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This blog is about the lives of a few entrepreneurs who are aiming to establish the next trend in social networking and the concept that will make it happen. Since our venture is all about connecting people together, we want to be involved and connected to you and we want you to be involved and connected to us. We'll be sharing with you: who we are, how we got started, how we’re doing and where we’re going...we're taking you along for the ride!!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

The Rites of Passage (Part I)

I earned the title of Marine by going through 13 weeks of Boot Camp ( pre Marine Combat Training for females) and then I earned the title Lieutenant by going through another 10 weeks at Officer Candidate School (OCS)…so I’m used to going through a variety of “rites of passage” and earning the right to graduate to the next level.

I graduated OCS with a pelvic stress fracture. After six months of recovery and being fed up of waiting, I was ready to start the next phase of my training (The Basic School). However, my doctor gave me a 10% chance of making it through another arduous six months of training. I remember him asking me: “Does this hurt?, Does this hurt?, Does this hurt?” while moving my leg around and me answering “No, No and No”. He finally asked me: “Would you tell me if it hurt?” and I replied “No” and that's when he shook his head and signed off my paper work allowing me to start training. I knew what I was made of...but he didn’t, otherwise; he would have given me better odds!!

But, as luck would have it, three months into training I badly injured my right ankle during a very important field exercise. Normally, getting injured at that point in training meant getting “dropped and recycled”. I knew I couldn’t afford having that happen to me, so although, I was on crutches; I asked to return to the field exercise. I remember a defining moment when the Executive Officer of the Company yelled back at me, soon after I’d left his office from asking, yet again, to be allowed to keep training: “Lt. Bernard, you are very persistent aren’t you?” I replied by yelling back “Yes, Sir” and he said “It just might pay off for you”

The next day, he brought me out to meet back up with the Marines in my platoon and I finished the field exercise by working in the Command Operation Center (COC). After graduating, I found out that the Executive Officer had taken full responsibility for me in order to be able to take me back out to the field exercise, and therefore, rescuing me from getting “dropped and recycled” to another company. He told me he knew I had what it took and I was worth taken a chance on.

You must have heart, guts, determination, will power and mental strength to make it through that type of training, particularly while surmounting injuries, but I also needed someone to see my potential and cut me a break.

What I’m answering for myself now is: What are the rites of passage to getting a shot at getting Why Go Solo off the ground? Or in more general terms: What are the rites of passage to getting a shot at getting a start-up off the ground.

To be continued…

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