Things I’m Proud of – The Unknown

Today marks a nice achievement for me – I’ve successfully launched an innovation lab (or incubator) at my workplace, called Xoomworks Labs. Of course launching is only 1% of the battle – actually launching products will be the ultimate measure for success of the lab. The overall concept is to take ideas generated by our employees and convert them to products. We are initially targeting iOS development so we can create innovative mobile products for enterprise customers. I’m very excited because they are tons of unknowns!

We should all be proud of things, especially for doing things that once may have been unknown to you. I’m constantly being told that I CAN’T and I repeatedly prove to  people that I CAN. A couple of things I’m proud of:

1. Living in a foreign country – I’m constantly questioned with “Why on earth did you leave NYC”. I don’t really have a good answer, it just feels right. There’s a huge world out there and if I don’t get to see all of it I’m going to be really upset. Also living in another country has opened me up to a whole slew of opportunity I don’t think most people get the chance to get. Not to mention I love having friends all over the world.

2. Triathlons – I just completed my first triathlon 2 weeks ago and am attempting to do a half Ironman in August and an Olympic triathlon in September. What I’m really proud of is my ability to be extremely discipline in my training. For someone who has a pretty active social life this is something most people say “no you can’t” to me. It’s important to note that this is all after I was unable to complete (well 16 miles running and 40 biking) the double marathon several months ago due to a knee injury. Not going to let anything like a stupid knee injury stop me!

3. Starting my own company – In 2009 I came up with the crazy idea to leave my very nice cushy job at SAP and start a company with a friend – in NYC no less. Talk about taking a dive into the unknown. BEST EXPERIENCE OF MY LIFE. The bottom line is I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything in my life. I can’t count on my hands how many failures and mistakes I made while doing it.

4. Driving manual transmission – Whoa, what an American! haha. When I moved to Germany several years ago I was thrown into a manual transmission car all by myself. I literally spent 2 hours driving around SAP’s headquarters in Walldorf teaching myself how to drive a manual transmission car. Now, I love it.

The overall point is this – I embrace the unknown and accept that I will probably fail. But that’s what makes life fun right?

  • Dean Lee

    Mike, i agree and like what you are saying in this article. Congrats on launching the lab by the way.  I wish you and us lots of success on that.  –Dean

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