Life as a chessboard: it’s black and white.

I know I usually start these entries emphasizing how busy last week was but I promise you this past week was the most stressful yet!

Not only have MBA classes started up again but my business partner has moved into an investor role, which leaves me in almost sole control of the business. Although it means I now have complete autonomy, I also bare the weight of all responsibilities concerning the business. It has certainly kept me up at night thinking about the company’s next move, what to release next as far as clothing goes and all the other little intricacies that add up…

I did however move forward this week with regards to the future of the company. I have been in contact with two big non-profits in the local area, trying to nail down one as our first official partnered charity for April. I am hoping that this does not only bring exposure to the brand but it can raise money for a deserving cause. Moreover, this will introduce the first colored items for Impower clothing.

With that being said, current stock is diminishing nicely. We are almost entirely sold out of our black t-shirts, and our white t-shirts are quickly moving too. Although orders are not coming in at the same rate as they were upon launch, they are still coming in. Although it is going to be tight, it looks like we will have our baseball caps coming in next week. I have not bought a lot of these so we shall see if people are as enthused as they seemed while conducting initial market research. Arguably the biggest sell will be the grey crew necks, which I also hope to be out by the end of the month. This will introduce our ‘big logo’ design printed on the back with our embroidered name on the front.

With all this being said, you may be wondering what this all has to do with life being a chessboard. Other than perhaps paralleling with only releasing black and white items so far, the purpose of this piece is to talk about the harsh reality that I has hit me this week…

You either make it, or you don’t in life. There really is no in-between, particularly in American culture.

I likened this to chess because it requires so much strategy. In my opinion, if you’re not thinking about your next step, you have already fallen into the latter category.

Are you moving forward in life?

I probably ask myself this ten times a day. Yes, it can drive me crazy sometimes, but it serves as a mechanism to keep pushing me forward every day.

The real question however is will I make it? I am now 24 years old. I have a business that is barely off the floor. I have a YouTube channel that is barely breaking 400 subscribers. I have only one graduate school offer despite applying to six schools. Admittedly, I have only had one ‘rejection’, but as I write this I am waiting for four more.

Of course, this compliments my last couple of posts about being ‘good enough’, but for me it goes much deeper than that.

All my life I have been on a trajectory of success. I received great grades throughout high school. I achieved a 3.98 GPA in my undergraduate study and currently entertain a 4.0 in my graduate degree. I try and achieve as much as possible, but I still fear that I will fall short.

I wake up every day striving to be the best version of myself, but as I progress it becomes harder and harder. I feel like I am treading water.

Perhaps I am wishing things that I haven’t earned yet?

What I will say however is that whatever happens, whatever I amount to… I will either make it or I won’t. It’s black and white.

As I strategize my next move in this game of chess that we call life, I urge you to think about your current standing. Are you moving forward? Do you want to move forward? I think a lot of people romanticize about being successful but are you someone who is going to get up and be successful?

Are you dreaming, or are you goal-setting? In my opinion, dreams are just goals people are unwilling to chase. Just think of a dream you had. Why did you not do it? Although you can attribute this to excuses such as a lack of opportunity, the reality is that you didn’t want it bad enough. You were not willing to chase it.

The one thing I will never have is regret.

I applied to the top school in the country for psychology and got rejected. I applied there because I would have never known what would have happened if I didn’t.

I started my own business. It may fail, but I will never have the regret of not knowing what would have happened if I did.

So two things I urge you to do this week:

  1. Reflect on if you are moving forward. You don’t have to want to ‘make it’, but are you moving in the direction of your goals?
  2. If you’re considering doing something, do it. If you want to start a YouTube channel, do it. If you want to start a business, do it. If you want to get better grades, go get them. All I ask is that you do not live your life wondering ‘what if’.

Although I may never make it, I will know that I gave everything in my pursuit to be great.

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