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Entrepreneurship Lesson: Life and Death

"It is one of the blessings of old friends, is that you can afford to be stupid with them." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Starting a business feels very much like a life or death experience. When I started Texting Base in 2012, I had a different zip code, different living setup and different circle of friends.

The years have flashed by in a few blinks of an eye.

Back then, I was single and socializing daily. I had lots of "friends," and freedom to do whatever I wanted.

Four years later, I'm married and I just had a beautiful daughter who decided to arrive seven weeks early.

Having a child spend seventeen days in the NICU changes a lot of things mentally for you. You're surrounded by new life right on the verge of making it or not and by a swarm of paid angels (NICU nurses) who perform miracles daily. While trying to find ways to market and grow Texting Base, I watched a nurse struggle to locate a vein so she could start an IV to save my 4LB baby’s life. Baby veins are tiny, and my baby was tiny as far as babies go...but she was still putting up a fight. It was heartbreaking to watch.

This made my business challenges not seem so "life or death."

While in the NICU, I had a lot of time to think about myself as a child and all the people I met along the way who meant a lot to me. The list of people I care about is long...and many of those people have fallen by the wayside for no reason except two people diverging for their own paths. We simply stopped having constant contact.

This nostalgic feeling is one of the main reasons I thought Texting Base was going to be a big hit...to keep relationships alive and bring people together.

I called one of those people I had lost daily contact with a few weeks ago...Dean New was his name. Dean was a 28-year-old Brit who was genuine and engaging with the British accent that makes you sound "white trash." Dean was built like a brick shit-house (as they say) and had gone from 300+ pounds down to 246 of all muscle. He looked like a mix of the warriors in “Braveheart” and “300.”

I met Dean with his ex at a Farmer's Market. He was wearing a wife beater. I usually don't befriend people with wife beaters, but made an exception for Dean...I liked him immediately.

How many people do you know who can tell jokes for 12 hours straight? How many people will keep playing you at pool even though you keep whipping his ass? How many people do you know who volunteer at soup kitchens to help those less fortunate every week? How many people will open up and cry on your shoulder when hurt instead of faking that they are OK? Those people don't come along often.

I was in the NICU with my daughter and couldn't make Dean’s birthday this year even though I badly wanted to be there...we spoke of getting together soon. I thought we would reconnect.

On the 17th day in NICU, I received some of the greatest news a parent can receive; our daughter had been cleared to come home. My wife and I were thrilled and started scrambling to make sure everything was ready. On that very same day, I received the worst news a friend can hear...that my dear friend had passed away in his sleep at 28 years young.

The emotional dichotomy of joy and sorrow...or life and death...happened in the NICU that day for me. I was sharply reminded that time waits for no one as I looked down upon my newborn girl looking up at me.

When someone passes away, memories flood you and with each memory, a wave of emotions. Had I not sent Dean those href="https://www.textingbase.com">"text messages to keep in touch” and made that phone call a few weeks ago, guilt would be one of those emotions for me.

Building a business may seem like life or death, but it's not...there are more important things that can get lost easily in the shuffle of life. None of the journey matters if you don't keep in touch with the people who matter to you.

Entrepreneurship is far from "life or death." Sometimes the harsh reality only perspective can give you allows you to see what really matters. Unfortunately, this wisdom and perspective comes with a price...it rarely happens when things are perfect.

RIP Dean.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Eric Beans

Eric Beans is CEO of Texting Base, Inc., out of Orlando, Florida. Texting Base is a cloud-based software that adds efficiency and power to business texting communications. Combining the efficiency of a “mass text” and the effectiveness of a personal text message, Texting Base uses patent pending software to allow businesses to build relationships with their customers like never before. Prior to Texting Base, Eric Beans owned Premier Mortgage Capital, Inc., a nationwide state charted mortgage company and helped to start TechSpan, a global IT consulting company.

Texting Base does not offer legal advice-please consult an attorney before starting to text for business purposes.

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