How to Come to Terms With The Unknown by Jenna Abdou


When I was 17, my friend asked me if I ever wondered about the meaning of life. Essentially, he explained, he was inquiring if I knew why we were here and what we needed to do to be happy. 

Taking that my teenage self was more concerned with figuring out how to get my AP Lit teacher to respect me even the slightest bit, I told him I wasn’t sure and we moved on. 

I wouldn’t revisit Brian’s question until my last semester of college when I first became acquainted with 'quarter-life' crises and often debated how, and more alarmingly, if I’d be successful. 

A few weeks ago, Chase and I had the pleasure of interviewing Amy Errett and Sabrina Riddle, the co-founders of Madison Reed, and our conversation is among the first that’s eased my quarter life crises nerves. 

The most important lesson they imparted to us is that success arrives  in different packages, many of which aren’t wrapped in fancy paper or topped with sparkly bows. 

Think of it like the foods you’ll enjoy at dinner tomorrow night - Although the turkey takes center stage it doesn’t discount all of the other savory sides that fill your plate. 

Amy and Sabrina encourage Madison Reed team members to celebrate all wins, and Amy even has each team member email them to her daily. 
Whether a team member surprised his or her grandmother, reached a new fitness goal, or closed the company’s $12 million series B, the founders advocate that each small achievement improves our overall well being, the real goal we should be working to achieve. 

This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t strive to reach big goals; it’s simply a reminder to highlight the positive before dwelling on the negative. Christie George puts it best when she says, if you know what you are trying to accomplish, failure isn’t a negative thing; it’s data and you should feel dispassionate about it. 

Here’s my final note, the turkey so to say.  I’m only 21. I don’t have all the answers; I probably don’t even have a few of them. I am, however, incredibly fortunate to spend time with people who have figured it out, and the most important lesson I learned from them is to be patient. 

Trust me, I know it appears to be the least helpful sentiment but it’s all we’ve got.

I’m the first to admit that embracing the unknown isn’t fun, and the best advice I can share is to realize that you aren’t alone. We’re all afraid to fail, and it’s okay to stomp your feet when you don’t know the answers as long as you recognize it and do your best to move on. 


Further Reading
  • How MeUndies Made Merchandising Their Competitive Advantage — When MeUndies thinks about their underwear subscription service they compare themselves to Netflix. What the streaming pioneer did for TV, the Los Angeles startup wants to do to your underwear drawer. The goal is to provide monthly subscribers with the staples they love while delivering elements of surprise - Think briefs with donuts and dinosaurs - right to your doorstep.
  • Michael Serbinis: What I've Learned — Visionary Entrepreneur, investor and CEO and Founder of the new healthcare startup, LEAGUE, Michael Serbinis shares what he learned building three disruptive startups, selling two of them and working with Kimbal and Elon Musk.
  • Seedling Relies on Childhood Curiosity to Inspire a Creative Team — On a recent flight home, I spent over an hour browsing a children’s play website, completely enamored by sets like Design Your Own Superhero Cape and Invent Your Own Insects. After sharing Seedling with everyone I know, despite few of my friends having children, I wondered why the brand struck a such a meaningful chord with me.


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