Why do girls freak out all the time?—Davis
“Why do guys act like jerks all the time?” is what I could ask you, and then just sit way back and blow on my nail polish (it’s sparkly!) until it’s dry, and maybe until I die, waiting for you or anyone to actually care why it seems like this—“freak out,” “jerks”— is how we talk about each other.
“Women are crazy and men are stupid” is the trademarked expression of basically everyone who bases their gender philosophies on whomever they dated the summer after graduation. (Like, when anyone gets deep into the platitudes, we know their heart got cracked open like a bloody nut at some point.) But what George Carlin really said was, “Women are crazy, men are stupid, and the main reason women are crazy is that men are stupid. It’s not the only reason, but it’s a big one.”
Still, knowing that’s true, I can’t help but feel depressed and weirded out by how unwilling (or unable, but it seems mostly to be unwilling) men and women are to understand each other. It’s like there’s a consuming, ungenerous, possibly intentionally vicious myopia that dominates how hetero relationships go down. This seems to be where the fissures start, and coldly deciding that someone is “freaking out” is a fissure.
Girls “freak out” (that aphorism is nauseating) because after repressing, as we do, so many instances of irritation, elusive communication, bad-man behaviour, genuine misogyny, and the unrelated dry rot of the world, there is, sometimes, only one thing to do with it (lose your shit) and, sometimes, one person to do it on (your man). But dismissing all of that as nothing more complex than a “freak out” is on you.
I have planned how to open my own small business and want to take the leap. Technically I’m fully set up (I even have a few clients!) but I have a nagging feeling that I’m not ready to do this. How do I know if I am?—Alexandra
What you definitely should be doing (being mentored, writing a business plan, establishing your bank accounts) is pretty standard and can be found all over the internet, but I can probably help you with what comes before signing up for a Staples card or whatever you’ve been up to. Well, not so much me, but Anthony K. Tjan, who is a managing partner of the venture capital firm Cue Ball and co-author of the New York Times best-seller Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck: What It Takes to Be an Entrepreneur and Build a Great Business.
Tjan notes that the ancient Greeks described three types of love: “eros,” which you already know about; “philia,” friendship or brotherly love; and “agape,” which “represents a sacrificial love,” he says. “Working on any entrepreneurial venture requires this ‘agape’ love.” He compares it to what parents feel for their child: “You know it’s going to be hard work, but it’s not the key thing that’s on your mind. The venture has to be worth the sacrifices to the point where the question of the inevitable hard work rarely worries you.”
Maybe you’re less used to hard work (which Tjan defines as “probably 65-plus hours at the office, but 24/7-thinking about [the business]”) than, say, a venture capitalist-slash-fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government is. That’s cool, but are you really ready for it? Tjan says that you should be willing to be “FILO” (first in, last out) and prepared “for vacations to turn into work-cations.” (I work at home and for myself, and I am on a last-gasp summer holiday as I write this, so, yeah.) He adds, “You have to be willing to constantly react to your customers and stakeholders, and be ready to hop on a plane or train to resolve an issue, meet a client, or see a prospective investor.”
It’s not about money; nothing ever really is. Tjan asks, “Do you feel that your venture is a calling, a passion, and a purpose that is congruent with what it is you most want to do?” Answer that first, and then get on with it.