You Can’t Ever Have Too Much of a Good Thing

This should be subtitled: “Even when that good thing really, really pisses you off to begin with.” Yesterday was a bit of a rough day for me. Towards the end of the day, I had an email forwarded to me that a friend of a friend launched a project which is nearly a carbon copy of a non-profit project I’ve been putting together for about two years. It was a crushing blow when I first read the email and saw the site (not quite ready to discuss the details…but maybe sometime soon).

As I read through the site, it was as if this organization had poured over all of my notes and ideas…at least a year’s worth of ideas on how the non-profit was going to be run, the event(s) that it would first put on, and how those events would be setup and managed. My stomach turned as I read on.

I spent a good deal of time tracing my steps and rethinking every conversation that I’d had about my project. I was absolutely certain that someone I’d spoke to had turned and shared the idea with this group. Convinced. The thoughts tugged at me as I drove home, as I cooked dinner for my kids, and once I put them in bed it just picked up speed. Gnawing at my brain, I just couldn’t seem to figure out how it was possible that someone else could have the EXACT same idea.

But mostly, I suppose the major feeling was sadness and anger that I took too long launching. I was beat to market.

Defeated, I started to sulk. Poor me, I didn’t get this out quick enough…

And then it hit me: I was more upset about the fact that I wasn’t going to receive the proper recognition for the idea and the project. WTF? That realization hit me like a ton of bricks. Am I really so self-focused? Am I missing the whole point of what I am doing in the first place? Like the clouds parting a huge storm, I saw the light.

I mean, sure, I wish I launched my project last year, but I’m still only a couple of months away, and why should this derail me in any way? In fact, shouldn’t this be exciting? The fact that someone else has the exact same idea is affirming and reinforcing. And in the realm of non-profits, the more people helping, the better, no?

You can’t ever have too much of a good thing.