Wednesday, November 17, 2010

i think i bit off more than I could chew

Have you ever felt that feeling of excitement building up within you when an opportunity presents itself to you? That competitive feeling of "I want to do it!"?

I'm an extremely competitive person by nature. Mind you, that doesn't mean that I actually win or do well. I don't. (In fact, I kinda suck :/) But I like to try anyway, with that teensy weensy hope that someday I'll improve enough to actually do some good in my life.

But anyway, back to the point. Just over a month ago, we received a call asking if we wanted to do an event which would benefit Swedish high school students. I had wanted to work on something similar several months earlier, but dropped the idea because circumstances weren't favorable at the time. I decided to try to put together a team once more, half expecting a flat "no" from those whom I approached. To my surprise, each one of my 'top picks' (i know beggars can't be choosers, but i'm picky, ok??) responded enthusiastically and, within 3 days, the SMUS team was formed!

I have to clarify, though. I wasn't always the leader of the group. In fact, I had half a mind to take a back seat. At the time, I was attending extra entrepreneurship classes for my own learning. My schedule, although not jammed tight with activities, was packed loosely with work from both my companies and my school projects. With SMUS thrown into the equation, I'd be busy, but not that busy if I sat back and took it easy.

But see, I had that "butterflies-in-my-stomach" feeling. The "I wanna do it" itch. So after several days of contemplation, the itchy-fingered me quit my entrepreneurship module and took on the role of 'team leader'.

To be brutally honest, I'm not much of a leader.

In the last 50+ days, I've...
...done a lousy job of managing the team
...managed to piss off every single one of my team members at least once (and some, many times)
...been a grumpy, ungrateful grouch
...not updated my team as regularly as i should have, despite our weekly meetings
...neglected my work at Voxbiblia
...neglected my work at Load Impact

But over the last 50+ days, I've also...
...enjoyed the time i've spent with my team
...gotten the opportunity to see each of my team member's strengths and willpower
...learnt to (silently) appreciate all that my team has done
...found people whom I care about and trust
...been inspired by the Swedish students whom I've had the pleasure of meeting
...had the opportunity to get to know many fantastic people, most of them entrepreneurs

I think i've bitten off more than I can chew. Despite 20 hour workdays, there's still an ever-growing mountain of work to be accomplished. I'm ever grateful to both my companies for being so understanding and supportive. I'm lucky to have met people who are enthusiastic and willing to support and promote this event. And I'm very very blessed to have a team that hasn't ditched me despite me being an awful and inexperienced team leader.

I might be burning both ends of the candle (and probably the bit left in-between). And there have been times when I wish I could just sink into an endless sleep. But at the same time, I've learnt so much in the last 1-2 months. Given the chance to go back in time, I'd still choose do it all over again.

9 more days to the pre-camp! It's a scary thought. What if we can't live up to the expectations of our camp participants? What if we screw it all up during the pre-camp and everyone decides not to come for the camp itself? What if things just turn out horribly horribly wrong?

Yet, at the same time, i'm still grasping tightly to that thread of hope that everything will turn out fine.

It's like running a business, really. It's about chasing the dreams that you believe in. You never really know how its going to turn out. Or what to expect. Yet there's always this feeling of excitement. And so what if we fail? We can always try again. Life's not all about successes. It's about failing, learning to pick yourself up, trying again and becoming stronger in the process.

I've gained a new respect for non-profit workers. How do they do it?? How can they dedicate their lives to working for people who might never even throw a 'thank you' their way??

9 more days to pre-camp. Let's do it! :)

For some reason, this verse popped into my mind...

[silent thanksgiving] Thank You for reigning over this team. For holding the bits and pieces of me together during moments when my scraps have started to disintegrate and fall apart. Thank You for being my pillar of strength and support. For blessing me with the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people. Despite my skepticism, disobedience and unworthiness. Some might say that You're but a figment of my imagination. Others might say 'where is He now that the camp is just a week away?". But I've dedicated this camp to You, even if it was just an 'experiment' on my part. No matter how it turns out, You're still in charge. And I already have to much to thank for.[/silent thanksgiving]

p.s: In case you're still wondering, the reason why i'm still at office is because i came back to do my work after the SIME event, received a flood of mails/calls, and before i knew it, i'd missed the last train. So i decided to stay on, work now, and catch my sleep later :P

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