Jodie Cook

October 14, 2021

In the arena

On April 23, 1910, Theodore Roosevelt gave a speech upon leaving his presidential office. Known as the man in the arena address, it differentiated between the man who, in the arena, strives valiantly, errs, spends himself and triumphs, and the critic or onlooker. This man, said Roosevelt, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.
 
I spent May recording podcasts for various shows. Answering questions, talking about growing and selling a business, entrepreneurial education, lifestyle design, powerlifting and running a business without it running you. Not in the arena, but talking about it.
 
I spent June teaching. Running workshops and Q&A sessions for 50 startup entrepreneurs. Talking them through defining their target audience, planning their messaging and creating content that resonates. Not in the arena, but teaching others who were.
 
I spent July interviewing entrepreneurs for my Forbes column. Finding out about their business, their news, their insights. Writing their stories into bite-sized chunks of useful information that could help other entrepreneurs. Not in the arena, but writing about those who were. 
 
I spent August training for powerlifting competitions and competing on stage. Whilst the sports stage is certainly an arena, it’s very different kind.
 
What I know for sure is that the arena of entrepreneurship is where I feel most at home. When owning and running a business. Building products, creating services. Working with great people. Developing them. Setting audacious goals and working towards them together. Problem-solving. Being resourceful. Facing challenges and coming stronger out the other side. That’s my jam.
 
Being in the arena, instead of talking, teaching and writing about it, serves others by showing, not telling. Proving, not speculating. Practising over preaching. 
 
It’s time to get back in the arena.

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