259 Cowley Ave, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K1Y 0H2

Non-Illegitimae Carborundum

I wrote this blog to myself after receiving a disappointing email. I let it all out, raw, and then tucked it away to polish it later for publishing. Once I looked at it, I decided it was more honest to share it as is, and so here it is for you, unvarnished. 

Even I sometimes lose a round and doubt myself. Sometimes I need to shut down, shut people out, get quiet and get some rest. I am always able to gather myself back together and muster the energy required to get up and do it again. Hopefully, this blog has caught you at the right time. DMW.


You will be tested. This I can assure you.

You will feel doubt and you will lose your confidence, your footing and your certainty.

People will drag you down, waste your time, evaluate you, consider you and decide against you when they shouldn’t.

They will not return your calls or your emails, to the point of being completely ridiculous, never mind unprofessional.

You will explain something, clarify it, and demonstrate it, and they will pick the other option anyway.

You will have to wait.

You will have to wait after you are told you won’t have to wait any longer.

You will see a lot of opportunity for yourself, where you would be the perfect fit, but they won’t see it that way despite the evidence.

You will rise above it, the anger or resentment or desperation, only to get dragged back down into the muck of your former resentment.

You will want to stand up and scream that everyone is wrong, and you’ll probably be right.

Take a deep breath.

Here is some more truth.

Strategy and execution, while critical, have never been enough to win a battle.

Persistence wins battles.

Wars are won through attrition, by gradually wearing your enemy down, an inch an hour, two feet a day.

You need grit. You need will and determination, and grace too.

You don’t lose by getting knocked out. You lose by getting worn down.

Remember this.


Comments (4)

Our practice has focused on the emerging Sustainable, Responsible & Impact Investing space for 16 years. We have been WAY AHEAD of the curve. There have been so many days we have been ready to through in the towel and transition back to traditional portfolio management. Being on the right side of history when everyone else is telling you your wrong is tough. Here is my favorite quote, have no idea who to give credit to, “Do not confuse the fringe with the frontier”. it is on auto play loop in my brain on bad days. Thanks for a great blog share.

Mark – first of all, on behalf of all of us thanks for being on the frontier of sustainable, responsible and impact investing. The world needs more of it, and the appetite is growing. Don’t worry about the people who don’t get it – they are not ready yet, just continue to concern yourself with those who do. They will bring other people to the party who want to be there. To hell with the naysayers!
“Don’t confuse the fringe with the frontier.” Fantastic. And too true today.

Thanks for the reminder of what it takes to be successful in any venture. If I am anything, in my day to day business activities, I am truly a builder. Part mason and part brick layer, creating a rock solid foundation and building upon it brick by brick.
Sometimes messy, sometimes difficult, sometimes tedious – always effective. Build on!

Keep on keepin’ on.

I have been thinking about the book The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. I read it about 20 years ago, if you haven’t I recommend. Do your work, your way, and don’t compromise.
Your work should inspire those it touches and help to transform them.
Keep well Gabe.

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