I’ve thought for a long time on how to start this particular post.  Once I renewed my ambition to start blogging and to include the lessons I’ve learned since starting this whole project I couldn’t get this post out of my mind because I never really knew how to say it or write it.  The simplest way to do something difficult is to sometimes just say it, so with a heavy heart here it is, on October 4th, 2015, my best friend and project partner passed away.

I got the call while I was at work, and we were really busy that night and I was in the office for just a split second and saw that it was Ket calling.  I quickly picked it up and said, “Make it fast man, I’m super busy.”  Silence on the other end until I heard a voice that wasn’t Ket’s.  It was his wife calling me to let me know that he had died that afternoon.  I could barely move, and only mumbled a few things out saying, “What… wait… what?  What are you talking about?”  Once reality set back in, that this was true, I walked out of the office to find one of my employees and asked her to come to the office.  With a large crowd in the club that I night I walked as best I could back to the office until my legs just gave out and I crumpled to the floor in front of the door.  I don’t want to relive that moment in its entirety, in fact I hate reliving that moment at all.  The truth is that I hate having to even write this because it’s not really a lesson learned in how to make a Kickstarter project, but it’s obviously something that happened that had a tremendous impact on everything going on.

I don’t really want to write anything about that day regarding my emotions because it’s fairly obvious how devastated I was.  It’s hard enough to think about my friend being gone, and reliving that day is horrible in itself.  I also don’t want to go into great detail about what happened, and I’m struggling right now as I write this on what I should really say about it.  All that’s really important is that my friend was with me one day and gone the next.  I had spoken to Ketner the day before only for a few minutes about our upcoming Tuesday meeting phone call.  I had no clue it was the last time we would talk.  I know I’m not the only person who has ever had a business partner pass away unexpectedly, and I really am not looking for sympathy from anyone as I write this even though I know so many people would give their condolences.  What’s important, for this blog anyway, is that I explain what happened and how this affected our project, because when you have events happen that throw a wrench into everything you’re doing you have some really tough questions to ask yourself about moving forward.

The following week as friends and family prepared for the funeral I was just all over the place emotionally.  I kept coming back to the project and felt guilty doing so.  How do I do this?  How do I pick up where we both left off?  How do I start doing the things that he was doing when I’m already beyond busy with what I’m doing plus my full-time job?  Should I just quit this whole thing?  Is it disrespectful to move ahead?  What do I do?

Questions like these wouldn’t leave my mind when all I really wanted to do was mourn the loss of my friend.  For several months I just didn’t do anything.  I went to work and came home and that was about it.  I didn’t do any work on the project besides calling up the artist to let her know not to call Ket’s phone anymore, letting her know what happened and to just email or call me.  I just couldn’t pick myself up for a long time to start thinking about moving ahead.

After several months, well into March of 2016 I finally did pick myself back up.  I wasn’t waiting for a specific date, and I can’t honestly remember when I told myself, “Ok… let’s go.”  All I can really remember is making the checklist of everything that I was going to need to do, and this was a long checklist.

I’ll close this out by saying that if there is a lesson to be learned here it’s having resolve is important, but focus is something else.  When you’re not able to focus on what you’re doing for whatever reason, whether it’s a death of someone close, loss of a job, or just anything that demands the attention of your mind and emotions then take a break.  Take a break for however long you have to.  If you’re early on in the project then wait until you’re ready to start back up.  If it’s late in the project then remember you don’t have to hit the “Launch” button until you’re ready.  Having the resolve to work through the issues you’re facing is important, and also resolving to overcome every obstacle no matter what it is.  This can make you successful in what you do, but when you can’t focus simply because you just can’t, when your mind just won’t let you, then it’s okay to take a step back.

Ketner’s death has been the biggest obstacle in my pursuit of this project.  I didn’t have a specific moment where everything was all right with the world and I could start back up.  One day it just happened.  One day I knew I was ready to move ahead.  When you get your focus back that’s when you can start again.

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