They Can’t Kill You And They Can’t Eat You

Brad Feld was sitting in his business partner’s kitchen, drinking a cup of coffee and chewing on a raw bagel he was too tired to toast. Len Fassler, said business partner, walked in and asked, “What’s wrong?”

Fassler could have asked, “what isn’t wrong,” or even “have mercy man, how dark is it that you’re gnawing a raw bagel,” but he intuitively understood the sensitivity of the moment. They were both stressed.

Feld responded, “I’m tired. I didn’t sleep well last night. I know today is going to suck. I don’t feel like I can catch a break.” And that was all true.

It was 2001, the tech sector had peaked just over a year prior, and his world was in perpetual free fall. Everything from the company he had founded to the over 25 boards he served on as an investor. Every day sucked. No breaks were to be caught.

What comes next is why we all need a Len Fassler in our lives. Fassler answered, “Suit up. They can’t kill you and they can’t eat you. We’ll get through it.”

Even when it’s dark out, even when nothing seems to be going our way, they can’t kill us and they can’t eat us. Feld knew it would take time, but Fassler was right. It’s 20 years later and Feld‘s still going strong.

Onward we march. Whatever it is we’ll get through it. Until we’re dead something else is always coming next, so we’d better suit up.

Brad Feld gave an excellent interview and retold this story to Tim Ferriss. Listen here. If you want the full story, the original blog post is here.

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