“Success means doing the best we can with what we have. Success is the doing, not the getting; in the trying, not the triumph. Success is a personal standard, reaching for the highest that is in us, becoming all that we can be.” -Zig Ziglar

Success feels a bit like a hallucination. I am so accustomed to the doing and the trying that for so long has characterized the incremental progress of Good Clean Love, that being recognized as achieving feels slightly foreign. Although admittedly a countryside that I am happy to learn more about. I won the Willamette Angel Conference today here in my home community of Eugene, Oregon, and it wasn’t for my polished pitch or my perfect business knowledge or sales projections.

Wilfred Peterson said, “Success is focusing the full power of all you are on what you have a burning desire to achieve.” This passionate courage and determination to become the person I wanted to be and the will to do the work that felt like it was mine to do has been the leader on many a dark day, when the numbers didn’t make sense and the world would not bend to my vision. There were many days that I could not understand what made me press on, except for my fervent inability to quit.

Long ago, I hung the lyrics to one of my all time favorite U2 songs Miracle Drug on the wall “There is no failure here sweetheart. Just when you quit…” and when it comes to the work of love in any form, I am convinced that breakthrough is just beyond the place where most of us give in and give up. So today was the breakthrough that was years in the making and how sweet to be recognized for the work of the heart that makes you who you are.

Earning the respect and confidence of some of our community’s respected business leaders and entrepreneurs is not just a shot in the arm financially, but even Aristotle recognized that success is one part a clear and practical ideal and one part the necessary means to achieve it. Beyond the capitol it is the investment of belief in the Good Clean Love brand and the hopes of a community on our success that will drive me harder than I drove myself before.

Tomorrow we turn the page to a new chapter in the story of making a love company successful. I think we have entered the territory we have been looking for and I am ready and excited to navigate with a new map. This is no doubt why Mark Twain said, “To succeed in life, you need two things: ignorance and confidence.”