every phone call, every piece of packaging -- needs to be great.
It all counts. You count.
In our society, we have confused fame with success. You will probably never achieve fame, but that does not mean you cannot achieve excellence. It doesn't mean you have to settle for mediocre...or worse. Take a journey with me. I don’t care about your past. I only see your future. Let go of that fear. Let's make our dent in the universe.