This has been a big year for Culture Check. We've seen growth across our team, our services, and as individuals. In the world of business, growth often takes the spotlight as the ultimate goal, the guiding star we all pursue. There's this common phrase echoing, "if you're not growing, you're dying," wrapping urgency around the concept of growth.
However, in the pursuit of growth, much can be sacrificed—things like quality, awareness of impact, and well-being. While there's plenty to celebrate with growth, it often accompanies a painful process. Truth be told, this year was excruciating. It pushed me beyond what I thought I could handle. There were times when leaving it all behind seemed like the only solution.
The pressures were relentless—nurturing a young family while navigating the challenges of a newborn, confronting the daily battles against racism, advocating for change, and supporting others through their struggles. Then there was the monumental task of building a team aligned with an ambitious vision, requiring delicate care. And all the while, running a business that challenges established norms while balancing the necessity of financial sustainability.
The cherry on top? Contracting COVID after successfully avoiding it for so long, and when it did catch up, it hit hard. This year brought more illness than I've faced in the past decade, culminating in a breaking point I hadn't encountered before.
In those darkest moments, uncertainty clouded the future—of myself, of Culture Check. It was hard to envision a way forward.
Yet, somewhere amidst the chaos, a glimmer of faith persisted. I reminded myself of past hardships—times where I felt beaten, hopeless, scared. None of those situations had managed to defeat me. So, despite the uniqueness of this struggle, the resilience from past battles served as a beacon of hope.
Lessons from those struggles guided me to be intentional—with my thoughts, practices, habits, and time. Some strategies I used during this time are detailed in the Journey of Resilience.
This year was undeniably a year of growth. While I could highlight the traditional business metrics and paint a glossy success story, the real narrative lies beneath that growth. Ending the year in the position we are in—myself, our team, our company—is the true measure of success. It's the growth in the quality of our work, the depth of our conversations, and the strength of our connections. It's the growth in well-being and sustainability.
The original idea for Culture Check came to me in a dream, and for the past three years, I've worked hard to be a diligent steward of that vision. Sometimes, witnessing the success we've achieved, the impact of our work, and the community we're fostering feels surreal, like I’m still in that dream. Grateful for another year, I'm closing 2023 in a much better, stronger place. Thank you to everyone who has stood by us—whether by sharing our name at your workplace, attending our events, or simply offering well wishes. In a world brimming with animosity, I welcome every bit of love with open arms. And finally, a heartfelt shoutout to the Culture Check team—none of this would be possible without you.