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Messy in the Middle

When you’re on the precipice of a new project, start-up, or thing — everyone is enthusiastic, everything is enchanting.

Then you get to the middle.

There you meet Kanter’s Law.

“..In the middle, everything looks like a failure.”

Because in the middle is where the hard work happens.

I made the mistake recently of looking at a video of my eldest daughter’s birth (a C-section).


My womb was open and I believe I saw my organs (stomach?) on my belly.

It was gross. It was messy.

Thank goodness Dr. Tristan Bickman didn’t stop. Thank goodness, she did her job.

In the middle of the procedure, I fainted.

(Why do things seem to get worse before they get better?)

Thank goodness the anesthesiologist and nurses didn’t stop. Thank goodness, they did their jobs.

When we’re in the middle, we’re often far away from any of the fantasies and expectations we’ve conjured up at the outset.

This is the time when discouragement descends down the stairs where lethargy lingers.

You want to be nice so you keep procrastinating employees on payroll. You didn’t make your forecast so you avoid that meeting with your investor.

It’s easy for a seasoned entrepreneur to warn new founders of the heavy challenges that lay ahead.

Delayed products, terrible employees, unnerving negotiations, blunt confrontations.

What do you do when you’re on the edge of the middle?

What do you when everything is messy in the middle?

Do your job.

Start that difficult conversation.
Decide what to do about that dilemma.
Take that tough meeting.
Master the mundane.

Refuse to get discouraged.




Do your job.


Do Your Fu@king Job.

What’s your advice when you find yourself in the middle?

Do share!

C.S. Lewis image quote for Messy in the Middle
Rosabeth Moss Kanter image quote for Messy in the Middle
Brad Gast image quote for Messy in the Middle

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