Enterprise Challenge

Paul M. Petro
3 min readMar 8, 2021

Enterprise Challenge

“You’re the CEO of your life. Will you shrink from it, or rise to it?”
-Paul, XO

During my time as an undergraduate, I took a course where we had to build and maintain a blog for the semester as a running assignment. I LOVED it; so much so that I’m surprised it’s taken me a while to reconnect with writing in this way… it’s been several years. Tempus fugit, indeed!

Anyhow, I recently took a look at my old posts, and realized that several of them are relevant to my current work here at XOVeil. The post below, for example, was an attempt to translate my experience post-chemo into a context that was different, but with the same problems I was navigating. Really, I was looking for advice, trying an approach to solicit feedback creatively, and hoping for some insight.

Here’s what I wrote:

==

What do you think it would be like to be the CEO of a company that has a business model that changes every day? Imagine this — you are the owner and director of a firm, and you do not report to any sort of Board of Directors.

It’s entirely your show.

But every day that you suit up and head to work, you haven’t a clue about what’s in store for you, because the nature of your business is such that your potential revenue streams are thoroughly unpredictable, more so than a typical business’s amount of uncertainty.

Now let’s throw an extra monkey wrench in the mix — staff troubles. Say you have a bunch of people who work for you, and in the past, they’ve been stellar employees, so much so that you got used to regarding snappy turnaround times as the status quo.

Lately, things have not been going so well. For some reason, none of them show up consistently. Furthermore, when they do decide to come in (typically late), they never put in the kind of effort to their work that they used to; it’s like they’re just toying with their work, waiting to go on their lunch break.

They’ll pretend like they’re putting in some serious work if you stand over their shoulder, but since it is literally impossible to stand over every shoulder in the entire company, production is waning. Added to these frustrations, they refuse to tell you what’s wrong. They won’t tell you anything, like you irrevocably scorned them somehow, and now you’re getting a kind of silent treatment.

You’d replace them all, of course, but each of them have lengthy contracts and it would literally destroy your business to do so.

What should you do?

==

These days, I suppose I’d answer my own question by saying something like, “First things first — when you realize that you’re in a hole, stop digging. Take a breath — out. Downregulate your autonomic nervous system, just as Dr. Andrew Huberman describes beautifully here. Feeling calmer now? Good. Now that you’re not being swept away in the currents of your emotions, you can choose a response from your Principles.

Next, it’s time to test a few things. Ideas first, analysis later; go. Got a few? Excellent. Now, let’s use some simple tools to see if your changes are working, and let’s track some data over time to prove it out.

I have a lot more to say on this topic, but I’d like to hear from you now… what do you think we should try next?

Cura ut valeas,

-Paul, XO

--

--